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“I Asked Them To Kill You Off On Page Ten” – Ralph Brown Talks Alien 3

It’s no secret that Alien 3 was a nightmare production, a film that it’s own director refuses to even discuss. While it may make for a fascinating topic for fans to learn about, that isn’t a sentiment that the people who experienced the trouble are likely to share.

Ralph Brown, Alien 3’s 85/Aaron, recently posted a very candid blog in which he recounts some of the issues he personally faced while working on Alien 3.

“The canteen sequence.  Rewrites still coming in.  An IRA attack on Downing Street provides a fitting backdrop.  Sigourney is taking no prisoners today.  First it’s the hair:  “Your hair is too long Ralph, we should put some lice in it”   Then an hour later it’s the costume:  “How come Aaron gets to wear a nice clean shirt, while we’re all in dirty crap here?” 

“It’s vanity pure and simple”  says the deep Barnsley burr of Brian Glover.  Thanks mate.   “So the stupid Aaron 85 looks really cool then” says Sigourney.  “Mr Normal”.  She stonks off.   I feel really weird now.  All my paranoias confirmed !   I think she is anxious about having a shaved head, but she has successfully managed to dump her insecurity onto me.”

“I asked them to kill you off on page ten” says Sigourney Weaver to Ralph Brown in an exchange recounted on Brown's blog. “I Asked Them To Kill You Off On Page Ten” - Ralph Brown Talks Alien 3

“I asked them to kill you off on page ten” says Sigourney Weaver to Ralph Brown in an exchange recounted on Brown’s blog.

Brown talks about the difficulties he had with rewrites to Aaron and trying to discuss those changes with writers and producers Walter Hill and David Giler. He talks about selling out David Fincher to the pair, Sigourney Weaver’s hostile attitude on set and his misconceptions as to what was actually happening on the set. It’s a fascinating read! Head on over to Ralph Brown’s blog to read.

Thanks to Charles DeLauzarika for sharing the link.



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  1. SM
    It's self deprecating.

    Speaking of Pinewood, I was watching Last Crusade just now and somehow someone nicked the spiral staircase from the Venice library at Elstree and used it in Alien 3.

    If anyone wants it now they'll need to talk to Lance Henriksen.
  2. Whiskeybrewer
    He survivied in so many versions of the script. In one he was the only survivor i think and in another he was carted off chained to some "Surviving Prisoners" lol

    This is the Schrodinger's Cat of movies lol. Is he alive, is he dead? lol
  3. HuDaFuK
    I doubt he literally meant punching it in the face...

    Originally it was him who held the creature inside the mold so Ripley could get out, not Dillon. He was probably referring to that.
  4. SM
    Quote
    To be fair, Ward's "writing it in" consists of little more than Ripley arriving on the planet, already alone, and saying, "Yeah, they died," which to me is hardly more conclusive than Red and Twohy offing them all before the story starts. Although I guess to be fair it's more implied with them.

    Fasano has a passage detailing blood stains in Newt's cryotube.

    One thing I didn't appreciate until I was watching some of Alien 3 on TV the other night, was how many scenes Ralph Brown had to do with just Weaver or Weaver and one or two others.  Can't have been comfortable for someone who's being hostile (whatever the reasons for that were) coupled with the filmmakers not being able to decide what you're character is supposed to be.
  5. HuDaFuK
    The story I heard is Fox kept assuring Twohy that Ward was in fact working on a script for a fourth film (which obviously he wasn't). When Twohy found out they had someone else doing film number three behind his back, he quit.

    Begs the question why Fox didn't just let him go in the first place, but maybe they were hedging their bets.
  6. Whiskeybrewer
    So Twohy's second draft is another script to add to my Alien 3 hunt lol.

    I remember reading that the studio's told Twohy that he was writing for 3 and then when Ward came on board, they changed and said, whoever had their script finished first would be 3 and the second one would be 4 lol. Then he heard nothing once he handed it in, so took the money and ran lol
  7. HuDaFuK
    Eric Red's featured a ghost ship Sulaco if that counts as killing off the crew, but Ward was the first to step forward and say he wanted Newt dead (she annoyed him), so he wrote it in.

