Alien 3: William Gibson

leading from


a) Writing Neuromancer
Gibson wrote Neuromancer, it was during this time that Blade Runner came out.

Both he and Ridley Scott in their endeavours to imagine a futuristic city were thinking about the artwork of the liked of the comic book illustrator Moebius and the likes which featured in the comic book "Metal Hurlant", that would later come out in America as the comic book "Heavy Metal".

When the film came out, Gibson was afraid to watch it in the theatre because he was afraid that it would be better than he had imagined.

In a way he was right to be afraid, because even thought that the first few minutes were better.

But then it turned into a box-office flop in its first theatrical showing and it worried him, he thought "Uh-oh. He got it right and ­nobody cares!"

b) Giler Reads Neuromancer
Drifting into September 1987, David Giler had read the award winning novel Neuromancer while he was holidaying in Thailand.

He realized that with a jolt that the futuristic Earth that the novelist envisioned jibed perfectly with the exhausted techno-society represented by the Nostromo and its crew in Dan O'Bannon's original story.

He suggested hiring William Gibson to write the screenplay for Alien 3, temporarily relegating Alien 4 to the backburner.

c) Gibson's writing
The central theme of Gibson's writing postulated that technology has outstripped mankind's ability to manage it, resulting in spiritual and emotional decimation and a perverse melding of human and mechanical evolution.

d) Hiring Gibson
Embracing the alien as a symbol of technology run amok, Giler suggested that hiring Gibson to write the screenplay for Alien 3, which would also mean temporarily relegating Alien 4 to the backburner.

Giler and Walter Hill met with the Vancouver-based author, and with Gibson revealing that Alien had a strong influence on him, he long had, since first viewing Alien, a sense that the alien was a bio-weapon, he probably told them about his curiosity about what one would get if the alien had gestated in perhaps a kitten or even an elephant - the three men forged an alliance.

e) Gibson's interest
William Gibson responded with a certain amount of interest.

He was a fan of the original Alien movie, and found it interesting even when it first came out and liked its sequel Aliens as well

He previously had a couple of nibbles at screenplays in Hollywood, but Alien III was another thing entirely.

They gave him a detail fifteen page treatment as part of the standard act of giving him the story and then say "Do whatever you want" or even "Make it the same as this, but different."

It was like being offered the keys to some really fast moving vehicle as a Jaguar, and he would be taking it for a test spin.

He recalled that there was a set of designs that H.R. Giger did for the first film that they didn't use and he had seen the drawings. 

It was the part where Ripley finds the cocooned bodies, it's like an obscene grotto festooned with bones and tennis shoes. 

Also, in the second movie, Aliens  the most elaborate set Cameron built was the mining town surrounding the oxygen generator. 

He recalled that they shot this sequence that explains what happened to Newt's family, which was deleted but restored for the special edition released in 1992. 

Gibson was interested enough to put these things into the script.

He took the scripts of Alien and Aliens very closely, tried to triangulate them, creating a third tha would feel like part of the one thing, but its own critter at the same time.

 (See William Gibson on Alien)

Mexican revolutionary mural
(https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertravels/531374223/in/photostream/)

f)  The General story
Gibson's story, drew heavily from Hill and Giler's treatment, and it picked up where Aliens ended, in deep with the Sulaco troop carrier.

Due to a failure in the on-board navigational system, the ship, carrying Ripley, Newt and Hicks in hibernation chambers and the wrecked android Bishop - strays into a sector of space claimed by the Union of Progressive Peoples.

The Sulaco is in a small shuttlecraft and searched by U.P.P. Commandos, who are attacked by an alien facehugger that had been inside an egg growing from in the synthetic entrails of the android.

The soldiers blasted the parasite into space, removed Bishop from the Sulaco for study and returned the ship to its original course.

Soon thereafter, the ship reached its destination, Anchorpoint, a Company-run space station/shopping mall.

Mexican revolutionary mural
(https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertravels/531374213/in/photostream/)
g) Marxists in space
The producers suggested a Marxist space empire to him and he happily elaborated on that in his script this would later date the script, it was pre-Perestroika, but he found it fun at the time.

There didn't seem to be a single piece of space opera where there were commies.

