There is little doubt that Aliens is widely known as one of the best horror sci-fi films of all time, but there was a time when producers were uncertain about greenlighting the sequel. Interestingly, there's a rumor that James Cameron convinced producers to go with the movie after he drew the S in the title as a dollar sign. Amazingly, the Avatar: The Way of Water director has finally confirmed the story behind the urban legend.
James Cameron recently took part in an interview roundtable hosted by Empire where he answered questions from the likes of Sigourney Weaver, Guillermo del Toro, Rian Johnson, and Morfydd Clark. Baby Driver director Edgar Wright took part in the interview and he asked Cameron about the mythical pitch.
“I had lunch with a bigshot producer when I was about to start Aliens who said, 'This is a no-win for you. If your movie’s good, [Alien director] Ridley [Scott] will get the credit. If it’s bad, it’s all you. It’s a career ender.' I said, 'Yeah, buuuuuut... I like it.' I was maybe a dumbass fanboy, but I could see it so clearly in my head that I just had to go make it. And yes, it’s true,” Cameron said. He then shared more details about the meeting.
“I was in a meeting with the studio head and the executive producers, and I turned my script over and on the blank side of the last page I wrote ALIEN. Then I drew an S on the end. Then I drew two vertical lines through the S and held it up to show them. Maybe it was just Pavlovian conditioning when they saw the $ sign connected closely to the word ‘Alien’. Or maybe it was the confidence I projected. But they said yes,” Cameron stated.
We're certainly glad that James Cameron managed to convince the producers to go with it. After all, Aliens proved to be an excellent sequel, and some might argue that it's even better than Ridley Scott's movie. Needless to say, the success has since led to more films and an impressive career for Cameron.