The Alien franchise is one of the most iconic in genre cinema, and while recent entry Covenant doesn’t quite live up to the standards set by the original, few horror movies do. Like any long-running series, there have been numerous proposed storylines and abandoned concepts over the years, with Alien 3 alone burning through multiple directors and concepts, such as Vincent Ward’s unique “Wooden Planet” idea.
The series also has a number of fascinating deleted scenes, such as Fifield’s alternate mutation from Prometheus, the Cocooned Burke scene from Aliens and the egg morphing sequence from Alien. These scenes may vary in quality, but they all provide a unique look at how each film developed and the concepts that got thrown out along the way.
The egg morphing scene, in particular, adds a unique wrinkle to the xenomorph’s lifecycle that hasn’t been seen in the franchise since, but it’s an idea fans love to speculate on. Thanks to the advent of Special Edition DVDs and the Internet, there’s little fans don’t already know about the series, down to unfilmed scenes and behind-the-scenes info.
Major fans of the original will no doubt have heard of the “Alien Box” sequence, where Ripley encounters a strange looking box while running for the escape pod in the finale, which then unfurls to reveal the Alien has twisted itself into an impossible shape. It would have made for a unique jump scare, but the only place it’s possible to see this moment is in the comic adaptation Alien: The Illustrated Story.
Since no set pictures or footage of such a sequence has ever been shown, it seems safe to assume it wasn’t filmed.
Except that Walter Simonson – who was responsible for the gorgeous art of the book – swears it was included in a workprint of Alien he watched prior to drawing the comic. He thought it looked cool but got the impression others watching the film weren’t as impressed, but he included it anyway.
So is it possible Scott filmed a version of the scene that was then purged from existence? Again, it’s unlikely that if it was shot, there’d be no sign of it in the various Special Editions or making-of books. Maybe Simonson is misremembering the early cut he saw, possibly confusing it with another deleted moment where the creature crab walks over to Lambert.
It’s possible the scene was at least attempted. Bolaji Badejo – the performer in the Alien outfit – spoke in an interview of how Ridley Scott was always pushing what was possible with the costume, and deleted footage like the crab walk and a scene where it hangs from chains before attacking Brett shows Scott planned to make the creature more active. In the final edit he keeps it to the shadows mostly, to add mystery and mask its limits.
There are also numerous shots of the beast hunched over in promo photos and behind-the-scenes clips, which some fans feel is evidence the Box scene was attempted. The image clearly stuck with the director too since it reappears in Prometheus when the mutated Fifield returns to the ship in a twisted over shape.
If the scene does exist, it’s unlikely it will resurface now, either because it’s lost or maybe Scott is embarrassed by how it turned out, and will likely remain a mythological missing sequence like the unseen alternate ending to Cube or the Brussels Cut of Ring.
That said, another long-missing scene that was said not to exist at all – the original ending to Poltergeist III – was recently discovered, so maybe there’s a faint hope the “Alien Box” scene will see the light someday.