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In this interview transcript from Starlog Magazine in September 1979, Ridley Scott talks about how he came to ALIEN. This provides some interesting context for discussions about his views on the prequels.
“Alien came to me out of the blue, from (20th Century-) Fox. I think it had been turned down by about six directors. I don’t know why they turned it down. It was their misfortune, or perhaps they just missed the elements that appealed to me, personally. I was knocked out by the simplicity, the energy and drive of the story. The thriller aspects of it just leapt off the page. I found it very pure.
<INTERFACE 2037 DISCONNECT>