From one ‘mean green mother’ to another, Alien (15) screening Sun 9 Sep
By Open Air Theatre
From one ‘mean green mother from outer space’ to another; Ridley Scott’s cinematic masterpiece Alien will be screened in the Park this Sunday. To get you in the mood for some sci-fi under the stars, here are things you might not know about the classic film:
It’s likely you’re aware of what the Alien looks like; designer H.R. Giger’s hybrid of human and technology is one of the darkest and most profoundly disturbing extra-terrestrials in film. The original idea was for the suit to be translucent, allowing audiences to see the inner workings. In actuality the costume didn’t work for Ridley Scott, so it became black in order to blend with the shadows – it also has no eyes!
Bolaji Badejo, a 6’10” Nigerian actor, was cast in the role of the Alien, his lean frame and height adding an other-worldly element to the creature. In fact, a number of people were considered for the role including basketball players, and the actor Peter Mayhew.
Ripley’s character was initially written as a man, a ‘truck drivers in space’ concept that would appeal to the masses. Fox studio head Alan Ladd suggested a new spin, perhaps Ripley could be a woman? A radical concept in the 1970s, but by topping the box office by taking $3.1m in its opening weekend, a gamble worth taking.
John Hurt was a last minute replacement for the role of Kane, when Jon Finch had to drop out on the first day of filming due to illness. Although originally considered for the role, but unable to commit due to a scheduling conflict, it was pure chance that he was suddenly available – the stars certainly aligned in his favour, in what was to become one of his most recognisable roles.
The Alien franchise has become one of the biggest successes of the genre, spawning a total of 9 films: Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien³ (1992), Alien Resurrection (1997), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), Prometheus (2012), Alien: Covenant (2017), and Alien: Awakening (2019 release). Watch the original that started it all on the big screen beneath the stars this Sunday – remember ‘in space no one can hear you scream’!
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