The Swiss surrealist painter and sculptor who created the Xenomorph alien design for Ridley Scott‘s 1979 sci-fi classic Alien died Monday after suffering injuries in a fall. He was 74. H.R. Giger‘s name became synonymous with his iconic Alien design, which originated from his own lithograph Necronom IV and went on to nab him an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Giger’s sexually charged “biomechanical” designs got him on Scott’s radar in the 1970s when the artist had been working on Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s doomed version of Frank Herbert’s Dune (later directed by David Lynch). After Alien co-writer Dan O’Bannon showed Giger’s nightmarish designs to Scott, the helmer tapped Giger to design the Alien creature, eggs, planetoid Acheron AKA LV-426, and Alien ship for the film. He would go on to contribute designs to Aliens, Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Poltergeist II: The Other Side, Species, and Tokyo: The Last War, and was credited for original designs used in 2012′s Prometheus. Giger, who directed his own documentary shorts in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, appears in the new Sony Classics docu Jodorowsky’s Dune.
UPDATE: Insiders at the studio tell me that James Cameron might have made a slightly humorous off handed comment about a Prometheus sequel on the red carpet, but it’s not true he’s planning a Prometheus sequel; this falls into the April Fool’s category as I surmised in the original post. He’s too busy with Avatar sequels to consider anything else. Some Deadline commenters said the entire Guardian piece was based on a hoax story. What fun.
EARLIER: Here is a shocker. James Cameron tells The Guardian that after making a groundbreaking sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic film Alien, he now says he wants to make the sequel to Prometheus, Scott’s return to that hallowed ground. The proximity to April Fools always heightens one’s skepticism, but Cameron was out stumping for the 3D conversion of Titanic and when the journalist, Henry Barnes, directly quotes Cameron, you’ve got to pay attention. “There’s a gap of a few years between Prometheus and the original Alien,” Cameron told The Guardian. “That gap is meant for me to answer all the questions raised in Prometheus.”
There was a seven year gap between Scott’s film and Cameron’s sequel Aliens, and there might be that kind of time gap if this really goes forward. After all, Cameron committed to make two more installments of his all-time box office champ Avatar for Fox, when that studio pried him away from directing Cleopatra for Sony Pictures with Angelina …
The 20th Century Fox promo that teased the upcoming first trailer for the Ridley Scott-directed Prometheus certainly seemed different from Scott’s iconic science fiction film Alien — but does one small clue at the end indicate there’s a closer tie to the franchise than previously believed? Fox and Scott originally set up the film to be a prequel to Alien, but that changed when Damon Lindelof came in for a rewrite job and ended up changing the focus enough that the combination of Jon Spaihts and Lindelof’s script is considered an original. But a look at the producing credits at the end of the promo raises eyebrows. Scott is credited as producer along with David Giler and Walter Hill. The latter two had nothing to do with this film, but Giler and Hill were producers on the original 1979 film, and they have gotten credit of some kind on every single Alien film, including two Alien vs. Predator spinoffs. An insider spoiled my hunch I’d found something here. They told me that the producing credit came from a long-ago settlement with Giler and Hill, and was warranted because of the origin of Prometheus before it broke away from the iconic Alien. The fact that the script credit only goes to Spaihts and Lindelof, with no mention that it’s based on characters created by original scribes Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, proves that it’s an original, I was told.