Alien: Alexandre O Philippe's Memory -The Origins of Alien: The design of the Alien life forms


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Alexandre O Philippe was able to identify what seemed to be an early version of the Space Jockey Astroeunuch in an ink drawing by Giger from 1967

The Necronom IV painting was created in 1976, the year that Dan was working on the early version of the script called Alien

Philippe looked at this painting, it was essentially the alien beast, and pretty much as it was in the film. It had eyes, but once those eyes were removed, that's what was in the film.

He thought that the painting existed already when Dan was working on the script (although it was painted during that year, that it existed before Ridley Scott was even thought of as the director, but it felt like that the creature was waiting for the right story to bring itself to life.

While Philippe appeared to think that that the painting existed in the Necronomicon book years before Dan showed it to Ridley, the copy of the book that Dan O'Bannon had was from the first batch printed in 1977 with the intention of showing it to whoever it was important to show in the Alien film production, while it would get to Ridley when he said yes to the script and  came over to Hollywood for a visit, between the end of 1977 to the beginning of 1978

For the purpose of Philippe's poetic realm, the myths that he may have been weaving in perceptions and misperceptions as well have been a reality as it can be for many.

It's not easy to say how early the seeds of the Necronom IV came into Giger's mind or when he had the idea of calling his book the Necronomicon, but they finally manifested as it coming through from a timeless age, and what led Giger to create that painting obviously was starting to form over a long period of time with his idea for biomechanics which would lead lead to encounters and connections with various people who would surely help to set off ideas.


  1. AO PhilippeThere are certain rare occasions where the movie itself finds a way to bring itself to life in a particular way without the conscious involvement of the filmmakers. It’s a pretty esoteric idea, but I look at the painting by Giger in his Necronomicon, which is essentially the xenomorph, and it’s pretty much as it is in the film. It has eyes, but you remove the eyes and that’s what you have. That creature existed while Dan was working on the script, it existed before Ridley Scott was even a thought as a director, and so it almost feels like that creature was waiting for the right story to bring itself to life. It’s pretty crazy stuff.(https://lwlies.com/articles/memory-the-origins-of-alien-making-of-ridley-scott-hr-giger-xenomorph/)
  2. AO Philippe: The xenomorph emerged fully formed from Giger’s imagination. It existed in his seminal book Necronomicon years before O’Bannon showed Giger’s painting Necronom IV to Ridley Scott; before anyone had thought Scott capable of pulling off Dan’s persistent vision. (https://www.talkhouse.com/bursting-from-within-why-alien-struck-a-nerve/
  3. AO Philippe: In fact, early versions of the Space Jockey started appearing in Giger’s paintings as early as 1967. It’s as if those creatures had been lying in wait for the right story to bring them to life. It was Jodorowsky’s unrealized Dune that brought O’Bannon and Giger together, and had Dune become a reality, it’s safe to say that Alien wouldn’t have come together the way it did. Is Alien, then, the result of chance, serendipity, an extraordinary string of coincidences, or was it fated to grace our screens in 1979? The idea that myths are “alive” has always fascinated me. I’m not suggesting that they are akin to conscious organisms, of course; but by virtue of living in our collective imagination, they acquire a certain type of existence. (https://www.talkhouse.com/bursting-from-within-why-alien-struck-a-nerve/) 

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