The Alien franchise is a science fiction horror franchise, consisting primarily of a series of films focusing on Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) and her battle with an extraterrestrial lifeform, commonly referred to simply as "the Alien". Produced by 20th Century Fox, the series started with the 1979 film Alien, and continued with three movie sequels, Aliens (1986), Alien3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997), and an official video game sequel, Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013). It has also inspired numerous books, comics and video game spinoffs.
In addition to the main franchise is the Alien vs. Predator franchise, including the films Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), which pits the titular Aliens against the Predator creatures from the Predator franchise.
- Main Article: Alien (film)
The spaceship Nostromo goes to the desolate planetoid LV-426 after receiving an unknown signal from a derelict alien spacecraft. Whilst exploring the ship, one of the Nostromo's crewmen discovers an egg-like object which releases a creature that attaches itself to his face and renders him unconscious. Some time later, the parasite dies and the crewman wakes up, seemingly fine. However, an alien creature later bursts out of the crewman's chest and, after rapidly growing into an eight-foot creature, begins killing the rest of the crew.
- Main Article: Aliens (film)
Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, the only survivor of the Nostromo, awakens 57 years later from hypersleep to discover that LV-426 is now home of a terraforming colony. However, contact with the colony has been lost, causing a squad of Colonial Marines to be sent to investigate, accompanied by Ripley. Once back on LV-426, they soon discover that the colonists had discovered the derelict ship and that the Aliens now infest the entire colony.
- Main Article: Alien 3
Due to a fire aboard the ship that escaped from LV-426 at the end of the second film, an escape pod is released and crash-lands on a refinery/prison planet named Fiorina "Fury" 161. Everyone on board dies in the crash except Ripley. Unbeknownst to Ripley, an Alien egg was aboard the ship, and the creature is born in the prison and begins a killing spree. Ripley later discovers there is also an alien Queen growing inside her.
Alien Resurrection (1997)Edit
- Main Article: Alien Resurrection
200 years after the incidents of the previous instalment, Ellen Ripley is cloned and the Alien Aueen is surgically removed from her body. The United Systems Military hopes to breed Aliens to study and research on the spaceship USM Auriga, using human hosts kidnapped and delivered to them by a group of mercenaries. The Aliens escape their enclosures, while Ripley and the mercenaries attempt to escape and destroy the Auriga before it reaches its destination — Earth.
After completion of the film Dark Star (1974), executive Dan O'Bannon thought to develop some of the ideas (especially the theme of "alien hunts crew through a spaceship") and create a science-fiction horror film. It was provisionally called Memory. Screenwriter Ronald Shusett collaborated with O'Bannon on the project, adding elements from a previous O'Bannon script, Gremlins, which featured gremlins causing mayhem aboard a World War II bomber and wreaking havoc with the crew. The duo finished the script, initially entitled Star Beast, and O'Bannon noticed the number of times the word "alien" occurred in the script, and so he adopted Alien for the film's title. The writers imagined a low-budget film, but Star Wars' success inclined Fox to invest $8 million on production.
In the original script, the ship has an all-male crew, including the Ripley character (though the script's 'Cast of Characters' section explicitly states that "The crew is unisex and all parts are interchangeable for men or women"), which would be played by actor Tom Skerritt, but later, character re-casting made Ripley a woman, because producer Alan Ladd, Jr., and script-doctors Walter Hill and David Giler had heard rumors of Fox working on other titles with strong female leads. Skerritt became Captain Dallas, and Sigourney Weaver was cast as Ripley.
Alien form and setEdit
Swiss painter and sculptor H. R. Giger designed the alien creature's adult form and the derelict ship, while Moebius created visuals for the spacesuits  and Ron Cobb provided most of the on-set design.
The first film of the series, directed by Ridley Scott, was successful, but Fox did not consider a sequel until 1983, when James Cameron expressed his interest to producer David Giler in continuing the Alien story. After Cameron's The Terminator became a box office hit, Cameron and partner Gale Anne Hurd were given approval to direct and produce the sequel to Alien, scheduled for a 1986 release. Cameron wrote the screenplay from a story he developed with Giler and Walter Hill.
