Alien 3: cocoons

leading from


Image of the cocoons being sculpted from Alien 3 sculpting BTS
a) Meat Locker?

In Giger's drawings during August of 1990, he drew the meat locker with the human prisoners on meathooks and the alien in one instance is hanging the monks on the hooks while in another instance creature is simply sitting in the kitchen while it eats monks.

It seems rather different in light of what went on in the previous Alien movies if one wants to think about the humans in the hive waiting to give birth to chestburstrs in Aliens or the cut cocoon scene from Alien which has the victims slowly being eaten away and absorbed into this spore producing goo, unless one wants to consider what happened to Lambert as her corpse is left hanging from a hook in Alien or even.

Did Giger just get the work done as scripted or was he going along with what Fincher discussed with him at the time.


Alien 3 sketch  published in Aliens  (comic book magazine #12, June 1993 , "The Giger Sanction"





In  18/12/90 Hill&Giler draft of Alien 3, The Assembly Hall has been transformed into an Alien cocoon chamber.

Walls and ceiling encrusted with Alien mucous.

Hives built around rotting corpses.

They hear low moaning and find dozens of semi-transparent pods, inside each, a prisoner's body

Morse states "They're not dead"

Dillon making an assumption, responds "This is the meat locker" and then Andrews is found still alive calling "Help", he is cocooned.
Image of the cocoons being sculpted from Alien 3 sculpting BTS

Morse starts forwards and then Dillon stops in. In the mist present in the chamber there is a narrow membrane of like a cross section of laser light encircling the cocoon chamber, which would have been like the membrane of light in the derelict ship.

Somehow Dillon knows that it's like an alarm, if they step in there, the alien beast would know they're there.

It was too late to save Andrews and he begs to be killed just as Dallas did in the original alien, Dillon sets fire to the alien web and Andrews is engulfed.

They watch him as he is burnt to a crisp.

The scene in an earlier version of the script by Hill and Giler, Oct 10, 1990 shows that Dillon has replaced Ripley in this scene with Aaron replacing Morse, and the alien nest can be found at the glassworks before it became a leadworks. (A brief description of the scene can be found at alienseries.wordpress.com. I have not seen the script personally)

Aaron says "They're not dead. What the fuck is this?"

Ripley replies "This is the meat locker. It'll feed the new queen."

Because of the lack of information in Giler and Hill's 18/12/90 version might ask if in this place,  people were being cocooned in the way they were either in Aliens or Alien.

In Aliens they were just wrapped up waiting to be facehugged and in Alien, they were being eaten alive by the alien life form that developed into the spore

Image of the cocoons being
sculpted from Alien 3 sculpting BTS

b) Cocooning sequence 
In the script, Ripley decides it's a meat locker to feet the queen, which might be presumptious
and then Dillon who wouldn't know about the queen decides that it must be a "meat locker" for the creature,  going by his own common sense.

Going by the reports from Cinefex, it appears that Fincher wanted to go back to directly back to the sequence which had been cut from the original Alien, Fincher early on intended to feature the discovery of partially devoured victims being transformed into alien spores through a metamorphical cocooning process.

This would have provided some rationale for the creature's disturbingly pseudo-intelligent malevolence. Fincher's decision to incorporate  the James Cameron concept of an egg laying matriarch , however, rendered the cocoons antiethical.
Image of the cocoons being
sculpted from Alien 3 sculpting BTS
c) Fincher In The Shell
ADI were going to end up making about twenty of these cocoons, all vacuformed and stapled up.

They started on two and then the plug was pulled because Fincher's idea was that the creature simply killed to eat.

They finished off one for Funcher because he liked it so much.

He had it on set with him and would occasionally climb into it for inspiration.

He called it his "Thinking Shell"
Image of the cocoons being
sculpted from Alien 3 sculpting BTS

d) Golic , ensconced in fluid
It might be presumed that David Fincher would base his intended cocooning scene on the 18/12/90 Hill&Giler draft , because we can find that in Rex Picket's January 5, 1991 later rewrite, Ripley,

Dillon, Aaron and Morse venture into the abbatoir and find two murdered human bodies, one man babbling away to himself in the corner and further in Golic is found cocooned and ensconced in fluid.
Presumably, he was cocooned by the alien in a way we might assume from either Alien or Aliens, but there is nothing more said about the cocooning and it features only one cocooned victim.


