Ridley Scott's ALIEN Was Almost Directed by Different Prolific Director
I can't even imagine what kind of movie Alien would have been had Ridley Scott not directed it. But there was almost someone else who brought the story to life on the big screen. During a recent interview on the podcast Post Mortem run by horror legend Mick Garris (The Stand), Alien producer Walter Hill revealed that before Scott jumped on board, they were looking at hiring director Robert Aldrich to direct the film.
Aldrich directing Alien definitely would have been interesting. For those of you who don't know, he was the legendary director who worked in Hollywood from the 50 through the 70s and he helmed classics such as The Dirty Dozen, Kiss Me Deadly, and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. Hill explained what happened saying:
“We had sent the script to I don’t know how many directors and they had all turned in down — except Robert Aldrich. Robert Aldrich wanted to do the movie and initially it looked like that was going to happen. Aldrich liked the script, saw the potential, wanted to do it. [But] he was still the president of the Directors Guild at the time. He felt he had been gone so much when he was making the movie he did over in Germany, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, and that he had to make the movie in the U.S. Fox, for various financial reasons, very much wanted to make the film in England… And then Bob had a movie that came out that didn’t too well [possibly 1977's The Choirboys], so suddenly that opportunity vanished.”
I love a lot of the films that Aldrich had made in his career and I'm curious to see what he would have done with Alien. He was a master at telling psychological thriller type stories. There's no doubt it would have been interesting. But, in the end, I'm happy that the job went to Scott because he created a classic sci-fi horror masterpiece.