This article covers all the known deleted scenes from the 1986 film Aliens. Some of these sequences never progressed past the early script or storyboard stages, while others were filmed before being cut during the editing process. Despite their removal, several of these scenes were included in the movie's novelization and the comic book Aliens: Newt's Tale.
Note that sequences initially deleted from the theatrical release of the film but later reinstated in the extended Special Edition are not listed here; details on these scenes can instead be found in the Special Edition article.
The first rough cut of Aliens ran for around 195 minutes; this was trimmed to 137 minutes for the film's theatrical release, meaning around 58 minutes of footage was deleted from the movie during the editing process. Some of this excised footage (approximately 17 minutes worth) was later reinstated in the film's Special Edition, while a small number of additional deleted scenes have been officially released on home video.
Despite the apparent quantity of footage removed from the film during editing, very few deleted scenes from Aliens have ever been made available (not counting the sequences reinstated in the Special Edition) and what information exists would not seem to account for such a large reduction in runtime. When considering the material added in the Special Edition and the few additional scenes that are available on home video, some 35 minutes of footage remains unaccounted for. Even the film's shooting script sheds little light on what this missing footage might include. However, director James Cameron has confirmed, "In Aliens we shot more than we needed. Gale [Anne Hurd] said, 'OK, here's a list of scenes you should cut,' and we wound up cutting every single thing that was on the list."
Regarding the few deleted scenes that have been made available on home video, the release(s) on which these can be found have been noted. Where applicable, the names of deleted scenes below have been taken from these DVD/Blu-ray releases.
Recovering RipleyThe sequence showing the recovery of the Narcissus was originally longer, beginning with the salvage vessel scanning the shuttle with a large searchlight as it approached.
Nostromo nightmareIn early drafts of the film's script, Ripley's nightmare aboard Gateway Station was markedly different. Instead of imagining a Chestburster emerging from her body, she instead found herself back aboard the Nostromo, running through the ship's corridors in a desperate attempt to flee the vessel. She stops at a hatch and opens it, only to see the Alien rising in the darkness within, at which point she would have woken screaming aboard Gateway.
Some promises you just can't keep
In the scene where Burke informs Ripley that her daughter Amanda has died, he additionally tells her, "Some promises you just can't keep." (referring to Ripley's promise to Amanda to be home for her 11th birthday). Following this, he checks his watch, anxious to get himself and Ripley to the hearing.
Hadley's HopeMore footage was filmed of the day-to-day life at Hadley's Hope, including some colonists struggling to cover machinery and vehicles in the gale-force winds (briefly visible in the background in the Special Edition). Another shot showed a colonist entering a bar and grill.
The colony rescue teamAfter Russ Jorden is subdued by a Facehugger, it was originally planned to show a rescue team arriving from the colony in response to Anne's distress call. They were to head inside the derelict ship, discovering the remains of the Pilot (now partially buried by volcanic debris), before stumbling into the cargo hold and themselves being subdued by multiple Facehuggers. The rescue team and Russ would subsequently be taken back to the colony, heralding the beginning of the infestation. While the sequence was cut before filming due to budget limitations, the events were later mentioned in Aliens: Newt's Tale.
Bishop aloneOriginally, it was planned to introduce Bishop by showing him wandering the deserted corridors of the USS Sulaco alone while the rest of the crew slept. While it was ultimately decided to use the knife game scene to introduce the film's synthetic, the original sequence of Bishop alone on the ship appears in the movie's novelization. Notably, the same concept was later used for David in Prometheus and Walter in Alien: Covenant.
Waking from hypersleep
As the Marines wake up aboard the Sulaco, Spunkmeyer is seen saying, "I'm too old for this shit." Coincidentally, the year after Aliens was released, Predator 2 star Danny Glover would make this same line famous as Detective Roger Murtaugh's catchphrase in the first of the Lethal Weapon films.
ShowersThe script contained a scene where the men and women of the Colonial Marines would be seen showering together aboard the Sulaco after waking from hypersleep, but the footage was never shot because the actresses were unwilling to appear nude in the film.
The briefingAs written in the script, the briefing that Ripley gives to the Marines aboard the Sulaco was slightly longer, with Ripley referring to the Facehugger as "essentially a walking sex organ", to which Hudson quips, "Sounds like you, Hicks."
Raising the APCAs the Marines prepare for the drop, Bishop was seen using a remote device to raise the section's APC into the Sulaco's hangar bay on a hydraulic lift. He then uses the remote to drive the APC towards Gorman (seen in the finished film). Model shots for this sequence were filmed but never used.
Entrance blockedIn the script, the main entrance to the colony is blocked off by Daihotai Tractor, positioned there by the colonists in an attempt to keep the Xenomorphs out.
During the initial sweep of the colony complex, Burke watches the camera feeds as one of the Marines surveys a trashed room, commenting that it looks like his room from college.
