H. R. Giger’s The Tourist IX, dubbed the greatest screenplay never made, is one of the only visual relics of a Hollywood epic whose promise for the big screen was interrupted by infighting, rumors of violence, and struggles for power. The present lot is one of a few designs H. R. Giger was contracted to produce for the screenplay The Tourist, written by Clair Noto. Written in the 1980s, The Tourist tells the story of a female alien who goes by the alias ‘Grace Ripley’. Stuck on Earth along with several other extraterrestrial creatures, Grace must face the battle of breaking free from this new environment. By day, Grace morphs into the form of a human and works as a high-powered New York business executive. By night, she joins the ranks of her fellow prisoners – each more abject and supernatural than the last – at a secret club named The Corridor. Though this film was given great praise for its compelling narrative as one of the first films with a female protagonist facing her personal battles on a male-oriented planet, the screenplay never made it to the big screen.
Noto was denied any creative autonomy in her screenplay’s Hollywood execution. Her great potential was disrupted by clashing egos, financial mismanagement, and external rewrites that complicated the script beyond repair. While the script was never released for public consumption, one of the only physical exports of this fraught project is a series of designs produced by H. R. Giger, who was contracted to bring Noto’s words to life following his great success on Alien. The Tourist IX is an excellent example of Noto’s fascination with the idea of a film based on a human being who wasn’t a human being, living a fallacy amongst the everyday civilian. The figure painted is a pseudo-human, insect, bat, and alien. Seductive yet monstrous, delicate yet piercing, she hangs upside down by her legs, her feet more closely resembling human hands. Rare to market, the present lot is a symbol both of Giger’s creative and other-worldly mind and of an epic Hollywood mishandling.
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The sheet undulates slightly and has artist pinholes at the corner tips. Minor frame abrasions are scattered to the extreme edges, not visible when framed. A hairline abrasion is near the upper right corner, and another faint rub is near the right edge at center. Only visible under raking light, a few handling indents and soft creases are scatttered, presumably in keeping with the artist's working method. There is no apparent inpainting under ultraviolet light.