This article covers all the known deleted scenes from the 1979 film Alien. Some of these sequences never progressed past the early script or storyboard stages, while others were filmed before being cut during the editing process. Despite their removal, several of these scenes were included in the movie's novelization and the comic book adaptation.
Where applicable, the names of these deleted scenes have been taken from the DVD/Blu-ray release of Alien. Also note that sequences initially deleted from the theatrical release of the film but later reinstated in its alternate cut are not noted here (with the exception of two that were edited or otherwise not fully reinstated in the alternate version of the film); details on these scenes can instead be found in the Director's Cut article.
Aside from the scenes described below, the film also had blood and gore trimmed throughout. There was talk of this censored violence footage being reintegrated into an uncut release of the film, although as of yet that has not occurred.
The Flying Mice
Originally, before the crew wakes up aboard the Nostromo, the audience was to see several small flying robots, called "Mice", that would travel up and down the corridors of the ship fixing problems automatically. The idea was scrapped out of budget concerns, and also because the studio felt it moved the film too far in a science-fiction direction (from an early stage, it was decided to make the film feel as "real" as possible) and would warrant unwanted comparisons with Star Wars.
- "I wanted to have small flying objects, like sensors, which flew up and down the corridors. They would find a problem, stop by a computer bank and fix it like little handymen. I wanted to call them 'Mice'. At the beginning of the film they would be the only things that were alive on the ship. We'd have shot a long empty corridor so you'd hear them coming before you actually saw them. Then WHOOSH! It would pass by the camera, going through the corridor. I think FOX felt it was too much in the direction of SF, and we dropped it."
- ―Ridley Scott, regarding the Mice
The crew was originally supposed to be naked during hypersleep, but the idea was deemed pornographic by the studio and so the crew instead wake wearing their underwear. While it was changed in the film, in the novel the crew are still said to be naked when they wake.
Kane in the MorningIn the first draft of the script, Kane woke aboard the Nostromo before the other crewmembers, and was to begin preparing breakfast as the others woke one by one. John Hurt actually filmed footage for the breakfast sequence, although the scene was cut and condensed to the version seen in the film before it was completed. The cut footage is available as a bonus feature on the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film, and the scene appeared in the comic adaptation of the film.
Parker and Brett OutsideParker and Brett were to leave the ship on a small vehicle (affectionately known as the "Flying Bedstead" by the production team) to inspect the ship's intake valves. Parker notices one of the seals is damaged, and it is this damage that causes the Nostromo problems when it lands on LV-426. The scene was designed to show the scale of the vessel, but budget concerns meant it was cut before filming.
TransmissionA scene showing the Nostromo crew listening to the signal from the derelict is added to the Director's Cut of the film; however, the sound effect for the transmission itself is totally different from the original version, which can be found on the DVD/Blu-ray release.
Lambert's Guide-VisorOriginally, Lambert was to have a holographic, computerized map projected onto the inside of her space suit helmet as she, Dallas and Kane explore the moon, to help them find their way in the poor visibility and better see the terrain ahead. A similar idea was later revisited by Scott in Prometheus, where the crew exploring LV-223 have their EKG and other information projected inside their helmet visors.
The Rock FormationWhile Dallas, Kane and Lambert head for the source of the signal on the moon's surface, they were to pause and rest near a large rock formation. When they move on, Ash, watching from his science station aboard the Nostromo, notices a strange formation in the rock that is revealed to be the dead Space Jockey, fossilised inside the rock. The sequence was devised as a means to ensure the Space Jockey still made an appearance in the film when 20th Century Fox executives complained that the interior derelict set would be too expensive and needed to be cut. However, when the studio relented and allowed the interiors to be built, the scene became superfluous and was dropped.
The DerelictFootage was cut from the exploration of the derelict, including an extended entry where Dallas, Lambert and Kane discuss whether or not they should enter the ship and, later, Kane volunteering to enter the cargo hold and Dallas warning him not to unhook himself from the cable. This footage can be seen on the DVD/Blu-ray.
Also cut from the sequence inside the derelict was the crew finding an intricate mural depicting the reproductive cycle of the Xenomorph, with stylized illustrations of a Facehugger emerging from an Egg, subduing a host, and the Chestburster later erupting from them. H. R. Giger completed a mural for this scene and a piece of test footage showing a torch beam moving over it was filmed, but ultimately the mural was not included in the film, partly because there seemed to be no appropriate place for it, and partly because Ridley Scott became concerned that the images inscribed upon it would foretell the shocking Chestburster sequence and dampen that scene's impact.
