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David Fincher’s first feature film, Alien 3, was rife with problems from the start. Studio interference, a release date before one second was shot, and multiple smaller issues all plagued the production. For my money, Alien 3 is highly underrated in the franchise, perhaps the last quality entry.
Here are 13 things you may not have known about David Fincher’s Alien 3…
1. First-time director David Fincher disowned the film, citing constant studio interference and actually walked out of production before final editing began. He did preside over a rough cut that became the basis for the ‘Assembly Cut’, a longer version of the movie later released on DVD and BluRay.
2. 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.
3. 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!”
4. The production effectively shut down for three months while the script was undergoing rewrites.
5. Original Alien 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, so Scott declined to return and Harlin later quit the film. Scott ultimately got his wish with the movie Prometheus in 2012.
6. 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.
7. Costume Designer Bob Ringwood walked off the film early in production after finding Director David Fincher difficult and unpleasant to work with.
8. 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.
9. The original drafts of the script had no Ripley, but producers insisted Weaver reprise her role.
10. Much more of Newt’s 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.
11. This is the only film in the franchise that refers to the alien as an “alien.”
12. Much like first Alien 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; Longer and more disturbing version of Newt’s autopsy scene, close ups of melted face of prisoner who gets hit with Alien’s acid and some gore was cut from scene where he falls into giant fan, bloodier version of Clemens’ death scene and some parts from final chase and fight between prisoners and Alien.
13. Michael Behin had stated in an interview that he was deeply hurt that his character from “Aliens” Corporal Duane Hicks was killed off, after escaping with Ripley, Newt and Bishop at the end of the previous film and did not understand why Hicks had to be killed off.