He tried to open out the background of the first two, exploring things about the human culture that viewers wouldn't have expected but at the same time didn't contradict what the viewers already knew.

Early on we would discover that the universe isn't exclusively run by the company, and there's a hard-bitten Third World socialist power in space as well, which is a motley bunch of East Germans,  Latin Americans and East Asians, and all those countries that would come to no longer exist later,

These different factions are all out there doing their own thing in big space stations painted inside like a blend of Mexican Socialists agitprop murals and Syd Mead techo-fantasy, and he would then refer to Mexican revolutionary murals.


Syd Mead techno fantasy image

h) Agitprop style murals as a Kubrick reference?
Such agitprop style murals featured in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, decorating the lift lobby walks.





i) The plot without Sigourney
However, Sigourney seemed doggedly unwilling to participate in the film and he was instructed to keep Ripley in stasis throughout. Deprived on Ripley, Gibson realised about much he liked Bishop.

This resulted in a story where a fire started by additional aliens aboard the Sulaco leaves Ripley in a coma, and it is left to Hicks to trawl through Anchorpoint in an effort to determine if rumors he's head about the Weyland-Yutani Corporation are true.

The Company, he correctly suspects, is creating an army of alien warriors.

Unbeknownst to anyone on Anchorpoint, the Company's archenemy, the Union of Progressive Peoples known in short as the U.P.P., thanks to the alien material left behind inside Bishop by the queen. Inevitably, both the Company's station and the U.P.P.'s station become infested with the parasite - and Hicks' team must join forces with U.P.P. survivors to destroy the alien horde.

The aliens are now the new-model aliens and new-model chestbursters, perhaps that might echo in people minds as 'New Model Army'

Discovered inside one of the a massive airscrubbers of Anchorpoint station, a mutated alien queen is found splayed on its back, mortared into the mass of resin.

Its head is described as vestigial pointing towards its human onlookers before it.

It's abdomen, a biomechanical birth-factory, is arched like an inverted scorpion-tail, tipped with a swollen, semi-translucent sac that ripples and pulses in the glare of a lamp. 

Half a dozen new-model Aliens are found twisting out of recesses in the grotto walls that tear into human victims like living chainsaws.

The alien queen's swollen pod like tail splits open with a sickly, tearing SOUND, releasing a puffball cloud of dark mist -- seen earlier before in miniature form in the script when an egg like spore is grown in a lab from the alien genetic material still on Bishop skin.

The mist which begins to rise, is drawn up toward the giant fans above the air-scrubber... and so the cloud of spores is sucked into a fan and through the air ducts, get into people and infect them resulting in half dozen chestbursters erupting simultaneously from a single human body resulting in swarms of aliens.

The script closes with an Alien 4 teaser, Bishop notes that the humans are united against a common enemy - they must now track the aliens back to their source and destroy them. "This is a Darwinian universe, Hoiks." the android says. "Will the alien be the ultimate survivor or will man?"

Syd Mead techno fantasy image

j) The Alien Mysteries
However he didn't see that there was very much with what could be done with the alien, or the beast as they called it, but he was fascinated by hints that the alien was someone's biological weapon and he was keen to explore that.

The alien genetic material is looked at under the microscope and seen to look like a cubist's vision of an art deco staircase.

The biological structure seems more like a machine than a biological structure.

With readiness the thing lended itself to genetic manipulation as if designed and it apparently had a  universal compatibility with other 'plasms'.

And so these characters who were living in a cold war story involved with an arms race, they were dealing with a living artifact that seemed to be the product of genetic engineering, the fruit of some ancient experiment and they trying to program it as a weapon, perhaps this thing was the result a result of another arms race.

k) Blade Runner sized set impulse gives way to unfinished mallword
Gibson's natural impulse would have been to have the aliens introduced into something the equivalent of the "Blade Runner" set but the budget parameters argued against introducing something such as that.

One might be led to assume that he intended to have the movie set in a Blade Runner cityscape or something with a set the size of Blade Runner's street set that might easily have taken up the whole of the Burbank backlot just as Blade Runner did.

