With the release of Alien: Covenant coming up on May 19, director Ridley Scott has been doing a lot of press discussing the future of the franchise. But there’s always room to share some fun facts about its past—or not-so-fun, as in the case of the ending he originally planned for 1979's Alien.
In a recent video interview with Entertainment Weekly, Scott said that he didn’t want the film to end with Ripley simply fleeing the soon-to-explode ship in her shuttle. It needed something more—like, say, one last exciting clash between heroine and monster, which the film as we all know it certainly contains. But the director now confirms that he initially planned for the alien to score a chilling victory.
“I thought that the alien should come in, and Ripley harpoons it and it makes no difference, so it slams through her mask and rips her head off.” Next, Scott says, he’d have cut to the tentacles of the alien pressing buttons on the dashboard. “It would mimic Captain Dallas [Tom Skerritt] saying, ‘I’m signing off.’”
Check out the whole video here, in which Scott goes into much more detail about that final scene (“it’s a bit Hitchcock”) that never was—and also reveals what a sequel-hungry 20th Century Fox thought when he proposed it.