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Did They Film a Scene at the End of Alien With a Stowaway Xenomorph Egg?

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: There was a scene filmed for the ending of Alien where a Xenomorph egg is stowed away on Ripley's escape craft.

We just passed this year's Alien Day, which was an especially big deal this year since next month marks the 40th anniversary of the original Alien film....

As you may or may not know, the ending of Alien sees Ripley, the lone survivor of the crew of her ship, escape in an escape craft after blowing up the original ship. However, the alien xenomorph that she was trying to kill hitched a ride on her escape shift. Luckily, she is able to blow the alien out of the ship's air lock and then use the ship's engines to blow it away from her ship...

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However, there is a longstanding rumor that there was originally going to be a twist where we would see that there was a remaining alien egg stowed away on the ship even after Ripley "won."

In fact, no less than the designer of the xenomorph himself, H.R. Giger, said that such a scene was filmed during an interview in Famous Monsters of Filmland #158, where he noted:

Oh, yes. There was an egg on board. Once we showed a preview audience a final scene where there was a cocoon in a corner of the shuttle. That was very nice but now it is no more. There were a lot of different ideas in the original version that they thought it was best to take out. I don’t know whether it was a good idea to take it all out. I just saw some rushes and they looked good. But if Ridley decided to take it out, then it should have been taken out, because I think he is a genius. We always agreed about things so I think if I saw both versions, I would like his final version better.

The scene WAS storyboarded...

But I believe Giger is mistaken and the scene never actually got filmed.

The scenes on the escape craft came very late in the game (the studio believed that the movie should have ended with Ripley flying away as the larger ship explodes, but director Ridley Scott insisted on doing a "fourth act" where Ripley fights off the alien on the escape craft). Ridley Scott went almost half a million dollars over budget in filming those final scenes (which gave him a bad reputation at the time of being "excessive" ahead of his directing of Blade Runner).

Since all of the extra filming was crammed into a very short period of time (as part of Scott's deal for the studio to approve of him adding the final scene), it seems highly unlikely that they would have bothered with a test shot just to try something out. In addition, no one has ever said that they filmed the egg scene except Giger, and that seems so unlikely that I have to conclude that Giger was just mistaken/misremembering.

I'm going with the legend as...

STATUS: False

Be sure to check out my archive of Movie Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of film.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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