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the controversy surrounding "Alien 3"
After reading the multitude of postings as to why people dislike "Alien 3", it would seem that the consensus is simply because the characters of "Hicks" and "Newt" were eliminated fairly quickly. And it seems, also, that most blame the screenwriter(s) for this decision.
The truth is, unfortunately, much more mundane than a writer wanting to take the franchise in a different direction.
In reality, it was nearly seven years between the production of "Aliens" and "Alien 3", there were nine or ten different screenplays and scenarios commissioned and considered; the actress who played "Newt" in "Aliens" had aged and, Michael Biehn ("Hicks" in "Aliens") - an extremely difficult actor to work with in the best of circumstances - wanted an outrageous sum of money to reprise the role (and because the studio used his "likeness" in the theatrical version of "Alien 3", he was actually paid more for this than his actual portrayal of the character in "Aliens"), the studio opted to take the franchise in a different direction.
Now, whether or not this direction was the correct path to take is open to debate - but, at least the original producers (Hill & Giler) were ballsy enough to make a film that was as different as "Aliens" was to "Alien" - and for that fact alone, "Alien 3", especially the "new" cut available on DVD should be respected for what was attempted. Unlike "Aliens", which opted for all-out action, it went back to the womb, so to speak; the flesh-ripping monster in the basement scenario featuring a single alien (pretty bold considering the box office take of the multi-alien "Aliens" follow-up)- and it featured Fincher's debut as a feature-film director composing a beautifully crafted train wreck.
Keep in mind, also, that the (still superior)original film was a fluke. No one actually wanted to make the film, but FOX was damn glad they did when they saw the opening weekend's box office returns. Then, seven years later they make a war film as a sequel - and its returns were HUGE. Now, they don't have a quirky hit on their hands, they have a bona-fied money making FRANCHISE - and come hell or high water, they will protect their investment.
When the decision came down to make a third film (a decision, it should be noted, that was made by the lawyers and accountants that run the Hollywood studio system, and NOT by the actual filmmakers), they wanted a director that would deliver intense visuals (is it any wonder that "Alien 3" is the most graphically violent of the 4 films?), but would yield to the studio's discretion as to how to actually execute and present the film.
Unfortunately (for them; not us), they hired David Fincher to direct a film that had, at best, an incomplete script that was little more than an amalgum of the nine or so screenplays that had been written in the intervening years. And then, when he turned in his cut and asked for time to do much needed reshoots, they balked - and he walked away from the project - and instead, concentrated on making "Se7en".
It's all about finances and making product, people! It has nothing to do with making a "good" film or logical "continuity" with respect to a storyline (refer to "AvP" in case you're not following my line of thought here)!
So, stop already with these silly notions about "Hicks" and "Newt" - and what might've been a "good" follow up to "Aliens". The powers that be in the studios do not think along those lines of progression. More to the point, THEY DON'T CARE (because, idiots that we are, will plunk down our money and see the film anyways - hoping that THEY will do us some justice)!
It's not about "art" or good story telling. It's about money.