And so because he couldn't have had that, he started working through a series of semi abandoned space station ideas, his favourite being  a series of semi-abandoned space station ideas, his favourite being a space station that seemed to be a shopping mall under construction, as in Somtow Sucharitkul's Mallworld, but unfinished.

He always found unfinished shopping malls extremely spooky

But what he had written would have needed to be two and a half hours long and one producer who read the script imagined the budget for such a script to be $170 million dollars.




l) Producers unhappy with Gibson's script
Gibson managed to complete the first draft of the script which he would humorously describe as "Space Commies hijack alien eggs - big trouble in Mallworld".

Although the story was fast-paced and offered a plethora of thrilling battle sequences, unfortunately Walter Hill and David Giler got the opposite of what they expected from him.

Perhaps it was their own fault because Gibson was dealing with their story, but they hoped he would open it up resulting in a script that went all over the place with good ideas to mine, but it turned out to be a competently written screenplay but not as inventive as they wanted it to be.

They were pleased with the arms-race morality tales as well as the subtext, which presented the aliens as a metaphor for the HIV virus, but they felt that the human element that they liked to much in Cameron's Aliens movie in the form of the Ripley-Newt relationship was missing and that the cyberpunk aesthetic that initially attracted them seemed pedestrian.

For the duration of the Writers Guild strike, Gibson waited patiently for word from the producers, and eventually Hill and Giler told Gibson that they didn't like the script, but still they weren't willing to give up on him.

Gibson eventually flew back to LA for a new wave Chinese food lunch with Hill and Giler who were introducing the novelist to their director, a young Finn named Renny Harlin who had made a splash in Hollywood with A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Hill and Giler suggested that Gibson undertake a rewrite with Harlin, but the writer - exasperated by what he considered foot-dragging on the producers' part - declined, citing various other commitments.

It appeared that William Gibson would claimed to having written one draft, although in the March edition of Starlog in 1988, he appeared to be working on the second draft and if he had been involved, memory of it had faded away as time went by, he didn't have any memory of a great revelation, or of onerous labor, so he doubted it was very demanding.

By the end of December 1987,  talk about aliens that were human/alien hybrids that become unleashed upon the socialistic third world space colony were entering the LA Times, and bleeding through their texts were the suggestions that Ridley Scott would be directing

By then Carolco had asked him to adapt his stories Burning Chrome and Johnny Mnemonic for the screen. which he found much more meaningful.

Alien 3 had lost its first screenwriter.

(see also Renny Harlin and Alien 3

m) Gibson's Aftermath
A long time after he turned his in, and the film was being finished up and was about to be released, the Writers Guild contacted him and sent him a copy of the shooting script with a list of the writers, he would come to realise that there were about 30 different screenplays written by other dozens of writers before they got what they want.

There would only be one tiny art-direction that possibly had its origin in his draft, the presence of a bar-code tattoo.

Source Quotes
  1. Lacking a director to guide it, the project drifted without focus. Late in September 1987, David Giler suggested hiring William Gibson to write the screenplay for Alien 3, temporarily relegating Alien 4 to the backburner. Giler head read Gibson's award-winning novel Neuromancer and realized with a jolt that the futuristic Earth the novelist envisioned jibed perfectly with the exhausted techno-society represented by the Nostromo and its crew in Dan O'Bannon's original story. The central theme of Gibson's writing postulates that technology has outstripped mankind's ability to manage it, resulting in spiritual and emotional decimation and a perverse melding of human and mechanical evolution. Embracing the alien as a symbol of technology run amok. Giler and Walter Hill met with the Vancouver-based author, and with Gibson revealing that Alien had a strong influence on him - the three men forged an alliance. ("Bald Ambition". Cinescape. December 1995 by Douglas Perry)
  2. William Gibson: All I did on Alien 3 was write the first-draft screenplay years before the thing was finally made. There were something like 30 completely different and individual draft screenplays written by other writers before they arrived at what they got. And I hadn't known that until after I turned mine in. But when the film was finishing up and about to be released, the Writer's Guild, which has this process for determining screen credit, called me up, and all the writers whoever worked on it, and they sent a copy of the shooting script and a list of all the other writers it had gone out to. So I look at this script and there's this list - I don't remember exactly how many writer's names - but it was dozens! Dozens of people had written drafts for this thing, so I sat down and read it with great interest. And there was one tiny art-direction note that possibly had its origin in my draft. So it was with considerable relief and pleasure that I faxed to the Writer's Guild that I was not up for credit on this one, and 'Don't bother looking, either"
    Scifi Universe: What was your take on the final movie?

