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  • Ability Over Appearance: they originally wanted a guy for Ripley, but Sigourney Weaver owns the role.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: In Aliens, Ripley doesn't say "Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.", she says "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.". What's worse is that the line is often attributed only to Hicks instead, who was repeating it in concurrence with Ripley.
  • Casting Gag: Jenette Goldstein (who played Private Vasquez) originally thought Aliens was going to be a drama about immigration and showed up to audition wearing short skirt and high heels. This incident was directly referred to in a crack Hudson made about Vasquez during the briefing.

 Hudson: Excuse me, did someone say 'aliens'? She thought they said illegal aliens and signed up!

  • Creator Backlash:
  • The Danza: All the actors playing Marines in Aliens (except Michael Biehn) used their real first names for their characters.
  • Development Hell: The tale of Alien³'s development is the stuff of industry legend, and a prime example of Executive Meddling in full force. A rotating lineup of directors who all got shunted aside by FOX, delays, reshoots, disastrous test screenings, tensions between FOX and (then-newbie) director David Fincher, a "pay-or-play" deal between the studio and Sigourney Weaver, Fincher getting locked out of the editing room, executives and writers at odds as to how the story would play out, months spent building sets that had to be shoehorned into a completely different script...it all added to a giant mess in its development.
  • Dueling Movies: Alien: Resurrection with Deep Rising.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: In Aliens, all the actors who played the Marines attended a two-week training session with S.A.S. officers, except Michael Biehn, who was a last-minute addition. The other main actors, Sigourney Weaver, Paul Reiser, and William Hope, were deliberately excluded from training, to generate a sense of detachment between their characters and the Marines.
  • Executive Meddling: The second film had many scenes cut from it (though they were restored later in the home video release of the film) that expand upon many plot points in the film. The third and fourth films were crippled by executive meddling and Alien Vs Predator was also ruined by it, due to the studio wanting a PG-13 film (the DVD version ended up being "unrated" though basically the same movie save for several seconds of minor gore restored). Note that, Joss's complaints to the contrary, the script to the fourth movie is substantially the same as the one he handed over. It's the rest of the project that got screwed up.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Alien3 tends to be jokingly referred to as Alien Cubed among the fandom due to the inexplicable superscript use of the number 3 in the movie's title.
    • Space Jockey - the alien pilot aboard the derelict ship -- extended to the rest of his race, as well. Derived from a name used by the film crew; in the canon, it's never named.
    • Xenomorph - Used once, among many other words, to describe the aliens in the franchise, this word stuck as the standard term used by fans.
      • As a matter of fact, none of the life cycle stages (i.e. Facehugger, Chestburster, Drone) were ever officially named. They were given Fan Nicknames which simply stuck.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up - As everybody knows, Weyland-Yutani is a combination of motoring conglomerate British Leyland and generic Japanese. Ah, British Leyland, that pride of the nation, a household name for decades and trailblazer for the world, such an unstoppable industrial force would surely spread its Mega Corp tentacles across the galaxy for sci-fi centuries to come. Thing is, this film was released in 1979 and British Leyland went bankrupt in 1975. For Britons, the fall of a once proud company was the ultimate symbol of the Britain's postwar decline - at least, if you're old enough to have heard of the company in the first place. For Americans, two words - General Motors.
    • Oh, and Japan tanked in the '90s too. But the Asian half of the equation is fine. In 2009, the shattered remnants of British Leyland went bankrupt one last time - and were bought out by the Chinese.
    • Actually, this is a bit more complex than it seems. Whilst Leyland went into Bankruptcy in 1975, it didn't become defunct until 1986. Ron Cobb was aware of Leyland's bankruptcy's as the following quote shows. "I wanted to imply that poor old England is back on its feet and has united with the Japanese, who have taken over the building of spaceships the same way they have now with cars and supertankers"
  • Hey, It's That Guy!
  • The Other Marty: James Remar was originally cast as Hicks in Aliens, but was replaced with Michael Biehn after a few days filming. A few shots of Remar (mostly from behind) made it into the final product.
  • Throw It In: The "Game over, man!" line from Aliens was improvised.
  • Trope Namer: These movies named the following tropes:
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Harrison Ford turned down the role of Captain Dallas in Alien.
    • Alien 3 went through several writers, including William Gibson, Eric Red, David Twohy and Vincent Ward, before the final shooting script was thrown together using parts of all the previous drafts (mainly the latter three). Summaries of each can be found at The Other Wiki. For interested parties, the full version of Gibson's draft can be found here.
    • There were brief talks of James Cameron's interest in writing a script for a possible Alien 5 with Ridley Scott interested in directing, but Fox chose to focus on Alien vs. Predator instead.
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