Random Trivia For This Title:
- All of the names of the main characters were changed by Walter Hill and David Giler during the revision of the original script by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett. The script by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett also had a clause indicating that all of the characters are 'unisex', meaning they could be cast with male or female actors. However, Ronald Shusett and Dan O'Bannon never thought of casting Ripley as a female character.
- Ridley Scott is reportedly quoted as saying that originally he wanted a much darker ending. He planned on having the alien bite off Ripley's head in the escape shuttle, sit in her chair, and then start speaking with her voice in a message to Earth. Apparently, 20th Century Fox wasn't too pleased with such a dark ending.
- 'Nostromo' is the title of a Joseph Conrad book. The shuttle that Ripley escapes on is called the 'Narcissus', a reference to another Joseph Conrad book.
- The rumor that the cast, except for John Hurt, did not know what would happen during the 'chestburster' scene is partly true. The scene had been explained for them, but they did not know specifics. For example, Veronica Cartwright did not expect to be sprayed with blood.
- 130 alien eggs were made for the egg chamber inside the downed spacecraft.
- [?] Jon Finch was originally cast as Kane but on the first day of shooting, he looked extremely ill. Medics were called and [?] Jon Finch was immediately taken to hospital where it was discovered that he had an extreme case of diabetes. Ridley Scott knew that John Hurt was in town, so he approached him that night about playing Kane. John Hurt was on set the following day.
- Many of the non-English versions of the film's title translate as something similar to Alien: The 8th Passenger.
- The chestbursting scene was filmed in one take with four cameras.
- The original name for the spaceship was Snark. This was later changed to Leviathan before they finally settled for Nostromo.
- For the chestburster sequence, John Hurt stuck his head, shoulders and arms through a hole in the mess table, linking up with a mechanical torso that was packed with compressed air (to create the forceful exit of the alien) and lots of animal guts. The rest of the cast were not told that real guts were being used so as to provoke genuine reactions of shock and disgust.