'Alien' Franchise Producer David Giler Dies at 77

Alien Poster and producer David Giler
20th Century Fox/Photofest; Jeff Spicer/WireImage

He also wrote the screenplays for 'The Parallax View,' 'The Money Pit' and 'Fun With Dick and Jane' as a leading Hollywood film player in the 1970s and '80s.

Hollywood screenwriter and producer David Giler, best known for the Alien movie franchise, has died. He was 77.

Giler, a leading figure in Hollywood during the 1970s and '80s, passed away Saturday of cancer at his home in Bangkok, his publicist said.

In a statement, filmmaker Walter Hill paid tribute to his longtime collaborator: "If you knew David, you knew he was special. The magic of his personality is hard to describe: funny, angry, extremely knowledgeable, extremely well read. It was my privilege to write and produce with him, and more importantly, to have his close and deep friendship for nearly 50 years.”

Giler became a TV writer at age 19 and wrote the screenplay for the controversial Myra Breckinridge (1970) at 25. That script, in its original draft, earned him praise and a lifetime friendship with Gore Vidal (the Raquel Welch starrer was based on Vidal's story).

Giler also penned the screenplays for The Parallax View (1974), Fun With Dick and Jane (1977), Southern Comfort (1981) and The Money Pit (1986). But it was his association with the Alien franchise that crowned his career.

In 2019, director Ridley Scott recalled to THR how a recommendation from Warren Beatty led to Giler casting the actress who would play Ripley. "Warren Beatty had called up David Giler and said, 'Listen, I’ve seen this young woman off-Broadway called Sigourney Weaver, you should see her.’' I believe that's what happened. Because then the next thing is I'm going to meet Sigourney and in walks somebody who's got to be at least 6-foot-1 and dwarfed me," Scott recounted.

Giler was married to actress Nancy Kwan for a few years until their 1971 divorce.

Buddhist services will be held in Bangkok. He is survived by his sister, Kendall.