Alien: Possible Robert McCall
inspiration for refinery platform

leading from
Alien: The Nostromo

McCall's work for Kubrick's 2001
a) Robert McCall December 23, 1919 – February 26, 2010) the artist a science fiction artist was well known for his paintings of space crafts and also his floating cities. In 1971 Robert McCall created a painting floating city featuring a floating platform with towers and spheres, (featured on the right) it's a structure bearing some similarities to the Nostromo's refinery platform, and one can ask the question if this was a possible inspiration for Ridley's refinery platform. Ridley's then first assistant director for his company Ivor Powell who became associate producer for the Alien movie is known to have been a publicist for Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and was very much a science fiction fan so we can postulate that he would have been in a position to be someone able to introduce Ridley Scott to Robert McCall's work.
"Floating city" by Robert McCall 1971
b) The name became evident to me from reading an interview from the publicity for Prometheus in 2012, Arthur Max, chief designer for Ridley Scott talked to L'Ecran Fantastique magazine about how Ridley Scott inspired the artist Robert McCall, who produced designs for the films design work for The Black Hole, Star Trek:The Motion Picture and 2001: A Space Odyssey. But of course this doesn't say that Ridley had any actual interest in the work of Robert McCall during Alien.
  1. a.) Arthur Max: "Et Ridley s'est inspiré aussi du travail d'un autre artiste tres talenteux, Bob McCall."(L'Ecran Fantastique Hors Serie no16, p24)                                                                                                                                               Googletranslater translated this as "And Ridley has also inspired the work of another artist very talented, Bob McCall" but years later would translate it as "And Ridley was also inspired by the work of another very talented artist Bob McCall"
    Ridley's Nostromo storyboard


    1. In fact, what it says in French is:

      "And Ridley was inspired also by the works of another very talented artist, Bob McCall"

    2. Thankyou, that certainly is probably what they would have said in English

    3. Google is finally catching up