Following the second movie, Aliens, Sigourney Weaver was not interested in returning to the series and so producers David Giler and Walter Hill commissioned a third Alien film without the Ripley character. The premise was to return Ripley in a fourth installment, but Fox's president Joe Roth did not agree with Ripley's removal and Weaver was approached to make Alien 3. Released in 1992, the film was troubled from the start of production; without even a finished script and having already spent $7 million before pop music video director David Fincher, the third director considered for the film, was hired to helm the project. After production was completed, the studio reworked the film without Fincher's involvement or consent. Giler, Hill and Larry Ferguson wrote the screenplay, based on a story from an earlier script by Vincent Ward.
While fans and critics did not receive Alien³ well, the film still made $160 million worldwide at the box office and piqued Fox's interest in continuing the franchise. In 1996, production on the fourth Alien film, Alien Resurrection, began. Ripley was not in the script's first draft, and Sigourney Weaver was not interested in reprising the role, though later joined the project after being given a reported $11 million salary and more creative control (including being able to approve director Jean-Pierre Jeunet ). The film, released in 1997, experienced an extended production and was described by screenwriter Joss Whedon as having done "everything wrong" with his script.
Around the release of Alien Resurrection Joss Whedon wrote an Earth-set script for Alien 5, which Sigourney Weaver disliked. Before 20th Century Fox greenlit Alien vs. Predator, James Cameron had been working on a story for a fifth Alien film. Alien director Ridley Scott had talked with Cameron and stated that he thought "it would be a lot of fun, but the most important thing [was] to get the story right." In a 2002 interview Scott's concept for a story was "to go back to where the alien creatures were first found and explain how they were created", however he at first had not shown interest in pursuing the project. On learning that Fox intended to pursue Alien vs. Predator, Cameron believed the film would "kill the validity of the franchise" and ceased work on his story, because to him "it was Frankenstein Meets Werewolf. It was Universal just taking their assets and starting to play them off against each other. […] Milking it." On December 5, 2008, Sigourney Weaver hinted in an interview with MTV that she and Ridley Scott were working on an Alien spinoff film which would focus on the chronicles of Ellen Ripley rather than on the Aliens.
In May 2009, Carl Rinsch signed on to direct a prequel. Ridley Scott and Tony Scott originally decided to function only as producers, with filming to begin in 2009. However, Fox was unsure about making the film without Ridley's direction. In July 2009, it was confirmed that Ridley Scott would be returning to direct an Alien prequel, with Jon Spaihts writing the script.
In October 2009, Ridley Scott said that he was "looking forward" to directing the prequel, and that it was "kind of interesting". He also briefly talked about the time period of the film, saying:
It's a brand new box of tricks. We know what the road map is, and the screenplay is now being put on paper. The prequel will be a while ago. It’s very difficult to put a year on Alien, but [for example] if Alien was towards the end of this century, then the prequel story will take place thirty years prior.
|Alien vs. Predator||2004||22%||4%|
|Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem||2007||13%||38%|
|Film||Release date||Grosses|| Rank|
(All time domestic)
|Alien||May 25, 1979||$80,930,690||$122,700,000||$203,630,690||#577||$11,000,000|||
|Aliens||July 18, 1986||$85,160,248||$98,156,207||$183,316,455||#530||$17,000,000|||
|Alien3||May 22, 1992||$55,473,545||$104,340,953||$159,773,545||#976||$50,000,000|||
|Alien Resurrection||November 26, 1997||$47,795,658||$113,580,410||$161,376,068||#1,165||$75,000,000|||
|Alien vs. Predator||August 13, 2004||$80,282,231||$92,262,423||$172,544,654||#582||$60,000,000|||
|Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem||December 25, 2007||$41,797,066||$87,087,428||$128,884,494||#1,328||$40,000,000|||
| List indicator(s)|
IGN listed Alien as the thirteenth best film franchise of all time. Alien was nominated for two Academy Awards, winning for Best Visual Effects. Aliens received seven nominations, including a Best Actress nomination for Sigourney Weaver, and won for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Effects. Alien 3 was nominated for Best Visual Effects. Alien was also inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for historical preservation as a film which is "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The American Film Institute ranked Alien as the sixth most thrilling American movie and seventh-best film in the science fiction genre, and in the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains list, Ripley was ranked eighth among the heroes, and the Alien was fourteenth among the villains.
