Sci-fi author Jared Gray has turned his sleep apnea mask into a facehugger from Alien. When penning the script for Alien – which was originally titled Star Beast - co-writers Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett struggled to come with an interesting way for the titular monster to get onboard the spaceship. The solution came to Shusett suddenly that a crew member should be implanted by an alien creature, and when they’re brought back to the ship, that seed would explode out of them.
The writers took their script around to various studios, but only B-movie producer Roger Corman was interested in making it initially. They caught a break when Star Wars became a surprise smash hit for Fox, and there was a sudden rush to green light projects set in space. Producers Walter Hill and David Giler came across the script for Alien and while they mostly hated it, they knew the “chestburster” scene could be great. They set about rewriting the script – including turning the Ripley character into a woman in the process – and hired Ridley Scott to direct. O’Bannon had previously worked with famed artist H.R. Giger on an unfilmed adaptation of sci-fi novel Dune and recommended him to Scott to design the Alien, the facehugger and anything to do with the derelict ship.
Giger’s work on Alien remains groundbreaking over 40 years later, with his designs continuing to haunt audiences. Sci-fi author Jared Gray suffers from a condition called sleep apnea, where a person’s breathing can be interrupted during sleep, which can lead to severe health issues. Gray wears a CPAP mask during sleep to combat this and on his blog (via Design You Trust) he details turning this mask into a facehugger, stating he may as well have fun with it.
The facehugger has reappeared in nearly every entry in the Alien saga and attaches itself onto a victim’s face, paralysing them while it implants an embryo down their throats. Gray isn’t a fan of his CPAP device but insisted on getting creative with it since it's part of his life now. It was recently revealed an alternate ending shot for Shane Black’s The Predator featured a pod opening to reveal a sleeping Ripley, wearing a facehugger-style breathing mask. Another alternate ending featured a grown-up version of Newt wearing the same device, but neither cliffhanger was used in the final cut.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Alien and a number of tie-ins will celebrate this milestone, including a documentary called Memory: The Origins Of Alien, detailing the creation of the original script. A recent report also claimed two live-action TV series set in the universe were in development, while James Cameron indicated he's trying to convince Neill Blomkamp to resurrect his Alien 5 concept.