For most fans of the Alien franchise Alien 3 is considered to be the weakest of the original trilogy, despite having been directed by iconic filmmaker David Fincher. Despite being plagued with problems throughout production, the film turned out to be a solid addition to the franchise. One of the biggest reasons these movies are so popular has to do with the genius design of the xenomorph alien. It is easily one of the most exquisitely designed creatures in all of cinema thanks to the conceptual designs by H.R. Giger. Thanks to Monster Legacy we’ve learned the detailed development process the creature went through in the thrid installment and director Fincher’s desires for the new monster to resemble Michelle Pfeiffer….you read that right, Michelle freakin’ Pfieffer.
One of the big issues that the production of Alien 3 faced was that both Giger and the team of Amalgamated Dynamics were designing the creature for the movie on their own, getting conflicting instructions from various members of the crew:
“Fincher specifically wanted the alien to have lips based on Michelle Pfeiffer’s — more voluptuous and feminine. The director recalled: ‘We did give it Michelle Pfeiffer’s lips. That’s what they’re based on. It always had these little thin lips, and I said to Giger, ‘let’s make it a woman when it comes right up to Ripley.’ So it has these big, luscious collagen lips.’”
Giger is known for his erotically horrifying art in addition to his xenomorph design, a design he would tweak and adjust for Alien 3 potentially would have continued.
“The lips and chin on my new model are better proportioned and give the creature a more erotic appearance,” Giger shared. “When the mouth is closed it looks very voluptuous, beautiful.”
Thankfully (or disappointingly, depending on your preferences) the final version of the creature didn’t end up with this degree of pronounced lips. Giger admitted:
“David Fincher neglected to inform me that Woodruff and Gillis were also contracted to take care of the redesign of the alien. I found out much later. I thought I had the job and that Woodruff and Gillis would work from my plans. On their side, they were convinced that it was their job and accepted my ‘suggestions’ with pleasure. They believed that all my effort was based on a huge love for the matter because I worked hard even after my contract was over. Today, I am convinced that it was a game by Fincher to keep both sides happy and obtain the maximum for his movie.”
The xenomorph was last seen in this year’s Alien: Covenant, but filmmaker Ridley Scott promises that future films will feature the creature very little if not at all.
What do you think of those lips? Glad they were cut, or would that design have made for a more terrifying?