Fascinating Facts about Aliens That Will Blow Your Mind

Aliens is one of the most famous films ever made, enjoying a huge cult following. It was made back in 1986 but still holds up as one of the best sci-fi films and its predecessor. The franchise’s success is something that many other films have tried and failed to replicate.

Michael Biehn, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser, and Jenette Goldstein, in a scene from the movie 'Aliens.'
Photo by Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images

Being such a well-known film, there have been many fascinating details about how it was made over the years. We wanted to give you some of the best here that will intrigue you and insight into how this brilliant film was made. Let’s get started!

One of the First Scenes Was Shot Last

We know that most films are not shot in order. Alien, too, is not an exception. However, the shot where we first see colonial marines was done last! James Cameron filmed this last to ensure that the mutual trust and friendship of the characters would be realistic since.

Sigourney Weaver, surrounded by actors Paul Reiser, Michael Biehn, Jenette Goldstein, and Lance Henriksen, on the set of Aliens.
Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images

They had spent so much time together during filming that it helped to develop a chemistry that Cameron wanted to capture. It must have worked as the scene is brilliant and feels natural. It all helped to make this film a special one.

The 15 Minutes Is Accurate

James Cameron, the director of the film, was such a perfectionist. He wanted the 15 minutes countdown to be very realistic at the movie’s end. Therefore, 15 minutes were 15 in reality, as is seen in the standard and the unique edition versions.

A still of the alien from Aliens.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/Copyright: Twentieth Century Fox

Another interesting fact is that the Alien screams are baboon shrieks that have been altered in post-production. We wonder what other animals they may have tried for that sound! Both facts show the immense dedication that was needed to make the film as realistic and dramatic as possible.

The Number of Hyper-Sleep Capsules Was a Trick

They seem to be more than six. To be more exact, they appear to be 12. However, there were only six capsules for the scene set aboard the Sulaco. This was due to the very high cost associated with filming. As a result, budget constraints restricted them to only six.

Sigourney Weaver, as Lt. Ellen Louise Ripley, wakes up in her sleep pod.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/Copyright: Twentieth Century Fox

Each hyper-sleep chamber had a building cost of about $4,300. So, how did they appear 12? The skillful placement of angle cameras and mirrors made them look like double the amount. These kinds of tricks happen all the time in films but are cool to know.

James Horner and James Cameroon Had a Few Arguments

Horner was the composer of the movie, while Cameroon was the director. Horner was given six weeks to construct an original score. However, he felt that this was too little time since he had already spent the first three weeks of the six editings. In the end, though, Horner earned an Academy Award for the score. This was his very first award. Later, the two did not work again together until Titanic.

James Cameron on the set of his film Aliens.
Photo by Bob Penn/Sygma/Sygma/Getty Images

Aliens was never shown to test the audience. This was not the plan, nor was it due to the disagreement. It was for a straightforward reason. Editing was completed the week before theatrical release. Aliens did prove that movies not shown to critics can be some of the most interesting.

James Remar Was Replaced But Still Featured

As untrue as this may sound, James Remar remained in part of the film even after being replaced by Michael Biehn. Just before James Remar was replaced, the part of the movie where the marines enter the Aliens nest had already been shot.

James Ramar in a still from Aliens.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/Copyright: Twentieth Century Fox

A highly complex effect had been used to shoot it, and reshooting would be too expensive. For this reason, Remar tactfully remained in the film. James Remar still plays the part where Corporal Hicks is seen with the camera behind him. Hopefully, he still got paid for his part!