Director: James Cameron
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen
Plot: Set in year 2179, 57 years after Alien (1979), Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team during her hypersleep. After transmissions from a colony that has since settled on the alien moon suddenly stop (the colony is owned by Weyland-Yutani), Ripley is offered a chance to team up with a group of marines to descend on the moon and investigate the alien presence. A team of colonial marines along with an android named Bishop, Ripley agrees to the offer and prepares to face the alien creature once again. But this time there is more than one Alien.
The Alien nest set was kept intact after filming. It was later used as the Axis Chemicals set for Batman (1989). When the Batman crew first entered the set, they found most of the Alien nest still intact.
The spear gun Ripley used at the end of Alien (1979) is briefly visible in the opening scenes, while the escape pod door is being cut open - still stuck at the bottom of the escape pod door, where the gun jammed 57 years earlier.
In both the standard and special edition versions, the fifteen minute countdown at the end of the film is indeed fifteen minutes.
Sigourney Weaver's Best Actress Academy Award nomination for this movie was the first ever for an actress in a role in an action movie.
In a deleted scene, the portrait of Ripley's daughter is of Elizabeth Inglis, Sigourney Weaver's real-life mother.
Only acting role for Carrie Henn. She later became a teacher.
James Cameron faced a big problem trying to win the confidence and respect of the British crew, many of whom had worked on Alien (1979) and were fiercely loyal to Ridley Scott. In order to try and convince them he had the talent and skills for the job he arranged a screening of The Terminator (1984) for the crew on the set, to demonstrate his abilities. However, most of the crew ignored the invite and didn't bother to turn up.
James Cameron clashed with Dick Bush who refused to light the Alien nest the way Cameron wanted (Cameron wanted dark lighting to create an eerie atmosphere while the cameraman kept going with bright lighting to show off the intricacies of the set). Bush was a very old school DP, who lit the scenes to his content, while Cameron was a very visually involved director. Finally Cameron, fed up with the bad attitudes of his crew, yelled at the guy "YOU'RE FIRED!" and threw him off the set, which led to the crew walking out, requiring Gale Anne Hurd to coax them back once they had all cooled down. Bush was then replaced by Adrian Biddle, who had never DP'ed a feature before.
Since production took place in England, the director and producers conveniently cast many American actors who were already living in England. This was particularly important for the actress playing Newt, who had to be a minor. Carrie Henn, who played Newt, was an American girl living with her family in England. Her movie brother Timmy (seen only in the extended version) is also her real-life brother Christopher Henn.
James Cameron married producer Gale Anne Hurd during production.
Contrary to popular belief, Jenette Goldstein is not Hispanic. Make-up was used to make her skin appear as in the movie. She also dyed her hair black and wore dark brown contact lenses.
Jenette Goldstein (Vasquez) actually did the chin-up curls and behind-the-head pull-ups, at the request of director James Cameron to establish Vasquez as the "tough" woman in the platoon.
To create the effect of Bishop performing the knife trick at inhuman speed the footage was sped up, this creates a rather apparent goof where buy other characters in the background can be seen moving at an unrealistically accelerated rate most notably Sergeant Apone whose head can be seen moving up and down incredibly fast as he laughs.
Stephen Lang auditioned for the roles of Carter Burke and Corporal Dwayne Hicks. He would later play the villain Miles Quaritch in Avatar which was originally for Michael Biehn. Both avatar and this film were directed by James Cameron.
Director James Cameron has a cameo in the film. At around 4 mins his voice can be heard in the opening deep salvage team: "Bio readouts are in the green, looks like she's alive!"
Lance Henriksen caught a dose of food poisoning from the milk and yogurt combination that he had to spew up when his chest was pierced by the alien queen's tail. Having this lactose combination sitting around under hot studio lights created a bacterial breeding ground.
To bring the alien queen to life would take anything between 14 and 16 operators.
In the original script, when Ripley is rescuing Newt, she encounters a cocooned Burke (Paul Reiser) in the power plant. He claims he can feel the chestburster inside him and asks for help. Ripley gives him a live grenade and moves on. This scene was filmed and the only proof that it existed for decades was a single still image from a magazine. The scene was finally made available in full on the film's Blu-Ray release.