Alien resurrected

The Hollywood auction house Julien’s Auctions is set to auction off a Holy Grail artifact from sci-fi cinema lore on 28 and 29 March. In amongst 800 lots from Batman, Die Hard, Edward Scissorhands, Independence Day, Predator, Scarface, the James Bond films and more, is the ‘Big Chap’ – a full-size prototype xenomorph costume from the seminal 1979 movie, Alien.

Designed by H.R. Giger, whose visionary sets and nightmarish creature creations secured Ridley Scott’s film the status of an all-time sci-fi classic, the prototype is a fascinating alternative to the director’s final choice.

One of the concepts Scott and Giger originally considered was a semi-translucent design that would enable viewers to see the xenomorph’s internal organs. Prototypes were crafted by prop designer Andrew Ainsworth, who tried various different approaches to create a workable version of the translucent two-metre-tall creature. Alas, the materials used proved to be either too rigid or not resistant enough to be usable, although the translucent Big Chap design underwent comprehensive lighting and camera tests by the film’s pre-production team to demonstrate its potential.

Image: Julien’s Auctions

The suit was long thought to have been lost and destroyed, but will finally make its long-awaited debut at the auction: Julien’s estimate is $40,000–$60,000. See for more info.

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