    To be fair, Ward's "writing it in" consists of little more than Ripley arriving on the planet, already alone, and saying, "Yeah, they died," which to me is hardly more conclusive than Red and Twohy offing them all before the story starts. Although I guess to be fair it's more implied with them.
  8. Valaquen
    So? Vincent Ward is to blame? for killing Newt/Hicks off.

    Well it was his story that eventually evolved into the film, but he wasn't the first to do it.

    Eric Red's featured a ghost ship Sulaco if that counts as killing off the crew, but Ward was the first to step forward and say he wanted Newt dead (she annoyed him), so he wrote it in.

    Thanks! Did you ask if he had his WIP 2nd draft still?

    No, that's all I managed at the time. I was researching his script and got sidetracked... I'm still sidetracked  :laugh:
  9. Corporal Hicks
    I have an e-mail from Twohy where he talked about meeting Weaver to put the Ripley character into the prison ship scenario. I'll try and dig it out.

    Please do. I can't recall really seeing Twohy talk too much about his time on the production.

    Here we are, for you and SM:


    Thanks! Did you ask if he had his WIP 2nd draft still?
  10. Guts
    So? Vincent Ward is to blame? for killing Newt/Hicks off.

    I still was a stupid idea and it took like 20 years for somebody to come along and attempt to retcon it canonically.
  11. Valaquen
    I have an e-mail from Twohy where he talked about meeting Weaver to put the Ripley character into the prison ship scenario. I'll try and dig it out.

    Please do. I can't recall really seeing Twohy talk too much about his time on the production.

    Here we are, for you and SM:


  12. Le Celticant
    It really does, doesn't it? It'd be pretty funny is everyone's issues with her came down to not understanding her sense of humour. So many people go on about how lovely a woman she is that it seems almost out of character for these complaints.

    You'd be surprised to see how people react 12 weeks confined together  :D
    It's probably the greatest miracle / hell cinema is capable of producing.
    Ain't nothing to share 10 hours a day in a 5 meters² set with someone who hasn't brush his tooth.
    Then add a bit of ego, disappointing pay, last minute change, disgusting food of the day, horrible hotel, social group differences, shake it very hard and voilà !
    It's hard to forget something happens behind the camera  ;)
  13. Corporal Hicks
    I have an e-mail from Twohy where he talked about meeting Weaver to put the Ripley character into the prison ship scenario. I'll try and dig it out.

    Please do. I can't recall really seeing Twohy talk too much about his time on the production.

    Sigourney Weaver sounds like someone with a really bad sense of humour.

    It really does, doesn't it? It'd be pretty funny is everyone's issues with her came down to not understanding her sense of humour. So many people go on about how lovely a woman she is that it seems almost out of character for these complaints.
  14. Nostromo
    I tried to watch Alien 3 again..until I remembered those nut cases running around and screaming for half the movie. With their part monk part prison rags and black teeth lol. Just couldn't do it, will try and watch the special extended version next week.

    It mostly helps somewhat, actually, leastly. Lestly? Leastly? What Is that the opposite of mostly?

    I corrected my post, it was filled with quick phone typos. Is it the special or extended or exterminated version? The longer version. With the dog alien chestburster that comes out of a bull and the beehive under the stairs.

    The extended has even more nutcases running screaming...
    http://www.scified.com/articles/the-opening-sequence-of-alien-iii-just-what-the-hell-is-going-on-here-44.jpg
    lol, why?
  15. XENOMORPHOSIS
    Eastern standard time it just turned to October 17th, today was meant to be the scheduled of Shane Black's The Predator to begin filming, but due to the delays in casting actors for the roles it will probably delay the production later pushing the film release to summer of 2018.
  16. Nostromo
    I tried to watch Alien 3 again..until I remembered those nut cases running around and screaming for half the movie. With their part monk part prison rags and black teeth lol. Just couldn't do it, will try and watch the special extended version next week.

    It mostly helps somewhat, actually, leastly. Lestly? Leastly? What Is that the opposite of mostly?
  17. SM
    Quote
    Ward's script is all about Ripley, they must have known she was on-board at that point.

    They'd already been through several scripts that didn't have her because she wasn't interested.

    Yeah but I'm talking about sequence of events.  Brandywine may have asked Ward to pitch without a commitment from Weaver, then she committed after hearing what they were thinking of doing.  Maybe.

