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Alien³ (1992) Poster

(1992)

Trivia

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At one point, David Fincher was denied permission by the film's producers to shoot a crucial scene in the prison understructure between Ripley and the alien. Against orders, Fincher grabbed Sigourney Weaver, a camera and shot the scene anyway. This scene appears in the final cut.
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Original Alien (1979) Director Ridley Scott turned down the chance to direct. Scott, and later Renny Harlin both thought the third film should explore the origin of the Xenomorph species. This concept was deemed too expensive by David Giler and Walter Hill, since most special effects work at the time still had to be done practically instead of by computer-generated images, so Scott declined to return and Harlin later quit the film. Scott ultimately got his wish with the movie Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017).
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$7 million had been spent on sets that were never used thanks to the ever-changing script before filming had even started.
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First-time director David Fincher disowned the film, stating in 2009 that "to this day, no one hates it more than me". He cited constant studio interference, and actually walked out of production when the studio rejected his initial cut and ordered extensive re-shoots. He was not involved in final editing, but his rough cut later became the basis for the 'Assembly Cut', a longer version of the movie released on DVD in 2003, and on Blu-ray in 2010. Although Fincher considered working on this Assembly Cut, he eventually decided against it, but gave supervising producer Charles de Lauzirika his blessing, as long as it was not called a 'Director's cut'. With regards to the new version itself, he stated that he has no comments on it, as he has never seen it.
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Michael Biehn stated in an interview that he was deeply hurt that the film opened with his character from Aliens (1986), Corporal Dwayne Hicks, being killed off, after escaping with Ripley, Newt and Bishop at the end of the previous film, and did not understand why Hicks had to die. He therefore refused the studio permission to use a dummy of a corpse in his likeness, but allowed them the use of his photograph.
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Off-duty, Sigourney Weaver had to wear a wig as her then two-year-old daughter Charlotte didn't like to see her mother bald.
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(at around 10 mins) Dr. Clemens' line about Fury-161 being one of 'Weyland-Yutani's backwater prison planets.' was the first time the name Weyland-Yutani was spoken out loud. It had appeared on computer screens and props in the previous two films, Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986), but characters always referred to it as 'The Company' in dialogue.
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With the release of the definitive Alien Quadrilogy on DVD in 2004, 20th Century Fox proffered David Fincher the proverbial olive branch and asked him to assemble and comment on his own Director's Cut. Fincher declined. He was the only one of the four Alien directors to refuse to have anything to do with the project, stating that all the creative differences and studio interference he had to endure during production made the project stray too far from his preferred vision. As such, even with additional material, there would never be a version he could call a "Director's cut". Due to this, the extended version of Alien 3 was made without his involvement, but since it was based on an earlier workprint which he himself had help assemble, it was dubbed the "Assembly Cut".
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The film spent over a year in editing.
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When David Fincher asked Sigourney Weaver how she felt about going bald for the role, she jokingly replied "Its fine with me only as long as I get more money!"
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Much more of the autopsy scene was filmed than ended up in the final film. A rough cut of the scene originally contained so much gore, that it even made crew members who had worked on it sick to their stomach.
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One possible idea for the film included a chestburster coming out of Michael Biehn's character, Hicks. This was later abandoned in favor of having his character die after being impaled by a metal beam. A replica of the actor with his chest torn open (due to the impalement) was created, but after Biehn discovered this (erroneously thinking it was from a chestburster wound), he threatened to sue the producers for using his likeness without his consent, so a non-identifiable replica was used. Later, the producers paid him to use his picture at the beginning of the film for the computer sequence. Apparently he received more money for use of this one image than for his role in Aliens (1986). Biehn later stated that, had he any idea the kind of career David Fincher would have, he might have been more accommodating, in the hopes of getting a chance to work with him on a subsequent project.
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William Gibson wrote a very early script treatment for the film, which was initially intended as a two-parter to be shot back-to-back. As Sigourney Weaver's involvement was in question, the main focus of this script was between Hicks and Bishop, two characters from Aliens (1986). Many consider this to be a much superior script. The only carry-over from this original script, however, is the bar-codes on the back of the convicts' necks.
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Sigourney Weaver had a clause in her contract specifying that Walter Hill and David Giler would write the final shooting script. Weaver has said that she considers Ripley a very difficult character to write, and, with the exception of James Cameron, only Giler and Hill have really ever written the character correctly.
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Lance Henriksen only agreed to reprise his role as Bishop as a personal favor to Walter Hill. To this day, Henriksen has said he dislikes the film for its nihilistic themes.
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The crane that lifts the crashed EEV out of the water to dry land is a miniature built using the cannibalized parts from a Star Wars X-Wing fighter model kit.
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The original budget was $45 million which included Sigourney Weaver's fee of $5.5 million. The budget soon spiraled however, with first Renny Harlin and then Vincent Ward both leaving the project before novice feature film director David Fincher came on board. Extensive last minute re-shoots - especially after the finale was deemed to be too similar to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - ultimately pushed the budget into the region of $65 million.
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Although the Alien that hatched from the dog was a rod puppet, early filmed tests used an actual dog in an alien costume. However, the special effects team thought the dog's movements made the Alien look rather comical, so the idea was scrapped in favor of the puppet.
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Charles S. Dutton is a real life former convict who cleaned himself up before getting into acting.
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The creature that the Alien impregnates was originally an ox, but this was eventually changed to a Rottweiler dog during a studio-mandated re-shoot, because an ox was cumbersome and was seen as somewhat incongruous when placed in the film's environment. This sequence was later restored for the extended "Assembly Cut", where all the scenes featuring the dog were removed. However, in the BluRay edition of this version, prisoner Murphy (Christopher Fairbank) can still be heard calling for the dog in one scene.
