Creative Screenwriting Magazine: Alien

Thursday, January 1st, 2004

The recent Creative Screenwriting Magazine (Volume 10, #5) revealed some amazing history on how Alien came to be:

The largest change the project underwent happened before it was even scripted — converting it from a World War II horror film to a sci-fi thriller. In the summer of 1976 Dan O’Bannon took the opening of his screenplay Memory and stitched it onto the second half of his WWII story Gremlins, which featured lethal gremlins infiltrating a B-17 bomber during a bombing run. O’Bannon then changed the B-17 into a spaceship and wrote a treatment titled Space Beast, which he then expanded into the first Alien script.

Addendum: I took a photo of the physical artifact:

Creative Screenwriting Magazine Alien


  1. Adar says:

    Willian Shatner did a Twilight Zone about a gremlin sabotaging a commercial airline far earlier.

  2. Isegoria says:

    Yes, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” is one of the classics.

  3. Kirk says:

    Isegoria, have you got a link to the actual article? Trying to find it on that homepage is a freaking nightmare.

  4. Isegoria says:

    I’m afraid I read the article in a physical copy of the magazine, and I couldn’t find an online copy anywhere — so I took the physical magazine off the shelf and photographed it.

  5. Kirk says:

    Thank you for that… That’s something about Alien that I did not know, and it fills in some interesting blanks about the storytelling.

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