Sigourney Weaver as Ripley holding a weapon in Alien
Movies - TV
Alien’s Disturbing Alternate Ending Explained
The Original
The theatrical ending of “Alien” sees Ripley and Jonesy make their way to Nostromo’s escape shuttle. Unfortunately, the Xenomorph had stowed away on the shuttle.
Ripley triumphs over the Xenomorph and ejects the monster out of the airlock with help from a small harpoon. Only then can she enjoy her well-earned but bittersweet ending.
The Alternate
While promoting “Alien: Covenant” in 2017, Ridley Scott revealed his original plan would have seen the harpoon fail during their climatic showdown.
According to Scott, the Xenomorph then “slams through her mask and rips her head off.” The film ends with another distress signal that’s actually a deadly trap.
The Franchise
The alternate ending would have likely launched the franchise in a different direction, as its beloved follow-up movie, “Aliens,” may have been changed.
It also would’ve changed how sci-fi fans approached John McTiernan’s “Predator” and may have prevented several classic sci-fi horror films, like Event Horizon, from being made.
Scott shared with Entertainment Weekly that he pitched the alternate ending to Fox. The executives later threatened to fire Scott if the film ended with Ripley’s death.
While studio interference frequently negatively impacts a film, the Fox executives who threatened Scott made the right call and saved the movie from a potential tragedy.
Unfortunately, fans will never be able to see Scott’s twist ending as it was ever filmed or storyboarded. The only oral history of this ending was from his 2017 interview.
However, the ending has been hinted at before. The trivia appeared on IMDB over 11 years ago, and the commentary track on the original “Alien Quadrilogy” box set verified it.