Revealing mistake: When Newt is sliding across the grated floor, Bishop reaches out to save her and you can clearly see he's standing in a hole to make him look cut in half. (02:11:40)
Ending / spoiler
Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Carrie Henn
It is revealed that the Company - specifically, Burke - sent the colonists on LV-426 to the Alien ship in hopes of obtaining an Alien for research purposes. Burke releases two facehuggers to impregnate Ripley and Newt, but the Marines intervene; Burke is exposed and nearly killed for his actions. However, at that exact moment, the Aliens attack in force, leading to the deaths of everybody except Ripley, Hicks, Newt, and the "artificial person" Bishop. While trying to escape, the Aliens capture Newt and injure Hicks; Ripley, loaded with weapons from the second dropship, enters the Aliens' lair and confronts the Queen Alien to save Newt. Ripley frees Newt, decimates the lair, and returns to the dropship, with the Queen hot on her trail. As the dropship departs, the colony's fusion reactor overloads, destroying the colony (and the Aliens' lair). Back aboard the Sulaco, all seems well until the Queen emerges from the landing gear area of the dropship. The Queen Alien tears Bishop in half and then chases Newt around while Ripley gets into a "loader" (seen earlier in the movie) and uses it to fight the Queen. Finally, Ripley manages to eject the Queen into space, while Bishop prevents Newt from being sucked out with the Queen. Hicks, Ripley, Newt, and the remaining half of Bishop finish by entering stasis for the trip back to Earth.
[All ammunition has been confiscated.]
Marine: What are we supposed to use? Harsh language?.
Trivia: Paul Reiser's character Carter Burke was so immediately hated that during the movie's premiere his sister hit him, and when Burke's death occurred, his mom's response was simply "good."
Question: I know that the studio chose James Cameron to direct due to the strength of his script, but why wasn't Ridley Scott offered the chance to direct? And was the studio considering a sequel before Cameron joined?
Chosen answer: The studio was considering a sequel before Cameron was involved, but regarding directing it, Ridley Scott told "The Hollywood" in a 2008 interview, "They didn't ask me! To this day I have no idea why. It hurt my feelings, really, because I thought we did quite a good job on the first one." The studio liked Cameron's script and at that time he had enough clout to be able to insist on directing it.
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Answer: It really was all down to James Cameron having already written the script and proving himself capable of directing with 'The Terminator.' It was just a quicker, easier, and almost certainly cheaper decision to let him direct his own script rather than get someone else, even Ridley Scott. While the producers had wanted to make an 'Alien' sequel almost immediately, at the time the head of 20th Century Fox didn't want to pursue it fearing it would be seen as an obvious cash-in and flop. When a new executive at the studio came in a couple years later, the project was put back on track, and I believe Cameron was the first to be approached to write the script.