30th Anniversary of “Alien³‎”: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About “Alien³‎”

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1979’s first “Alien” was critically acclaimed, setting a new benchmark not only in horror, but in cinema.

The sequel, “Aliens‎,” has been hailed as one of the greatest sequels and one of the most classic action and sci-fi movies of all time.

At the time “Alien³‎” was seen as the final installment in a trilogy (before the series became a quad), and fans couldn’t wait to see how Ripley’s story would wrap up. Unfortunately, the end result was terrible.

30th Anniversary of "Alien³‎": 10 Things You Didn't Know About "Alien³‎"

“Alien³‎” isn’t the best movie in the series, nor the worst, but it’s definitely the one with the most production problems.

Although the production process of “Jaws” and “Apocalypse Now‎” is notorious, at least it didn’t go through six scripts and ten directors like “Alien³‎”.

With too many decision-making interventions, “Alien³‎” constantly changes protagonists, scenes and settings.

In some scripts, the storyline takes place on a wooden planet inhabited by monks, and even a space station becomes alien.

Due to various bizarre issues in the production process, the behind-the-scenes story of “Alien³‎” has become more intriguing than the film itself.

10,Facehugger’s pregnancy target wasn’t originally a dog

Shortly after “Alien³‎” begins, a Facehugger attacks a criminal’s dog and injects embryos into the dog.

Director David Fincher thought it would be cool to have an alien mongrel, and he wanted the alien to become less human and look “more like a jaguar or a beast.”


However, the original plan was for Facehugger to impregnate a cow.

It wasn’t until halfway through that Fincher felt that if the alien had a smaller, more agile creature feature, it would move more quickly.

It would also be more convenient to shoot, as it was cumbersome to transport the cows around, and the cows were easily intimidated by the constantly changing set.

The temporary change was frustrating to the crew and producers, as the cow production scene was already ready and filming by the time Fincher made the decision.

Sadly, this was just one of many major issues that arose during the filming of “Alien³‎”. In a special cut in 2003, the dog was eventually replaced with a cow.

9,Sigourney Weaver shaved twice for the shoot

In “Alien³‎”, all the criminals are bald, which is explained because of the lice problem. David Fincher likes that all actors have their hair shaved because it makes them look more distinctive.

While some actresses are reluctant to shave their heads, lead actress Sigourney Weaver readily accepts, “as long as I can make more money.”


Interestingly, Weaver doesn’t seem to care as much about cutting his hair compared to other male actors.

Of course, the haircut also had a big impact on Weaver, who had to wear a wig while filming other films and wait for her hair to grow back.

But to make matters worse, after months of growing her hair, she was called back to “Alien³‎” to reshoot some scenes and had to shave her head again!

For this inconvenience, she was paid an additional $300,000.

8,Alien doesn’t use CGI

Even putting aside all the behind-the-scenes chaos in “Alien³‎”, the film itself is still full of problems. The characters aren’t likable, the pace is slow, and the story isn’t particularly engaging.

But “Alien³‎” still has a key problem… Alien doesn’t work. The first two films combined costumes and props to bring the aliens to life. With these simple techniques, the SFX team has created some of the coolest alien creatures in movie history.


Unfortunately, this is not the case with the aliens in “Alien³‎”.

The alien in this movie looks weird, especially when it’s crawling around. Due to the unnatural movement of the aliens, audiences generally believed that the film used CGI technology, and this time the aliens were no longer puppet props.

But not so. “Alien³‎” did not use any CGI techniques on the Alien (until the special cut).

The reason the roaring, cold-blooded animal looks so eerie as it moves is because this time the alien puppet was filmed in front of a blue screen and added to the footage in post.

Glad that the SFX team tried to do something different, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.

7,Meryl Streep is also in the movie

In the opening scene of “Alien³‎”, there is a scene where Ripley has a Facehugger on his face. Although the shot was shot with a fake Sigourney Weaver prosthesis, the actress wasn’t there at the time.


In a panic, the crew had to use another actress’ prosthetic limb.

Fortunately, Meryl Streep was filming the SFX heavy comedy “Death Becomes Her‎” and made a prosthetic model of Streep’s head, so the “Alien³‎” crew borrowed the scene of Facehugger.

Interestingly enough, Meryl Streep was actually one of the leading candidates for “Alien” in 1979, and she ended up appearing in the “Alien” series in a very roundabout way.

6,The alternate script is very clever

One of the biggest problems during the production of “Alien³‎” was that the producers couldn’t find a satisfactory script. If you thought “Alien³‎” was a disappointment, it could have been worse if the filmmakers had adopted Eric Joseph Durdaller’s script.