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(at around 50 mins) The same "dipping bird" appears on the warden's desk as was seen in the original Alien (1979).
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The film's production process was so chaotic and its reception by fans and critics so unfavorable that it nearly ended David Fincher's career before he ever had a chance to gain momentum as a director. But two things ended up saving Fincher from permanent Movie Jail. The first thing was that Sigourney Weaver publicly (and often angrily) sided with Fincher against 20th Century Fox, telling journalists that the studio had made decisions that resulted in an impossible situation for the young director, and that he would have an excellent career if given further chances. The other thing was that producer Arnold Kopelson knew and didn't respect the management at Fox, and that was part of the process where he ultimately offered Fincher a new project a few years later; that project was Se7en (1995), and its 1995 massive success re-ignited Fincher's career, making him one of the most respected directors of his time.
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One early draft of the script focused almost entirely on Hicks, Bishop and Newt, played in Aliens (1986) by Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen and Carrie Henn respectively. The story would tie up loose ends from the preceding film with Newt returning to Earth to live with her grandparents, as well as Hicks and Bishop and a new team of Colonial Marines battling a rival faction of planets who use the Alien as a bio-weapon. The latter was used somewhat in Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013)
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David Twohy contributed to the pile of abandoned scripts the movie's pre-production generated. In his version, the only returning character is Ripley, who only briefly appears on a file card. As in previous scripts the story involves experiments in genetically-engineering aliens as bioweapons. This script introduced a high-security prison facility in space and its morally ambiguous inmates (one of which is an escape artist), themes which made it into both the finished product, and Twohy's own Pitch Black (2000).
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Cinematographer Alex Thomson replaced Jordan Cronenweth after only two weeks of filming, after he began to suffer the onset of Parkinson's Disease. Though Cronenweth insisted that he was well enough to make it until the end of production, and David Fincher supported him, line producer Ezra Swerdlow forced Cronenweth off the film, largely because he had lost his own father to the same illness several years previously and knew that if anything, the demanding schedule would likely take a fatal toll on Cronenweth's health. Cronenweth received a special "Thank you" in the end credits.
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On the set at Pinewood Studios, a giant lead foundry took 12 weeks to construct and put the production way behind. Even with 6 day weeks and 14 hour days, the crew were unable to keep up with the schedule.
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When the powers-that-be decided on a new ending to be shot, Elliot Goldenthal had one night to come up with a new score.
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The damages inflicted on Bishop were too severe to have Lance Henriksen work a prosthetic head while hiding under a table/chair/platform, so the filmmakers ended up having the android being played by... an android. A mechanical copy of Henriksen's likeness was used in this movie for the portrayal of the Sulaco-Bishop.
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The miniature of the coastline, seen when the EEV is plummeting towards the planet, was given a sickly green hue, to suggest that the area was polluted from decades of industrial spilling.
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Some of H.R. Giger's design for the film involved a puma-like alien with claws. The producers also instructed him to do more sexy designs, so he created a drawing of an alien, which, in close view, had the lips of a woman. One of his ideas involved the alien kissing the victims and killing them that way (an idea that was later used in the movie Species (1995) for another Giger creation).
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This film is believed to be set just days or weeks after the events in Aliens (1986), in 2179.
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David Twohy, Vincent Ward, John Fasano, Renny Harlin, David Fincher, Larry Ferguson, David Giler and Walter Hill all attempted to claim credit for the screenplay during the arbitration process. Four more writers could have claimed credit but chose not to; William Gibson and Eric Red saw no point in doing so, since the film had changed substantially from their early drafts; Greg Pruss was talked out of claiming credit in exchange for guaranteed work elsewhere; and Rex Pickett, despite having written a substantial amount of the shooting script, declined to seek credit due to how unpleasant his experience of working on the film had been.
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The production of the 2003 'Alien Quadrilogy' DVD box set enabled the makers of the Alien films to create a Director's Cut of their original movie. Producer Charles de Lauzirika contacted Alien³ director David Fincher with the offer, but he declined, so de Lauzirika supervised the new cut himself, guided by Fincher's original production notes and shooting scripts that were available. However, he and his team encountered some difficulties with the restoration of scenes. In one instance, a scene of the infant Alien puppet running away from the abattoir still had crew members in the shot, but these could be digitally erased. In many other scenes, only the original production sound was available. The dialogue was often of poor quality, as it was recorded on set with considerable background noise. Unfortunately, the team did not have the time and budget for a re-recording of the original dialogue (which would have required the participation of several actors), so the problem was solved by inserting subtitles in places where the dialogue was difficult to hear. For the 2010 'Alien Anthology' HD BluRay box set, the original cast members were brought in for additional dialogue recording, making the soundtrack on par with the original theatrical version.
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Alien 3 marks the first time a chestburster appears almost fully formed, instead of the pupa appearance of the previous installments. The chestburster looked like a scaled down version of the adult. This would later be seen in Prometheus (2012), where "The Deacon" was born already fully formed, and Alien: Covenant (2017), which had a miniature Alien with a complete set of limbs.
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The first film in the franchise where they show the alien (xenomorph) eating their victims.
