Aliens Trivia

Posted by Darkness on December 10, 2006 (Updated: 22-May-2015)

Afterwards

  • Sentry Gun - Aliens Trivia Aliens TriviaThe “special edition” includes extra scenes: Newt’s parents discovering the abandoned alien ship on LV-426, scenes of Ripley discussing her daughter, Hudson bragging about his weaponry, robot sentry guns repelling first alien raid, and Hicks and Ripley exchanging first names. Also included is a scene on LV-426 where a child rides a low-slung tricycle similar to one ridden in The Terminator, also directed by James Cameron.
  • Bishop’s Knife trick was previously seen in John Carpenter’s Dark Star. Like Bishop, Boiler misses too. It also appears in Roman Polanski’s Nóz w wodzie, and AVP: Alien vs. Predator.
  • Michael Biehn’s character gets bitten on the hand by another character. This happens to him in every James Cameron movie he’s in – see The Abyss and The Terminator.
  • In both the standard and special edition versions, the fifteen minute countdown at the end of the film is indeed fifteen minutes.

Other Notes

  • Weyland Yutani - Aliens Trivia Aliens TriviaExcept for a very small reference in Alien, the special edition of this film is the first to reveal the name of “The Company”: Weyland Yutani. The name is clearly written on several pieces of equipment and walls in the colony during the pre-alien portions of the special edition.
  • The town in which the colonists live is called Hadley’s Hope.
  • Bishop states that “it is impossible for me to harm, or by omission of action allow to be harmed, a human being.” This is based upon the First Law of Robotics written by science fiction author Isaac Asimov.
  • In the scene where Burke and Ripley are discussing her psych evaluation results, a People magazine can be seen on a table.
  • United States Colonial Marines personnel service numbers:
    • SFC Apone, A A19/TQ4.0.32751E8
    • Pt Crowe, T A46/TQ1.0.98712E6
    • Cpl Dietrich, C A41/TQ8.0.81120E2
    • Pt Drake, M A23/TQ2.0.47619E7
    • Cpl Ferro, C A71/TQ9.0.09428E1
    • Pt Frost, R A17/TQ4.0.61247E5
    • Lt Gorman, S A09/TQ4.0.56124E3
    • Cpl Hicks, D A27/TQ4.0.48215E9
    • Pt Hudson, W A08/TQ1.0.41776E3
    • Pt Spunkmeyer, D A23/TQ6.0.92810E7
    • Pt Vasquez, J A03/TQ7.0.15618E4
    • Pt Wierzbowski, T A14/TQ8.0.20034E7
  • The scene where the Sulaco’s crew is being revived from cryosleep, the monitor which lists each crew member’s names are their character’s name followed by the actors’ actual first initial except for “Hicks, D”, “Ripley, E.” and “Gorman, S.”
  • During the scene when the Marines have landed and deployed in the troop carrier Apone tells the Marines they have 10 seconds till they arrive. If you count from when Apone tells them that its actually 10 seconds till the first Marine jumps out of the carrier and his boots hit the ground.
  • The pouch Ripley takes onto the lift at the end of the movie is a British Armed Forces respirator haversack.
  • The JP12 Designation in the Inner Loading Lock chamber on the Sulaco was also used in Batman on the Batwing right near the missile launchers.
  • The MedLab door open/close sound effect is the travel pod door open/close sound effect from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • According to myth, the name for the company, “Weyland Yutani”, was taken from the names of Ridley Scott’s former neighbors – he hated them, so he decided to “dedicate” the name of the “evil company” to them. In reality the name was created by conceptual designer ‘Ron Cobb’ (who created the Nostromo and the crew’s uniforms) to imply a corner on the spacecraft market by an English-Japanese corporation. According to himself, he would have liked to use “Leyland-Toyota” but obviously could not so he changed one letter in Leyland and added the Japanese name of his (not Scott’s) neighbor.

