Alien: Ivor Powell wrote a treatment
for an Alien prequel/sequel "Universal Matter"

While there had been some discussions on a sequel for Alien, the studios appeared to not be interested in doing a sequel as back then at the time of the film they didn't see this as being a franchise.
Although in the twenty first century, if they got the vibe that it was going to be successful, it became common practice to have a sequel on the tracks.

Final version of the Alien Life Cycle Tableau (1978) by HR Giger
b) Inspired by Giger's unused mysterious creations
However Ivor was absolutely fascinated by what HR Giger had been working on that never quite found its way in to the Alien movie.

For instance there was the hieroglyphic tableau that was going to be found in the derelict's entrance corridor which had some sort of Egyptian/ galactic Alien background to it, and that never got into the final movie.  

c) Interest in the Space Jockey's story 

Ivor wondered at the time of the film about who the space jockey was, what had gone on in the derelict ship with its strange life forms in the silo, whether the spores were armaments and perhaps they were being shipped somewhere,

The derelict ship in the past had a great sense of mystery to it that exited many fans.

(see also: Alien: The end of the line and back to the distant past)

The head of Ash the robot about to Speak

d) Inspired by speeches written for Ash the robots about the alien

Another point of interest was a bit of speech that Ash the robot gives about the alien monster, what it was about.

(See also: The robot head speaks.

Sigourney Weaver with Ivor Powell

e) Ivor explores the writing of a sequel/prequel
He certainly saw the development of the movie production in a way that fans would only dream of seeing.
However as a genuine sci-fi buff, a writer himself and because of his close involvement in the Alien production, he found himself in the following years writing a thirty or forty page treatment based on the idea of a prequel, to explain the mysteries of Alien.
Although some of the mysteries were later unravelled in in Prometheus, it didn't touch on where his ideas were going and so he found himself bitterly disappointed.   
Hollywood wasn't interested, they wanted him to change the script to something else and so he gave up.


f) Peter Briggs  read the script
Peter Briggs who is known for having written the Alien Vs Predator script in 2021 was able to acknowledge that he read it and was able to share some details
He reported that the story was called "Universal Matter" and dealt dealt with mercenaries that enter a pyramid, and a black protoplasm that could be described as a primeordial goo that was pretty much like the black goo that would turn up in Prometheus

It was more like a short script than just a treatment.
The story didn't effect the Alien franchise and worked as an interesting standalone.
He found that it straddled a lot of gaps for those who like Alien and Aliens, and that those who liked "Aliens" and "Prometheus" ought to be very intrigued by it-
Curiously he noticed that it seemed as if more than one person took material from Ivor's work to the extent that he was amazed that Ridley has said anything about Powell's script in relation to Prometheus because there was some of that in the movie.
Back during the time that Ivor had written the script, he had given it to Jim Cameron to look at and this was before Cameron had come onto Aliens.
Ivor would continue to hope that he could do something with his 'script', and if the Spielberg produced film he co-wrote "Finch" starring Tom Hanks proved a success there might be an opportunity.


Source Quotes
  1. Peter Briggs: I hope that people on the pressjunket for Bios talk to Ivor about the script he wrote which is a direct sequel to Alien right after Alien and I've read it and it's an interesting read because it deals with a primeordial goo
    Eric Adams: Interesting

    Peter Briggs: The script is called Universal Matter, and Ivor told me then that he had given it to James Cameron before Cameron came on Aliens and deals with a mercenary team who go into the pyramid and it's an interesting read. I think that it's a missing factor and link

    Eric Adams: Yeah

    Peter Briggs:In the alien story that people should talk about

    Aaron Percival: I met Ivor once but I never managed to talk to him, because I know he'd also talked about at one point about a prequel he'd done or a treatment for a prequel he'd done where then, he didn't really give too much info on it and I'm just like I love this stuff, I'd like to talk to you please

