ALIEN³ Scripts

Quick Jump : History of the Scripts | Behind the scenes | The Scripts!

ALIEN 3 Script History

All the following writers were at one time attached to script Alien 3. They all turned in their own drafts...[Please refer to the
Alien 3: Background area for more information.]

  • 1. William Gibson -(HAVE!)- In with Giler and Hill. He left due to 'other commitments.'
    2. Eric Red -(HAVE!)- In with Harlin. He was fired by Fox, as they didn't like his script.
    3. David Twohy -(HAVE!)- In with Giler and Hill. He reworked the script; Ward canned him. (1st draft October 1989)
    4. Vincent Ward -- Ward 'hired himself' to make a script; he left the movie after 'Fasano' part 2. (see below)
    5. John Fasano -(HAVE!)- Worked with Ward...until he was released. (1st draft March 29th, 1990)
    6. Greg Press -- Press replaced Fasano, but the producers fired him.
    7. John Fasano (Part 2) -- Fasano was asked for a second draft, and worked alone, but it didn't work out.
    8. Larry Ferguson -- Worked with Fincher on Fasanos draft. Fired, but still got credit on film.
    9. Walter Hill, David Giler -- Re-used Twohy's prison planet, but Fox wasn't happy with it. (December 18, 1990)
    10. Rex Pickett -(HAVE!)- In with Fincher, and edited the current script. Well-received by the studio, but 'politics' with the execs led to his departure after a month of work. (January 5, 1991)
    [Walter Hill and David Giler were brought back on by Fox as "
    Sigourney Weaver had contracted to appear in the film only if they were its writers."(Cinefantastique, 1992)]
    11. Walter Hill, David Giler -(HAVE!)- Revised and Edited the script. (April 10, 1991)

    [The script itself was also continually edited and revised while the movie was shooting. Please refer to the Cut-Scenes section for more detail into the last-minute edits.]

Behind the Scenes...
Alien 3 went though major changes in its narrative life.
After the success of Aliens, there was immediate pre-production on a third Alien movie. One of the first people to pen a new tale was
(1) William Gibson. He has written numerous novels, including the cyberpunk classic 'Neuromancer.' His script called for Ripley, Newt and Hicks to survive the trip to earth, but only it for yourself.

The first draft was rejected, and Gibson declined further involvement due to other commitments.
(2) Eric Red was then brought on board, (who had also written 'Near Dark' starring Paxton, Henriksen and Goldstein) as the current director Renny Harlin, suggested he could write it.

  • "Another major problem was they didn't want Sigourney back, so I had to go through a whole series of new characters"
    Eric Red

Eric Red did write another story, which included the Sulaco and a new commando unit, that gets wiped out when it boards Ripley's ship. The Company and the Military hope to use the Alien for their own advantage. Producers Walter Hill and David Giler disliked the script, and he was ousted. Why was it rejected? Read the script here!

The next man with the plan was (3) David Twohy who rewrote / reworked Gibson's Alien 3 script and set it on a prison planet. While Twohy and Giler both liked the script, with the addition of new director Vincent Ward. Should it have been rejected? Decide for yourself!

So, with that script tossed out, (4) Vincent Ward entered new ideas of his own, such as a wooden planet and monks galore.

(5) John Fasano helped Ward in creating his writing. The first draft was finished in early 1990, and envisioned the religious aspect with Ripley back in charge. Fox liked the script, but Giler had other plans.

Meanwhile, Fasano and Ward were falling out, and when Fasano left production, (6) Gregg Press entered the fray. His plan called for killing off Ripley, and the producers booted him off.

They then asked (7) John Fasano Fasano again for a draft, and this too did not work out.

Vincent ward finally left the film. David Fincher was 28 at the time when he was offered to direct, making Alien 3 his first feature film. (8) Larry Ferguson was worked on Fasano's draft, and while he was soon let go by Fox, his contributions to the story were shown when Fox added his name for the movie story credits.

  • Q : What is the "dreaded" seven-dwarf concept for the _ALIEN^3_ script?
    A : One of the earlier stages of the _ALIEN^3_ script received alot of heat:
    • "...Back in New York, [Walter] Hill saw "The Navigator : An Odyssey Across Time", a stunning but esoteric art film by an obscure New Zealand director named Vincent Ward. But Ward said he didn't like [David] Twohy's script. No problem, said Fox. "So I hopped on an airplane," says Ward, "and during the flight, I had an idea that was totally different: Sigourney would land in a community of monks in outer space and not be accepted by them." The monks would live on a wooden planet that looked like something out of Hieronymus Bosch, with furnaces and windmills -- and no weapons...
      FINCHER : In the draft Larry [Ferguson, Beverly Hills Cop II] was writing, she [Ripley] was going to be this woman who had fallen from the stars. In the end, she dies, and there are seven of the monks left --- seven dwarfs.
      Q : You're kidding?
      FINCHER : Seriously. I swear to God. She was like...what's her name in Peter Pan? She was like Wendy. And she would make up these stories. And in the end, there were these seven dwarfs left, and there was this fucking tube they put her in, and they were waiting for Prince Charming to come wake her up. So that was one of the endings we had for this movie. You can imagine what Joe Roth said when he heard this. "What?! What are they doing over there?! What the fuck is going on?!" ''
      [PREMIERE magazine May 1992]
  • "The kid's a genius, what a mind!"...."He was the most intelligent, most patient, most communicative director I think I have ever worked with."
    Lance Henriksen on David Fincher

(9) Walter Hill, David Giler continued to refine the script, as the monastery was ousted and the prison planet was brought back in....

Fincher introduced (10) Rex Pickett into the mess, and cleaned up the paperwork. Due to differences between himself and the producers, Pickett was canned quickly, but not without adding some scenes to the movie.

(11) Walter Hill, David Giler. Hill and Giler continued to refine the new draft, Alien 3 went into shooting. And, as the stunning introduction to the movie goes....don't rely on a picture to tell the story.

Remember : There have been changes made in the script before (and during) actual shooting.)

[Thanks to the numerous sources where I culled this information from, particularly "Cinefantastique - June 1992" which has several excellent, informative Alien 3 stories.]

Site courtesy of the now-defunct "ALIEN Movies Resource"