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William Gibson’s Alien 3 Script – AvPGalaxy Podcast #48

We have just uploaded the 48th episode of the Alien vs. Predator Galaxy Podcast (right-click and save as to download). April’s episode sees RidgeTop, Xenomorphine and I joined by Xenopedia editor and Alien vs. Predator Galaxy community member HuDaFuk as we walk through and discuss the first draft of William Gibson’s Alien 3 script!

 William Gibson's Alien 3 Script - AvPGalaxy Podcast #48

William Gibson was the first writer to complete a script for Alien 3. He would also write a second (and in my opinion, much better) draft that we allude to several times throughout this podcast but this episode is primarily about the very first draft.

We go into some detail about the script and breakdown a lot of the elements including the New Beasts which seem to have inspired Alien: Covenant’s Neomorphs in some fashion.

If you’re interested in reading the script yourself you can find it in our downloads section (along with many other drafts of the various other Alien/vs/Predator films). You can also listen to any of our previous episodes in the Podcast section under the News tab on the main menu. We hope you enjoy!

Keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest Alien news! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien fans on our forums!

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Comments: 37
  1. SpeedyMaxx
    What always intrigues me about the franchise, also, is how much the bones have been picked over the years from unused concepts and scripts to later iterations of the series - Spaihts' draft of what became Prometheus reuses the idea of the skull/face behind the alien's cowl, the final version of A3 uses elements of both Twohy and Ward's scripts. Prometheus reuses many design elements left over from Alien planning and Giger's work, and now we see more unused elements from the pre-production of Alien in AC, as well as arguably some stuff from these Gibson drafts (spores, etc).
  2. CainsSon
    My take on this script is that they were looking at what wasn't addressed in the first film, and they figured using the 'bigger and better' concept figured they should address the reasons why the Derelict appeared alive or organic, and then came to this idea about the DNA that could infect everything.

    I don't hate that idea and I think they will eventually explain that the Black Goo is sort of doing this, as it seems it has made those Spores grown on Paradise in Covenant.

    Overall I think the idea of a Cold War metaphor isn't a bad one, but I also think there were hints of McCarthyism in their with the Bishop character.

    I think with ALIENS the subtext is made text, and then they were thrown to find a way to continue the ideas. When looked at this way ALIEN 3 does seem to have made some smart choices with regards to continuing the themes of Motherhood.
    It just needed to be rewritten a few more times before they started rolling on it.

    When I read these scripts I cant help but feel they could have combined elements of all of them into one very interesting movie.
  3. SpeedyMaxx
    Yeah, like I said I think Hicks is more Hicks-like but a bit less proactive in the second draft. I feel like once the Hybrid bursts out the aliens are largely offscreen (and largely only active offscreen) until the anticlimatic ending in the hangar.

    I prefer the second draft by a lot, but there was so much more they could do in the third act when the shit hit the fan. I don't mean firefights, but just suspense sequences where the alien is actually present. Instead it's largely the survivors moving around and the alien popping in and out or taking people out offscreen. And losing the zero-g sequence was a mistake - imagine doing that with just one or two aliens. Would be creepy as hell.

    I have always assumed any drone could become a queen in the absence of one available.
  4. KiramidHead
    I finished reading the second draft just now, and I think it goes a bit too far to the opposite extreme from the first draft. That one has way too much random shit going, while this one could have been a tad more eventful. That and the Cold War references are still a tad dated. Here are some other random thoughts:

    -Gibson expands on the typical alien life cycle a bit more, and interestingly enough, he makes the warriors from Aliens a transitional stage to the ultimate form, the one from the original film. That's pretty opposite of every other take I've seen. Also, the idea that any drone can become a queen under the right circumstances is an intriguing one.

    -The UPP repairing Bishop with sub standard materials reminded me of a chapter in Red Storm Rising where a German dentist fingers a Soviet spy based on the crappy fillings in his teeth.

    -Hicks, the marine famously in need of waking up, spends a chunk of this draft asleep. :laugh:

    -I had a hard time picturing the Hybrid alien, and how it was supposed to differentiate from the standard model. I'm also not sure how the transformation happened to begin with. The embryo just kind of randomly farts on two people, and that's it.