    Peter Briggs: He's very approachable and no it wasn't a treatment, it was a full script and I've read it (Alien Vs Predator Podcast #130 The History Of the Hunt - An interview with Peter Briggs)
  2. Peter Briggs: I'm amazed that Ridley's memory doesn't go back to Ivor Powell's Universal Matter draft because there's some of that in Prometheus. (Alien Vs Predator Podcast #130 The History Of the Hunt - An interview with Peter Briggs)
    (Alien Vs Predator Podcast #130 The History Of the Hunt - An interview with Peter Briggs)
  3. Ivor Powell: Immensely disappointed, yeah, yeah, yeah. I did actually, um, um I write as well, and erm, I was trying for years on since they made Alien 1, I used to go home at night and write away, you know, convince myself I was a writer. Fox were not interested in making, I don't know when. When was Aliens made, actually er. 80s? (Alien Q &A, Genesis Cinema, August 23rd 2014)
  4. Ivor Powell: yeah. Initially, yeah, after the first Alien, they weren't interested in doing a sequel, you can imagine nowadays, before you'd even like finish the first one, if they sort of got the vibe it was going to be successful, they'd already have a sequel on the, you know, on the, on the tracks, but this took a long time, because they weren't really, they didn't see er, that it was a franchise, and I remember writing a thirty, forty page er sort of thing, based on the prequel, because that's the sort of thing that I found absolutely fascinating about was all Giger's, there were a lot of things that never got, you never saw er, in Alien 1, like there was the entrance to the er, the derelict ship, the alien derelict, there were these sort of hieroglyphics and things like that, that he did at a certain sort of Egyptian / sort of galactic sort of alien sort of background, and none of these things got seen, but all that fascinated me and I think the little sort of bit of speech that er um er, the robot Ash gives about the kind of this, this, what this creature's about, I just, I found really fascinating and what was the space jockey, you know, where did he come from and all that, and I know some of it got vaguely explained in Prometheus but for me, it didn't touch it at all, didn't didn't, so I was bitterly bitterly disappointed (Alien Q &A, Genesis Cinema, August 23rd 2014)
  5. Dominic Kulcsar: I wish that I could see that er, your little... erm ... Alien prequel... script... treatment.... thing, that would be wonderful

    Ivor Powell: Yes, it was fun. 

    Dominic Kulcsar: But, I know, I just.. it's the idea of all those strange ideas in the background

    Ivor Powell: (barely audible recording so I just hope these are the words)  You've heard this. They threw me out in Hollywood all right on  first time and anything, but didn't want me there, they wanted me to change it to something else, I thought now what do I do (Personal brief chat after the Alien Q &A, Genesis Cinema, August 23rd 2014)
  6. Ivor Powell: I would have gone before because that's what I find interesting. I want to know who that space jockey is. You know, what, what are the aliens doing in the silo? Are they armaments? Are they shipping them somewhere? All that, and I think all that for me, is fascinating. (The Making of Alien documentary) 
  7. Peter Briggs: I've got to tell you, if there's anyone out there who's interviewing Ivor Powell, erm, when, 'cause Ivor's just written a script, although he's a producer, he produced Ridley Scott's first several movies, Alien, um Blade Runner,  Duellists and he was producer on the Legend and left the movie then. Erm, he erm was working at Fox with Ridley at the time when, prior to Jim Cameron coming on board and er, Ivor nobody knows this, but Ivor wrote an Alien script and I've read it, and it's I don't really want to comment on it but people should talk to Ivor about it and ask him questions, because it's,  it deals with er er a pyramid and a, a black protoplasm and erm and its interesting.  (Best movies never made
  8. Alien ExplorationsWhen Cameron did interviews for Aliens, he talked about how he rejected the 'human to egg' idea because he didn't think that the alien's biological properties could take residence in a human being and metamorphose him into an egg. ( Jan 9 2022) This had nothing to do with what Ridley had said about the 'human to egg' scene. Cameron's strange idea about the metamorphosis might be excusable if you think of the black goo in Prometheus. I wondered if you think that sounded similar to something in the Universal-Matter script  ( Jan 9 2022)
    Peter Briggs: The black goo is pretty much identical to the Universal Matter goo in Ivor Powell's script. ( Jan 9 2022)
    I've read it. It's called "Universal Matter". Fans of "Aliens" and "Prometheus" would be very intrigued by it (and that's all I'm saying - I'll leave it to Ivor to answer more!) And it's much longer than a treatment...more a shorter script.

    It's Ivor's idea. I don't really want to talk about it. But it's intelligent, and very different. I feel personally more than one person took material from Ivor's work. When the Spielberg produced Tom Hanks movie "Finch" (which Ivor co-wrote) releases, they should query him. 
  11. If "Finch" comes out and is a hit, Ivor's "Universal Matter" is a project that could still be made by Fox/Disney. It doesn't affect the franchise chronology, and is an interesting standalone. It straddles a lot of gaps for those who like "Alien" or "Aliens".


  1. Did a little bit of re-editing because what I've written trying to pull bits of information together often comes out looking garbled

  2. Took a look at it again today. It's almost looked as if someone had done cut-up experiments with the text although I admit this whole matter had put fractured state, but so I've re-edited it and made it more concise. It's not an easy subject to even think about really. Ivor publicly revealed back in 2014 that he wrote this thing but we don't know much about its contents still, and some of us might like to know.

  3. Updated the article with information from the Peter Briggs interview in the Alien Vs Predator podcast #130