Imagine a world where the space marines in Aliens weren’t being led by Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley. If Ridley Scott’s original ending of Alien had been used, Ripley would have died in at the end of the very first film.
On Monday, the legendary Blade Runner director and force behind the upcoming Alien: Covenant, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his first Alien film. In 1979, while filming Alien, Ridley Scott says a totally different ending was being considered for the movie instead of the famous scene in which Ripley escapes. “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.”
If that wasn’t shocking enough, Scott also mentions that the famous hissing xenomorph alien would also have developed the ability to mimic human speech, thus fooling anyone who might come rescue survivors of the Nostromo. “It would mimic Captain Dallas [Tom Skerritt] saying, ‘I’m signing off.’”
Having an alien or robot antagonist mimic the voice of a spaceship captain was a pretty well-worn sci-fi cliche, even in 1979. (It happens a lot on the original Star Trek, and Buck Rogers too.) In the interview, Ridley Scott focuses correctly on the the death of Ripley in this alternate ending, but the total ruining of the xenomorph by giving it the ability to talk like a human seems even more horrifying. Luckily, this plan was never put into action.
“The first executive from Fox arrived on set within 14 hours, threatening to fire me on the spot,” Scott tells EW. Space mischief managed.
Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant hits theaters on May 19, 2017. Meanwhile, a fan-created celebration of the entire franchise, called “Alien Day,” happens on April 26.