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Alien's Tom Skerritt says that the script felt like Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

Alien wasn't like other movies, even in script form, according to Tom Skerritt

Tom Skerritt in Alien
Image credit: 20th Century Fox

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It's been 45 years since the original Alien movie debuted, and its status as a classic has long been cemented. But how early did the actors know it was going to be a hit? At C2E2 2024's 45 Years of Alien panel, moderated by Popverse's very own Ashley V. Robinson and featuring Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright, fans asked the actors about their experiences on making the film, and Skerritt described what he felt when he first saw the script.

Skerritt shared that he had just finished filming a movie in Minnesota and returned to the hotel, where he found a script titled Alien on the bed. "I really didn't know what to think about it when I read it, because it was a two million dollar budget," Skerrit told the crowd. But the story had a "backbone to it" and Skerritt felt like it was similar to Joseph Campbell's Heart of Darkness.

While Skerritt was still deliberating about the project, he got a phone call from a producer who told him that if he had any doubts about the film that he should come in and watch a movie in the screening room to help him decide. The movie was Ridley Scott's 1977 feature The Duellists.

After watching about five minutes of The Duellists, Skerrit was in. "It was a painting," he said about the film. "This director," Skerritt said about Scott, "everything seemed to fall in place once he was in place."


Re-live the majesty of C2E2 with our the C2E2 2024 Main Stage panel videos on-demand, all the major things Popverse found at the Chicago show, and C2E2 2024's best cosplay.

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