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Reassembling Opinions, Talking Alien 3 With Alien Anthology Producer Charles de Lauzirika – AvPGalaxy Podcast #107

We have just uploaded the 107th episode of the Alien vs. Predator Galaxy Podcast (right-click and save as to download)! In this episode we are again joined by Charles de Lauzirika, who produced the phenomenal Alien Quadrilogy, Alien Anthology and Prometheus boxsets, to discuss Alien 3, the work involved in putting the Assembly Cut together and the changing opinion of the fandom.

 Reassembling Opinions, Talking Alien 3 With Alien Anthology Producer Charles de Lauzirika – AvPGalaxy Podcast #107

We discuss how Charles’ desire to tell the behind-the-scenes story of Alien 3 led to him taking on the daunting task of doing the entire Alien series, his attempts to contact David Fincher, how the discovery of a long-lost cut of Alien 3 led to the creation of the Assembly Cut of Alien 3, and plenty more!

When I ask about the Assembly Cut not being in the Region 2 version of the Anthology, it sounds like there’s a little confusion over what I actually meant. I’m talking about is it not being called the Assembly Cut in the menus, but rather Special Edition. I also mention Vincent Ward had a graphic adaptation of his script available on his website which can be found here.

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Comments: 43
  1. Darkness
    Finally got around to listening to this. About half way through so far. Very interesting about how the Assembly Cut came about. I was always curious about what involvement Fincher actually with it. I think I recall reading at the time that Fincher gave them their 'blessing' to do it.

    I'll try and get this one transcribed some time.
  2. The Eighth Passenger
    About halfway through so far and really enjoying it.

    About 1/4 in, though the Corporal does tend to waffle on a bit. Does Charles also get to talk a bit later on?

    Hadn't really noticed I was waffling during the edit. But fair. Apologies.

    Naw, it's cool. Just taking the piss outta ya, it's my job around here in case you haven't noticed.  :P



    I remember seeing that somewhere before but can't recall where exactly.

    It was titled "rumour control" and basically outlined that the SE was not a true Director's Cut (as such would be impossible) or even a real early version of the film, but more a facsimile of an earlier concept of the film with deleted elements to give viewers a look into what "could have been". It wasn't intended as a "better" version of the film, rather to show all the elements people had heard about for so long but not seen.
  3. SiL
    It was titled "rumour control" and basically outlined that the SE was not a true Director's Cut (as such would be impossible) or even a real early version of the film, but more a facsimile of an earlier concept of the film with deleted elements to give viewers a look into what "could have been". It wasn't intended as a "better" version of the film, rather to show all the elements people had heard about for so long but not seen.
  4. Keyes
    Looks I misspoke, re: a Terry Rawlings intro. I just checked my Quadrilogy DVD of A3, and indeed, there's no Rawlings intro there. I feel like we shot one, but I guess it didn't make the cut for some reason. Interestingly, there is a text intro, where the term "Assembly Cut" is used -- so now we know where that name for the long cut of A3 came from.

    Sorry for any confusion. Like I said...it's been 17 years!

    Thanks for looking Charles, unfortunately the UK Region 2 set didn't even have this text intro! I always thought it was strange there was no video intro like the other films in the set.
  5. Kradan
    Is ALIEN 3 a good movie though?

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/lowres.cartoonstock.com/miscellaneous-worms-can-tin-opening_a_can_of_worms-opening-jfa2492_low.jpg

    Nice interview. That said I think Charles de Lauzirika's glorified fancut of alien 3 took it from a 3/5 movie to a 3.5/5 movie. The production values and attention to detail and remastering are indeed a 4/5 effort. Charles de Lauzirika went above and beyond what he was contracted to do.
    That said you can't polish a turd like alien 3, even with a CGI redoing of the runner/ox/dog alien rod puppet effects. It doesn't fix any of the film's flaws.

    Fincher already said alien 3 was a studio politics disaster. Let's leave it at that.

    There's only one Alien movie you can use word "turd" referring to. We all know the name of it.
  6. AVP-CAPCOM
    Is ALIEN 3 a good movie though?