    William Gibson: I was disappointed that Vincent Ward didn't continue as director. He's a young New Zealand director best know for a wonderfully weird film called The Navigator, and it was Ward who got them out of their script doldrums and came up with a wonderful, weird treatment. And one of those things was a wooden space station inhabited by deranged monks. It sounded really interesting. And he was actually in the set-construction stage at Pinewood Studios building sets, and something happened and he left the production and was replaced with the guy who eventually did direct it (David Fincher). But from what I've seen subsequently of the film, it looks to me like it was a monastery planet up until a couple of days before they started shooting, when it then became a prison.

    Sci-fi Universe: What was your version of Alien 3

    William Gibson: My version had Space Marxist's, which shows you how old it was. It was pre-Perestroika. My big revelation was that not only was there the Company, but there was this kind of demented future-Socialist league of people from North Vietnam and East Germany. - all these countries that don't really exist anymore. And that was my big cultural deal. The Big Set was an orbital shopping mall that was still under construction. I don't know - it would have been a really weird film. It would have been two and a half hours long, and one of the producers who read the script told me that it was great but would cost $170 million.

    Sci-fi Universe: Could you see working that concept into another screenplay

    William Gibson: No, because I think it's good not to go back. I like science fiction movies, but making a space movie would be a tough call. I've always wanted to see, to be honest, a space film with realistic zero gravity or when people are in spaceships they're in freefall - but apparently it's so tricky and expensive to do that we'll probably never get away from the Star Trek magnetic decks or whatever holds those people down and keeps their coffee from floating away. (Scifi Universe)  
  3. William Gibson: David Giler asked me to write the screenplay. He read Neuromancer while vacationing in Thailand and that caught his attention. Writing the screenplay is not as demanding as writing a novel. They've got an unusually well established universe. It's difficult to surprise without violating the story premise, though. (Starlog 128, March 2016: William Gibson writes "Alien III")
  4. Starlog:William Gibson, award-winning author of Neuromancer, Count Zero and the recent short story collection, Burning Chrome, has been asked to write the screenplay for Alien III. The film (which has no start date) will be produced by David Giler, Walter Hill and Gordon Caroll, who produced ALIEN and served as executive producers on ALIENS. The film's director, according to Gibson, will be Ridley Scott who directed ALIEN. However, Gibson cautions this is easily subject to changed and should be considered tentative until an official announcement (Starlog : William Gibson writes "Alien III")
  5. William Gibson: I found a lot of things in the original that were interesting even when it first came out. I thought there were germs of stories implicit in the art direction. I always wanted to know more about these guys. Why were they wearing dirty sneakers in this funky spaceship? I think it influenced my prose SF writing because it was the first funked up, dirty kitchen-sink space ship and it made a big impression on me. When I started writing SF, I went for that. (Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12, June 1992, )
  6. Alas, by 1987, when Gibson was called upon to craft an Alien 3, the cyberpunk aesthetic - already esconced in music, videos and advertising as  a cultural cliche - had lost its sheen for Gibson. In Gibson's script, Giler got a more conventional political face off, based upon Giler and Hill's ideas, between the Weyland Yutani Corporation and an equally corrupt constellation of non-aligned "Third Universers" (Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12, June 1992, )
  7. Gibson , who is now juggling three scripts based upon his own stories (two, Burning Chrome and Johnny Pneumatic, are in development at Carolco), came to Alien 3 with little in the way of screenwriting experience. Gibson noted that he was impressed with Hill and Giler. 
  8. William Gibson: They were arguing at the time about what the Alien metaphor meant. I expected this kind of discussion of subtext from academics, not from producers (Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12, June 1992, )
  9. Hill, in fact, argued in favor of a subtext which viewed the alien as cancers. Not so Giler, who believed they worked as a metaphor for the HIV virus. Giler had heard someone on the radio say that human life on the planet had developed as food for viruses. Gibson liked the idea, and his script because the only one of a score of others to explicitly incorporate this theme. (Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12, June 1992, )
