Dark Horse Comics recently announced that they will be printing a series of comic books that will follow an alternative narrative to that seen in the 1992 movie Alien 3 that was directed by renowned director David Fincher before he abandoned the project due to "creative differences" with 20th Century Fox and the producers from Brandywine Productions. Fincher's directorial debut, Alien 3 had a very troubled production with multiple screenwriters, scripts, and directors being attached to the project before Fincher was hired. As such, there is a wealth of possible "Alternate Alien 3's" that Dark Horse Comics could adapt in addition to Neill Blomkamp's original "Alien: Awakening" that was briefly considered by Fox before Alien and Prometheus director Ridley Scott coerced the studio to abandon Blomkamp's script in favor of Scott's Alien: Covenant. From the opening page teased (pictured below), Dark Horse Comics will likely be printing just one of the alternate Alien 3's, although which is currently unknown. If successful it may be in the Dark Horse Comics' interests to explore some of the other alternate Alien 3's that were considered during the movies pained production. Here are a few they could consider...
Brandywines Alien 3
David Giler, Walter Hill, and Gordon Carroll (AKA Brandywine Productions) originally conceived of an Alien 3 in which it was to be revealed that the Weyland-Yutani Corporation coveted the Xenomorph with the intent of using it as a biological weapon against a separatist faction of militarily aggressive humans. Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn) was to be the lead protagonist of the movie with Sigourney Weaver's Ripley appearing in a much smaller role.
William Gibson's Alien 3
Cyberpunk author William Gibson's vision of Alien 3 expanded upon Brandywine Productions' idea, shifting the setting to a space station named Anchorpoint. To be directed by Renny Harlin, Gibson's Alien 3 again featured Hicks as the stories protagonist, and Ripley's role again was reduced, although this time the narrative of this iteration of the movie saw Weyland-Yutani using the space station to develop an army of Xenomorphs that inevitably overrun the station. Although this version of Alien 3 is well favored among the fanbase, it also bears more than a striking resemblance to Alien: Resurrection, which is considered by many fans as one of the weakest movies in the franchise.
Eric Red's Alien 3
Since disowned by The Hitcher and Near Dark screenwriter, this version of Alien 3 saw the survivors aboard the USS Sulaco falling victim to the Alien threat off-screen, with the story being set in a biodome colony representative of a small-town USA city. It was within this setting that the Xenomorph would be unleashed, with the colonies townfolk battling to survive against the Xenomorph threat. This idea echoed the Alien vs Predator comic strip published by Dark Horse Comics in 1990 and was later revisited in 2007 movie AvP: Requiem, which is universally considered the worst Alien movie to date.
Vincent Ward's Alien 3
Although David Twohy's concept of a prison planet would be revisited in the final movie, it was initially dropped in favor of writer/director Vincent Ward's setting of a wooden planet/moon which would be home to a devout group of monks, who viewed the Xenomorph as the devil sent to test their faith. Although the wooden concept while strikingly original it was frowned upon for canonical and aesthetic reasons. However, the religious elements of Ward's Alien 3 did find their way into the finished movie.
Neill Blomkamp's Alien: Awakening
From the many pieces of concept art that have been released during, and after the movies brief consideration, Blomkamp's movie looked set to see Hicks return alongside Ripley, presumably retconning Alien 3's place in the franchises canonicity. Other pieces of concept art attached to the project hinted at a return to the derelict Juggernaut on LV-426 and the return of the Xenomorph Queen (picture below).
Of course, it is entirely possible that Dark Horse Comics has developed a completely original "Alternate Alien 3", although we will have to wait to find out when the comic series is released this July.
If you're a fan of Alien / Prometheus and would like to discuss Alien: Covenant and its upcoming sequel with other like-minded fans, be sure to join in our Alien: Covenant forum! Ranked the #1 Prometheus forum back in 2012 and reigning as the web's top Alien: Covenant fan site, it's a great place to discuss the upcoming Prometheus sequels, dissect details from every trailer and engage with other fans just like you.
The future of Alien
The Alien franchise is taking a dramatic turn at 20th Century Studios, now owned by Disney. Currently there are two major Alien projects in development - a new Alien TV series by Noah Hawley and a new, stand-alone Alien movie being directed by Fede Alvarez. Both of which will be taking the franchise in a new direction - moving away from the Alien prequel direction Ridley Scott set out to pursue back in 2012.
Treat yourself to some Alien Merchandise!
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