Alien3 : Writers working with Vincent Ward

leading from

a) Larry Ferguson warns Fasano
Fox hired John Fasano and another to work with Vincent Ward on the script, and when scriptwriter Larry Ferguson found out that Fasano was taking on the job of writing Alien 3, he laughed at him and said "Don't do it! That's gonna be a crappy job!'". 

Ward had done an eight page story for them to work with. And there were two possibilities about directions to go with the story, one where Ripley dies at the end and another where she lives at the end, because Sigourney was thinking that she didn't want to do another Alien movie.

b) Fasano working with Ward
Originally there was the idea to bring back Newt but the reality was that the character would be too young.

In one of Fasano's drafts, Newt and Hicks are killed on the ship, and when Ripley finds Newt's body, it has a chestburster hole in it. So the alien came onto the planet from Newt.

They would find that Bishop was still alive, although only the upper half of the body. So the monks would make him a pair of wooden legs

c) Competing drafts
Fasano thought that he was supposed to be writing Alien 4, but if it turned out that the script he was working on came first, it would be Alien 3.

Meanwhile David Twohy was furiously busy writing his Alien 3 script with two weeks left to complete it and suddenly a Los Angeles Times reporter phone him up and says "What's this about competing drafts for Alien 3."

"It must be wrong" replied Twohy

The reporter replied "No, I hear the director has brought on his own writer."
 
d) Fasano confronts Twohy
As far as Fasano knew, David Twohy had been writing an Alien 3 script for Renny Harlin, and perhaps when Renny left, it seemed as if Twohy thought he was going to direct his script.

When Twohy found out that they had hired Fasano, he was told it was for Alien 4 and that they just wanted to have a script ready for the next movie.

When one gets a job in the business, the requirement is that if you are rewriting someone's script , then you are supposed to call them and tell them (which is what Damon Lindelof would do to Jonathan Spaihts, when he took over the writing of the Prometheus script)

John Fasano met David at his house and when he told him that he himself wasn't writing Alien 4 but he was writing Alien 3, it was then that Twohy threw a fit.

Twohy called the studio and they said to him "No, no, no, you've got it all wrong. He's not writing Alien 3, he's writing Alien 4."

But in the world where he was was talking to Fasano, it seemed that when Twohy called them to tell them that they were lying to him, they then told him attempting to settle things "Okay, we'll make yours Alien 4"

Twohy fed up with the situation slapped his Alien 3 together and left the production to make his own film and that was the last he heard of.

Some would come to notice that when he make the movie Pitch Black released in 2000, small noticeable elements of his Alien 3 script would cross over into the final film.

David Twohy


e) Greg Pruss on board
The next screenwriter on board was Greg Pruss, hired to rewrite Fasano's draft after he had to leave to cowrite Another 48 Hours.

Pruss did "five arduous drafts" and by this time Ward and Pruss had moved to London where Fox was going to shoot the film in hope of saving money.

The crew was already beginning to design and build sets even as the script was being rewritten.


Source quotes

  1. Ward signed on in April 1991, and Fox hired screenwriter John Fasano to work with him. " We were supposedly writing Alien 4, " Fasano recalls, " but if ours came in first, it would be Alien 3. " Fox wanted to start the movie in October. Across town, says Twohy, "I'm writing balls to the wall, and about two weeks before I finish, I get a call from a Los Angeles Times reporter. He says " What's this about competing drafts of Alien 3?" I say it must be wrong. He says "No, I heard the director has brought on his own writer." I call the studio, and they say "No, no, no, you got it all wrong. He's not writing Alien 3, he's writing Alien 4...." At that point, I just slapped my script together and went off to make my own film. And that's the last I've ever heard from them. The old adage is true: Hollywood pays its writers well but treats them like shit to make up for it. (Premiere, May 1992, p66)
  2. The next screenwriters on board was Greg Pruss, hired to rewrite Fasano, who had to leave to cowrite Another 48 Hrs. Pruss did five Pruss did "five arduous drafts". By this time Ward and Pruss had moved to London where Fox was going to shoot the film in hope of saving money. The crew was already beginning to design and build sets even as the script was being rewritten. But now the studio began have problems with Ward who seemed to be less interested in Ripley or the aliens than the monks. "The movie's called Alien because it's about the alien," says Pruss. " I couldn't get that across to Vincent. He and the studios were at odds, clear and simple, and I was in the middle." Pruss quit, and a few weeks later, Ward was gone. (Premiere, May 1992, p66) 
  3. Interviewer: When you joined the project did you already sense it was a troubled project? John Fasano: Well, they had had about ten writers before me, and each of them was working on a different version of the movie! (I was the twelfth writer on JUDGE DREDD!) In fact, when they hired Vincent and me, David Twohy had been writing an ALIEN 3 script for Renny Harlin. When Renny left I think at first David thought he was going to get to direct his script. When he found out that they had hired me, he was told it was for ALIEN 4 and that they just wanted to have a script ready for the next movie. When you get a job in the business, the requirement is that if you are rewriting someone's script then you are supposed to call them and tell them. So I met David at his house and when I told him that I wasn't writing ALIEN 4 but that I was writing ALIEN 3, he threw a hissy fit. They were lying to him, and they then told him ''OK, we'll make yours ALIEN 4.'' (http://www.money-into-light.com/2015/03/john-fasano-on-writing-alien-3.html)
  4. Interviewer: Was it Fincher's idea to kill off Newt and Hicks?
    Fasano: No, that was in our script. Originally the idea was to bring back Newt but the reality was that the character would be too young. In one of my drafts, she and Hicks are killed on the ship. When Ripley finds Newt's body, it has a chestburster hole in it. So the alien that came onto the planet came from Newt. Bishop was still alive, but only the upper half of his body. The monks made him a pair of wooden legs.  (http://www.money-into-light.com/2015/03/john-fasano-on-writing-alien-3.html)

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