Cast

  • Hicks - Aliens Trivia Aliens TriviaMichael Biehn got the call on a Friday night asking him to take over the role of Hicks and was in London to start filming on the following Monday.
  • Hicks was originally played by James Remar, but Michael Biehn replaced him a few days after principal photography began, due to “artistic differences” between Remar and director James Cameron. However, Remar still appears in the finished film – but wearing the same armor, and shot from behind, it’s impossible to tell the difference between the two actors.
  • All of the cast who were to play the Marines (with the exception of Michael Biehn, who replaced an actor one week into filming) were trained by the S.A.S. (Special Air Service, Britain’s elite anti-terrorist force) for two weeks before filming. They were also instructed to read Robert A. Heinlein’s novel “Starship Troopers”. Sigourney Weaver, Paul Reiser, and William Hope didn’t participate/attend the training because director James Cameron felt it would help the actors create a sense of detachment between the three and the Marines – the characters these three actors played were all outsiders to the squad; Ripley being an advisor to the Marines while on the trip to LV-426, Burke being there just for financial reasons and Gorman being a newly-promoted Lieutenant with less experience than most of the Marines.
  • Lance Henriksen wanted to wear double-pupil contact lenses for a scene where Bishop is working in the lab on a microscope and gives a scary look at one of the Marines. He came to set with those lenses, but James Cameron decided he did not need to wear them because he was acting the character with just the right amount of creepiness already.
  • Sigourney Weaver had initially been very hesitant to reprise her role as Ripley, and had rejected numerous offers from Fox Studios to do any sequels, fearing that her character would be poorly written, and a sub-par sequel could hurt the legacy of the original film. However, she was so impressed by the high quality of James Cameron’s script – specifically, the strong focus on Ripley, the mother-daughter bond between her character and Newt, and the incredible precision with which Cameron wrote her character, that she finally agreed to do the film.
  • The difficulties surrounding Sigourney Weaver’s contract negotiations were such that James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd – recently married – announced that if the deal was not done by the time they got back from their honeymoon, they were out. When they returned, no progress had been made – so James Cameron, determined to make the film and wary of the deadline scenario he had created, devised a scheme: he telephoned Arnold Schwarzenegger’s agent for an informal chat and informed him that, thanks to his newfound standing in Hollywood following The Terminator, he had decided to make this film entirely his own by writing Ripley out; as James Cameron anticipated, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s agent immediately relayed the information to his colleague representing Sigourney Weaver at ICM, who in turn contacted 20th Century-Fox Head of Production Lawrence Gordon; both men, determined that under no circumstances whatsoever would Ripley be written out, wasted no time in sealing Sigourney Weaver’s deal.
  • When she answered the casting call, ‘Jenette Goldstein” misunderstood the film’s content and showed up dressed as a 19th century Irish immigrant. This became a running joke on the set, so much so that ‘James Cameron’ worked it into the script as part of the verbal sparring between Goldstein’s character and Bill Paxton’s, and would later reference it in his film Titanic, in which Goldstein actually plays an Irish immigrant.
  • Since production took place in England, the director and producers conveniently cast many American actors who were already living in England. This was particularly important for the actress playing Newt, who had to be a minor. Carrie Henn, who played Newt, was an American girl living with her family in England (actually, a bit of an English accent can be heard when she says, “Let’s go,” and, “There is a short-cut across the roof,” during the Alien attack at the end of the movie). Her movie brother Timmy is also her real-life brother Christopher Henn.
  • Al Matthews, who plays a Marine sergeant in this film, was in real life the first black Marine to be promoted to the rank of sergeant in the field during service in Vietnam.
  • In a deleted scene, Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) daughter was played by Elizabeth Inglis, Sigourney Weaver’s real-life mother.
  • Sigourney Weaver told James Cameron that she wanted to do three things in the movie; not handle a weapon, die, and make love to an alien. While none of these wishes were fulfilled, she got to do all three in the later movies.
  • Lance Henriksen caught a dose of food poisoning from the milk and yogurt combination that he had to spew up when his chest was pierced by the alien queen’s tail. Having this lactose combination sitting around under hot studio lights created a bacterial breeding ground.
  • In the scene in the air shaft where Vasquez shoots the alien with a handgun, Jenette Goldstein could not handle the recoil of the gun properly. As a result, producer Gale Anne Hurd doubled for Vasquez in shots where the gun is fired. She was the only woman available who had experience firing handguns.

Aliens/Alien Queen

  • The Alien nest set was kept intact after filming. It was later used as the Axis Chemicals set for Batman. When the crew of Batman first entered the set, they found most of the Alien nest still intact.
  • To bring the alien queen to life would take anything between 14 and 16 operators.
  • The Alien Queen has transparent teeth, as opposed to the warrior aliens.
  • Only six alien suits were used, and even then they were mostly just a handful of latex appliances on black leotards. The appearance of hundreds of aliens is simply clever editing and planning, and lighting plus slime helped make the “suits” more solid.
  • The baby alien bursting from the colonist’s chest clearly has a pair of more-or-less functioning arms. This is different from the final model infant used in Alien which originally had arms, but director Ridley Scott thought they didn’t, or wouldn’t, look right, so he had them removed.
  • One of the face-hugger eggs used in the movie is now exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Vehicles/Ships

  • Sulaco - Aliens Trivia Aliens Trivia“Sulaco” is the name of the town in Joseph Conrad’s “Nostromo”. See also Alien.
  • Budget constraints meant that they could only afford to have six hypersleep capsules for the scenes set on board the Sulaco. Clever placement of mirrors and camera angles make it look like there’s about 12. Each hypersleep chamber cost over $4,300 to build.
  • James Cameron had several designers come up with ideas for the drop ship that took the Marines from the Sulaco to the planet. Design after design, he finally gave up on them to come up with on he liked and constructed his own drop ship out of a model of an apache helicopter and other spare model pieces.
  • The assault vehicle is a modified tow-truck that British Airways used for towing airplanes around at Heathrow. The only trouble was that the truck they purchased weighed 75 tons. By stripping out most of the lead used in its construction, they were able to remove about 30 tons.
  • The APC was an airport tug de-commissioned by the local airport, with bits added to alter its appearance.
  • A set design company offered to build James Cameron a complete and working APC vehicle from scratch, but the cost was far too high for the budget he had in mind.
  • None of the models or the original designs of the Narcissus (the Nostromo’s shuttle) from Alien could be found, so set designers and model-makers had to reconstruct the model of the ship and the interior set from watching Alien.
  • When the set crews were looking around for floor grating to use on the Sulaco set design, they asked a local set design manufacturer/shop if they had anything of the sort. Indeed they did, an immense pile of old floor grating had been sitting out in the back of their shop for the last seven years. It was left there from when they tore down the set of Alien.

Equipment & Weapons

  • The body mounts for Vasquez’s and Drake’s smart guns are taken from Steadicam gear.
  • The pulse rifles that the Marines use are made from a Thompson M1A1 machine gun with a Franchi SPAS 12 shotgun underneath.
  • The M-56 smart guns and the sentry guns built for the movie were designed around German MG 42 machine guns.
  • The helmets the Marines wear are modified M-1 ballistic helmets.
  • The armor for the film was built by English armorer Terry English, and painted using Humbrol paints.
  • The camo pattern worn by the Marines is actually called “frog and leaf” and its use and production has been discontinued.
  • During the scene inside the APV preparing for battle, “El riesgo vive siempre!” can be seen scrawled in white across Vasquez’s armor. Literally translated from Spanish this is: “The risky always live!”
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