    -Also, the "yellow liquid" that the Hybrid bleeds just made me wonder if the Tall Man was somehow involved.
  5. gfds
    Assuming this was the movie we got, they could of easily fixed the alien virus nonsense by having the Darelect surviving the Atmospheric Plant explosion by either: being far enough away from the explosion or the Darelect is nigh-indestructible compared to a nuclear explosion. Then have the Darelect salvaged by the U.P.P. or Weyland-Yutani either the ship or the eggs, then have an infestation on Anchorpoint space station. Then have the station get "STERILIZED" at the end of the movie, BUT we find out 1 of the escaping vessels with survivors was infested and now the Earth has a xenomorph infestation now and they are building a massive hive, this would of been a shocking twist to find out all efforts where in vain to save the Earth but also building up hype for the next movie with Russia, America, and everyone else united against our true enemy!
  6. GreybackElder
    Great podcast gentleman! Loved the script read and breakdown. This movie would have been absolutely bananas if it followed this script. I definitely see the parallels with this and Alien Covenant with the use of spores. I hope it doesn't follow the same premise of those infected turn into Aliens. Having an Alien burst out of you is so much more unsettling to me. Once again great job!
    How do you get these scripts?
  7. KiramidHead
    I do find it rather funny that one of the evil corporate characters is named Fox. I wonder if Gibson did that on purpose. Also, Welles and Fox remind me of the two ad executives from The Simpsons a bit. :laugh:
  8. SpeedyMaxx
    I think the first draft has Hicks far too gung-ho for the more chill, taciturn dude in Aliens, but I think the second draft underplays him a bit too much. He sort of stumbles on a lot of other characters already doing things until the last act. There were also scenes with him interacting with Bishop and the machinist in the first draft pre-outbreak, talking about what he's been through, which I think could've survived - and I dug the angle where Hicks meets the drunk Tully in the bar and discovers what's up in the labs.

    While the first draft is amped-up teen fantasy in a lot of ways, I think the second draft is pretty great. If it had that zero-G finale and a bit more overt action in story (not gunplay) for both Hicks and the two aliens, I'd be very happy with it overall.

    It's also worth noting that while her screen time is mostly (mostly) the same, Newt is gone by around the 30-minute mark in draft 1, and lasts til like an hour in in draft 2.
  9. KiramidHead
    I started reading the second draft. What I'm finding funny is how Gibson gets less specific as he describes the commandos. Kurtz is East German, DeSolis is Central American, and Chang is just from the Pacific Rim. Because that narrows it down. :laugh:
  10. Whiskeybrewer
    I love both of Gibson's drafts (with the second being the better of the two), but yeah the first one is so over the top. He did seem to throw everything into it.

    And there is so much cannon fodder in the first draft, with what happens to all the residents of the Station. Especially the random focus on the scared woman with the bear, who's surrounded by people, then next shot, she's suddenly vanished, with the bear lying on the ground and no one notices anything lol
  11. Corporal Hicks
    Quote from: SpeedyMaxx on Apr 19, 2017, 05:46:51 PM
    In any event: I still wish they'd made a version of Gibson's story.

    Personally I much prefer the second draft. It's a much less outrageous take on the story and it feels more in line with the actual films to me. I think I'd say the second draft is probably my favourite out of all of them. I do think it would have been great to see that zero-G combat (I go on about that all the time lol) though.

    Quote from: KiramidHead on Apr 19, 2017, 05:53:51 PM
    I'll be sure not to copy off you guys when I do the inevitable Alien 3 episode for my show. :laugh:

    I'm looking forward to your episode on it. There's enough fodder in Alien 3 for you! lol

    QuoteFinished listening, overall it was a very thorough examination of the draft. I had forgotten all about the lemurs and the cabbages. :laugh: And I'm expecting a real piece of shit from that AVPR draft, going on the remarks you guys have made in the last couple of script episodes. And a table read... I volunteer for a role. :laugh:

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. I quite like doing these script episodes (admittedly I was tired towards the end of this one though). I could imagine nothing more cringe worthy that doing a roundtable reading.  :laugh:
  12. KiramidHead
    This should be fun to listen to. I've read the first Gibson draft, and liked it okay, but I'll admit there was too much shit going on. I'll be sure not to copy off you guys when I do the inevitable Alien 3 episode for my show. :laugh:

    Finished listening, overall it was a very thorough examination of the draft. I had forgotten all about the lemurs and the cabbages. :laugh: And I'm expecting a real piece of shit from that AVPR draft, going on the remarks you guys have made in the last couple of script episodes. And a table read... I volunteer for a role. :laugh:
  13. SpeedyMaxx
    I remember loving the first Gibson draft in high school. Minus Ripley being mostly absent, it was exactly the Aliens sequel I always wanted. I felt the oft-maligned cyberpunk "New Beast" was pretty different and cool too. It was something unique.

    Today I acknowledge it's often pure fan service and very derivative of the second movie, but still an entertaining read, especially compared to the dour later A3 drafts and final film IMO. I do think Gibson's second draft is a lot better and more horror-oriented, but I also think that draft lacks a strong climax - it sort of just stops after a brief alien catfight in the docking bay, whereas the original draft has a great zero-g setpiece. If they'd added that to the second draft with just the two aliens in that version of the story it would be pretty ideal.

    In any event: I still wish they'd made a version of Gibson's story.
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