Earlier this week, the 30th Anniversary Blu-ray set for the beloved 1986 sci-fi classic Aliens was released, which includes plenty of new special features, including one entitled The Inspiration and Design of Aliens. A new clip from that documentary has surfaced, with writer-director James Cameron revealing that he landed the job to write this movie on the same day he took another job, to write Rambo: First Blood Part II. The filmmaker lets fans in on his secret of how he managed to write two beloved blockbuster at the same time.
The clip from Entertainment Weekly features James Cameron revealing how he was told on the same day that he had landed both the Aliens and the Rambo: First Blood Part II writing gigs. He decided to take both jobs, and came up with a unique solution on how to separate both projects. Here's what James Cameron had to say below about taking both jobs.
"So I wound up getting two writing gigs the same day, one was Rambo: First Blood Part II and the other was Alien 2. I had gone in on the meetings, and I wound up getting the phone calls the same morning. So, I took both jobs, and I had a three-month period to write Rambo and what became Aliens. So, what I did was I got a desk for each script. I put one in the bedroom and one in the living room, and that way, when I would move from one desk to the other, all the notes and papers and everything were right where they were supposed to be. So if, I didn't know what to do next on Rambo, I'd go over here and work on Aliens for awhile."
James Cameron also revealed that he was also working on a completely different story entitled Mother, which featured a scene where the hero is fighting "in something suspiciously like a power loader, against something suspiciously like an alien queen." He ended up moving that entire scene from Mother to Aliens, which resulted in one of the sequel's most iconic scenes featuring Sigourney Weaver's Ripley. The filmmaker also spoke about how quickly he churned out the lengthy treatment for Aliens.
"I wrote a treatment for them in probably two or three days. I think they were shocked when I came back three days later with with a 60 or 70 page treatment. I was basically just doing DNA splicing of a whole bunch of ideas that I had had, that were all riffs on the original Alien, because I was so enamored of that film."
Both Aliens and Rambo II went on to become box office hits when they hit theaters. Aliens earned $85.6 million domestic in 1986, which is the equivalent of $198.7 million today, while Rambo: First Blood Part II earned $150.4 million domestic, which is the equivalent of a $366.9 million movie today, when adjusting for inflation. Earlier this year, Reebok even brought back the Stomper sneakers from Aliens to celebrate the 30th Anniversary, while Seiko also brought back Ripley's watch. Take a look at the video below where James Cameron explains how he wrote both Aliens and Rambo: First Blood Part II at the same time.