Trivia: The name 'Sulaco' was taken from a novel by Joseph Conrad. The name of the novel? 'Nostromo' of course.
Trivia: The woman that plays Vasquez is the same woman that plays John Connor's foster mother in Terminator II. James Cameron, like many directors, likes to use the same actors. Michael Biehn (Hicks) is sent back to save Sarah Connor in Terminator. Vasquez is also in Cameron's Titanic. She is the mother of the two kids in the belly of the ship telling them a bedtime story before they die. She did a pretty good Irish accent then as well. She died in the sequels to Lethal Weapon, Terminator, and Aliens. I see a pattern here.
Trivia: As Ripley is getting out of the atmosphere plant at the end of the film, there's a countdown. If you time it, you find that the plant blows up about a minute and a half ahead of schedule, a pleasant change from the usual direction artistic time works in the movies. [There was a deleted scene from Ripley's solo journey down into the hive where she finds Burke still alive, but knows he's been impregnated and is going to die. After a short conversation, he asks her for a grenade, which Ripley hands her, and as she walks away, Burke pushes the primer on the grenade and kills himself. This could allot for the extra 1-1/2 minutes that was "lost" from the countdown timelimit. The scene was filmed, but not implemented in any release of Aliens, extended or not.]
Trivia: The SFX department made the M-41a Pulse rifle out of a Thompson sub-machine gun with a Franchi-SPAS 12 shotgun stuck underneath, and was put into a fibreglass shell to make it look futuristic. Because they had to cut off the handle and a large portion of the barrel off of the SPAS 12, it could only carry a maximum of 3 shells.
Trivia: Listen closely at the end of the closing credits, there's a interesting little sound effect after the music ends. If you compare it to the rest of the sound track you may recognize it as the sound of an alien egg opening up and releasing a face hugger. Considering the first few images we see in Alien 3 this could help to explain a few things...
Trivia: Oscar to the editor - when they are landing on LV-426, Acheron colony, the time is on the money - when Apone announces "10 seconds people, look sharp" it is ten seconds exactly - the entire time of landing is real time (yes, bored one night I used a stop watch).
Trivia: With the exception of Hicks, who is given a first name in the script, the marines all have the same first initial as the actors who portray them (you can see the initials next to their surnames in the corner of their eye cameras). Note of course that 'Bill' (as in Paxton) is short for William. This includes Ferro, whose first initial is given as C (matching the actress Colette Hiller) - Vasquez appears to call Ferro 'mira' at one point when asking who Ripley is. 'Mira' is Spanish for 'look' - she is simply drawing Ferro's attention to Ripley.
Trivia: Walter Hill and David Giler's initial story outline given to Cameron as a rough basis to write the script from was written in an amusingly casual and irreverent style, at one point jokingly referring to the space jockey from the first film as "the dental patient." Cameron recalls of their treatment, "I'll never forget this - the outline concluded with the sentence; 'And then some other bullshit happens.'"
Trivia: Michael Biehn wasn't the original choice for corporal Hicks. James Remar was originally cast, and he had already started filming. He was fired over an incident involving drugs. Biehn was then offered the part and flew over to London straight away. Most of the scenes Remar had already filmed were reshot, but him as Hicks coming into the Hive with the rest of the Marines remains. That featured visual effects which couldn't be re-done, so shots of Remar's face were edited out.
Trivia: James Cameron had a great deal of trouble with primarily British crew at Pinewood studios who worked on the film. Several crew members had worked on the original Ridley Scott film and resented that another director (especially a younger, foreign director) was handling the sequel. Other crew members had issues with Cameron's age, as he was significantly younger than the bulk of the crew, especially as at that time, crews in the UK were accustomed to directors being hired based on age and experience instead of talent. Cameron also had his own issues with the crew, especially as the day was often interrupted for long stretches by union-mandated tea-times. All of this came to a boil when Cameron was forced to fire several people, including the original cinematographer and first assistant director, as they flat-out refused to listen to him and wasted days doing shoddy work that didn't meet his vision. The rest of the crew walked off set out of protest. Cameron and the crew eventually held a multi-hour summit meeting and had to make several compromises in order to get the crew to cooperate.
Trivia: Reportedly, after filming was completed at Pinewood Studios, James Cameron accosted the crew, who had mistreated him throughout production. He told them (among other things): "the one thing that kept me going, through it all, was the certain knowledge that one day I would drive out the gate of Pinewood and never come back, and that you sorry bastards would still be here." True to his word, as of 2017, Cameron has never shot another film at Pinewood and still refuses to work there.
Trivia: Sigourney Weaver was not that keen to be in the sequel to Alien, so she demanded an exceptionally high fee considering her fairly low status as a movie actress at the time and also a percentage of the box office takings. The producers were going to drop her and go ahead without her but James Cameron insisted that she was fundamental to the film and so her fee was accepted and paid.
Trivia: Early marketing research ahead of the film's release showed that a significant number of people mistook 'Aliens' for the original movie 'Alien.' To address this, the studio made sure commercials referred to the film as "Aliens: the new movie" and gave the film a logo visually distinct from the one for 'Alien.' To this day, 'Alien' and 'Aliens' are treated almost as separate brands; merchandise and tie-in media tend to evoke one or the other, rarely both.