  10. Still, Gibson found himself hard to put to grasp the vagaries of screenwriting. A master of surface textures, Gibson noted that he wished he'd been hired as the movies; art director.(Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12, June 1992, )
  11. William Gibson : If you look at my style as a novelist, I'm heavy on cultural detail. That's really something, as I've subequently learned to a certain extent on other screenplays, the province of the art director. In a screenplay you only want a little telling detail. I was writing down what people were wearing and how their watches functioned.  (Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12, June 1992, )
  12. William Gibson: Gibson was given the scripts for the first two films and a 12 page story treatment. Hill and Giler's original concept was to confront the company with a seperate, space-faring Earth culture of a socialist or even communist bent. It wasn't clear to Gibson or anyone at the time how quickly the concept would date. Far more obviously imminent was a Writers Guild strike, which put Gibson under pressure to turn in a manuscript - any manuscript. (Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12-13, June 1992, )  
  13. William Gibson: In my draft, this woman has a bar code on the back of her hand. In my draft, this woman has a bar code on the back of her hand. In the shooting script [and final movie], one of the guys has a shaved head and a bar code on the back of his head. I’ll always privately think that was my piece of Alien 3. (The Sound Of No Hands Clapping: A Memoir By Toby Young)  
  14. William Gibson: I was glad to have something to hang onto storywise. Being given free rein means an infinite budget.( Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12-13, June 1992, )
  15. William Gibson: The impression I had was that budget parameters argued against introducing the aliens into something that was the equivalent of the 'Blade Runner' set, which I admit would have been my natural impulse. (Bald Ambition". Cinescape. December 1995 by Douglas Perry)
  16. William Gibson:Failing that, I worked through a series of semi-abandoned space station ideas, my favourite of which was a space station that seemed to be a shopping mall under construction - Somtow Sucharitkul's Mallworld, but unfinished. I've always found unfinished shopping malls extremely spooky. ( Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12-13, June 1992, )
  17. William Gibson: The most fun I had with it though, was working out this kind of futuro-socialist third world culture that seems to be opposite to the company but in fact just as corrupt. It's like the crew of the Enterprise running into a spaceship full of Stalinists.
    ( Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12-13, June 1992, )
  18. Gibson's story, drawing heavily from Hill and Giler's treatment, picks up where Aliens ends - in deep space with the Sulaco troop carrier. Due to a failure in the on-board navigational system, the ship, carrying Ripley, Newt and Hicks in hibernation chambers and the wrecked android Bishop - strays into a sector of space claimed by the Union of Progressive Peoples. The Sulaco is in a small shuttlecraft and searched by U.P.P. Commandos, who are attacked by an alien facehugger that had been hiding in the synthetic entrails of the android. The soldiers blast the parasite into space, remove Bishop from the Sulaco for study and return the ship to its original course. Soon thereafter, the ship reaches its destination, Anchorpoint, a Company-run space station/shopping mall. (Bald Ambition". Cinescape. December 1995 by Douglas Perry)
  19. A fire started by additional aliens aboard the Sulaco leaves Ripley in a coma, and it is left to Hicks to trawl through Anchorpoint in an effort to determine if rumors he's head about the Weyland-Yutani Corporation are true. The Company, he correctly suspects, is creating an army of alien warriors. (Unbeknownst to anyone on Anchorpoint, the Company's archenemy, the U.P.P., thanks to the alien larvae gestating inside Bishop, is doing the same thing.) Inevitably, both the Company's station and the U.P.P.'s station become infested with the parasite - and Hicks' team must join forces with U.P.P. survivors to destroy the alien horde. The script closes with an Alien 4 teaser, Bishop notes that the humans are united against a common enemy - they must now track the aliens back to their source and destroy them in toto. "This is a Darwinian universe, Hocks." the android says. "Will the alien be the ultimate survivor or will man? (Bald Ambition". Cinescape. December 1995 by Douglas Perry)