- "Wednesday, August 16th, 1978: There was a discussion about where to place the image. To me the only option is the corridor of the Alien spacecraft, which has been brutally altered. It's supposed to be part of a flying object but looks more like a mine shaft. I try to make this clear to [Gordon] Carroll. No luck. In matters like these, he's always stubborn as hell. [Ridley] Scott thinks that the hieroglyph would tell the story of the Alien too directly so I should try to put it directly in the cockpit."
- ―H. R. Giger, regarding the mural's removal
The Egg Silo
One of the more famous deleted sequences from the film involves the original location of the Xenomorph Eggs, which were not on board the derelict. After investigating the crashed ship and returning to the Nostromo, the crew notices another pyramid-like structure nearby, dubbed the "Egg Silo", during a break in the storm. Dallas, Kane and Lambert head back out to investigate, and when they climb to its summit, they discover a small room, inside which is a hole in the floor covered by a thin membrane. Kane cuts through this membrane and is lowered inside to explore, finding himself in a cavernous space where the Eggs were stored. Inside, his entire suit was to light up to illuminate the area. Eventually it was realised the film's budget would not allow for two alien locations on LV-426, and so the Egg Silo was merged with the derelict as seen in the final film.
The HeadOriginally, the exploration team was to recover the Pilot's head from the derelict and take it back to the Nostromo for study. Although cut, a notably similar scene was later included in Prometheus.
AutodocThe initial examination of Kane on board the Nostromo, including the removal of his helmet, was to be done with remotely operated medical equipment.
Kane's ConditionAfter the Facehugger's acid blood has burned through the Nostromo's decks, Lambert returns to the infirmary and asks Ash if any of the acid got on Kane. She goes on to ask how they are going to get the creature off, but Ash has no suggestions. The rest of the crew then arrive, concerned for Kane's survival. Ripley looks at the x-ray scanner and notices a stain on Kane's lungs, but Ash claims not to know what it is. Finally Dallas tells Parker and Brett to get back to their repairs so they can leave the moon as soon as possible. This sequence was included in the novelization and was filmed, and can be seen on the DVD/Blu-ray.
Repairs InterruptedFootage was filmed of Parker and Brett making repairs to the Nostromo before they leave LV-426, during which Parker mentions his intention to get his own ship one day. Ripley contacts them over the radio and asks what is happening, and Parker responds (without activating the intercom), "I'll tell her what's happening. My Johnson's happening." He then replies to Ripley, saying they are working hard and suggesting she try it some time. She retorts by saying she has the hardest job on the ship — listening to Parker's bullshit. Parker hangs up and calls Ripley a bitch before continuing with his work. This footage can be found on the DVD/Blu-ray and was used in the comic.
Kane's FuneralInstead of being violently shot out into space, Kane's body was originally going to be gently set adrift by two of the ship's crewmembers who went outside in space suits. This scene was again to feature the Flying Bedstead.
RegroupingAfter Kane's death, the crew were to meet in the mess room and discuss what to do. Parker suggests the crew put on space suits and decompress the entire ship, but Ash points out that they have no reason to believe a lack of oxygen will actually kill the Alien as the Eggs survived that way aboard the derelict for some time. Brett, showing unusual initiative, proposes building nets and cattle prods to try and trap the Xenomorph — which, as far as the crew is aware, is still only a small Chestburster at this stage — so that it can be expelled into space. This sequence was filmed and can be seen as a bonus feature on the DVD/Blu-ray release, and was also included in the novelization of the movie.
Love SceneAnother famous deleted scene, the original intention was to have the crew members sleep with each other regularly on long-haul trips to relieve tension. While Parker and Brett are building the cattle prods, Ripley finds Dallas in an observation dome on the ship's exterior, telling him that she needs some relief, meaning that she wants to make love. While this scene was never filmed as part of principal photography, it was used for Sigourney Weaver's screen test, with actor Ray Hassett standing in for Dallas.
Kane's CorpseAs the crew searches for the Alien, they investigate a tapping noise coming from Ash's science station and discover Kane's body, caught in the antenna array outside, banging against the window. While the footage was never shot, the shroud that actor John Hurt would wear in this scene was made.
Brett's DeathOriginally, Brett was going to be killed by the Alien when it plunged its inner jaw into his chest and tore out his heart. When he was found by the others, the wound would be similar to that on the Pilot they found aboard the derelict. The scene was altered when Scott decided it was too similar to Kane's demise, and in the changed version the Alien first lifts Brett up with its tail before slowly crushing his head with its hands. This take was actually filmed, but Scott decided it showed the audience too much of the Alien and so the sequence was changed yet again to have the creature quickly kill Brett with its inner jaw, as seen in the finished film. Interestingly, a brief shot of the Alien's tail passing between Brett's legs from the originally-filmed death scene was later reused during Lambert's death.
