Terry Gilliam reveals he was offered a sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Alien at one point. Not only did he turn it down, but he also decided to take a moment to bash the franchise and share his distaste for what many consider to be one of the greatest movies ever made. Terry Gilliam is a very respected filmmaker in his own right and is currently trying to get his long-in-the-works passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote released.
There have been legal issues with The Man Who Killed Don Quixote but the movie is about to open in the Czech Republic. During a recent interview to promote the release, Terry Gilliam made the reveal that he was offered a sequel to Alien in the early 90s. Though he didn’t specify, it seems likely he was up for the Alien 3 gig before David Fincher came on board. Here’s what Gilliam had to say about it.
“I got offered an ‘Alien’ sequel because I was hot at that time, as a result of ‘Time Bandits” and ‘Fisher King,’ and I just don’t want to do films like that. They are factory jobs, working for a studio. My last factory job was on the Chevrolet assembly plant in Los Angeles, during my junior year of college, night shift on the line. Never again.”
It’s, on the one side of the coin, very easy to see why someone would have looked at Terry Gilliam for an Alien movie at the time. Looking at Time Bandits and Brazil as examples, he certainly has a unique voice within the sci-fi genre. He would ultimately showcase that again in 12 Monkeys. But it’s also understandable and, in a way, admirable that he would pass up the gig. However, when hearing his thoughts on Alien overall, it’s likely fans aren’t going to mourn the movie that could have been.
“‘Alien’ is just a ghost train where something jumps out and you don’t know who’s going to die next. When I watched the first ‘Alien,’ all I kept saying was, ‘Just kill them all and be done with it,’ because you just know that they’re all going to die along the way. In the end, Sigourney Weaver, who we’ve established is a really tough military officer, is running around in her underwear trying to find a cat. Give me a f-king break. There are some great moments in it, but the shot that should’ve never been in the film is the one at the end showing the alien getting blown out of the airlock. You see the alien, and it’s just a guy in a rubber suit. Up until then, you only saw bits of the alien, and it seemed to be huge and vast and terrifying. That was so clever. It was like the shark in ‘Jaws.’ I told Ridley, ‘You don’t want that shot of the alien at the end. Cut it!'”
Alien is heralded as one of Ridley Scott’s finest works and it spawned a very successful franchise. Though, Alien: Covenant put it on hold, at least for now. But there are rumors of a possible TV series in the works. In any event, Terry Gilliam is most definitely in the minority when it comes to his opinions on the matter. For more with Gilliam, you can check out his full interview over at RogerEbert.com.