AHC: Save Alien 3 (and the franchise)

I think you guys don't get the point of the Alien Franchise. Everyone dies. Every fucking one. Actually Alien^3 is quite good in it's own right, and maybe better in claustrophobia that Alien, and the characters are actually more devellopped than in Alien. Alien Ressurection had problems, but mainly due to the studios.
How can you say that? I remember it as totally boring.
 

AdanALW

Banned
Did you just compare Prometheus to Blade Runner...?
I compared Scott's attempt to use a sci-fi movie to get at deeper themes about our existance. Granted, most story credit in Blade Runner goes to Phillip K Dick, but Scott still masterfully fleshed it out and added whole layers of dimension inn his portrayal of the story.

Blade Runner asks what is a life? What does it mean to be a person?

Prometheus asks: why are we here? What is the purpose of our existence? How can we/do we live if fact with a cold and disturbing reality that shatters our beliefs and expectations?

The questions there are getting at are about as deep as one can get.
 
Prometheus asks how much money can we take these mugs for and then proceeds to try for double the answer. It's as deep as the puddle of rainwater outside my house which fell last night and has just spent hours in the hot sun.
 
Okay, here's some PODs -

Clear out whatever you need to clear out so that Ridley Scott's schedule is free when this movie roles around. They offered him the directors chair at the time but he was busy with three (average IMO) movies. Have him pick up William Gibson's script. I personally like the script, it's a full on action flick, though, with eight marine vs alien battles (according to wiki, anyways). I'm re-reading it right now and this indeed appears to be the case.

Have Gibson do a rewrite with Ridley (they wanted him to do it with the OTL director and Gibson walked out). Ridley might want to make it a little more suspsensful ala Alien, and altering out some of the more pointless fight scenes n favor of building the suspense. But given how action-y the script already is, and how well received the sci-fi action, I don't think this will go all the way back to the Alien (or what Alien 3 attempted to do) side of the spectrum, but rather we may get a healthy balance of the horror and action aspects of Alien and Aliens. This would make an awesome fucking movie.

Next step is to get actors - we've gotta have Michael Beihn sign on for at least one more movie (maybe two?). The Newt girl could potentially be recast if she was a little older. Also, at this point in the production Weaver didn't really want to be the centerpiece again and thus the Hicks-centric script that is Gibson's draft : Weaver wanted it that way. But I'm sure between Scott and the studio (and IOTL all it took was money!) will get her reinvolved in the plot. (maybe Scott's rewrite includes reincorporating Ripley into the ship) Given that one of the primary strengths of the series is its strong female protagonist, this is a definite improvement over Gibson's script (which I like, btw).

Bring back Stan Winston from Aliens for special effects, and keep the OTL music person(Goldstein, I think?).

Now we've got an action horror flick about a space mall, Communists, and killer aliens with equal parts given to Hicks and Ripley's characters (maybe a short scene could emphasize their and Newt's relationship as a family type unit).

In addition, there's a sequel built into the plot as Communist's genetically modify the Xenmorphs to create a more powerful strain that is sent straight towards Earth.
 

AdanALW

Banned
Prometheus asks how much money can we take these mugs for and then proceeds to try for double the answer. It's as deep as the puddle of rainwater outside my house which fell last night and has just spent hours in the hot sun.
I think it took ques from Lovecraft. It is more a psychological horror, in that it at its core has a horrifying premise. Most people either think our creator is good, loves us, and we are basically good and are here to for the purpose of good -OR- they believe there is no creator and we gotta figure it out on our own. Prometheus suggests our creator is evil, hates us and if we found them would try and wipe out our entire species, that we have no purpose (except maybe evil).

I think the notion is horrifying, however, like any movie of fiction (particularly sci-fi), it requires a degree of suspended disbelief. If you are not willing to buy into the premise, at least long enough for the duration of the movie, then you will never be able to enjoy/appreciate it.
 
If there has to be an Alien3 in an ATL, it should do one of the following:
  1. Take place mostly on Earth to show how different it is in the future. We might as well see as different an environment as possible to show how (long) the xenomorphs can survive in cities/countryside/etc.
  2. Follow Gibson's screenplay as closely as possible, as others have recommended. If it's gotta be based on an OTL idea, Gibson's is one of the more successfully suspenseful and fitting in the franchise (even if Hicks is the main character and not Ripley). The socialist faction he introduces would have had a lot of potential for a good director to emphasize.
  3. Or
ALIENATION (one idea of my own)
After the events of Aliens, some Colonial Marines attack the Weyland-Yutani Corporation when the full extent of their extraterrestrial bioweapons program comes to light. Ripley and company awaken early from stasis, and a group of rebels finds them and asks them to join their resistance. The four protagonists learn, however, that the rebel colonel in charge is another kind of enemy--he wants an egalitarian society of “perfection” to counteract Weyland-Yutani’s “elitist” acquisition of power and weapons. Much like Ash, but going one step further, the colonel decides that using a W-Y-made weapon that changes organisms into xenomorphs will enable him to achieve his utopia. Ripley still sacrifices herself, but in this case to stop the colonel in the end and to become a legend. Newt becomes the heroine for the next hypothetical installment…

Thoughts?
 