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One of the main causes of the movie's troubled production (including script re-writes, crew replacements, excessive re-shoots and a budget that increased from 45 million to 65 million dollar) was the fact that 20th Century Fox was in need of a commercial success. Alien³ was green-lit by the studio because it was considered to be a sure hit, but a release date had already been set before a screenplay or even a story outline was written. Director David Fincher later said that this lack of direction in the story was the source of much creative disagreements and productional difficulties, while he was trying to deliver the best possible film in time; however, the studio wasn't particularly concerned with quality, as long as the movie was released and made money. Fincher also commented that his inexperience made things worse, since this was his directorial debut and he did not have a successful film to back up his opinion, giving the studio ample reason to ignore his input. Alien³ was eventually released to a disappointing domestic box office, but did much better financially in Europe and Asia, making this an early example of a Hollywood movie that made most of its revenue outside of the United States.
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To create a convincing corpse of the character of Newt, the filmmakers created life size mannequins using the molds of Carrie Henn from Aliens (1986).
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Writer/Producer David Giler has stated he regrets writing this movie, as it eroded his authority as producer. Giler only committed to writing the film upon demands from Sigourney Weaver who, after Vincent Ward's departure, would only sign on to the film if Giler and Walter Hill would pen the screenplay. Giler claims this later generated conflicts between himself, director David Fincher and Fox Studios executives, with Fox taking Fincher's side over Giler's. After one particularly heated disagreement, Giler walked off the set, leaving his duties to producer John Landau.
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David Fincher (depending on which source you believe) either spent a year attempting to edit the film, or was locked out of the editing suite altogether by the studio. The reshoots reportedly pushed the budget to $65 million, and were done in Los Angeles with almost an entirely-new crew. This was reportedly the last straw for Fincher, who walked away for good at the end of the reshoots.
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In wide shots, most of the refinery is actually made of cardboard.
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Initially Renny Harlin was attached as director, but left to direct Die Hard 2 (1990). Then Vincent Ward came on board, but only lasted a few months before being fired after several disagreements with the producers. The scriptwriter, Walter Hill, was considered to direct the film as well, but he stepped back after David Fincher became available.
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Walter Hill and David Giler (the latter of whom referred to David Fincher as a "shoe salesman" during a conference call with the studio) fought with Fincher for 2 months over the script, and he complained about their budgetary restrictions. They and screenwriter Rex Pickett (who was also hired to rewrite the second half of the duo's script) in turn abandoned Fincher, and left him to finish the script himself. Fincher would end up rewriting lines and entire scenes on-the-fly during production, while trying to keep Fox (who were requesting daily updates from the set) at bay.
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There are screenplay treatments by Eric Red, David Twohy, John Fasano and Rex Pickett all freely available on the Internet.
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Costume Designer Bob Ringwood walked off the film early in production after finding Director David Fincher difficult and unpleasant to work with.
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To create some of the wet sounds that accompany the alien, the soundmen went to Asian markets and bought animal heads and stomach linings.
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The Alien Quadrilogy DVD boxset has pre-feature introductions by the directors of their respective contributions to the franchise for the Special Editions except David Fincher. The film famously went through a difficult production which included severe script issues, being massively over budget, re-shoots not to mention the lack of creative control given to Fincher, so he declined to be involved in any way. Fincher is also missing from the 'director's commentary track' on the Alien³ feature, with several cast and crew members filling his place and acknowledging Fincher's difficulties.
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Richard E. Grant turned down the role of Clemens. Director David Fincher offered him the role as he was a huge fan of Withnail & I (1987) and wanted to reunite Grant with co-stars Paul McGann and Ralph Brown.
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Multiple proposed scripts caused misleading advertising which implied that the movie would be set on Earth. William Gibson also drafted a script in which Ripley spent most of the film in a coma.
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A series of Aliens comic books were published that were set after the events in Aliens (1986), featuring an adult Newt returning to space with a shell-shocked Hicks to stop the retrieval of an alien specimen by Weyland-Yutani corporation. The books were re-published to accommodate Alien³ (1992), with Newt re-named Billy.
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Novelist Alan Dean Foster who wrote the novelization of the film objected to the storyline, most specifically, the deaths of Newt and Hicks. His initial draft of the novel had Newt survive but the studio rejected this, forcing Foster to keep his adaptation consistent with the film. For this reason, the author declined to write any other adaptation of the franchise.
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There was some question over whether the character of Ripley should actually feature in this film until the then president of 20th Century Fox, Joe Roth, insisted otherwise.
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The Rottweiler (from which the alien emerges) had to have part of his face shaved to indicate where the facehugger had gripped onto him.
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David Fincher wanted the alien to be, "more of a puma, or a beast" as opposed to the upright, humanoid posture of the previous films, so H.R. Giger was contacted to generate new sketch ideas. His revisions included longer, thinner legs, the removal of "pipes" around the spine, and an idea for a sharp alien "tongue" in place of the secondary jaws. Working from his studio in Zurich, Giger produced these new sketches which he faxed to Cornelius Defries who then created their model counterparts out of plasticine. The only one of Giger's designs that wound up in the final project was a "Bambi Burster" Alien that had long legs and walked on all fours.
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(at around 7 mins) A cross is briefly seen on the planet surface to suggest the religion that some of the inmates have turned to. The model department held a competition to see who could design the best one. Four different models were created, and then David Fincher chose the version he liked best.
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After the first draft was complete (in which the Alien attacks a monastery), construction work began on the sets. The construction shut down, leaving the crew in limbo, as the script was reworked. Although the location was changed to a prison, it was decided that they would use the already half-built monastery sets, and the characters would be converted inmates.
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A cast of Meryl Streep's face was used in a 3D model on a monitor showing the scan of the facehugger on Ripley, as a face cast of Sigourney Weaver had not been made at the time. Coincidentally, Streep was one of the final actresses considered for the role of Ripley in Alien (1979) before Weaver got the part.
