Trivia: Alien

Works with their own trivia pages:

Trivia for the franchise in general:

  • Based on a Dream: Not the film series' premise, but the creatures themselves. Their design is the work of H. R. Giger, who took them from his nightmares.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Xenomorph - Used once or twice, among many other words, to describe the aliens in the franchise, this word stuck as the standard term used by fans. It became used to specifically refer to the film's creatures in merchandise and video game spinoffs, and was eventually canonized when Xenomorph XX121 became the official name for the creatures in the Out of the Shadows trilogy and the Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report.
    • Other names for the species used in spinoff media are 'Internecivus Raptus' (Murderous Thief) and 'Linguafoeda Acheronsis' (Foul-tongue from Hell, Acheron being also the name of the planet on which the creatures were first encountered in 'Alien').
    • None of the life cycle stages (i.e. Facehugger, Chestburster, Drone) were ever officially named. They were given Fan Nicknames which simply stuck.
  • Flip Flop of God: Whether the 3rd and 4th films are canon. In 2014, the Out of the Shadows trilogy of novels was officially recognized by Fox as canon to the Continuity Reboot of the franchise, but when the author of the second novel was going to disregard 3 and Resurrection, they made him include references to them. Less than a year later, Neill Blomkamp announced that his fifth film was going to decanonize the last two films and everything that references them.
  • Franchise Killer: Not everyone was very happy about how 3 or Resurrection turned out, and mashing it up with Predator hasn't done much to restore faith in the series. The games tended to do better than the films.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: As everybody knows, Weyland-Yutani is a combination of motoring conglomerate British Leyland and generic Japanese. Ah, British Leyland, that pride of the nation, a household name for decades and trailblazer for the world, such an unstoppable industrial force would surely spread its Mega Corp. tentacles across the galaxy for sci-fi centuries to come. Thing is, this film was released in 1979 and British Leyland went bankrupt in 1975. For Britons, the fall of a once proud company was the ultimate symbol of Britain's postwar decline - at least, if you're old enough to have heard of the company in the first place. For Americans, two words - General Motors. Oh, and Japan tanked in the '90s too. But the Asian half of the equation is fine. In 2009, the shattered remnants of British Leyland went bankrupt one last time - and were bought out by the Chinese.
  • Image Source: This franchise provides the page image for (those for the other films are listed on their respective Trivia pages):
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The "Aliens" Mod for Quake was killed by Fox lawyers (creating the term "Foxed" for that situation), but of course that didn't stop it from being available online for many years afterwards.
  • Trope Namer: These movies named the following tropes:
  • What Could Have Been:
    • There were brief talks of James Cameron's interest in writing a script for a possible Alien 5 with Ridley Scott interested in directing, but Fox chose to focus on Alien vs. Predator instead.
    • Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection nearly became Canon Discontinuity during the writing of Alien: Sea of Sorrows, before 20th Century Fox changed their mind and had the author revise the book to reference the events of the films. Rumors proclaimed that the fifth film was going to decanonize them, but Blomkamp himself debunked the rumors, saying his comments were being taken out of context.
    • A near case with Neill Blomkamp's Alien sequel. Blomkamp had been making conceptual art in his free time as a possible but unlikely film pitch since Fox didn't even know about his ideas. When the art was released on the internet, Fox surprisingly took interest and hired him for the project.
  • The Wiki Rule: There's the Alien Anthology Wiki, which can be found here. There's also Xenopedia.

Trivia for the first film:

  • Ability Over Appearance: The script was written so that any character could be played by either a woman or man. The filmmakers originally wanted a guy for Ripley, but Sigourney Weaver owns the role.
  • AFIS 100 Years Series:
  • Billing Displacement: Tom Skeritt (Dallas) is billed above Sigourney Weaver in the credits, as Ridley Scott did not want to spoil the fact that Ripley was going to be the lone survivor of the Nostromo. Of course, the existence of the sequels make this impossible now.
  • Deleted Scene: From near the end of the film, as Ripley comes across Dallas while setting up the ship's destruction, going through the process of being turned into another egg and finishing the explanation of the alien's life cycle. Ridley Scott loved the idea, but found that the scene was too much of a speed bump in the middle of the climax.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • The cast knew the general details of what they were shooting for the Chest Burster scene, but they didn't know they were going to get sprayed with real animal blood and entrails. Veronica Cartwright's shocked scream is entirely real.
    • Cartwright really slapped Sigourney Weaver. That wasn't just a sound effect, and Weaver's recoil and look of shock is genuine. According to the actress in the DVD commentary, she was fed up with Sigourney, who at that point had acted only on the stage and so was not used to pretending to get hit, instinctively flinching away from the slap and so, after numerous failed takes, faked the first slap and then properly hit her when she flinched.
    • Director Ridley Scott placed a veiled cage with a German Shepherd in front of Jones the Cat, and unveiled it when he shouted "Action!!" Hence when The Alien rose up behind Brett like a phallic gargoyle, the menacing hissing of fear from the poor kitty cat was real.
    • In a lesser known example, Ridley Scott made sure that Bolaji Badejo (the man who played the Alien in most of the scenes) did not take tea or lunch breaks with the rest of the cast so their fear of the alien would be more genuine.
    • Yaphet Kotto did a lot of improv acting. Scott played along with it, and advised him to antagonize Sigourney Weaver, so their conflict later in the film would be more believable. When Ripley yells at Parker to "SHUT UP!" after Dallas's death, Weaver already had to listen to Kotto talking over her dialogue dozens of times.
  • Executive Meddling: According to the audio commentary, Ash as a character did not exist in the original concept at all, and was added during production. This apparently annoyed one of the writers, thinking it an unnecessary and a distracting diversion from the main plot, though the other writer and Scott thought it a good twist.
    • Heck, this film is one of the few good examples of this trope paying off. The above detail of Ash was introduced by two of the producers associated with Fox, David Giler and Walter Hill, who also extensively rewrote the script to give a more natural flow to characters' lines and interactions. Definitely appears to have paid off.
    • Another big one was Scott wanting the final scene where Ripley was giving the last report of the ship and her crew to be the alien using Ripley's voice. The suits really had to fight him on that one.
  • Fan Nickname: Space Jockey - the alien pilot aboard the derelict ship — extended to the rest of his race, as well. Derived from a name used by the film crew; in the canon, it's never named. In Prometheus they're called the "Engineers".
    • The adult creature is sometimes dubbed "Kane's Son", after a line used by Ash.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Alien features an All-Star Cast including Dana Barrett, Viper, Kananga, Bilbo Baggins, The Elephant Man, Betty Grissom, and Bud. Along with Bolaji Badejo in the xenomorph suit, these are the only people in the film.
  • One-Book Author: An acting variant. Bolaji Badejo, the guy in the Alien suit, apparently vanished into thin air after completing the 1979 film. Although considering he was found in a pub and only hired because he was massive and very thin, this is understandable.
  • The Other Marty: Actor Jon Finch had been cast in the role of Kane, but had fallen very ill due to his diabetes and was replaced by John Hurt.
  • Take That: One common story is that "Weyland" and "Yutani" were the names of two of Ridley Scott's neighbors whom he didn't like. However, this isn't the case. Ron Cobb, the designers of the movie came up with the name "Weylan-Yutani":
    ...Weylan Yutani for instance is almost a joke, but not quite. I wanted to imply that poor old England is back on its feet and has united with the Japanese, who have taken over the building of spaceships the same way they have now with cars and supertankers. In coming up with a strange company name I thought of British Leyland and Toyota, but we couldn't use "Leyland-Toyota" in the film. Changing one letter gave me "Weylan," and "Yutani" was a Japanese neighbor of mine.
  • Throw It In: According to IMDb, most of the dialogue was ad-libbed.
  • Up to Eleven: Rumor has it that the scene where Kane dies from a Chest Burster emerging out of him was so violent that several audience members fainted or started vomiting.
    • The scene where Ash is decapitated caused an usher in London, England to faint.
  • Working Title: The first film was known as "Star Beast" in its earliest stages. When the writer went through the script he saw characters constantly referring to the Alien, and then the title came out at him, noting that is both a noun and an adjective.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Harrison Ford turned down the role of Captain Dallas in Alien.
    • Ridley Scott and some of the cast mention in the audio commentary that he had the idea that casual sex between any and all members of the group regardless of sex, and that, in hindsight, he would have liked to show a homosexual relationship. A scene related to this would have been a conversation between Ripley and Lambert, one clarifying that they had either had sex or been solicited for sex by every man on the ship except Ash, as a way of foreshadowing that he is, in fact, an android.
    • The original script had a Downer Ending where the alien kills Ripley, then imitates her voice in a call to Earth, indicating it's headed there next. Scott was persuaded that the film was horrific enough without it.