Alien in the VentsScott had planned to shoot footage of the Alien advancing on Dallas in the vents by rapidly bounding along the walls of the vent shaft. Although never filmed due to the limitations of the restrictive Alien suit, a similar concept was revisited by James Cameron when he was filming the vent sequence in Aliens.
Ripley Soothes LambertA brief scene extension was cut after Ripley takes charge and elects to continue with Dallas' plan of forcing the Alien into the airlock. After Parker leaves to refuel the flamethrower, Ripley reassures Lambert, who is dubious of continuing with the plan that got Dallas killed. Ripley then asks her if she has ever slept with Ash (again tying into the original idea that crew members would regularly sleep together). Her response in the negative fuels Ripley's suspicions of Ash. Ripley then asks Lambert to join her on the bridge and make sure they're still on course for home. This footage can be found on the DVD/Blu-ray and was used in the comic.
Another lengthy scene cut during filming was to have Parker encounter the Alien near the Nostromo's main airlock when he goes to refuel Dallas' flamethrower. The creature does not see him, and he quietly contacts Ripley and Lambert on the ship's bridge, telling them to slowly open the inner airlock door. They do so and a spinning green light apparently mesmerises the creature, luring it inside the lock. Parker orders the airlock opened, but as Ripley shuts the inner door and opens the outer one an alarm sounds and scares the creature away. As it flees, its arm gets caught in the inner airlock door as it closes, tearing it off. Parker is knocked unconscious by the Alien as it runs away. Ripley goes to investigate and when she arrives, the blood spilled from the creature's severed arm finally burns through the inner airlock door, decompressing the area. A safety bulkhead supposed to separate Ripley and Parker from the breach gets jammed by one of the cylinders of flamethrower fuel Parker had been carrying, trapping them in the decompressed area, but Ripley, blood frothing out of her nose and ears, manages to free the obstruction.Lambert and Ash arrive to give the wounded crewmembers oxygen. Ripley accuses Ash of setting off the alarm and alerting the creature, and intends to prove it by accessing MU/TH/UR. This would then lead into the scene in the finished film where Ripley accesses the ship's computer and finds out about Special Order 937 (and also explains why she suddenly has a nosebleed in this scene). While the majority of this sequence was never filmed, footage of Ripley and Lambert on the Nostromo's bridge was shot and can be seen as a bonus feature on the DVD/Blu-ray release. The sequence was included in the film's novelization and later inspired part of the Alien: Isolation bonus mission Crew Expendable.
The Crab Walk
Footage was filmed of the Alien approaching Lambert before it attacks her. The creature starts out curled up on the floor, before unfurling and walking over to her on its back in a crab-like fashion. The sequence was cut because it showed too much of the Alien, and clearly revealed it to be a man in a suit.
The way in which Lambert was killed changed multiple times during production, with no less than six different scenarios considered at one point or another. Originally, an early draft of the script describes Lambert (named Melkonis at this stage) having her head twisted around and wrenched off by the Alien. A subsequent draft instead had the Alien capture Lambert alive, much like Dallas. Later, when Ripley encountered a cocooned Dallas in the Nostromo's hold, the captain told her that the Alien had eaten Lambert. Another script revision had Parker accidentally incinerate the navigator when he tried to kill the Alien with his flamethrower. Later, it was planned to have Lambert get sucked out into space piecemeal through a very small hole in the Nostromo's hull, but cost and special effects constraints rendered the sequence unfilmable. Such a demise was notably used for the Newborn in Alien Resurrection eighteen years later.Eventually, it was decided that Lambert would crawl into a locker and die of fright when the Alien confronted her and Parker, but even this was changed when time ran out to film the necessary footage. In the final film, a combination of recycling unused footage (from Brett's original death scene) and sound effects were used to imply Lambert's death off-screen.
- See also: Eggmorphing
The Box Alien
During Ripley's first attempt at escaping the Nostromo, she was originally going to encounter a strange box in one of the ship's corridors. As she approached, the box was to unfold, revealing it to be the Alien. In the film, she merely encounters the Alien around a corner.There are conflicting reports on whether or not the "Box Alien" scene was ever filmed, although Walt Simonson, illustrator of Alien: The Illustrated Story, recalls that it was included in a rough cut he viewed while preparing the graphic novel; the comic includes the sequence. The scene was later referenced in the 1994 arcade game Alien vs. Predator, where many Alien enemies appear folded in a similar manner, and in Prometheus, where the mutated Fifield is also found folded up in a similar shape prior to his attack on the ship.