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The production effectively shut down for three months while the script was undergoing rewrites.
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Hoping to give the destroyed Bishop a more complex look that could not be done by simple make-up, the final product was done entirely through animatronics, while a playback of Lance Henriksen's voice played to guide Sigourney Weaver.
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The famous tagline of the original Alien (1979) was "In space, no one can hear you scream." When this movie, in planning stages, was to be set on Earth, a proposed tagline was "On Earth, everyone can hear you scream."
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This is the only film in the Alien franchise that is actually a "numbered" sequel. Even so, the number in the title isn't an normal integer, but in superscript, which technically means 'to the third power'.
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The line about a sane man appearing insane in an insane World refers to an observation by Victor Frankl, a psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz, in his book "Man's search for meaning".
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Hungarian title translates as "Alien: Final Solution: Death."
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This is the only film in the Alien Quadrilogy that does not feature an android character unique to that film. The only android that appears is Bishop (in a severely damaged state), and he had previously appeared in Aliens (1986) prior to this.
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The film takes place in 2179.
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Director of photography Alex Thomson replaced Jordan Cronenweth two weeks into shooting. Cronenweth was suffering from Parkinson's disease which started to affect his work, despite being assisted by his son Jeff Cronenweth. He died of it in 1996.
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Vincent Ward wrote a script where Ripley crashlands on a "wooden planet" filled with monks. At this point in production, 1/5 of the planned budget had already been spent, and Fox told Ward to rein in his plans (even prompting then-CEO Joe Roth to state "What the fuck is going on?" after hearing about Ward's plan to have Ripley be placed in a cryotube by "seven dwarves" in the finale). After butting heads with executives, Ward left the project.
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In the original drafts of the script there was no Ripley.
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Early versions of the script and design featured a giant rustic monastery. Also, the alien itself would not be appearing.
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Including the extended and director's cuts of each movie in the series, as well as Ridley Scott's latest Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, this is the only Alien film not to feature victims being cocooned.
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The score was recorded during the Los Angeles riots of 1992, which Elliot Goldenthal later claimed contributed to the score's disturbing nature.
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When David Fincher was brought on as director, a major set had already been constructed (a monastery set built before the setting was changed to a prison - but still kept, as a church inside the facility), the budget was running behind, the script was still incomplete and roles still hadn't been cast.
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Vincent Ward used his pay off from this film to finance his next, Map of the Human Heart (1992).
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Gabriel Byrne was offered the role of Clemens.
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Ripley doesn't handle a weapon in the film. This is because Sigourney Weaver is an advocate for gun control, and thought that the previous movie (Aliens (1986)) had already seen more than enough action involving firearms.
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During some test screenings, many people had to leave the theatre and go to the bathroom due to loud and low frequencies in the sound effects and music.
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Stan Winston was asked to work on this film, but was unavailable. Instead recommended Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis, two former workers of his studio who had just started their own company, Amalgamated Dynamics.
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It is never explicitly stated what became of the Sulaco after the EEV was ejected from it. Most fans assume that the fire aboard raged on to the point where the ship got critically damaged and exploded. In the original script, the Sulaco ejected numerous EEV units after the fire on the ship. The decompression of the EEV's escaping the craft would have caused a massive explosion, destroying several of the escape pods and scattering the rest in different directions. This is how Ripley's EEV would have been knocked into the gravity of Fury 161 rather than escaping to safe space. The concept was scaled back for budget reasons, though the sequence does appear in the film novelization. Yet another scenario is provided by the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines - Stasis Interrupted (2013): shortly after the events of Aliens (1986), the Sulaco is intercepted by a Company ship called the USS Legato, which carries captured colonists from other planets for the purpose of using them in Xenomorph experimentation. The Legato docks with the Sulaco, but a few Legato colonists manage to escape to the Sulaco's hibernation bay. There a fight ensues between these colonists and several Company soldiers, during which a stray bullet pierces Ripley's pod and grazes the facehugger attached to her face. Its acidic blood spills, causing the fire that leads to the pods being ejected via an escape pod. The fire then supposedly dies out or is put out, and the Sulaco is redirected back to LV-426 for further experimentation, where it is finally found by colonial marines from the USS Sephora, who are on a mission to find out what happened to the Sulaco. Both the Sephora and the Sulaco are finally destroyed during a battle between these marines and Company soldiers. The game was originally considered to be canon by 20th Century Fox, but following the negative reception by fans, this status was more or less revoked.
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Prior to release of the "Assembly Cut," another version of the film circulated among fans taken from a VHS workprint. This version uses elements of both the Assembly and theatrical versions, incorporating footage from the first round of reshoots. Based on statements from David Fincher, he completed this edit prior to his quitting the film and it features changes instituted by Fincher himself, such as changing the facehugger host to a dog. It's also the last known cut of the film that Fincher oversaw, making it the closest to a true director's cut than any other incarnation of the film. As such, fans still pass around a digital copy on the internet. (See also: Alternate Versions for a full outline of changes)
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In the film, it is never particularly clear what Boggs, Rains and Golic are doing when they are attacked by the Runner, although it is suggested they are mapping and measuring an abandoned part of the facility. In the shooting script and novelization, however, it is explained they are exploring and foraging for overlooked provisions, left behind when the facility was shut down. In the longer Assembly Cut version of the film, Golic can indeed be seen retrieving packs of cigarettes from an old vending machine.
