Alien: Alexandre O Philippe's Memory -The Origins of Alien: Dan O'Bannon's Archives


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Philippe was introduced by Frank Pavich who made the Jodorowsky's Dune documentary to Diane O'Bannon, the widow of Dan. He soon went to visit her at her house in San Diego .

She opened the door and there were all these boxes lying around: drawings from Dan, scripts, versions of Alien, story notes from Dan, sketches of the creatures, obviously pre-Alien before he even met Giger, storyboards from Ron Cobb at the time when it seemed to Philippe as if the Derelict ship was just a pyramid.

He read the script for They Bite which was a precursor for Alien. Also there were the two different versions of Memory, the script that was almost thirty pages long.

There was a version A and a version B with slight differences, these were things that fans of Alien have been talking and speculating about for decades. He was holding them in his hands near enough thinking "Holy shit! What's going on here?"

It was as if it were the right encounter at the right time, as if Diane was waiting for the right person to walk in and to commit to really paying tribute to Dan in a meaningful way. She basically opened the archives and just said "'Go for it"

Diane O'Bannon with the archives


  1. Alexandre O Philippe:When I went to see her in San Diego at her house, she opened the door and there were all these boxes lying around: drawings from Dan, scripts, versions of Alien, sketches of the creatures – obviously pre-Alien before he even met Giger, storyboards from Ron Cobb at a time when the Derelict was just a pyramid. And then of course there were the two different versions of Memory – the script which is only about thirty pages long. There’s a version A and a version B with slight difference. (https://www.avpgalaxy.net/website/interviews/alexandre-phillipe/
  2. Alexandre O Philippe:You know, and there's a lot of er, er, well there's a lot of drawings, you know, never seen before, you know, drawings and auto portraits of Dan and story notes and all kinds of stuff. Um yeah, I was introduced to er Diane O'Bannon, his widow, ah through Frank Pavich who did Jodorowsky's Dune, another really interesting beautiful little sort of connection there, I I feel from Dune to Alien once again, you know and erm, and er , you know when I went to her house for the first time, she had all these boxes, um, opened everywhere, in the living room, and then I walk in and I'm seeing these, you know, storyboards from, early early from Ron Cobb or you start seeing when there was a pyramid, I'm seeing these story notes from Dan and these drawings, the script for They Bite which was also another precursor of of Alien, which is a remarkable screenplay by the way, erm, and then you know, and then the two versions of the screenplay called Memory which is an unfinished script, erm, there's version A and version B, and you know, those are things that the fans, you know, have been talking about for decades, have been speculating about and suddenly here I am holding this thing in my hands, you know and then I'm like "Holy shit! What's going on here?" you know, and erm, and er, Diana's just wonderful, I er, I think it was, it was the right encounter at the right time. I think she was waiting for the right person to walk in and and to commit to really paying tribute to Dan in in a meaningful way, and , and I think she sensed that, you know, in us and I'm really delighted that she, I mean, she basically opened the archives and just said "Go for it"(Film threat http://filmthreat.com/news/memories-of-alien-ft-alexandre-o-philippe-film-threat-podcast/
  3. Alexandre O Philippe: So all of these things, plus an encounter with Diane O’Bannon [widow of the screenwriter], who is also one of our executive producers and opened the archives for the very first time, came together to make me realize that there is way more here than I thought initially. This is an origin story, and it’s about time that Dan gets his due, and I’m glad the love-letter aspect comes through. In many ways, I feel like he guided me. There’s been an energy behind this project that is otherworldly—that’s the best way I can put it. (https://www.slashfilm.com/alexandre-o-philippe-interview-memory/)
  4. Alexandre O Philippe: So, my favourite memory is probably walking into Diane O'Bannon's living room and finding these, there were eight boxes of Alien archives, you know, Dan's personal archives with drawings, designs,  erm I don't know how many alternate endings, storyboards, early early storyboards where the, the derelict was like a pyramid and, erm I mean it was, it was mind blowing to see all this stuff, tand o see how he had the vision of the Alien, how he was, I mean, he had all these, you know personal designs of the creature, erm,  which are really incredible,  very erm, lots of insect like creatures, you know, arm, so yeah, I mean as a fan you know, and somebody who really cares about film history, like, walking into that was kind of overwhelming and really cool, I don't think that, you know  I don't think I've had a better memory ( Legion M on Facebook: Memory: The Origins of Alien Director Alexandre O. Philippe is here to take your questions in this live AMA while he signs Memory posters! Ask all your questions about ALIEN, MEMORY, or filmmaking here! https://www.facebook.com/legionmofficial/videos/2515997795281058/ 4th January 2020)


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