My idea for Alien 3: A co-production between Ridley Scott and James Cameron, with Cameron doing the screenplay, and possibly, the two of them co-directing, though that idea might turn out to be problematic. Also have Adrian Biddle do the cinematography (He did worked with Scott on Thelma and Louise, and Cameron on Aliens) and have the story set on Earth! Have it come out summer of 1993.
 
How about do a sort of Predator version of Aliens. Have the Sulaco crashland on Earth, and Ripley has to get Newt, Hicks and Bishop to safety. They have unfortunately crashlanded in one of Earth's few remaining jungle wildernesses. She encounters some initially hostile locals who soon sympathise with her. What is not known is that a single Xenomorph drone has survived on board the Sulaco, and having emerged from a form of stasis, now pursues our plucky band of survivors and their local allies, picking off characters one by one. Bishop could die at some point. I would like Hicks to survive but I can see him dying. Meanwhile Weyland-Yutani are out to seize the Xenomorph and remove Ripley and her friends from the scene, while also hoping to implicate the tricksy locals with harbouring a dangerous fugitive accused with industrial espionage. Ripley, Hicks, and Newt are forced to fight the hi-tech warriors sent against them as well as the Xenomorph with relatively primitive weaponry. The film could end inconclusively with the audience not knowing whether the alien is dead, but Weyland-Yutani's perfidy revealed to the world.
 
Festina Lente

I can't speak to which of the multiple plots would work best, but here are some suggestions for the overall production:

  • Get Sigourney Weaver in for Ripley from day 1. Pay her whatever she wants.
  • If Weaver want Walter Hill and David Giler to have final script approval then fine: get them to do the first script, then get some script doctors in to polish up the dialogue but otherwise keep it intact, then get them to sign it off at the end. None of this to-ing and fro-ing about with multiple scripts.
  • Stop the suits treating Fincher like kak. It's his first big film, he doesn't need it

If we're sticking with the "prison planet with brit prisoners" plot as OTL, then:

  • Get rid of the last 5 minutes (human Bishop and Japanese Weyland-Yutani folk)
  • Remove Charles Dance and keep Hicks as Ripley's love interest
  • As for Carrie Henn/Newt: she'd grown up noticably since "Aliens" so either recast or (as OTL) kill her off.
  • Try to differentiate the prisoners: they are a bit difficult to tell apart

All these changes are designed to make the filming simpler and less fraught. They may not make the film better but they will create a calmer, more measured atmosphere in which the crew can work out for themselves ways to make it better
 
Photocopy Prokofiev score. Change lyrics to English. That will be $1million, please.

Bring back Stan Winston from Aliens for special effects, and keep the OTL music person(Goldstein, I think?).
Nope, James Horner. There's no need to get James Horner back in: you can just reuse the same score, since (famously) that's exactly what he does EVERY B***** TIME...:):)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQd5ueBM5Yk
www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMHJlkYlzKE‎
http://www.jwfan.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=20214
 
I can't speak to which of the multiple plots would work best, but here are some suggestions for the overall production:

  • Get Sigourney Weaver in for Ripley from day 1. Pay her whatever she wants.
  • If Weaver wants Walter Hill and David Giler to have final script approval, then fine: get them to do the first script, then get some script doctors in to polish up the dialogue but otherwise keep it intact, then get them to sign it off at the end. None of this to-ing and fro-ing about with multiple scripts.
1) Agreed, unless she refuses even with a whole lot of money. If the worst happens, turn to Michael Biehn and pay HIM whatever HE wants.
2) If Walter Hill's involved with the script, he should direct too. His Alien^3 would hopefully turn out better than his closest OTL film, Supernova.

Nope, James Horner. There's no need to get James Horner back in: you can just reuse the same score, since (famously) that's exactly what he does EVERY B***** TIME...:):)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQd5ueBM5Yk
www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMHJlkYlzKE‎
http://www.jwfan.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=20214
I'd say don't bring Horner back in any form--bring Jerry Goldsmith back instead. :cool: A much more varied track record IMO, and he did work on the first movie, even if his score wasn't fully utilized.

They would kill each other. Scott is finicky and persnickety, and Cameron is the control freak from hell.
QFT, sir.
 
Given that Scott's film career kinda tanked around this point, a successful Alien 3 directed by him would most likely have some butterflies on that front. Hopefully this would get Michael Beihn some more roles - he's a very underrated actor IMO.

