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Trivia / Alien³

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  • Blooper: In the Assembly Cut only, where Murphy still calls out Spike’s name when he finds the Xenomorph despite the dog being nonexistent in that version.
  • B-Team Sequel:
    • At one point Ridley Scott was approached to direct but he turned it down due to his commitment to 1492: Conquest of Paradise. He had ideas of exploring the origins of the xenomorphs, which would later manifest in Prometheus.
    • 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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    • 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.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: Fox's attempt to keep Alien as this led to all the difficulties noted in Executive Meddling and Troubled Production, as the "Wreckage and Rage" documentary notes, they "didn't set out to make a movie, they set out to make a release date." The film was announced, the release date selected and locked in before Fox had a cast, director, script, writer, or even a concept (though the teaser, with it's tagline "On Earth, everyone can hear you scream" indicates at least one idea had popped up), meaning that every subsequent decision was made with the release date hanging over it like the Sword of Damocles. The end result was a film that was massively over budget, barely on-schedule, and so stressful for everyone involved no one has pleasant memories of the production (which probably only contributed to the film's nihilistic bleakness).
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  • Completely Different Title: The Hungarian title translates as Alien: Final Solution: Death.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • David Fincher disowned the film due to all the Executive Meddling he had to endure during the movie's production.
    • James Cameron criticized the sequel harshly, specifically citing what became of Bishop, Hicks, and Newt, though in recent years he has said that aside from that he thinks the movie is fine. Michael Biehn was reportedly so annoyed about his character's fate that he only allowed the use of his likeness in exchange for a hefty paycheck (so hefty, in fact, that it was more than his entire fee for Aliens).
    • Biehn later regretted his angry decision to deny them any chance to use his likeness - in hindsight saying it would have been a great chance to work with Fincher.
  • Dyeing for Your Art/Real Life Writes the Hairstyle: Sigourney Weaver initially agreed to shave her head for the filming. However, as the Troubled Production stretched on, reshoots were done months later, and Weaver refused to shave her head again, which meant spending some thousands of dollars more for a custom-made authentic-looking bald cap.
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  • Executive Meddling: By the time David Fincher was officially signed on to direct, the film had already gone though a dozen or so different writers and directors (and among 20th Century Fox's interference, the idea to reduce Ripley to a cameo was nixed, feeling she should remain at the center) and almost two million dollars worth of sets that had been constructed. And then Fox cuffed his creativity a lot, demanding reshoots and rewrites, and often blocking Fincher from filming key scenes (some of which he filmed anyway). When it finally came around to editing, the studio ordered that radical edits and reshoots take place in order to shorten the film's runtime by 30 minutes, causing Fincher to become infuriated and walk off set. The Alien's original designer, H. R. Giger, also wound up shafted by Fox.
  • Fan Nickname: Alien3 tends to be jokingly referred to as Alien Cubed among the fandom due to the inexplicable superscript use of the number 3 in the movie's title.
  • Flip-Flop of God: Depending on the interview, Lance Henriksen can't decide if his character Michael Bishop is a human or a robot.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: 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.
  • Hostility on the Set: As Ralph Brown revealed by posting excerpts of his journal online, Sigourney Weaver was aloof or outright hostile to most of the other cast members (especially with him, Brian Glover and Charles Dance) during filming. She did apologize after the premiere, and Ralph understood much of it was due to the overall tension everyone was going through during the films legendary production difficulties.
  • Image Source: This film provides the page image for:
  • Looping Lines: Averted in the original Assembly Cut. Some of the restored scenes were cut before the ADR was recorded, and since they didn't do any re-recording for the DVD, it can be difficult to hear the dialogue, but subtitles are available. The Blu-ray release fixed this and brought the actors back to record the dialogue.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Michael Biehn was paid almost as much as he'd received for Aliens - for a picture of him that appears briefly in the film's opening.
  • Old Shame:
    • David Fincher doesn't list Alien³ on his resume and refused to record any interviews or commentary for the Quadrilogy box set, due to lingering anger over the Executive Meddling during production. His experience was so horrible that he refuses to talk about it to this day, and has rejected several attempts to speak on-record for documentaries. His only comment since then has been "No one hated (the film) more than me. To this day, no one hates it more than me."