  20. William Gibson delivered his completed screenplay (which he describes today in mock TV GUIDE summary format as "Space Commies hijack alien eggs - big trouble in Mallworld") in December 1987, just shy of the Writers Guild strike. But though the story was fast-paced and offered a plethora of thrilling battle sequences, the producers were not happy.(Bald Ambition". Cinescape. December 1995 by Douglas Perry)
  21. David Giler: We got the opposite of what we expected. We figured we'd get a script that was all over the place, but with good ideas we could mine. It turned out to be a competently written screenplay but not as inventive as we wanted it to be. That was probably our fault, though, because it was our story. We had hoped he'd open up the story and don't know why it didn't happen.( Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p12-13, June 1992, /Bald Ambition". Cinescape. December 1995 by Douglas Perry)
  22. The producers were pleased with the arms-race morality tale as well as the subtext, which presented the aliens as a metaphor for the HIV virus. But they felt the human element - captured so well by Cameron in the Ripley-Newt relationship in Alien, was missing and that the cyberpunk aesthetic that initially attracted them was pedestrian .(Cinefantastique, 1992)
  23. For the duration of the Writers Guild strike, Gibson waited patiently for word from the producers. Eventually, Hill and Gilder told Gibson that they didn't like the script, but they weren't ready to give up on him. (Bald Ambition". Cinescape. December 1995 by Douglas Perry)
  24. LOS ANGELES, March 6— Movie and television scriptwriters called a strike for Monday after rejecting what producers called a final contract offer, union officials said today. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/07/us/strike-announced-by-writers-for-tv.html
  25. HOLLYWOOD, Aug. 7— The five-month strike by 9,000 movie and television writers is officially over. (http://www.nytimes.com/1988/08/08/movies/writers-ratify-contract-ending-longest-strike.html)
  26. For the duration of the Writers Guild strike, Gibson waited patiently for word from the producers. Eventually, Hill and Giler told Gibson that they didn't like the script, but they weren't ready to give up on him. They introduced the novelist to their director, a young Finn named Renny Harlin who had made a splash in Hollywood with A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Hill and Giler suggested that Gibson undertake a rewrite with Harlin, but the writer - exasperated by what he considered foot-dragging on the producers' part - declined, citing various other commitments. (Carolco had asked him to adapt his stories Burning Chrome and Johnny Mnemonic for the screen.) Alien 3 had lost its first screenwriter. (Bald Ambition". Cinescape. December 1995 by Douglas Perry)
  27.  Gibson did not hear back from Hill or Giler for the duration of the writers' strike. "It seemed to go on for a very, very long time, " said Gibson, who lost little sleep - having been paid - fretting over the scripts fate.  Eventually, Gibson flew back for a new wave Chinese food lunch with Hill, Giler and director Renny Harlin, who by then had been signed on (and would later quit) as ALIEN 3's director. The producers suggested that Gibson undertake a rewrite with Harlin. But by then, Gibson was being asked to adapt his own stories as screenplays, a task he found more meaningful. ( Cinefantastique, Neuroaliens, p13, June 1992, ).
  28.  William Gibson: I didn't see there was very much that could be done with the alien - the beast, as they call it around the shop - so I tried to open out the background of the first two, exploring things about the human culture you wouldn't have expected but that didn't contradict what you already knew. You discover early on that the universe isn't run exclusively by the Company - there's a hard-bitten, Third World socialist power in space as well, this motley bunch of Latin Americans and East Asians, who are all out there doing their own thing in big space stations painted inside like Mexican revolutionary murals. I was also fascinated by hints that the alien was someone's biological weapon, and I was exploring that. (http://project.cyberpunk.ru/idb/cyberpunk_faq_old.html)
  29. William Gibson: I NEED A FAQ PAGE...Someone asks about the ALIEN III script, yet again.Yes, I did write that, albeit to a "story" by Hill, Giler, and the other guy, whose name momentarily escapes me. They suggested the Marxist space empire, and I happily elaborated on that. In spite of its almost instant archaism, I found it fun. I couldn't recall a single piece of Cold War space opera in which the other guys were commies.) At the time, Ms. Weaver seemed doggedly unwilling to participate, so I was instructed to keep Ripley in stasis throughout. This was the first screenplay I'd written, and as far as I know the only one on the net today, or otherwise in circulation. Any others you might encounter are almost certainly not by me but have had my name added.


