Some 35 years after it was released, director Ridley Scott has revealed he had a very different ending in mind for the iconic film

Alien.

The science fiction horror film, which launched a franchise that will continue this year with sixth instalment Alien: Covenant, marked the first big screen lead role for Sigourney Weaver.

Her character, the tough-as-nails, alien-torching Ellen Ripley, appears in a further three Alien sequels - but if Scott had it his way, she would've met a grisly end during the first film's climax.

From left to right, actors Yaphet Kotto, Sigourney Weaver and Ian Holm on the set of Ridley Scott's science fiction classic 'Alien', circa 1979. Photo / Getty
From left to right, actors Yaphet Kotto, Sigourney Weaver and Ian Holm on the set of Ridley Scott's science fiction classic 'Alien', circa 1979. Photo / Getty

Alien ends with Ripley finally defeating the 'xenomorph' alien after a fierce battle, then recording one last log entry before shutting herself into a pod for hypersleep.

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"I thought that the alien should come in, and Ripley harpoons it and it makes no difference, so it slams through her mask and rips her head off," Scott says in an new interview with Entertainment Weekly.

A gloomy end for an iconic action hero, and Scott's next suggestion would've made for a truly bizarre finish: He planned that the film would still close with a captain's log recording - recorded by the alien itself.

Scott said the final shots of the film would show the alien, alone on the spacecraft having killed the whole crew, pressing buttons on the console with its tentacles.

"It would mimic Captain Dallas [Tom Skerritt] saying, 'I'm signing off'."

Director Ridley Scott on the set of the movie 'Alien', 1979. Photo / Getty
Director Ridley Scott on the set of the movie 'Alien', 1979. Photo / Getty

It's unclear how exactly the alien would've learned to operate the console during the events of the film - or how it had picked up the power of human speech.

Scott said he could still recall the frosty reception when he phoned the studio heads at 20th Century Fox during filming to explain his plan for the film's ending.

"The first executive from Fox arrived on set within 14 hours, threatening to fire me on the spot," he said.

"So we didn't do that [ending]."