Home video releasesEdit
Four box sets of the series have been released so far: Alien Triple Pack, released on VHS in 1992 and on DVD in 2008, containing the first three films in the series; Alien Saga, a Japan-exclusive laserdisc pack containing the first three films released in 1999; The Alien Legacy, released on both DVD and VHS in 1999, containing theatrical versions of all three films and an extra disc containing a documentary; and Alien Quadrilogy, released only on DVD in 2003, featuring nine discs - two-disc versions of each film and an extra disc with documentaries.
- Main Article: Aliens (novel series)
Numerous comic appearances include:
- Alien Loves Predator, a spoof webcomic
- Aliens vs. Predator
- Aliens vs. Predator vs. The Terminator
- Green Lantern Versus Aliens
- Judge Dredd vs. Aliens
- Superman vs. Aliens
- Superman & Batman vs. Aliens & Predator
- Main Article: List of Alien and Predator games
Aliens was adapted into four different video games, a shoot 'em up arcade by Konami, a collection of minigames by Activision, a first-person shooter by Software Studios, and a MSX platformer by Squaresoft.
Acclaim released three different games based on Alien 3, two different run and gun platformers (one for various platforms in 1992, another for the SNES an year later) and a Game Boy adventure game in 1993. Sega also released a light gun arcade, Alien 3: The Gun in 1993.
Other Alien games include Mindscape's adventure game Aliens: A Comic Book Adventure (1995), Acclaim's first-person shooter Alien Trilogy (1996), the FPS Aliens Online (1998), the Game Boy Color action game Aliens: Thanatos Encounter (2001), and the mobile phone game Aliens: Unleashed (2003). The latest game released was the arcade game Aliens: Extermination, in 2006.
There is also a First person shooter video game for PC called Alien versus Predator in which one can play as a Marine, Predator and Alien. This was followed by Aliens versus Predator 2 and the expansion pack Aliens versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt
In December 2006, Sega struck a deal with Fox Licensing to release two games based on the Alien franchise on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. Only one of the two will be released, a first-person shooter by Gearbox Software, Aliens: Colonial Marines, to be released in 2010. In February 2009, Sega further released that a game based on the AvP franchise was in development by the developers of the original game, Rebellion Developments. This third AvP game is to be released in 2010, before the other two Aliens games.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 David A. McIntee, "Beautiful Monsters: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Alien and Predator Films", Telos 2005, pp. 19-28 & p. 39.9
- ↑ Scanlon, Paul; Michael Cross (1979). The Book of Alien. London: Titan Books. ISBN 1-85286-483-4.
- ↑ "Star Beast: Developing the Story", The Beast Within: The Making of Alien.
- ↑ "Truckers in Space: Casting", The Beast Within: The Making of Alien.
- ↑ Lina Badley, Film, Horror, and the Body Fantastic: Contributions to the Study of Popular Culture, Greenwood Press 1995
- ↑ Robert Sutton. "R0BTRAIN's Bad Ass Cinema: Alien". Retrieved on 2006-09-04.
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ "Last in Space". Entertainment Weekly (1992-05-29). Retrieved on 2007-12-14.
- ↑ "David Fincher". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved on 2007-12-14.
- ↑ Hochman, David (1997-12-05). "Beauties and the Beast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2007-12-14.
- ↑ "Joss for a minute: A brief chat with Joss Whedon" (2005-12-16). Retrieved on 2007-12-14.
