Robert Aldrich is one of the all-time great Hollywood directors, whose credits included Kiss Me Deadly, The Dirty Dozen, The Longest Yard, and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, the production of which is currently being depicted in Ryan Murphy’s FX show, Feud: Bette and Joan. But did you know Aldrich also came close to directing Alien, the science fiction classic ultimately overseen by a young Ridley Scott? On the latest episode of filmmaker Mick Garris’ new podcast Post Mortem, Alien producer Walter Hill recalls how the veteran auteur almost took a trip on the Nostromo.
“We had sent the script to I don’t know how many directors and they had all turned in down — except Robert Aldrich,” says Hill, whose own many directing credits include The Warriors, 48 Hrs., and the just-released, Michelle Rodriguez-starring The Assignment. “Robert Aldrich wanted to do the movie and initially it looked like that was going to happen. Aldrich liked the script, saw the potential, wanted to do it. [But] he was still the president of the Directors Guild at the time. He felt he had been gone so much when he was making the movie he did over in Germany, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, and that he had to make the movie in the U.S. Fox, for various financial reasons, very much wanted to make the film in England… And then Bob had a movie that came out that didn’t too well, so suddenly that opportunity vanished.”
Hear the full conversation between Garris and Hill at the PodcastOne website.