    • Producer David Giler had harsh words for the film in the DVD documentary "Wreckage and Rage", claiming that it wasn't that scary at all and that he regrets his participation. Notably, he attempted to leave the production at one point, but was forced back by a clause in Sigourney Weaver's contract. He and co-producer Walter Hill later abandoned Fincher midway through production and forced him to rewrite the script on the fly.
    • From comments he made on the commentary and in some of the footage for the documentary on the Blu-Ray, Lance Henriksen isn't overly fond of the movie, either, finding it nihilistic, most of the characters despicable, and finding Ripley sleeping with Clemens to be out-of-character. He has even gone on record as saying, "FUCK Alien³!!!"
    • Elliot Goldenthal admitted that the score wasn't his best work, stating that he only had a week-and-a-half to compose the score due to the Troubled Production and had to rush through it without thinking of the quality.
    • On the flip side, Michael Biehn's Old Shame is not being more accommodating of the film using his likeness. He jokes that "I was very stupid when I was younger" when, upon hearing that there was a dummy mockup of him with his chest exploded like he'd been host to alien, he replied "I don't care how much money you give me, that alien is not coming out of me." More seriously, he says that if he had known David Fincher would end up being David Fincher, he wouldn't have fought as hard to be paid for his photograph, instead currying favor with a brilliant director in hopes of future work.
  • One for the Money; One for the Art: After getting the boot as director, Vincent Ward used his pay off to finance Map of the Human Heart.
  • The Other Darrin: Carrie Henn was too old to play Newt, so Danielle Edmund acted as a Fake Shemp for her in the opening titles. For the autopsy scene, a cast mould of Carrie Henn was made.
  • Playing Against Type: Charles Dance usually plays stern or intimidating authority types. Here he plays a bitter medic who's the Non-Action Guy of the bunch.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Charles S. Dutton (Dillon) is a real life former convict who cleaned himself up before getting into acting.
    • As revealed in Hostility on the Set above, Sigourney Weaver did not get along with either Ralph Brown (Aaron) or Brian Glover (Andrews) during filming, which definitely carried over during their characters scenes with one another.
  • Saved from Development Hell: The tale of Alien³'s development is the stuff of industry legend, and a prime example of Executive Meddling in full force. A rotating lineup of directors who all got shunted aside by FOX, a lineup of writers working on screenplayers concurrently with no idea other writers were involved, delays, reshoots, disastrous test screenings, tensions between FOX and (then-newbie) director David Fincher, a "pay-or-play" deal between the studio and Sigourney Weaver, Fincher getting locked out of the editing room, executives and writers at odds as to how the story would play out, months spent building sets that had to be shoehorned into a completely different all added to a giant mess in its development.
  • Troubled Production: One could probably do an entire semester of film school class on the problems Alien³ faced. Pre-production was extensive, with ideas being thrown left and right (at first it would be a two-parter filmed simultaneously, with Ripley having a reduced role in the third movie), and a carousel of directors and writers before settling on David Fincher, who had to work on making up a story with some unfinished scripts, roles yet to be cast, and some sets that were already complete. Then during filming the cinematographer fell ill, Executive Meddling was heavy to the point Finch had grab a camera and skeleton crew and film important scenes himself (and the director was also reportedly locked out of the editing suite), and extensive reshoots ballooned the shooting schedule and budget (at one point composer Elliot Goldenthal only had a single night to create a new piece of music for the reshot finale). Says something Fox even ordered cuts to the behind the scenes documentary for the Alien Quadrilogy DVD set as it painted the studio too negatively - the Alien Anthology Blu-Ray set has the original version, albeit with a Censored Title ("Wreckage and Rape" became "Wreckage and Rage").
  • Wag the Director: Sigourney Weaver pushed for the lack of weaponry in the film, as she was very anti-gun in real life. As a result, Ripley does not handle a single weapon in the whole film.
  • What Could Have Been: See the franchise's page.
  • The Wiki Rule: Xenopedia has information on Alien, Predator, and Alien vs. Predator.


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