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John Fasano, who had wrote ten drafts with Vincent Ward when Ward was attached as the director with his wood planet concept, regretted quitting the film after he discovered that his friend Larry Ferguson had been hired behind his back to rewrite the script for Alien³ (1992) while he was still writing his latest draft. Had he stayed on, he would have got a screenplay credit and not Ferguson. But because he left and Ferguson was the first writer to work with David Fincher, the Writers Guild considered that the film started with him, even though he was working off a script that Fasano wrote. Fasano didn't get any credit on the movie, even though 60-70% of the narrative was his.
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In the final draft of the script, prisoner Murphy (Christopher Fairbank) sings 'Paint It Black' by The Rolling Stones as he is scrubbing the air ducts. In the film, this was changed to 'In the year 2525' by Zager & Evans.
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At one point, Fox sent in a troubleshooter to deal with the spiralling costs.
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(at around 1h 6 mins) This is the first time Slow Motion cameras were used intentionally in an Alien movie, seen when explosives are being set, and one falls. The use of the cameras, which were primitive at the time, resulted in a squashed and blurred image, and stands out against the normal speed recordings. The technique was then later used briefly in the spin off, Prometheus (2012).
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According to director David Fincher, Ridley Scott, who directed the original Alien (1979), visited the set during filming. Fincher said that he admitted to Scott that production wasn't going smoothly; Scott in turn exchanged his own negative experiences with working on such big, special effects-driven movies (presumably Blade Runner (1982) which had its fair share of production problems).
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Because of the breakneck pace of the reshoots, composer Elliot Goldenthal only had a single night to create a new piece of music for the reshot finale.
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H.R. Giger - the original designer for the first Xenomorph - was shafted in favour of Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis' designs. This didn't stop Giger from faxing his designs to his client, David Fincher, after he withdrew from the project.
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The crew were pushed to make the movements of the Alien as quick as possible to the point where they were barely in control, and this led to, according to Richard Edlund, "the occasional serendipitous action that made the alien have a character." The ease of this setup allowed the crew to film 60-70 takes of a single scene.
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Clemens' addiction to morphine shares similarities with Kane from Alien, who was also ruined professionally by an addiction to medication as part of his backstory. Dr. Kuhlman from Alien: Isolation would later share a similar medical addiction.
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Although credited for the screenplay, Larry Ferguson didn't even finish his script for Alien³ (1992), he was fired early on when David Fincher was brought on as director. Ferguson's script was considered so bad that Walter Hill and David Giler took it upon themselves to write the final script.

In an interview with PREMIERE magazine in May 1992, Fincher spoke about Ferguson's draft, saying that it shared similarities to the fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the story of Peter Pan. Ripley was going to be a woman who fell from the stars and lands on a planet full of monks. She would tell the monks stories like Wendy from Peter Pan. In the end, she dies, and there are seven of the monks left, symbolizing the seven dwarfs. They put her in a tube, and wait for Prince Charming to come wake her up.

When producer Joe Roth heard about this draft, he was furious and Ferguson was fired.
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After being informed by the executives that he had to include as many of the creative ideas the producers asked for, David Fincher rushed into production to make up for lost time. The studio was so adamant to limit further costs and keep the film on track that many cast and crew members joked that there were often more producers and executives on the set than actors.
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The opening scene was shot on a beach at Dawdon, an old pit community in County Durham, England - previously used for a chase sequence in Get Carter (1971).
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(at around 37 mins) The tea glass that prison superintendent Andrews is sipping on is part of the BODUM series, a tableware manufactured in Denmark.
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Apart from giving an occasional comment or order, doctor Clemens (Charles Dance) only engages in full conversations with either Andrews (Brian Glover), Aaron (Ralph Brown) or Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) during the entire movie.
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Although David Fincher made it generally clear that the making of this movie was a horrible experience and he was unhappy with it, he was a bit milder about the whole process in a 1993 interview printed in Imagi-Movies Magazine. Although he still blamed the studio for excessively interfering and giving him too little time for preparation, he admitted that "20th Century Fox [...] want[ed] to make a really fine film and they spent a lot of money trying to make it as good as it could possibly be. [...] "Looking at it in the role of communicator, obviously in a lot of cases I didn't get my ideas across. I'm taking that rap but I'm so happy with the monsters and the [special effects] and the look of the film and the performances and what people were able to do with whatever minimal prep they had. I'm very happy with that so I don't want to seem ungrateful. I'm not embarrassed by the film. If we failed to do one thing it was to take people out of their everyday life. [...] We failed to give people the broad, safe entertainment that, in the United States at least, they seem to want. [...] If we had just gone out and done a shoot 'em up, we would have cheapened the thing in the long run. Instead we did something weird and f***ed up out there. I just think in terms of the world box office, we may have chosen wrong."
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When Vincent Ward and John Fasano were hired, David Twohy had been writing an Alien 3 script for Renny Harlin. When Harlin left at first Twohy thought he was going to get to direct his script. When he found out that they had hired Fasano, he was told it was for Alien 4 and that they just wanted to have a script ready for the next movie. Fasano felt that it was a requirement to call up a writer when rewriting their script. So he met Twohy at his house and when he told him that he wasn't writing Alien 4 but that he was writing Alien 3, Twohy threw a hissy fit. They were lying to him, and when Twohy called them, they then told him ''OK, we'll make yours Alien 4.''. Twohy contacted Walter Hill to verify if this was true and Hill told him that it wasn't, there was no Alien 4 planned. Twohy quickly finished his draft, took the money, and left.
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Despite being considered a box office dud in North America, Alien³ (1992) is still the second highest grossing film in the franchise.