Also, since the script pretty much assumes an Alien IV, what do you guys think would be the possibility of James Cameron directing it? Was he busy with other things at the time?
 
Also, since the script pretty much assumes an Alien IV, what do you guys think would be the possibility of James Cameron directing it? Was he busy with other things at the time?
If ITTL Alien3 still came out in 1992, then the putative Alien4 would come out in 1994-1997. IOTL, Cameron made "True Lies" and "Titanic" during that period, and it would be difficult to butterfly away the former and very difficult for the latter. So the prob's pretty low. Similarly, getting Cameron to do Alien3 is problematic, because it overlaps with "T2".
 
1) Agreed, unless she refuses even with a whole lot of money. If the worst happens, turn to Michael Biehn and pay HIM whatever HE wants.
Yup.

2) If Walter Hill's involved with the script, he should direct too. His Alien^3 would hopefully turn out better than his closest OTL film, Supernova.
I think if Hill directs, we just get "Last Man Standing" in outer space. But I have no problems with him doing story and final rewrite.

I'd say don't bring Horner back in any form--bring Jerry Goldsmith back instead. :cool: A much more varied track record IMO, and he did work on the first movie, even if his score wasn't fully utilized.
Yup. And if we move Alien3 forward 2 years, we allow for enough time to wear down Weaver and get Goldsmith available (he was doing "Basic Instinct" in '92.

So, it looks like this:

Walter Hill and David Giler wait for Weaver to be attracted by the artistic value of the cheque, and pre-production starts in early 1993. The William Gibson script never happens, although the Vincent Ward one does, and again the "monks in wooden planet" theme surfaces. Again, Ward departs due to creative differences, and again David Fincher comes in. But Hill and Weaver like him and prove strong enough to keep the suits off the neophyte's back. The recasting of the characters to prisoners instead of monks never happens, but much of the plot remains the same, and shooting starts in fall 1993, with the release date now knocked back to Summer 1995

Then a bit of synergy starts happening. Hill's "one-man-against-corrupt-system" syndrome again asserts itself in the script, but meets a kindred spirit in Fincher. Instead of pouring this into "Last Man Standing" (Hill) and "Se7en" (Fincher), they both pour it into Alien3. Weaver, fully aware of the status of Ripley as feminist icon, is well within her wheelhouse and, with all three working together and less time pressure, the shooting proceeds well. John Milius, John Sayles and Quentin Tarantino are bought in to do a bit of script doctoring (just as they did IOTL on "Jaws", "Apollo 13" and "Crimson Tide"), but the spine of the script remains Ward's. Charles Dance's doctor is replaced in toto by Biehn's Hicks, but the character still dies in about the same part of the film. Biehn and Milius are bonded at this point (both right-wing gun nuts) and Milius gives Biehn a three-minute monologue as compensation: it's still quoted to this day.

An ending with Ripley, battered and going in after the last Alien standing is filmed, but the suits want Ripley surviving. Fincher fights for the depressing ending (like he did for "Se7en") and mostly succeeds: the film ends with a smash-cut to black and the final battle is heard in snatches (but not seen) over the credits, with Weaver quoting "'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part." (just as Freeman did in "Se7en")

The film is released in 1995 to mixed reviews: it's critically well considered but audiences (who wanted "Aliens 2") are less so. It grosses about the same as IOTL, and that's that...

..but the film is rapidly reappraised. It becomes a cult classic, then reappraised by the hipsters and the film-school students. Just as "Alien" is seen as the paradigm for haunted-house-horror, and "Aliens" for army-under-siege, "Aliens3" is seen as the ultimate lone-man-against-the-system movie. The elagaic feel lent it by Fincher's direction and Goldsmith's strings (he's usually known for his boom-booomedy-boom anthems, but as Capricorn One showed, he can do winsome) is admired. DVD sales are boffo, and the film eventually occupies a similar place to "Blade Runner": a widely admired science-fiction summer actioner that was not a big success on release but maintained a steady wind.

"Geronimo", "Last Man Standing" and "Se7en" are butterflied away by this, but otherwise history continues: "Supernova" still sucks, but "Fight Club", "Benjamin Button", "Social Network" and "Girl/Dragon/Tattoo" suck not.

Reluctant to mess with perfection, "Alien: Resurrection" never happens, and the franchise is seen as completed. AvP and AvP:Requiem still happen, but are seen more as spin-offs than a continuation.

Then in 2008, somebody asks Ridley Scott where the space jockey came from...
 
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If ITTL Alien3 still came out in 1992, then the putative Alien4 would come out in 1994-1997. IOTL, Cameron made "True Lies" and "Titanic" during that period, and it would be difficult to butterfly away the former and very difficult for the latter. So the prob's pretty low. Similarly, getting Cameron to do Alien3 is problematic, because it overlaps with "T2".
Well, that wasn't really in the cards either way. They wanted Scott to come back and I think that's our best option. Thanks for the info on Cameron, though. I'm not sure if Scott would be willing to do IV so we may need to take that into consideration. This is assuming my idea is used, considering everyone else's lacks a POD.
 