    Weaver first came onboard when Twohy was writing his script. He was asked to rewrite his screenplay with Ripley as the lead and met Sigourney to get her ideas. But a spanner was thrown into the works when the director Renny Harlin walked because he didn't want to do the 'prison ship' idea Twohy had. Brandywine found Vincent Ward, and when Ward came onboard he wanted to write the script, so Twohy was let go.

    That's the story as I've been able to ascertain. I have an e-mail from Twohy where he talked about meeting Weaver to put the Ripley character into the prison ship scenario. I'll try and dig it out.

    Cheers.  I figured you'd know how it went down.  :)
  18. Local Trouble
    Did you read the William Gibson scripts?

    Gibson's first script is over-the-top Aliens fan-wank in the worst possible way. His second attempt, where he basically takes away all the guns and shooting, is infinitely superior.

    Oh, I agree.  I just think the opinion that an Alien movie can't be suspenseful if the characters have guns is silly.  Hell, Aliens is one of the most suspenseful movies I've ever seen.  Like Roger Ebert said in his review of it:

    Quote
    I don't know how else to describe this: The movie made me feel bad. It filled me with feelings of unease and disquiet and anxiety. I walked outside and I didn't want to talk to anyone. I was drained. I'm not sure "Aliens" is what we mean by entertainment. Yet I have to be accurate about this movie: It is a superb example of filmmaking craft.

    Alien 3, on the other hand, lacked any suspense at all.
  19. Valaquen
    Quote
    Ward's script is all about Ripley, they must have known she was on-board at that point.

    They'd already been through several scripts that didn't have her because she wasn't interested.

    Yeah but I'm talking about sequence of events.  Brandywine may have asked Ward to pitch without a commitment from Weaver, then she committed after hearing what they were thinking of doing.  Maybe.

    Weaver first came onboard when Twohy was writing his script. He was asked to rewrite his screenplay with Ripley as the lead and met Sigourney to get her ideas. But a spanner was thrown into the works when the director Renny Harlin walked because he didn't want to do the 'prison ship' idea Twohy had. Brandywine found Vincent Ward, and when Ward came onboard he wanted to write the script, so Twohy was let go.

    That's the story as I've been able to ascertain. I have an e-mail from Twohy where he talked about meeting Weaver to put the Ripley character into the prison ship scenario. I'll try and dig it out.
  20. Xenomania
    Interesting read, the bit about shaving his chest was funny. :D

    It's likely Sigourney was just winding everybody up for the sake of character.

    I was wondering if this was the case; because she refers to him by his character name. She may be trying to create a bit of tension so it comes off on screen later. But I dunno.
    No wonder there's so many F-words in the film! ;)
  21. HuDaFuK
    ...a bunch of theater no-names?

    They my not have been well-known in the States, but there are quite a few famous British faces in there. Guys like Pete Postlethwaite and Paul McGann have been in tons of things here.

    Did you read the William Gibson scripts?

    Gibson's first script is over-the-top Aliens fan-wank in the worst possible way. His second attempt, where he basically takes away all the guns and shooting, is infinitely superior.

    Yeah but I'm talking about sequence of events.  Brandywine may have asked Ward to pitch without a commitment from Weaver, then she committed after hearing what they were thinking of doing.  Maybe.

    Fair enough. Admittedly I've no idea what came first, the script or the actress, just thinking out loud.
  22. Bad Replicant
    I think that's to do with Sigourney replacing Veronica in the role of Ripley. Have heard some personal issues were allegedly going on behind the scenes which contributed to that taking place, which would seem to line up with these other comments.

    Weaver's digs in the article remind me of some things she said filming Alien. Ian Holm and Ridley mentioned that one day, as Ridley rolled into the studio in his Rolls Royce, Weaver quipped, "Nice car. Did your dad buy it for you?"  The comment really irked Scott, but Holm seemed to observe that she was yanking Scott's chain, having recognised him as being self-made and proud of it.

    She bad.
  23. CelticPred97
    That's sad and annoying to hear about Sigourney Weaver. At least she apologised though.
    On another note, I don't think the character of Aaron is at all brought down by his lack of intelligence and I never saw him as comic relief. He's less aggressive but he gets tense and scared so I'm not sure where the comedy really is there with that character. I like that he's less intelligent as that's a key part of his character and it makes a point that he's one of the last ones to survive and only doesn't because he bravely sacrificed himself.