Toy Birds of Destruction
Originally, the dippy birds inside the Nostromo were going to be shown right before the ship exploded, their heads moving in time to the countdown. The scene was shot, but it was deemed unnecessary.
Similar to the originally envisioned naked hypersleep, it was initially planned for Ripley to strip completely naked whilst undressing aboard the Narcissus, and for her to remain so until she climbed into the space suit. However, it was likewise deemed inappropriate by Fox and changed so that she merely strips to her underwear.
The Alien Watches RipleyAfter Ripley discovers the Alien has stowed away on the shuttle, the creature was to be seen approaching the locker in which she hides and leering at her through the small window in the door. As the production was critically short on time by this point, the sequence had to be dropped, although it appears in the novel.
Alien, Signing OffRidley Scott originally wanted Ripley to die at the end of the film, and planned to have a much darker finale where the Alien bites off her head aboard the Narcissus before recording her final log entry in her voice. However, the studio refused to commit the necessary funds to the production with such a bleak ending, and so it was changed to have Ripley defeat the creature.
Killing the Alien
As initially envisioned, finally killing the Alien was not so simple for Ripley. When she opened the hatch on the Narcissus, she too was sucked out by the explosive decompression, ending up hanging in space attached to a safety cable with the Xenomorph clinging to the end. She uses a gun to shoot the creature in the head but with little effect, before she scrambles back aboard the shuttle, sealing the hatch behind her. The Alien, still alive, begins clawing at the hatch, so Ripley ignites the shuttle's engines and sets it alight, flinging it away into space where it explodes. As with several other scenes, this was cut due to a lack of budget.
StowawayOne final idea considered for the film was to set up a sequel immediately by showing either a second Alien or an Egg stowed away on the hull of the Narcissus after Ripley kills the first creature, although the footage was never filmed.
- ↑ "Weyland-Yutani Archives - Alien: The Special Edition That Never Happened". Retrieved on 2013-04-29.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Richard Meyers. The Officially Authorized Magazine of the Movie Alien, p. 37 (1979), Warren Publishing.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 "Weyland-Yutani Archives - Alien Unseen Part One: Ridleygrams". Retrieved on 2013-04-29.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Weyland-Yutani Archives - Alien Unseen Part Two: Production Storyboards". Retrieved on 2013-04-29.
- ↑ Dan O'Bannon. Conceiving the Alien Lifecycle (2010), 20th Century Fox [Blu-ray].
- ↑ H. R. Giger. The Alien Diaries (2014), Edition Patrick Frey.
- ↑ Paul Scanlon, Michael Gross. The Book of Alien, p. 65 (1979), Heavy Metal Press.
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster. Alien, p. 186 (1979), Warner Books.
- ↑ John Hurt, Ridley Scott, James Cameron, H. R. Giger, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett. The Alien Saga (2002), Prometheus Entertainment [DVD].
- ↑ "W-YBrett - Brett's Graphic Death". Retrieved on 2014-11-14.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "Weyland-Yutani Archives - Ripley's Nosebleed". Retrieved on 2013-04-29.
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster. Alien, p. 244 (1979), Warner Books.
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster. Alien, p. 247 (1979), Warner Books.
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster. Alien, p. 243 (1979), Warner Books.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Strange Shapes - Debate: Loving Lambert". Retrieved on 2013-04-19.
- ↑ Ridley Scott, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett, H. R. Giger. The Alien Legacy (1999), Sharpline Arts [DVD].
- ↑ "Strange Shapes - The box Alien". Retrieved on 2014-01-31.
- ↑ "Comic Book Resources - WALT SIMONSON REFLECTS ON "ALIEN: THE ILLUSTRATED STORY"". Retrieved on 2014-11-12.
- ↑ Ridley Scott. Toy Birds of Destruction (2010), 20th Century Fox [Blu-ray].
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Mark Kermode, Ridley Scott, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett, H. R. Giger. Alien Evolution (Alien re-edit) (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ "News.com.au - Five famous films that had alternate endings: Pretty Woman, Titanic, Alien, Die Hard and The Breakup". Retrieved on 2014-11-24.
- ↑ "Strange Shapes - Filming the Fourth Act". Retrieved on 2014-10-24.