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Davidson, Paul (2002-01-23). "Alien vs. Predator: Battle of the Sequels". IGN. Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
- ↑ Vespe, Eric "Quint" (2006-02-07). "Holy Crap! Quint interviews James Cameron!!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved on 2007-12-20.
- ↑ "MTV Movies Blog » Sigourney Weaver And Ridley Scott To Team Up For Alien-Less ‘Alien’ Sequel?". Moviesblog.mtv.com (2008-12-05). Retrieved on 2009-03-02.
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ "'Alien' Prequel Takes Off". Variety (2009-07-30). Retrieved on 2009-07-31.
- ↑ Scott Talks Alien Prequel
- ↑ Excl: Ridley Scott Talks Alien Prequel
- ↑ T-Meter Rating for Alien (1979)
- ↑ Top Critics' Rating for Alien (1979)
- ↑ T-Meter Rating for Aliens (1986)
- ↑ Top Critics' Rating for Aliens (1986)
- ↑ T-Meter Rating for Alien 3 (1992)
- ↑ Top Critics' Rating for Alien 3 (1992)
- ↑ T-Meter Rating for Alien Resurrection (1997)
- ↑ Top Critics' Rating for Alien Resurrection (1997)
- ↑ T-Meter Rating for Alien vs. Predator (2004)
- ↑ Top Critics' Rating for Alien vs. Predator (2004)
- ↑ T-Meter Rating for Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
- ↑ Top Critics' Rating for Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
- ↑ "Alien (1979)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
- ↑ "Movie Alien Box Office Data". The-Numbers. Retrieved on 2009-12-19.
- ↑ "Aliens (1986)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
- ↑ "Movie Aliens Box Office Data". The-Numbers. Retrieved on 2009-12-19.
- ↑ "Alien 3 (1992)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2009-12-19.
- ↑ "Alien: Resurrection (1997)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2009-12-19.
- ↑ "Alien Vs. Predator (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2009-12-19.
- ↑ "Alien Vs. Predator - Requiem (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2009-12-19.
- ↑ "Top 25 Franchises of All Time: #13". IGN (2006-12-06). Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
- ↑ "National Film Preservation Board". National Film Preservation Board. Retrieved on 2008-09-06.
- ↑ "Films Selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, 1989-2007". National Film Registry. Retrieved on 2008-09-06.
- ↑ Alien; Aliens; Alien/Aliens Triple Pack, Entertainment Weekly
- ↑ Alien Triple Pack, Amazon.com
- ↑ [http://www.mindspring.com/~laserdisc-forever/aliens.htm Alien Saga Collector's Set (Japanese release)], LaserDisc Forever
- ↑ More Aliens come to VHS and DVD , Entertainment Weekly
- ↑ Alien Quadrilogy, IGN
- ↑ "Aliens to spawn on next-gen systems". GameSpot (2006-12-11). Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
- ↑ "Aliens: Colonial Marines still alive, DS edition planned". GameSpot (2009-06-15). Retrieved on 2009-08-16.
- ↑ "SEGA and Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchangising Announce New Aliens vs. Predator Game". SEGA (2009-02-11). Retrieved on 2009-02-12.
- The Book of Alien (by Paul Scanlon and Michael Gross, Star Books, 112 pages, 1979, ISBN 0-352-30422-7, Titan Books, 2003, ISBN 1-85286-483-4)
- Making of Alien Resurrection (by Andrew Murdock and Rachel Aberly, Harper Prism, 1997 ISBN 0-06-105378-3)
- The Complete Aliens Companion (by Paul Sammon, Harper Prism, 1998, ISBN 0-06-105385-6)
- The Alien Quartet: A Bloomsbury Movie Guide (by David Earl Thomson, Bloomsbury Publishing, 208 pages, 1999, ISBN 1-58234-030-7, as The Alien Quartet (Pocket Movie Guide), 2000 ISBN 0-7475-5181-2)
- Beautiful Monsters: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Alien and Predator Films (by David A. McIntee, Telos, 272 pages, 2005, ISBN 1-903889-94-4)