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Paul McGann went on to play the title character in Doctor Who (1996). He returned to the role years later to be regenerated into the War Doctor, played by John Hurt. Hurt gave birth to the first creature in Alien (1979).
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Walter Hill and David Giler were brought onboard by the studio to give input, and it was deemed that the film had many issues that required significant reshoots (including a finale that was deemed too similar to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)), and a pivotal sequence that had to be filmed (the death of the xenomorph!).
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Charles Dance, Clive Mantle and Deobia Oparei appeared on HBO's Game of Thrones (2011), though none of them share any scenes together.
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The so-called "On Earth" promotional teaser trailer for the movie was released before the final script was approved and the original idea that the movie should be set on Earth was still on the table.
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As originally scripted and filmed. Fury 161 was originally a prison converted into a toxic waste disposal facility. The remaining inmates used lead to seal the waste into containment units. This was changed late in production, even after several rough cuts of the movie screened, presumably for clarity's sake.
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The prisoners keep referring to the Alien as "The Beast". This most likely refers to the Book of Revelation from the Bible, where two Beasts come to Earth and force the religious population to renounce their faith, and worship them instead. The Beasts and all their supporters are finally defeated by Christ and his army of faithful supporters. The Beasts are perhaps best known for being associated with 'the number of the Beast' (666), which is also the number traditionally associated with the Antichrist.
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The cinematic directorial debut of David Fincher, which he has all but disowned due to near-constant studio interference.
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Trailer narrated by Percy Rodrigues.
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David Fincher and Danny Webb have both worked with Emile Hirsch on Lords of Dogtown (2005) & Never Grow Old (2019) respectivly.
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Ralph Brown (Aaron) and Charles Dance (Dr. Clemens) were reunited in The Contractor (2007).
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A script draft written by Larry Ferguson didn't meet with Sigourney Weaver's approval who felt her character was presented as "a pissed-off gym teacher".
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The 28th biggest grossing film of 1992.
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In Aliens, Bishop quotes the Asimovian First Law of Robotics. In Alien³, when he tells Ripley to disconnect him because he could be repaired, but would never be top of the line again, he is actually in violation of the Third Law, A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
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The first in the series where Ripley does not scream at an electronic to go faster or stop.
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In his video review for the movie, Roger Ebert (who had praised both Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986)) gave the movie a "thumbs down" negative review. He criticized it for being dark, depressing, grungy and lacking in high-tension action, especially targeting the repetitious and drawn-out chase scenes near the end. However, he had nothing but praise for the film's bleak futuristic art direction, calling it "the least exciting, but in some ways, the most interesting movie [in the franchise]", and "the best-looking bad movie I have seen in a while".
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Director David Fincher later stated that the constant studio interference made the film stray so far from his vision, that the only way to make a 'director's cut' would be to burn the entire negative, and start over. He also admitted that when the 1992 L.A. riots started to get close to the lab where the film's negatives had been developed and stored, he hoped that the entire building would burn to the ground, and the film with it.
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The third of four Alien movies starring Sigourney Weaver.
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Starting with this film, there was been two Alien movies every decade up. This includes Alien3 (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997), moving on to AVP (2004) and AVP: Requiem (2008), and ending with Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). That also means within every decade, the year of release ended with either 2 or 7 (with the exception of AVP).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The final shooting script, the novelization and the comics adaptation confirm that Newt was the first one to be facehugged. This is merely hinted at during the opening credits (and later by the burn on her tube), since the facehugger attacks and cracks Newt's cryotube. When the scanner shows the facehugger attached to a person, Ripley is shown in a seizure state but she is clearly in her intact tube. After the EEV crashlanded, Newt drowned. She was sadly conscious and cried for help. After she died, the alien embryo crawled out of her mouth and proceeded to Ripley's tube since it requires a living host to grow properly. It opened Ripley's mouth and forced itself into her throat (explaining why it is sore when she wakes up). Although the scenes were storyboarded, they were never filmed because the effect of the creature switching hosts could not be portrayed realistically. The Theatrical Cut adds more confusion to the backstory since the inmates discover Ripley perfectly clean in her tube, meaning that her capsule was never violated. The Extended Cut, however, shows Clemens discovering a half-drowned Ripley on the shore, covered in dirt and lice, meaning that she was already out of her cryotube. This also accounts for the continuity error in the theatrical cut since Ripley is spotless in the EEV but she is dirty when Clemens carries her in the infirmary. However, in Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013) (expansion "Stasis Interrupted") it is explained that the Facehugger actually attacks Ripley's cryotube and latches onto her face.
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An advanced type of facehugger, one that impregnates Ripley with a queen embryo, was designed and built, but was cut from the Theatrical Version. It does however make a brief appearance in the extended Assembly Cut, in the scene where two inmates are discussing the dead ox.
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(at around 1h 22 mins) Near the end, Dillon sarcastically calls Morse (Danny Webb) 'the guy who made a deal with God to live forever'. Morse is indeed the only prisoner to survive at the end.
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The early scenes in the shooting script explain why Ripley has a sore throat and coughs continually during the film; the alien embryo had forced itself into her larynx violently.
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Because of continuing troubles with the film, Fox halted production in Pinewood Studios in England in late 1991. The crew returned to LA, and an initial screening identified the missing parts of the film. A major part yet to be shot included killing the alien in the lead pool. By the time of the new shots in LA, Sigourney Weaver's hair grew back, and she had an agreement with the producers that if she would have to cut her hair she would be paid a $40,000 bonus. The producers therefore hired Greg Cannom to create a bald cap with very short hair on it. The make-up process cost $16,000 and was very difficult and time-consuming because the hairline required the cap to be placed very precisely on Weaver's head.
