See How The Alien Xenomorph Originally Looked, It’s Wildly Different

By James Brizuela | 3 days ago

alien xenomorph

Creation is certainly something that takes careful time and consideration. That is especially true when considering how a certain character or creature must look. For those who have ever been a fan of the Predator or Alien franchises, you know that both of the beings that came from those films became instantly iconic. That is certainly true for the xenomorph, which has been frightening people since the first Alien film came out in 1979. However, the iconic look is not what the creature was initially supposed to look like. Bloody Disgusting was able to get these images and post them. You can see an image of the original Alien xenomorph design below:

original xenomorph

We must be honest here, the concept art for the original alien xenomorph is frightening as well. Though most of us got used to the one that had been created by H.R. Giger and released in several movies, this one would have been just as maddening to see on the big screen. The above image concept art was created by Dan O’Bannon and artist Ron Cobb. Cobb turned this creature into a crab-like mixture of Cthulhu, with hooks for hands. We are glad this never made into the film, but it’s still quite scary. Cobb, however, was the one who came up with the xenomorph spitting green acid, so his contributions to the film franchise are massive.

Whatever Cobb happened to be imagining with this concept art was likely scary beyond all measure. This alien xenomorph would have absolutely scared the hell out of anyone who happened to watch it in action. We can see why this design was passed over. Even though this creature would have been nightmare fuel, it does have that sort of B-movie horror cheesiness attached to it. As we all know, H.R. Giger’s wild imagination would result in arguably one of the most recognizable and feared creatures in all of cinema. Still, Cobb’s design is still amazing.

This was all revealed by the producer of Alien, Walter Hill, who was a guest on the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron. Hill spoke about famed director Robert Aldrich being initially attached to direct Alien. Hill recounted a time when Aldrich was speaking to him about the concept of the creature being the reason that Alien would be successful. According to Hill, “[Aldrich] said the movie will succeed or fail on the conception of the beast. He said, ‘we’ve gotta come up with something really unique.'”  One of Aldrich’s other wild ideas was to shave an orangutan bald and train it to be menacing. Both that idea and the original concept art would have been to see, that is for sure. Thankfully, we got the Alien xenomorph that was designed by Giger.

Alien was released in 1979 and has since produced a deep and fruitful franchise. Quite honestly, Aldrich was right about one thing. The film franchise lived and died on that alien xenomorph being as terrifying as it was. If it had been Cobb’s original design, we might not have seen a franchise come from the original film. Had it been an orangutan, the film might not have even been considered horror.