A trained shaved orangutan was almost the space monster in Alien

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May 2, 2017, 2:32 PM EDT

No other movie monster or alien creature in movie history is as distinct and terrifying as H.R. Giger's nightmarish biomechanical predator from the Alien franchise, and it's impossible to imagine anything different when conjuring up images of the shocking sci-fi horror series.

But before director Ridley Scott was shown Giger's Necronomicon book of perverted hybrid beings and met the reclusive Swiss artist in person, many ideas were tossed around in pre-production back in the late '70s as to exactly what the pivotal alien would look like.

One such idea to use a trained shaved orangutan was offered as a possibility and thankfully rejected, as recounted by producer and Alien co-writer Walter Hill in a recent podcast for WTF With Marc Maron.

Apparently this insane notion was early in the project's development while director Robert Aldrich was signed on and he brought a ridiculously wild idea with him. Here's Hill's version of the kooky story:

[Aldrich] said the movie will succeed or fail on the conception of the beast. He said, ‘we’ve gotta come up with something really unique.’ And he said, ‘I don’t know, just off the top of my head…. this may not be a good idea but… maybe we could get, like, an orangutan… and shave it – train the son of a bitch, you shouldn’t see it very much.’ And we were thinking, ‘God almighty.’ That’s one we hadn’t thought of.

Let's all take a moment to realize how fortunate we all are that cooler, more rational heads on the Alien project prevailed and Giger's xenomorph designs won out over the hairless ape. But, when you think about it, a shaved orangutan might have been pretty crazy to see!

(Via Bloody Disgusting)