This version of the storyline takes place on a space station with a mock-up of a small American town inside, with fields, farms and shopping malls. Citizens forget that there is a secret military base at the base of the space station, where scientists are breeding aliens.

Once the aliens break free, it’s up to civilians to save the world. The story ends with the alien somehow merging with the space station, and the townspeople have to face a mechanical alien the size of Godzilla.

Eric Joseph Durdaller later admitted that his script was “a pile of rubbish.” This version won’t be better than the “Alien³‎” we’ve seen, but it will definitely be more fun.

5,Alien was almost played by a dog

In most of the shots, the aliens were presented with prop puppets – but for a while Fincher thought about a very different presentation.

After the alien was born, there was a wide-angle shot showing the newborn crawling around the room.


Because the crew didn’t know how to hide the puppeteer when filming the scene, they figured there was only one way to do it; having the dog in an alien prop costume.

A crew member brought his Whippet to the set, dressed it in an alien costume, and filmed the scene.

Unfortunately, the crew felt that the way Whippet moved made the Alien look comical inadvertently, so they were forced to drop the idea.

Eleven years later, this shot was added to a restored version of “Alien³‎”, but using CGI instead of dogs.

4,David Fincher couldn’t control the film

David Fincher is one of the most talented film directors today. For over 30 years, he has produced an amazing array of works including “The Social Network‎”, “Gone Girl‎” and “Zodiac”, among others.


Although he has directed more than 50 music shorts before becoming the director of “Alien³‎”, he has never directed a single film. In the eyes of the producers, Fincher was a nobody.

With studios losing millions due to delays and miscommunication, producers decided they couldn’t rely on an inexperienced director to save the production and decided to do it themselves.

According to Fincher, they had been interfering with the film, making drastic changes without his consent and keeping him out of the editing room.

When Ridley Gordon Scott Gordon visited the set and learned about what the producers were doing, he told Fincher “that’s not how movies are made.”

Even though the film has been out for 30 years, Fincher still refuses to talk about his experience in “Alien³‎”, saying it was the most humiliating experience of his film career.

3,Charles S. Dutton was a real criminal

When Ripley came to the exile prison on the planet Fiorina, she was met with hostility from many prisoners. Over time, she became close to one of the criminals, Dillon.

Although Dillon was a murderer, he systematically arranged the lives of prisoners and played a key role in eliminating the aliens.


Interestingly, the actor who played Dillon, Charles S. Dutton, was a real criminal. At 16, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for manslaughter. exist

In prison, Dutton got into a fight and was stabbed in the neck. As punishment, he was placed in solitary confinement, where he discovered a book about African-American playwrights, which ignited his passion for acting.

Not surprisingly, Dutton used his time in prison to play a criminal looking for redemption in “Alien.”

2,Sigourney Weaver asked to kill Ripley

The “Alien” franchise helped Sigourney Weaver become one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. After starring in other blockbusters including “Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey‎” and “Ghostbusters,” she no longer wants to be tied to the sci-fi franchise.


When she heard that a crossover version of “AVP: Alien vs. Predator‎” was being considered, she was so reluctant to star in it that she insisted on killing Ripley in “Alien³‎”.

After the character died, Weaver said she wouldn’t be too surprised if the studio could find a way to bring Ripley back to life.

In her own words, “They might find a way to use the DNA in Ripley’s nails to bring her back to life.”

The casual joke turned out to be a prophecy, and the character was soon resurrected in the sequel, “Alien: Resurrection‎”.

Ripley didn’t appear in the “The Predator” movie, though, so at least Weaver was spared.

1,”Alien³” was set on a wooden planet

Vincent Ward’s “Alien³‎” script takes place on a wooden moon called Archeon, where monks live.


The people of this world believe that humanity destroyed the earth with its own technology centuries ago, forcing the survivors to settle in space and vow to give up all technology.

When the escape pod carrying Newt and Ripley crashes into the satellite, they warn people that an alien has killed her companions (including Hicks and Bishop).

The leaders here refused to believe Ripley and imprisoned her. When Ripley learns that her escape pod has brought a Facehugger, she teams up with a monk named Friar John and a robot (the robot is imprisoned for being a technology product).

During the climax, Ripley kills the xenomorph, only to discover that she has a queen’s egg inside her.

Friar John punched her chest, causing the embryo to rush out of her mouth and into his throat. Then he jumped into the fire and annihilated the last of the aliens.

While many people responded positively to the script, Sigourney Weaver didn’t buy it, saying the writers simply didn’t know what to do with her character.

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