James Cameron confirms 'urban legend' of how he pitched Aliens to executives

Chloe Rowland

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James Cameron confirms 'urban legend' of how he pitched Aliens to executives

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / AJ Pics / Alamy Stock Photo

The rumour surrounding the unique way in which James Cameron pitched his sci-fi horror sequel Aliens has been confirmed as true by the man himself.

Cameron was in the director’s chair for the 1986 flick, which was the sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic hit Alien.

The flick follows Ellen Ripley 57 years after surviving an apocalyptic attack aboard her space vessel, as she’s sent back to the planet LV-426 to investigate a terraforming colony. Once there, she encounters the Alien Queen and her offspring and has to fight to survive.

Aliens was a global smash, raking in a respectable $180 million at the box office off the back of a $18.5 million budget.

The story about how Cameron pitched the movie to executives has long been touted as urban legend, but speaking in a new interview, the filmmaker has actually confirmed it’s 100 percent true.

Sigourney Weaver in Aliens. Credit: 20th Century Fox
Sigourney Weaver in Aliens. Credit: 20th Century Fox

Having recently finished The Terminator at the time, Cameron told Empire: “I had lunch with a bigshot producer when I was about to start Aliens who said, ‘This is a no-win for you. If your movie’s good, Ridley will get the credit. If it’s bad, it’s all you. It’s a career ender.’ I said, ‘Yeah, buuuuuut... I like it’.

“I was maybe a dumb**s fanboy, but I could see it so clearly in my head that I just had to go make it. And yes, it’s true. I was in a meeting with the studio head and the executive producers, and I turned my script over and on the blank side of the last page I wrote ALIEN. Then I drew an S on the end. Then I drew two vertical lines through the S and held it up to show them.”

He continued: “Maybe it was just Pavlovian conditioning when they saw the $ sign connected closely to the word ‘Alien’. Or maybe it was the confidence I projected. But they said yes.”

Credit: 20th Century Fox
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Luckily, Cameron’s enthusiasm paid off, with the film’s critical success seeing it become regarded as one of the best sequels ever made.

Cameron is still in the middle of a huge publicity stint following the release of his long-awaited Avatar sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, as the hype continues around viewers’ return to Pandora.

The flick is predicted to surpass the billion-dollar mark at the box office, making it once again another Cameron smash hit. It’s almost like he knows what he’s doing, isn’t it?

Avatar: The Way of Water is in cinemas now.

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Aliens, James Cameron

Chloe Rowland
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