Entertainment Weekly April 2017
Ridley Scott wanted to kill Ripley in original Alien ending
"It’s hard to imagine 1979’s Alien being any scarier than it already is. The sci-fi classic — directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, a very brave orange cat named Jones, and way too many Xenomorphs — was the first to really make one think about the futility of screaming in space. (To say nothing about worrying about Facehuggers.)
In honor of Scott’s returning to the Alien franchise with Alien: Covenant on May 19, we asked the famed director about the ending he proposed doing instead of the one we all know. Amazingly, it’s even more terrifying than the original — and would have meant a very different fate for Weaver’s heroine, Ripley.
Instead of Ripley having her final triumphant battle with the xenomorph and recording a captain’s log entry before grabbing hero cat Jones and tucking into hypersleep, Scott suggested the following: “I thought that the alien should come in, and Ripley harpoons it and it makes no difference, so it slams through her mask and rips her head off.” Next, Scott says, he’d have cut to the tentacles of the alien pressing buttons on the dashboard. “It would mimic Captain Dallas [Skerritt] saying, ‘I’m signing off.'”
When Scott pitched this idea from Shepperton Studios outside London to the suits at 20th Century Fox, he could feel the tension over the phone. “The first executive from Fox arrived on set within 14 hours, threatening to fire me on the spot,” says Scott with a laugh. “So we didn’t do that [ending].” We — and surely Weaver, who went on to play the role of Ellen Ripley three more times — are grateful." (source)
I'm grateful too.
9 Responses to Ridley would have killed Ripley if given the chance.
Next, Scott says, he’d have cut to the tentacles of the alien pressing buttons on the dashboard. “It would mimic Captain Dallas [Skerritt] saying, ‘I’m signing off.'
That ending would have had a vibe similar to The Thing.
This has been said before (interesting nonetheless) but I JUST reliazed that the ending of Covenant is similar to this. I mean, the dynamic of the Davd/Walter switcharoo is different than the ALien/crew switcharoo/mimicking, but still. They worked the original, grim ending of Alien into Covenant!
Not a map, an invitation
That's credible cuponator3000 regarding someone mentioning this previously.
I figured that many had read about this and especially because of the timing of the article last Spring when interest was high on the subject. I actually did a search of "alien-covenant alien alternate ending" before writing the topic to see if anything came up from here and didn't see anything. I must have missed it in the comments.
I do understand your point cuponator3000 regarding the concept relation to Alien: Covenant...that is a good point because it looks very grim for Daniels and Tennessee. What will they open their eyes to?
That is a great reference with The Thing dk. The organism quickly assimilated memories, anatomy...still a great film.
A possibility with a radically advanced AI (mutagen) added to the calculation Ati.
You could do a Alien:Covenant type ending for A L I E N.....
Ripley is just starting to fall asleep (in her sleep chamber aboard the Narcissus) ...maybe looking at jonesy (in the pod next to her)..When she notices the Alien is coiled up inside the air duct. (the alien moves a bit and catches her eye)
The last shot is: Ripley clawing at the cryo pod trying to scream as the gas puts her to sleep.
I think that the alien monster killing Ripley at the end would have made the film even more terrifying. I wonder how the audience would have reacted to that? The dashboard thing is perhaps a bit silly, though? I think it would have taken away the animalistic, instinctive, amoral, ferociousness of the creature? Mabe the audience would have laughed instead?
The ending of Alien Covenant is even more terrifying than that alternate ending of Alien. David can do a lot worse than the dashboard thing, mimicking Captain Dallas.
I hope Disney will let Ridley Scott finish the story instead of those Merlin films. I mean there are so many directors who could do the Merlin saga for kids, why waste Ridley Scott's time?
"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"
Certainly is a good point... Chli
We need to remember ALIEN was based off Starbeast and in that draft the Xenomorph would have been a Civilized Alien Organism, if it had been nurtured and surrounded by its own kind.
I prefer the route they went which makes the Xenomorph more Alien and Terrifying than it actually be to close to a civilized race, like maybe the Predators are.
That ending would have been interesting.... but then to pretend to be Dallas i think would have not been so good.. i am glad we got what we did as it lead to the Franchise continuing with Ripley.
Taking out all the Characters, leaves little room for Character Development we can care about, if we get a Clean Slate every movie then the Beast would have become indeed more closer to a Friday the 13th in Space kind of Slasher..
Agree daliens... the possibilities for Alien Covenant are sinister now, i do think the reveal to Daniels does not spell well for her Character though. I would have kept her to not have a clue..
Set up a Colony... David Rebuild a Walter and Transfer his Soul and then get rid of the David model...
Then have the reveal and horror for Daniels when she discovers Davids Secret like at the start of the 2nd act.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
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