    The ALIEN III script as it turns up on the net is about thirty pages shorter than the version I turned in. It became the first of some thirty drafts, by a great many screenwriters, and none of mine was used (except for the idea, perhaps, of a bar-code tattoo). Hardest thing about the job? I was still working on an Apple IIc, and there was no screenwriting software available, so I had to do all that centering and spacing and whatnot *by hand*. This is probably why the net version is short; nothing ever circulated but the printout, as nobody in Hollywood wanted my IIc floppy. (ALIEN 3 AGAIN, posted 9:25am http://williamgibsonblog.blogspot.co.uk/2003_09_01_archive.html)
  30. STARLOG: Reading your ALIEN III script, it seemed that James Cameron's characters— Hicks, Bishop and Newt— came out of Neuromancer. It's like ALIEN III is part of that same universe.

    GIBSON: I'm flattered you read it that way, because it seemed to me I was working from a very detailed 15-page treatment.

    STARLOG: They gave you the story?

    GIBSON: Yup. I think it's standard. They  give you the story, then they say, "Do whatever you want."
    STARLOG: "Make it the same as this, but different."

    GIBSON: Right. I learned a lot doing that. I really like ALIEN and ALIENS. I had had a couple of nibbles to go do screenplays in Hollywood, but ALIEN III was another thing entirely. It's like being offered the keys to some enormous Jaguar, a really fastmoving vehicle. Yeah, I figured I would give this baby a test spin. [Laughs.]  There was a set H.R. Giger did for the first film that they didn't use. I've seen the drawings. The part where Ripley finds the bodies, it's like an obscene grotto festooned with bones and tennis shoes. Also, in the second movie, the most elaborate set Cameron built was the mining town surrounding the oxygen generator. They shot this sequence that explains what happened to Newt's family [which was deleted]. I want to put both these things into the script. You know, I used to think that doing a sequel ruined your original work, but I've learned it's how you sequelize. (STARLOG/August 1989) 
  31. "In space, no one can hear you scream." But you'll be hearing screams in theaters if producer/director Walter Hill has his way: He's signed on with 20th Century Fox to continue as co-producer (with David Giler and Gordon Carroll) of both "Alien 3" and "4." And he's negotiating with Ridley Scott to direct "3"--Scott helmed the original for the trio--which has a storyline that sounds suspiciously like political allegory.Hill told us that although Sigourney Weaver wouldn't reprise her role as the heroic Ripley in "3," "she hasn't been written out--she'll have a prominent role in 'Alien 4.' "
    The script for "3," now being penned in Vancouver by William Gibson, is based on a story by Hill and Giler. According to sources, the storyline involves an attempt by the corporate backers of space exploration to harness the fearsome aliens as a weapon against the enemies of capitalism. Also plotted: Earth scientists successfully splicing alien and human genetic material, resulting in an army of controllable human/alien hybrids that are unleashed upon a socialistic, third world space colony. ( Back to the Future December 27, 1987|Sheldon Teitelbaum http://articles.latimes.com/1987-12-27/entertainment/ca-31660_1_gordon-carroll)
  32. INT. ANCHORPOINT -- TISSUE CULTURE LAB
    
    TRENT, head of BioLab, Rosetti, and Fox wait, seated, as Tully wheels a
    Holographic Display Module into position. The lights dim. A faint, ghostly
    cube shimmers in front of the three men.
    
                                    TRENT
                    Initially this was merely routine, you
                    understand.  We attempted to determine its
                    compatibility with terrestrial DNA.
    
                                    FOX
                    What kind of DNA exactly, Doctor?
    
                                    TRENT
                    Human, of course.
    
    Something shivers and shakes and takes form in the cube of light:  a double
    helix threaded with green and red beads of light.
    
                                    TRENT
                            (continuing)
                    Watch closely, please.
    
    The alien genetic material looks like a cubist's vision of an art deco
    staircase, its asymmetrical segments glowing Day-glo green and purple.
    
                                    ROSETTI
                    That's a biological structure?  More like
                    part of a machine...
    
