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Alien Division #3 - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Alien Division #3 - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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Gavin

Aug-24-2017 5:22 AM

So far this series has seen two one sided polls, with #1 siding completely towards the belief that there is likely a conspiracy regarding Weyland-Yutani and the Xenomorph and #2 siding away from Alien being remade. Let's see if this poll will be as clear cut.

Each time, as before, two absolutes will be on offer, each with three pieces of supporting evidence, all you gotta do is vote one way or the other. It's just for fun, but also helps us gauge our own view of this franchise against those of others. For this one, I will quote a song by the Clash "Should I Stay or Should I Go", all I ask is that you imagine that the co-founder of Brandywine Productions and co-owner of the production rights to the Alien franchise, David Giler be singing the song. Let's begin - Stay or Go, which side do you lean toward...

Stay

David Giler and Walter Hill, along with the late Gordon Carroll were approached in the mid-seventies by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shussett with a script called Alien, formerly Starbeast, that the duo believed had the potential to become an A class movie despite its B movie influences. As part of Brandywine Productions, Giler was instrumental in the realization of the first two movies, which are almost universally accepted as the best two movies of the franchise, and in the genre of science fiction movies.

  • Evidence 1 - Had it not been for Giler, Hill and Carroll Alien would likely have been produced by B-movie legend Roger Corman, and as such would likely not be the celebrated classic it has become.
  • Evidence 2 - During the production of The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger had to leave to film Conan the Destroyer. During this time James Cameron wrote the script for Aliens and pending the success of The Terminator was offered to direct his script. This deal came about thanks to Giler promoting Cameron's original 45-page treatment to 20th Century Fox.
  • Evidence 3 - The character of Ash, and the corporate conspiracy surrounding Special Order 937 were added to the script of Alien by Giler. Together these elements help lift Alien above the plethora of 'creature features' that flooded the genre of sci-fi movies both before and since its release.

Go

Following the success of both Alien and Aliens, Giler was approached by Fox to develop a sequel, to which Giler penned a script and approached a series of writers and directors, each of which offered their own interpretations of what they believed the third movie should be. None of these made it past Giler, who by 1990 had cost Fox $50 million, but still had not produced a shootable script or a willing director. The script that was finally used was rewritten by Giler and Hill and was, in essence, an amalgamation of elements of all of the scripts they had turned down beforehand. During the production of Alien 3, Giler frequently rewrote this script, forcing reshoots and scheduling issues, making first time director David Fincher's experience so unbearable that Fincher left before production was complete.

  • Evidence 1 - Whether you like it or not, Alien 3 could have been so much more, and the reason it wasn't is David Giler, as mentioned above. Although he claims he had nothing to do with Resurrection, it was Giler that demanded Joss Whedon rewrite his initial script to incorporate the return of Ripley. And the AVP crossover movies would never have been made if Giler (and Hill) had not given Fox permission to use the Alien property.
  • Evidence 2 - Upon receiving O'Bannon's script Giler renamed the existing characters and added Ash. Legally this was considered enough of an amendment to the original script to guarantee Giler (and Hill and Carroll) the production rights to the property, however, the writers guild refused to give Giler sole writing credit. Typically, unless sold, the production rights of a script belong to the author of the script, which in this case should have been O'Bannon.
  • Evidence 3 - The addition of Ash, and with him, the corporate conspiracy element of the narrative was, as previously mentioned, added by Giler. While today it is seen as having lifted the movie above its 'creature feature' roots, this was not the case back in 1979. As with the flood of superhero movies we are currently experiencing, the 'corporate conspiracy' trope was beyond overused by 1979, especially within science fiction - Rollerball, Soylent Green, Logans Run, Demon Seed, Westworld, Futureworld etc.

Which side are you one?

6 Responses to Alien Division #3 - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

ali81

Aug-24-2017 8:05 AM

taking into account how good alien was Giler and Hill brought a lot of positives to the franchise. starbeast isn't a good script and I personally see the positive changes made by them. they didn't have much to do with aliens as it was Cameron from first draft through to the end of production. alien3 as u say was a monster f**k situation for Fincher which taken into consideration makes alien3 even better. I think combinations of ideas make movies better, sometimes worse yes but in general having an outsiders view point helps. Giler and Hill have nothing to do with AR or any of the following films but where AR is concerned I think u can see it. I like AR for what it is but when people talk about stupid plots within the alien movies AR has the most for me but its the same problem over and over and over again which I don't think,had giler and hill been involved, would have been so apparent. when the group find out their in trouble and have to get to the betty asap, they don't run at any point and they keep stopping for detours. I don't think giler or hill would have had that happen if they had been involved.

Thoughts_Dreams

Aug-24-2017 8:24 AM

Since there were so many problems with the production of Alien 3 it is a mystery how they managed to get a final movie that is actually really good. It makes me feel a bit sad that they gave Fincher a crappy situation. Maybe it would have been even better of Fox wouldn’t have interfered as much as they did.

 

I like the Clash reference in the title even though I don't listen to them a lot.

I Raptus

Aug-24-2017 2:14 PM

The Alien Franchise is in desperate need of a new vision and fresh blood. Ridley Scott has been trying to give us that in his own way, but keeps getting shafted by the corporate execubots pandering to mooted audience reactions and archaic box office statistics that don't reflect the changing industry consumer patterns.

The franchise really needs someone at the helm with a clear vision and future path paved in concrete. No more piece meal and ad hoc scripts, have the next few films planned out and stick to it!

Giller and Hill have contributed much to the franchise and should be maintained as consultants, but its time for a shake up.

It honestly saddens me seeing this great franchise trip and stumble upon its own feet. The formula is there, the execution is not

I Raptus

Aug-24-2017 2:24 PM

For the record I love every single film in the franchise. I honestly don't have a favourite, they all have their merits.

The films themselves are great, its all the other stuff that is letting the franchise down. Major inconsistencies, contradictions, and half-cooked ideas/concepts caused from a lack of foresight and too much indecision. Like I said the franchise has a wonderful premise, they just to get the execution right, and that starts with some forward thinking and backing their writers, directors, actors etc.

Rant complete XD

ScorpioStar

Aug-24-2017 2:35 PM

I think that, if you disconsider the "prologue" in Alien 3 (showing Newt and Hicks dead for ever and never more, for there had been Cameron's unfortunate vision on the Alien universe, and that had to be addressed somehow in Alien 3), we could have had a great sequence with conspiracy and the sort. And maybe we could have a balance between what it was meant to be and what came to be.

I think Sir Ridley is doing his best, although he could do better being the director he is, and he is on the right track. In Covenant, he got some distance from this "conspiracy" and I liked it better that way.

IndyFront

Aug-26-2017 2:54 PM

I've always had a theory that it is a conspiracy involving/between Ripley's daughter, Weyland-Yutani and the Creators/Alien Queen Mother aka ULTRAMORPH. I've often questioned whether or not Newt even "existed", and was a hallucination of Ripley dealing with the loss of her daughter. Covenant would be treated more as an isolated incident, with a superior Xenomorph species being of direct lineage of the Creators of Humanity and the Engineers, but I digress. Essentially, the incidents in Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3 were part of a controlled experiment involving cooperation between W-Y and God-like extraterrestrials (Jockeys).

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