Alien³: From The Set No One Can Hear You Scream

Up until now production the third installment of the Alien saga has had a pretty bad reputation. Fincher himself somehow disowned his first movie. Now comes first-hand report from the 1991 set of the notorious over budget, over schedule film.

Empire Magazine published an extraordinary account by British journalist Garth Pearce visiting the set of Alien³. Pearce entering Pinewood studios after weeks of repeated requests actually feels like landing on another planet where suspicion is lurking everywhere like Giger's drooling creatures. All right, I am getting carried away ;-)

Get over before they change their minds [but] be prepared to hang around and don't be surprised by anything you see or hear

Geoff Freeman (publicist)

After New Zealander director Vincent Ward wood planet schemes being crushed by 1991 recession (see also Empire's investigation below), 28 years old Fincher entered the game and set the action in a space prison. Then come endless takes, script rewriting, legion of producers, exhausted actors and eventually production being shut down after 93 days and "shoe salesman" Fincher ordered back to L.A by 20th Century Fox exec.

I am not allowed to forget that this is a very big opportunity for me. In fact, I am reminded of how big it is on a daily basis.

David Fincher

That said, Fincher's "failure" is an epic take on the Alien character way above James Cameron or Jean-Pierre Jeunet's versions. Even if Fincher does not want to hear about it, one can surely expect a (real) director's cut in the years to come. I believe it is of every director's hidden dream to remake one's film. Obsessive Fincher, though very little emotional, might want to revisit his painful first feature. And by looking at some of the cut footage available on DVD it might actually improve our judgment.

Thanks to Wolfgang and Fitz for these prime materials!

Empire Alien 3 set report
Empire on Vincent Ward's unmade Alien movie ($35 million wooden cathedral!)


  1. A director's cut seems veeeery unlikely, from both an emotional and a technical point of view. Firstly because whenever Alien 3 comes around in an interview, he never goes beyond just shruging it off with a couple of words, if we're lucky, and these are usually preceeded or followed by a massive eye-rolling. Secondly, from what one can gather from old interviews and second accounts, it would require some massive, massive reshoots to just come close to his vision which, at this point, seems pretty much impossible. He basically just seems to feel a very faint connection to what he was forced to shoot for that movie.

  2. Just found the site, but will be coming back often. I love David Fincher. I had seen Alien 3 and Seven but didn't really pay attention to the director until seeing Fight Club in 1999. Now, I eagerly wait for each new movie.

    Great Site! Thanks!

  3. I think the assembly cut available on the 2-disc Special Edition of Alien 3 (and Alien Quadrilogy/Alien Anthology boxes) is the closest we're ever gonna get to an director's cut. It's closer to Fincher's original cut and way superior compared to the studio bastardized theatrical cut and really the only cut of the movie anyone should ever see.


  4. I hope Santa will come soon to bring a new blog post.


  6. Thanks prior Anonymous. Some Fincher news are much appreciated!

  7. Way above Cameron? Let's not get carried away here. Aliens is a perfect film. Alien 3 is well shot but it's a total mess. Fincher has severed all ties from it for a reason.