Genetic Memory – Influencing the Neomorphs

Posted by Corporal Hicks on March 20, 2017 (Updated: 20-Mar-2017)

Eric Red’s Alien Thing

After William Gibson left Alien 3, Eric Red stepped in to provide a single draft. It wasn’t a rewrite of Gibson’s but Red took some of Gibson’s concept of modifying the Aliens at a genetic level and using them as a biological weapon. Red’s draft was also set on a space station (called North Star but later has an inexplicable change of name to Sulaco Station) where the military experiment with Alien genetic material.

Gibson’s previous drafts briefly talked about the Alien DNA being able to assimilate other DNA but Red’s took it a completely new level. Red places a lot of attention around the versatility of the Alien DNA and it’s ability to “assimilate” other matter as explained in the script:

“This organism, on a cellular, even a molecular level, is a purely and totally predatory.  We have never encountered an organism that had its characteristics…or its potential.  To survive, this cell attacks, and assimilates the cells of whatever it encounters.  In this manner it takes on the form of what it kills.  But this is what is most interesting…Gentlemen, I put to you that this organism, this cell, can assimilate not only with organic matter, but with inorganic matter.”

If you think this sounds more like something out of John Carpenters The Thing than Alien, you wouldn’t be alone. Red even seems to want to make you see the connection based on the inclusion of his very own Alien Thing:

“Fifty humans have been turned into an Alien Thing.  They have fused together into one…thing.  It is a two story, moving, murderous ass of armour and flesh, eyeballs, and tongues, screaming mouths and jackhammer jaws in a huge, anamorphous blob of arms, legs, talons, hooks, snouts, and teeth.  There are the teeth…”

 Genetic Memory - Influencing the Neomorphs

One of the many Alien-like creatures in Prometheus: Fire and Stone.

The Alien Thing would eventually begin to merge with the North Star space station itself, forming a giant Alien Thing floating in space:

“He looks out across the burning ruins of the endoskeleton and he sees the Alien Thing, the mass of fifty people, is now meshed with Alien Cattle and Alien Horses and many kinds of Alien Animals.  And more…It is melding to the steel beams and girders of the space station, all becoming one, living, moving, absorbing Alien.

The space station is reforming, metal and Alien and human flesh are fusing and reconstructing into a living biomechanoid blob, like a ten mile wide octopus as it’s beams and girders burst through the sides of the space station like gigantic tentacles of steel and slimy black armour and flesh.  The Alien thing floats in space…”

The ten mile wide Alien Thing is then promptly killed with a nuclear warhead.

Though Red’s script does still feature one sequence with facehuggers, the majority of the Aliens in the script come from when an Alien cocooned numerous scientists and military personal.

The script makes it sound like these characters are being eggmorphed, referring to the cocooned characters as being in a state of transformation but instead, fully formed adult Aliens soon emerge from the cocoons instead:

“John Smith winces as he is splatted with blood as an Alien leg erupts in bone and guts from one of the cocooned scientists.

A six foot tall, humanoid Alien is tearing its way out of one of the cocoons.  It’s armoured, slimy snout snaps at the air as it tries to extricate itself from the thick, tendrily cocoon substance.”

It’s not exactly the same as the way William Gibson’s New Beasts reproduced but it shares some similarities. The reason I bring up Eric Red’s draft is not due to the way the creatures reproduce, it’s to do with the concept of the Alien DNA that both Gibson and Red play with quite heavily.

 Genetic Memory - Influencing the Neomorphs

The synthetic Elden is transformed by the accelerant in Prometheus: Fire and Stone.

While the black goo/accelerant hasn’t been explained in any certain terms, both Prometheus and Dark Horse Comics’ Fire and Stone series have used it to transform creatures, androids and entire ecosystems into with many Alien-like qualities.

Though the origins of the black goo existed in Jon Spaihts’ drafts, it was a “scarab” that distributed the DNA of the last thing thing it bit rather than a blanket substance that transformed everything into an Alien-like entity. The accelerant seems to have more in common with concepts written by William Gibson and Eric Red.

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Comments: 11
  1. The spores I wonder if they have anything to do with the engineer from Prometheus when he started to particlize after consuming the cup of elements.

  2. Great read.The moment I saw the airborne black goo I immediately thought of Gibson. I have always been a fan of the original Alien 3. It had a more dark/gothic tone that was similar to the first film, and it had the gritty feel that only Fincher can pull off. That being said, Gibson’s script is (merely in my personal opinion) the most faithful sequel to Aliens. I’m not surprised Ridley may be incorporating some ideas from it. If I remember correctly, there are 1 or 2 ideas in David Twohy’s Alien 3 script that appear to have been later incorporated into his film “The Chronicles of Riddick”.

    Twohy and Ward both really brought some amazing ideas to the table in their own right. Ried kind of lost me at the Alien chickens thing. Although to be fair, Gibson also showed that animals could be infected in his script. Regardless, I think it’s great if Ridley chooses to bring some of the cool ideas these guys had to the screen finally. I can only hope that if Neil’s Alien 5 truly gets the boot, he leaks the script. Weaver really talked it up there for awhile and I’d love to see where they were planning on taking the series.

  3. I like how ideas being reused from previous drafts in later sequels even 30 years later.

    The way Bishop was infected in Gibson’s draft could be an explanation in the final movie why we had the queen eggs on Sulaco.
    “-Was there alien on the board?
    The Queen spread her spore on the dropship before ejected out of the airlock.The spore growns into an egg.

    Very interesting and good post.

  4. very interesting post , really enjoyed reading about the unused alien 3 concept involving the spore pods at the base of the trees .
    I think it’s a very interesting concept and love that Scott and Co are giving obvious nods to those ideas , it would have raised questions and it now seems obvious to me that prometheus was made to establish 1 fact within this universe

    the black goo can make the beast from anything …..

    we can see those spore pods in the trailer and we all know exactly how they were made , no explination required .

    I’m fookin PREYING the thing that attacks them in the grass looks just like the deacon model on page 186 of the prometheus art book ….. seems very similar 😊😊

    a little off topic ….. but I’ve been wondering , we know the stuff in those urns is genetic material , did the lv223 engineers get something to drink the same substance as the sacrifice engineer to break it down into what we see in those urns ?

  5. “Neill Blomkamp may have been poised to retcon Alien 3, but it would appear that Sir Ridley Scott isn’t as willing to let the third film fade into the ether just yet. ”

    This seems a little click-baity, has Scott ever said anything about Alien 3? Are you just referring to the ideas in the unused A3 scripts?

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