    BishopShouldGo -
    Quote
    you made me endure a bunch of theater no-names?

    Were the actors not "no-names" I don't think it would have worked nearly as well as you'd lose immersion.

    Xenomorphine -
    Quote
    No reason they couldn't have gone back to the formula of 'Alien' and set it aboard a space station for much the same reason. 'Alien 3' doesn't really gain anything by being set on a planet.

    I think 'Alien 3' being set on a planet makes it more interesting... well not necessarily a planet but the planet. Firstly, I think it could have come across as a lesser version of the original were it set on a spaceship; and secondly, putting your thoughts on the overall quality aside, do you not think the set design of the film is great? Something I like about the 'Alien' franchise is that each film has a different tone and feel while still feeling like part of the same story (which is one problem of 'Prometheus' - it doesn't have that feel). I think 'Alien 3' looks great and I really like the prison concept it went with.

    Scorpio -
    Quote
    The most suspenseful scene in Aliens was the facehugger scene because Ripley didn't have a gun.

    Not to disagree but that scene does have the advantage of being longer. The motion tracker distance countdown scene is suspenseful. As is actually, the chase scene towards the end (the Queen chasing Ripley). And actually, the scene where the marines first enter the hive.
    ^ See this is why I disagree with the comment some people make that 'Aliens' is just a shoot-em-up with explosions and stuff. Aliens are killed but there is a load of suspense in that film.
  24. SM
    Quote
    Ward's script is all about Ripley, they must have known she was on-board at that point.

    They'd already been through several scripts that didn't have her because she wasn't interested.

    Yeah but I'm talking about sequence of events.  Brandywine may have asked Ward to pitch without a commitment from Weaver, then she committed after hearing what they were thinking of doing.  Maybe.
  25. Scorpio
    I once heard this story years ago, related to Alien 3 that Reason why Hicks and Newt got killed off was because Weaver wanted all of the star power and she didn't like That Michael Biehn's character was becoming so popular.

    That's what i was told. But who knows.

    She's also the reason there were no guns.

    A good decision as well.  It robs the threat if you can just shoot an alien with a gun.

    Did you see Aliens? 

    Yeah, and dozens of aliens get mowed down, makes for good action but less suspenseful.  The most suspenseful scene in Aliens was the facehugger scene because Ripley didn't have a gun.
  26. Valaquen
    There was a lot of strain between the actors on Alien, and I suspect enmity between Cartwright and Weaver. Nothing malicious, but Cartwright has spoken about there being politicking around Weaver because she was something of royalty given her background. Plus the fact that Cartwright read for the part of Ripley, only to find she was Lambert once arriving in England.

    Weaver's digs in the article remind me of some things she said filming Alien. Ian Holm and Ridley mentioned that one day, as Ridley rolled into the studio in his Rolls Royce, Weaver quipped, "Nice car. Did your dad buy it for you?"  The comment really irked Scott, but Holm seemed to observe that she was yanking Scott's chain, having recognised him as being self-made and proud of it.
  27. Xenomorphine
    Crazy. I'd shell out some $$$ for a book of inside accounts like this from Alien 3. The Veronica Cartwright comments are a little... befuddling? The stuff about Sigourney certainly seems to jive with some of Paul McGann's comments about her in the documentary. :D

    I think that's to do with Sigourney replacing Veronica in the role of Ripley. Have heard some personal issues were allegedly going on behind the scenes which contributed to that taking place, which would seem to line up with these other comments.

    A good decision as well.  It robs the threat if you can just shoot an alien with a gun.

    As 'Aliens' showed, that's what acid and a conveniantly sudden lack of ammunition is for.

    No reason they couldn't have gone back to the formula of 'Alien' and set it aboard a space station for much the same reason. 'Alien 3' doesn't really gain anything by being set on a planet.
  28. Local Trouble
    I once heard this story years ago, related to Alien 3 that Reason why Hicks and Newt got killed off was because Weaver wanted all of the star power and she didn't like That Michael Biehn's character was becoming so popular.

    That's what i was told. But who knows.

    She's also the reason there were no guns.

    A good decision as well.  It robs the threat if you can just shoot an alien with a gun.

    Did you see Aliens?  Did you read the William Gibson scripts?
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