Well, that wasn't really in the cards either way. They wanted Scott to come back and I think that's our best option. Thanks for the info on Cameron, though. I'm not sure if Scott would be willing to do IV so we may need to take that into consideration. This is assuming my idea is used, considering everyone else's lacks a POD.
If you want Scott to do Alien3, then you'd be bumping into "Thelma and Louise", so you'll need to bump it forward by a year or two (which thankfully butterflies away Scott's 1492

If you want him to do Alien 4, then consider this: if you film it after 1998, you can get him to explore the same themes as "Black Hawk Down" (which he did in 2001 IOTL) and the suits would love it, as the battle scenes would echo 98's "Saving Private Ryan". And you get lots of grunts shooting lots of aliens...:)
 
Yup.


I think if Hill directs, we just get "Last Man Standing" in outer space. But I have no problems with him doing story and final rewrite.
I haven't seen that particular film, so why do you say that like it's a bad thing? I'd think of the possibility as a better "Supernova" that would butterfly the OTL mess altogether. :D


Yup. And if we move Alien3 forward 2 years, we allow for enough time to wear down Weaver and get Goldsmith available (he was doing "Basic Instinct" in '92).
Nice, thanks for the info!

So, it looks like this:

Walter Hill and David Giler wait for Weaver to be attracted by the artistic value of the cheque, and pre-production starts in early 1993. The William Gibson script never happens, although the Vincent Ward one does, and again the "monks in wooden planet" theme surfaces. Again, Ward departs due to creative differences, and again David Fincher comes in. But Hill and Weaver like him and prove strong enough to keep the suits off the neophyte's back. The recasting of the characters to prisoners instead of monks never happens, but much of the plot remains the same, and shooting starts in fall 1993, with the release date now knocked back to Summer 1995

Then a bit of synergy starts happening. Hill's "one-man-against-corrupt-system" syndrome again asserts itself in the script, but meets a kindred spirit in Fincher. Instead of pouring this into "Last Man Standing" (Hill) and "Se7en" (Fincher), they both pour it into Alien3. Weaver, fully aware of the status of Ripley as feminist icon, is well within her wheelhouse and, with all three working together and less time pressure, the shooting proceeds well. John Milius, John Sayles and Quentin Tarantino are bought in to do a bit of script doctoring (just as they did IOTL on "Jaws", "Apollo 13" and "Crimson Tide"), but the spine of the script remains Ward's. Charles Dance's doctor is replaced in toto by Biehn's Hicks, but the character still dies in about the same part of the film. Biehn and Milius are bonded at this point (both right-wing gun nuts), and Milius gives Biehn a three-minute monologue as compensation: it's still quoted to this day.

An ending with Ripley, battered and going in after the last Alien standing is filmed, but the suits want Ripley surviving. Fincher fights for the depressing ending (like he did for "Se7en") and mostly succeeds: the film ends with a smash-cut to black and the final battle is heard in snatches (but not seen) over the credits, with Weaver quoting "'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part." (just as Freeman did in "Se7en")

The film is released in 1995 to mixed reviews: it's critically well considered but audiences (who wanted "Aliens 2") are less so. It grosses about the same as IOTL, and that's that...

... but the film is rapidly reappraised. It becomes a cult classic, then reappraised by the hipsters and the film-school students. Just as "Alien" is seen as the paradigm for haunted-house-horror, and "Aliens" for army-under-siege, "Aliens3" is seen as the ultimate lone-man-against-the-system movie. The elagaic feel lent it by Fincher's direction and Goldsmith's strings (he's usually known for his boom-booomedy-boom anthems, but as Capricorn One showed, he can do winsome) is admired. DVD sales are boffo, and the film eventually occupies a similar place to "Blade Runner": a widely admired science-fiction summer actioner that was not a big success on release but maintained a steady wind.

"Geronimo", "Last Man Standing" and "Se7en" are butterflied away by this, but otherwise history continues: "Supernova" still sucks, but "Fight Club", "Benjamin Button", "Social Network" and "Girl/Dragon/Tattoo" suck not.

Reluctant to mess with perfection, "Alien: Resurrection" never happens, and the franchise is seen as completed. AvP and AvP:Requiem still happen, but are seen more as spin-offs than a continuation.
... Wow. I like this a lot. I like that the space monks actually stick around without overshadowing Ripley or being too out of place, and the script changes seems fairly plausible--though I think John Milius is the only necessary script doctor, as good as Tarantino and Sayles are. Well done!

And hopefully this time, Scott gets a better screenwriter to answer the question. ;)
 
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