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/lowres.cartoonstock.com/miscellaneous-worms-can-tin-opening_a_can_of_worms-opening-jfa2492_low.jpg

    Nice interview. That said I think Charles de Lauzirika's glorified fancut of alien 3 took it from a 3/5 movie to a 3.5/5 movie. The production values and attention to detail and remastering are indeed a 4/5 effort. Charles de Lauzirika went above and beyond what he was contracted to do.
    That said you can't polish a turd like alien 3, even with a CGI redoing of the runner/ox/dog alien rod puppet effects. It doesn't fix any of the film's flaws.

    Fincher already said alien 3 was a studio politics disaster. Let's leave it at that.
  7. DaveT937
    Hey! Leave the Corp alone!  ;D Waffle away I say!

    And yes, no doubt that you didn’t ‘scoop’ them. They wouldn’t have put this on Facebook if they were pissed.

    I particularly liked Charles’ views on the super facehugger and fandom ie damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

    And also interesting to hear about Terry Rawlings. He opened a showing of Alien at my local cinema last March and must’ve been one of his last public outings. He was having his ear chewed off by some bloke behind me and I’m gutted I didn’t save him and introduce myself!

    Great work Corp!
  8. Janek
    I can't fault Fincher really. It was a truly awful experience for him. It'd be nice if he was made aware of how the AC has turned a lot of opinions - admittedly not all - but it'd be nice to know if he knew.

    Yeah I agree, always bothers me that we get no comments from him on the film other than "not my movie".





    CDL gave some insight into how it was trying to communicate with Fincher during the production of the Assembly Cut, I really liked that bit of info.

    Charles wrote about it before, I archived it here: https://alienseries.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/finding-fincher/

    Might be more info at the link.

    This is great, cheers Val.
  9. Corporal Hicks
    He's talked about it a few times. I was hesitant to ask because I didn't want to bore Charles, but I wanted it in this episode for completion sake as we said. There's a full interview with Charles from Digital Bits from back in the day (Val's excerpts are from that) that is well worth your time.
  10. Corporal Hicks
    One thing I wanted your opinion on is do you guys think its understandable that Fincher is still bitter about the film? CDL gave some insight into how it was trying to communicate with Fincher during the production of the Assembly Cut, I really liked that bit of info.


    I can't fault Fincher really. It was a truly awful experience for him. It'd be nice if he was made aware of how the AC has turned a lot of opinions - admittedly not all - but it'd be nice to know if he knew.

    Quote
    When 85 says "You're going to need a bigger cage than that". Was that scene in the theatrical version or was it left on the cutting room floor? Would have loved to see it in the AC.

    It was in the Workprint, the VHS copy of the test screening cut that Charles mentioned.
  11. Janek
    One thing I wanted your opinion on is do you guys think its understandable that Fincher is still bitter about the film? CDL gave some insight into how it was trying to communicate with Fincher during the production of the Assembly Cut, I really liked that bit of info.

    When 85 says "You're going to need a bigger cage than that". Was that scene in the theatrical version or was it left on the cutting room floor? Would have loved to see it in the AC.
  12. HuDaFuK
    About halfway through so far and really enjoying it. It's scratching my itch for some more info on the actual creation of the extended version - about the only criticism I can think to make regarding Lauzirikia's documentaries is I really would've liked them to have a section near the end that discusses the creation of the alternative cuts, especially in the case of 3.
  13. Corporal Hicks
    Yes Corp - fairly sure I heard them say it would be a good idea on their Aliens commentary track. I was only listening to it last week and then I saw this and thought the timing was pretty serendipitous!

    I wouldn’t worry - you snooze, you lose! As you’ve said, this must’ve been in the planning for ages and theirs was an off the cuff comment.

    Ah. I haven't listened to the Aliens commentary yet. But regardless, I wouldn't have done tried to scoop them or anything. I like the PO crew.

    I've been loving the guests on these podcasts lately, some great stuff. Just a suggestion though, perhaps embed the YouTube version in the article as well as the audio file? It would be a lot more convenient to be able to watch it right here, instead of having a link to the vid buried amongst all the other underlined text at the bottom.

    Anyway, keep up the great work!