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Special Effects company Amalgamated Dynamics built a special puppet of the queen alien for a sequence cut from the film. Originally, the queen alien was supposed to gestate in Newt until the EEV crash, when it would swim out through the mouth of Newt's dead body and embed itself in Ripley. This accounts for the confusing sequence at the film's opening when the facehugger is seen attacking Newt's cryotube, not Ripley's, which only cracks during the actual ejection sequence. Though not in the final film, this scene does appear in the comic book adaptation.
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Rex Pickett wrote the draft before David Giler and Walter Hill turned in their final shooting script. Pickett's screenplay keeps the former prisoners more faithful to their convictions since they never curse or use bad language. When Ripley conducts a cat scan, Pickett clarifies that the larva is a distinctively visible queen because there are tiny white spots which are the future eggs. This explains how Ripley knew that she was carrying a queen embryo. The Company also knew this vital information since the cat scanner data are transferred to their mainframe.
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The alien in this movie differs from its predecessors in that the organic pipes on its back are now missing and it now has a more pronounced set of lips. Also it mostly moves on all four like it's host in this movie, a dog, whilst the Aliens in the first two movies are standing & walking upright like humans. This implies, that xenomorphs dont look and act the same like prior Aliens in the first two movies, because an Alien always is a hybrid lifeform, merging genes from it's own race with genes of the host it grows in. This is vice versa in the fourth installment Alien: Resurrection, where in this case Ripley adopts characteristics from the xenomorph via cloning.
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The company name written in Japanese can be briefly seen on the black box as Ripley retrieves it and on a poster in the office where 85 and Ripley contact the company for the second time. In a scene towards the end of the movie where Ripley and the inmates discuss the killing of the alien, several Kanji characters can be seen on the wall: "Chô-kô'on kiken" (danger: extremely high heat). The scrap yard where Bishop is discarded also displays a large red "tetsu" (iron).
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In the theatrical version, prisoner Golic (Paul McGann) is last seen when the Alien kills Dr. Clemens; it is assumed that he is one of the casualties of the failed plan to trap the Alien in the waste disposal unit. However, a lengthy subplot was scripted and filmed where the plan of the prisoners actually works: during the mayhem of the fire, the Alien appears, and one of the prisoners manages to lure the creature into the waste disposal unit where the rest traps it. However, Golic, having become delusional from being spared by the Alien twice, sets the creature free again, forcing Ripley and the surviving prisoners to come with a new plan of luring the Alien inside the lead mold. According to director David Fincher, the idea was that Golic believed the Alien would kill everyone, but purposely spared Ripley and himself, leaving them as a sort of Adam and Eve. Fincher also said that the full-length film was screened for a test audience consisting of 18-year-olds, who didn't care for the Golic character. Based on their negative feedback, and with the studio preferring a shorter movie to allow for more screenings per day, the entire subplot was removed from the theatrical version of the film, but it was restored in the extended Assembly Cut.
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Morse, the only survivor, has one line less than 10 minutes into the film. He isn't seen again until the Alien kills Andrews at the hour and 10 minute mark. (assembly cut runtime)
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The concept by Vincent Ward based on which the movie was green-lighted involved an artificially constructed wooden planetoid and a group of monks who thought they were living in post-apocalyptic dark ages, and had a middle-ages lifestyle. The group refused all kinds of modern technology, and when Ripley and the Alien crash-land on it, they would blame Ripley for the Alien attacks. Ripley was to be impregnated by the Alien "the old-fashioned way" rather than through a face-hugger, and therefore being impregnated with a human-alien hybrid. According to the storyboards, she would dream of half human-half Alien hybrids. Other storyboards included horse-Alien and sheep-Alien hybrids. The film was to end with one of the monks performing an 'exorcism' on the Ripley, transferring the Alien embryo to his own body, and then killing it by walking into a fire. However, there were concerns over the logic and plausibility of people building an entire wooden planet in space. Ward left the project after the producers insisted that he change the monks to prisoners and drop the wooden planet idea. However, since many of Ward's ideas were carried over to the final screenplay, it still earned him a story credit.
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Much like the first Alien (1979) movie, Alien 3 also had problems with negative reactions of audience who saw rough cut of the movie in early test screenings and were horrified from all the scenes of gore and violence. Because of this and also to avoid NC-17 rating by MPAA, Alien 3 was heavily cut. Some of the graphic scenes that were deleted from rough cut, which is said to be 3 hours long, include a way more violent version of the scene where Alien bursts out of dog, longer and more disturbing version of Newt's autopsy scene, close ups of melted face of prisoner who gets hit with Alien's acid, more gore from where he falls into giant fan, more bloody footage of Clemens' death, and some parts from the final chase and fight between the prisoners and the Alien.
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Although this is one of the last big science-fiction movies to use mostly traditional special effect techniques (miniatures, animatronics and optical visual effects), there is one notable effects shot that was computer-generated: the head of the Alien cracking after it has been cooled with water. Other uses of computer-generated graphics include minor details, such as added shadows and debris particles.