    The alien form makes contact with the human DNA.  The transformation is
    shockingly swift, but its stages can still be followed:  the thing seems to
    pull itself into and through the coils, and for an instant the two are meshed,
    locked, and then the final stage.  A new shape glows, a hybrid; the green and
    red beads have been altered beyond recognition.
    
                                    FOX
                    Like a high-speed viral takeover...!  What's
                    the real-time duration on this, Trent?
    
                                    TULLY
                            (from the shadows beyond
                             the glowing cube)
                    That was it. What you see is what you get.
                    That's how fast it is... (Alien III script by William Gibson)
  33.  INT. RODINA -- BIOLAB
    Braun is seated at a computer, entering data.  Suslov is staring into the
    stasis tube containing the developing Alien.
    
                                    SUSLOV
                    There's an irony in this...
    
                                    BRAUN
                            (engrossed in the data)
                    Irony, Colonel-Doctor?
    
                                    SUSLOV
                    The readiness with which it lends itself to
                    genetic manipulation, Braun.  The speed with which
                    its cells multiply.
    
                                    BRAUN
                    Yes. Remarkable.
    
                                    SUSLOV
                    As though the gene-structure had been designed
                    for ease of manipulation.  And this apparently
                    universal compatibility with other plasms...
    
                                    BRAUN
                            (reluctantly abandoning
                             his task)
                    And you find this ironic?
    
                                    SUSLOV
                    Ironic that we are attempting to program it as
                    a weapon, yes.
    
                                    BRAUN
                    How is that?
    
                                    SUSLOV
                    Perhaps it is the fruit of some ancient
                    experiment... A living artifact, the product of
                    genetic engineering... A weapon.  Perhaps we are
                    looking at the end result of yet another arms
                    race...
    
                                    BRAUN
                    A defeatist attitude, Colonel-Doctor.  Our
                    project can only strengthen the Union of
                    Progressive Peoples...(Alien III script by William Gibson) 
     
  34. William Gibson:I probably told them of my curiosity about what you’d get if the xenomorph gestated in a kitten, say, or an elephant, (http://www.vulture.com/2017/05/william-gibsons-never-filmed-alien-iii-script-a-history.html)
  35. William Gibson: I had never thought of writing a screenplay before. I had literally never read one. (http://www.vulture.com/2017/05/william-gibsons-never-filmed-alien-iii-script-a-history.html)
  36. William Gibson:They were offering quite a lot of money, there was never any sense that I was auditioning for the job, and it seemed like an interesting thing to attempt. (http://www.vulture.com/2017/05/william-gibsons-never-filmed-alien-iii-script-a-history.html)
  37. William Gibson:I decided to read the two existing scripts very closely, then try to triangulate them, creating a third that would feel like part of the one thing, but be its own critter at the same time. (http://www.vulture.com/2017/05/william-gibsons-never-filmed-alien-iii-script-a-history.html)
  38. William Gibson: I had long had, since first viewing Alien, in fact, this sense that the xenomorph was a bio-weapon. (http://www.vulture.com/2017/05/william-gibsons-never-filmed-alien-iii-script-a-history.html)
  39. William Gibson: Having been deprived of Ripley, I became aware of how much I’d liked Bishop. (http://www.vulture.com/2017/05/william-gibsons-never-filmed-alien-iii-script-a-history.html)
  40. William Gibson: Whatever it was hasn’t left any memory of a great revelation, or of onerous labor, so I doubt it was very demanding. (http://www.vulture.com/2017/05/william-gibsons-never-filmed-alien-iii-script-a-history.html)
  41. William Gibson: In retrospect, I assume they weren’t expecting to get a real script from me, but something studded with newfangled cyberpunk ideas they could then pass on to a pro screenwriter.  (http://www.vulture.com/2017/05/william-gibsons-never-filmed-alien-iii-script-a-history.html)
  42. William Gibson: It seemed to me that all that had survived of mine was a bar-code tattooed on the back of someone’s neck, so I told them I was okay with no credit. But that was maybe a little too much time spent watching those particular sausages being made. (http://www.vulture.com/2017/05/william-gibsons-never-filmed-alien-iii-script-a-history.html)
     

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