Let her go
After pointing out how Newt never speaks while cleaning her face, Ripley additionally tells her, "It's alright with me. Most people talk a lot, and they wind up not saying anything." Soon after this when Hicks informs them that they are heading out to the Atmosphere Processing Plant, Newt attempts to escape but is caught by Hicks, who she tries to bite on the hand again. This time he pulls away before she can, remarking, "Hope she ain't got rabies." This line also made it into Aliens: Newt's Tale.
Hicks and WierzbowskiDuring the Hive ambush, footage was filmed of Hicks propping a wounded Wierzbowski up against a wall after the Pulse Rifle ammunition explodes. He then goes to check on Crowe as seen in the film. Stills of this extended scene were included in Aliens: The Official Movie Magazine, as well as the sourcebook for the Aliens Adventure Game tabletop RPG.
StungIn the script, Gorman is not incapacitated by falling crates, but rather he is stung and paralyzed by a Xenomorph — as the APC prepares to escape the Atmosphere Processor, one of the creatures jumps onto the vehicle and rips away a hatch that Gorman is cowering beside, pulling him partially out and stinging him in the shoulder with its barb-tipped tail. Hicks mans the APC's turret gun and blows the Xenomorph away before the others pull Gorman back inside. This sequence appears in the film's novelization.
During the dropship crash sequence, model shots of the crashing ship hitting and destroying the APC were filmed, although were ultimately not used (likely because the footage is not particularly realistic).
- Only available as part of the Superior Firepower: Making Aliens documentary
Analyzing GormanOriginally, the scene where the survivors speculate on the presence of a Queen began with Bishop offering some insight into Gorman's condition, following on from the similarly removed sequence where he was stung earlier in the film. He states that the Lieutenant was incapacitated by a neuro-muscular toxin, rendering him totally paralyzed.
The Queen's intelligenceWhile theorizing about the resident Queen, the script contains an interesting line of dialogue from Bishop in which he suggests she may have intentionally selected the Atmosphere Processor for her Hive because she recognized the protection it offers her — within the volatile structure, she cannot be destroyed without also destroying the entire colony. This dialogue was not included in either version of the film.
Aliens in the complex
Immediately after Bishop is elected to go to the colony's transmitter, the pounding of the Xenomorphs ramming the pressure door suddenly stops. Hicks points out that the creatures are inside the complex.
Ripley and Hicks
When Hicks asks Ripley how long it has been since she slept, she pessimistically tells him, "They'll get us." He responds with, "Maybe. Maybe not."
Bishop and the AlienAs he crawls through the conduit, Bishop encounters a Xenomorph through a crack in the side of the pipe. It lunges at him, but when he does not react, it loses interest. This scene was in the script but was cut from the film. It does, however, appear in the novelization.
Dropship fuelingModel shots were filmed of the second dropship being fueled automatically aboard the Sulaco. These were never used.
By far the most famous of Aliens' deleted scenes involves Burke's original on-screen demise. As Ripley searches for Newt inside the Hive, she is suddenly grabbed by a hand. It turns out to be Burke, who is cocooned to the wall with a Chestburster inside him. He says that he can feel it moving, and begs Ripley to help him; she gives him a hand grenade and moves on. As she leaves, Burke tearfully apologises for everything he has done.
The scene was cut because director James Cameron realized after filming that Burke should still have had a Facehugger attached to him at this point in the film. It was, however, included in the novelization and Aliens: Newt's Tale, and an image from the scene was included in Aliens: The Official Movie Magazine.
Ripley suits upBefore Ripley confronts the Queen in the Power Loader, a sequence originally showed her strapping into the suit, similar to that seen earlier in the film when she helps to move supplies aboard the Sulaco.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Philip Nutman, Adrien Rigelsford, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Skeleton Crew, Vol. 2 #2, p. 24 (1990), Argus House.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Weyland-Yutani Archives - Aliens Unseen: The Lesser Known Deleted Scenes". Retrieved on 2013-04-30.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Aliens: Special Collector's Edition — Collector's Section (1991), 20th Century Fox [LaserDisc].
- ↑ Alien II original treatment by James Cameron
- ↑ "Strange Shapes - Hadley's Hope". Retrieved on 2013-05-13.
- ↑ Gale Anne Hurd, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Stan Winston, John Richardson. Superior Firepower: Making Aliens (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ "Strange Shapes - I Love The Corps!". Retrieved on 2014-10-24.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Aliens: Newt's Tale, Issue 1
- ↑ Lee Goldberg, Patrick Daniel O'Neill, John Sayers. Aliens: The Official Movie Magazine, p. 10 (1986), Starlog Press.
- ↑ David McKenzie. Aliens Adventure Game, p. 55 (1991), Leading Edge Games.
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster. Aliens, p. 242 (1986), Warner Books.
- ↑ Lee Goldberg, Patrick Daniel O'Neill, John Sayers. Aliens: The Official Movie Magazine, p. 40 (1986), Starlog Press.