10 Things You Didn't Know About Ridley Scott's "Alien"

It all started with the facehugger and chestburster aliens.

Before Ridley Scott’s name was ever mentioned, or the title Alien was in anyone’s thoughts, Dan O’Bannon met with struggling writer/producer Ron Shusett to discuss a potential collaboration. O’Bannon had been working on a sci-fi/horror script, but he was stuck with only a first act, so he’d hoped that Shusett’s input would help flesh things out and lead to a completed, sellable screenplay.

The unfinished script’s title was Memory, and, per Shusett’s recollections in Alien Vault, it was a real humdinger. In just that first act, a small, hideous alien latches onto the face of spaceship crew member and, shortly after that, a pint-sized creature busts its way out of said crew member’s chest and hauls ass out of the scene. O’Bannon's unforgettable visual was inspired by his own struggles with Crohn’s disease, a chronic, painful gastrointestinal disorder that he equated to an enemy within, but he had stopped writing after the first act.

Over 30 years later, those first-draft scenes, wisely kept intact by Scott and everyone else who worked on the project, hold up as Alien’s most terrifying images.

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