Hans Rudolf Giger was one of the most influential artists in science fiction. A Swiss artist best known for his biomechanical style, Giger published a collection of his works in the 1977 book “Necronomicon”. Director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Dan O’Bannon were fascinated by two paintings, specifically “Necronom IV” and “V,” and used them to create the xenomorph in their seminal 1979 film, “Alien.”
Giger then designed the creature “to be a very beautiful thing, something aesthetic,” he once said. He brought a sense of majesty to his creation, merging it with a dark and unsettling craftsmanship. From the start, he assumed that a bodysuit would probably be the best option for constructing the creature, and came up with a modeling clay cast of actor Bolaji Badejo, who first caught their attention when the agent of cast Peter Ardram spotted him in a London pub.
Once the mold was complete, Giger attached instruments and random objects such as Rolls-Royce tubes, snake vertebrae, condoms, and a real human skull to flesh out the creature’s physical intricacies. It’s an unsettling mix of materials that fully respects Giger’s artistic style. A two-meter tail was then attached, requiring the construction of a special swing set on set for Badejo to rest on during filming.