    Duly noted. I shall endeavour to do that going forward. Have you switched to watching the video versions? And thank you! Glad you're enjoying.  :)

    Sorry for any confusion. Like I said...it's been 17 years!

    No worries, Charles! We all get mixed up.  :)
  14. dinosauriac
    I've been loving the guests on these podcasts lately, some great stuff. Just a suggestion though, perhaps embed the YouTube version in the article as well as the audio file? It would be a lot more convenient to be able to watch it right here, instead of having a link to the vid buried amongst all the other underlined text at the bottom.

    Anyway, keep up the great work!
  15. DaveT937
    Yes Corp - fairly sure I heard them say it would be a good idea on their Aliens commentary track. I was only listening to it last week and then I saw this and thought the timing was pretty serendipitous!

    I wouldn’t worry - you snooze, you lose! As you’ve said, this must’ve been in the planning for ages and theirs was an off the cuff comment.
  16. Lauzirika
    Looks I misspoke, re: a Terry Rawlings intro. I just checked my Quadrilogy DVD of A3, and indeed, there's no Rawlings intro there. I feel like we shot one, but I guess it didn't make the cut for some reason. Interestingly, there is a text intro, where the term "Assembly Cut" is used -- so now we know where that name for the long cut of A3 came from.

    Sorry for any confusion. Like I said...it's been 17 years!
  17. seattle24
    And that an Ox is very representative of biblical lore. A sick and dying Ox is a bad omen for a household.

    Wow. What an interesting undertone I had NO idea about. That kind of elevates my opinion of the Ox scene now to more on par with the dog (though the dog will always make more sense)

    As for the pod, it was brilliant. I will always make time to hear an Alien 3 discussion. The quadrilogy and anthology are such huge pillars of fascination and knowledge in the fandom, so god bless Charles, he’s a legend.

    God I would love it if someone someday followed in Charles footsteps and lobbied for another kind of special cut. Completely appreciate what Charles says about a fan doing it from home, but I dunno, like Hicks said, it would be elite if someone could dive into the depths of the Fox archives for a properly authentic cut.
  18. Corporal Hicks
    I'm glad everyone is enjoying! I'd still like to see the original rod puppet footage restored, but I completely understand Charles' point. I'd happily see a version with new CG footage of the Alien instead. I just hope a talented fan comes along in the future to do it!

    Just thought I'd mention a few points from YouTube comments -

    It was Alien: Echo that had red-blooded synthetics.

    And that an Ox is very representative of biblical lore. A sick and dying Ox is a bad omen for a household.
  19. 426Buddy
    Excellent interview! Always love hearing from CDL and this interview had some great insight from him. Unfortunately it was also sobering regarding any future improvement of the rod puppet effects.

    Great job guys!
  20. Janek
    As an avid fan of Alien 3 this podcast was really wonderful for me. Love that you guys are working so hard to keep the fanbase entertained and informed on everything connected to the franchise.

    Cheers!
  21. Keyes
    Good chat :)

    Thank you for asking my question regarding Murphy's missing line in the Special Edition Region 2 version, and for asking Charles what his own hypothetical fan-edit would be. Facinating!

    I would love for more footage to be unearthed and released, and even if someone wanted to have a crack at a CGI runner to replace those rod puppet FX.
  22. Hudson
    This is great so far. Love these stories of trying to contact Fincher, especially the voicemail. I hadn't heard these yet.

    Great to hear so many of my other questions about edits answered too. And we need a better name for this fabled edit than "the cut we found" or whatever he keeps calling it.

    Loved to hear him say something along the lines of "maybe someday" with regard to some of the other deleted material that wasn't restored. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a touched up workprint, which is probably at the top of my "take my money now" wishlist.
  23. Predalien39
    Really enjoyed this interview.  Glad someone like Charles exists to actually make these documentaries and alternate cuts.  I’m glad you asked him about going further and touching up the fx for a possible future cut, even if I didn’t love his answer. 
    Maybe he’s right and one day there will be a very glossy fan cut.  Would still love fir them to produce an official Final Cut though of sorts.  Add back in the dog bursted and the final ripley chestburster, along with some polished FX and that would be ideal
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