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David Fincher convinced the studio that Ripley needed to die at the end, as he felt it was the only logical conclusion to her story, starting as an "underwear-clad victim" in the first film and ending with an act of selflessness in order to escape from the "Alien curse" that seemed to haunt her wherever she went. The originally scripted ending had Ripley dying by dropping herself in the hot, molten lead. When the studio heads learned that this was very similar to how Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) was going to end, they decided that to differentiate the two films, the chestburster had to come out of Ripley in the final moment. David Fincher was against this addition, but when forced with the decision, he insisted that it had to be as cathartic as possible: Ripley had to be at peace as soon as the chestburster emerged, showing "a sigh rather than gritting teeth and sweat". The new ending was shot four days before the movie opened. The original ending was reinstated in the extended Assembly Cut of the movie that was later released on DVD and Blu-ray.
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Fan debates continue about the nature of the self-proclaimed human Bishop who appears in the closing scenes, with opinions split over the question whether he is really a human, or a synthetic person. Even though he states that "I am not the Bishop android", he is credited as "Bishop II" in the ending credits. When Ripley powered up the remains of the android Bishop, its left ear was almost completely separated from its head; after 'human' Bishop is hit in the head, his left ear is ripped off in a similar manner, which may indicate a structural defect that suggests that this Bishop is not what he claims to be. However, the longer Assembly Cut of the movie adds more confusion, as it restores shots of red blood gushing from Bishop's wound (synthetics have white blood), as well as him yelling to Ripley "I am NOT a droid!".
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Sigourney Weaver had three wishes for starring in Aliens (1986): not handle a weapon, make love to an Alien, and die. Although none of those wishes were granted for Aliens, she got to do the first and third in this film, and the second in Alien Resurrection (1997).
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James Cameron, director of Aliens (1986), the previous film in the series, strongly disliked the film. He really hated the fact that Hicks, Newt and Bishop were killed off so quickly and unceremoniously in the beginning, which essentially trashed his ending to Aliens (1986). However, he has been on record saying that he loves the style and photography of David Fincher's movies, and considers him an amazing director, so he has come to see Alien 3 as "an interesting failure, at least an admirable film".
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One of the reasons for Newt being killed off was that the Fiorina 161 prison planet has convicted child molesters, which would have resulted in an attempted child molestation scene, in which the child molester convicts would attempt to rape Newt. Instead, the rapist convicts try to rape Ripley.
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When the movie was turned into a novel by Alan Dean Foster, writer of the novels of Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986), an original draft of the novel had Ripley survive at the end, as he disliked the ending of the film. However, studio executives told him to remain true to the original ending. He changed his novel, which upset him so much, he refused an offer to write the Alien Resurrection (1997) novelization, a task accepted by A.C. Crispin.
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When the sprinklers are activated after the attempt to trap the Alien, the cold water causes a heated iron bucket to break. This actually foreshadows what happens to the Alien in the end.
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In the first half of all four Alien films, one or two characters are introduced and built up in a way to make the audience think that they are going to be important characters throughout the story, only to have them killed off less than halfway through. In Alien 3, they are Doctor Clemens (Charles Dance) and Superintendant Andrews (Brian Glover).
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This is the only Alien movie in the original series of four (thus not counting Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017)) where Ripley does not have to escape from a place that is destroyed by an explosion following a countdown. Although she escapes death from the doomed ship Sulaco in the beginning, she is in cryosleep, there is no countdown, and the ship is never seen exploding. Additionally, this is also the only film not to feature a decompression scene where she is nearly sucked into space.
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Ralph Brown revealed in his blog in 2016 that the initial script described his character Aaron as an "everyman yuppie-type" who was supposed to survive the movie. However, after a few weeks of following this script, he was dismayed to discover that in a series of re-writes, his character was changed into a cowardly simpleton who would be killed off. He discussed his dissatisfaction with producer Walter Hill, who was only willing to let Aaron be more involved with the inmates in trying to trap the Alien in the waste disposal unit. Brown didn't dare to ask for more out of fear of being fired, after learning that director of photography Jordan Cronenweth had been let go (which, he later learned, wasn't due to creative differences, but for medical reasons). Aaron's death was ultimately re-written five times, varying from having his throat slit by an inmate, being eaten by the Alien, falling into the lead mold, and, finally, dying from Company machine gun fire. Brown also mentioned that during the tense production, Sigourney Weaver wasn't always easy to work with, but she apologized for being mean to him after the movie's premiere.
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David Fincher deliberately wanted Hicks and Newt killed off as he didn't want audiences to think that characters were safe.
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(at around 58 mins) Just before the Alien yanks the Warden into the ceiling, you can see that one of the prisoners is wearing a Weyland-Yutani Corporation jacket, the logo is emblazoned on the back.
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This is the only film in the Alien Quadrology not to show an Alien hive with victims in cocoons (the original Alien (1979) didn't either, but had such scenes in its director's cut). Fan theories speculated that the creature took on characteristics from its animal host, making it much more feral and murderous, and less interested in building a hive and abducting victims for procreation. However, this may not have been the original idea, because in 2018, special effects designer Alec Gillis revealed a picture of an unused early model of an alien hive cocoon. One abandoned script version also contained a scene where the prisoners trap the Alien in the waste disposal unit, only for a delusional Golic to free it again; Ripley, Aaron, Dylan and Morse subsequently discover a deranged Golic cocooned among several dead bodies in the abattoir (this subplot was restored in the film's longer Assembly Cut, with the difference that the Alien immediately killed Golic instead of cocooning him). An even earlier script had Dillon and Morse finding the entire Assembly Hall transformed into an Alien hive, with Andrews cocooned in a meat locker, begging to be put out of his misery.
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At one point Dillion sarcastically comments that Morse is the one who's made a deal with God to live forever. Ironically Morse is the only one of the convicts to live at the end.
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The first in the series where the alien is not killed by way of airlock into space.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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