James Cameron’s Aliens is the best movie franchise and I love it dearly. That movie was just awesome! Of course, I love Ridley Scott’s original movie but watching it in a movie theater back in the day, watching Aliens was one of the best movie-going experiences of my life. It was also the first R-rated movie that I was allowed to see, and it was simply awesome and a brilliant experience.
It’s always amusing to learn new things about your favorite movies and I recently came across the story of how Cameron sold his Aliens movie concept to Fox, and I thought to share it with you guys.
Cameron was just coming off The Terminator when the chance to build the Alien franchise came to him. With Alien being a horror movie, Cameron was now looking to make a Xenomorph war movie. When the filmmaker threw his idea to the studio, the real selling point came to Cameron breaking down to the title, Aliens. He then sold his idea by turning the “s” in Aliens into a dollar sign. He verified this was true in an interview with CinemaBlend, saying:
“Yeah, it’s true. It just popped into my mind in the moment. It was actually on the back of a script, or some kind of presentation document. And it might’ve been the treatment. I can’t remember. I was sitting with the three producers, and we were in the office of the then-head of 20th Century Fox. And I said, ‘Guys, I got an idea for the title. It goes like this.’ And I wrote, Alien in large block letters. And I put an “s” on the end.
I showed it to them. I said, ‘I want to call it Aliens because we’re not dealing with one. Now we’re dealing with an army, and that’s the big distinction. And it’s very simple and very graphic.’ I said, ‘But here’s what it’s going to translate to.’ And then I drew the two lines through it to make it a dollar sign. That was my pitch. And apparently, it worked! Because they went with the title. They never questioned it.”
Aliens ended up being a massive hit and ended up earning $131 million worldwide at the box office, which was a great deal in the 80s!