Image of the cocoons being
sculpted from Alien 3 sculpting BTS

Quote sources
  1. Cinefex: Borrowing from a sequence which had been cut from the original Alien, Fincher early on intended to feature the discovery of partially-devoured victims being transformed into alien spores through a metamorphical cocooning process. This would have provided some rationale for the creature's disturbingly pseudo-intelligent malevolence. Fincher's decision to incorporate the James Cameron concept of an egg laying matriarch, however rendered the cocoons antithetical (Cinefex #50/Alien The Special Effects Book)
  2. Tom Woodruff Jr: They were begin and killed half way through. We were going to end up making about twenty of these cocoons, all vacuformed and stapled up.  We started on two, and then the plug was pulled because Fincher's idea was that the creature simply kills to eat.  Actually we did finish one off for Fincher because he liked it so much.  He had it on set with him and would occasionally climb into it for inspiration.  He called it his 'thinking shell'" (Cinefex #50/Alien The Special Effects Book)Rewrite by Rex Pickett
  3. The Assembly Hall has been transformed into an Alien cocoon chamber.
    Walls and ceiling encrusted with Alien mucous.
    Hives built around rotting corpses.
    A sound...
    Moaning.
    Low moaning.

    MORSE
    They're not dead...

    THE COCOONS
    Dozens of semitransparent pods - inside each, a prisoner's body.

    DILLON
    This is the meat locker.

    ANDREWS (O/S)
    Help...

    They turn -
    Their torches illuminate -

    ANDREWS
    Cocooned.


    MORSE - DILLON
    Both gazing upward-

    MORSE

    Fuck me...

    He starts forward...
    Dillon stops him.
    In the fine mist of the chamber a narrow MEMBRANE - like a cross section of laser light - encircles the cocoon chamber.

    DILLON

    It's like an alarm.  Step in there and it knows we're here.


    MORSE
    What about Andrews?

    DILLON

    Too late.

    ANDREWS
    Please.  Kill me.  Please.

    Dillon steps forward - touches the flame from his torch to the Alien web...
    Andrews' cocoon is engulfed...
    Dillon and Morse watch as he is burnt to a crisp.

    DILLON

    We burn it.  All of it.

    ( Alien 3, 18/12/90 Hill&Giler draft ) 
  4. Aaron:
    They're not dead: What the fuck is this?
    Ripley
    This is the meat locker. It'll feed the new Queen
    Andrews (O/S)
    Help
      ( Alien 3 Hill and Giler, Oct 10, 1990, snippet as found on https://alienseries.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/the-meat-locker/))
  5. 98    INT. ABATTOIR

        The scene of the carnage.
        Ripley, Dillon, Aaron and Morse are walking slowly through the
        abattoir.
        The murdered bodies of Gregor and William lay sprawled in pools of
        blood.
        Eric is sitting in a corner, hands over his head, blubbering like a
        fool.

                        AARON
                Jesus Christ.

        Ripley pays particular attention to the ox whose chest has exploded
        open.

                        RIPLEY
                This is where it started.

        Morse looks down at the body of William.

                        MORSE
                Golic's work.

        Moving deeper into the abattoir, Dillon finds:

        GOLIC

        cocooned, ensconced in fluid, and still alive!
        He appears to be trying to say something.
        Morse leans forward and listens.
        Then he turns to Dillon:

                        MORSE
                He's saying 'I'm sorry, sir.'

        Dillon just looks at Golic, shaking his head.
        The others all stand behind him, looking.
        Eric continues babbling inanely in the background.

    (ALIEN III Rewrite by Rex Pickett, Based on Walter Hill/David Giler draft 12-18-90) 1ST Draft (Revised)
    January 5, 1991. Found at http://www.alien.it/cop3e.txt through http://www.script-o-rama.com/table.shtml and http://home.online.no/~bhundlan/scripts/alien3/pickett.txt 

4 comments:

  1. Pity they didn't go forward with this version and left out the queen alien idea. I see this as being more frightening. The knowledge that you could not only get captured by this creature, but then be encased in some kind of cacoon and feel every moment as you're being transformed or held in place for what comes next.

    I see way too much dumbing down of ideas for audiences. Makes me worry for what Blade Runner 2 is going to be turned into.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the cocooning process from the original movie seems to be something that desires to be explained a little more although it was probably just an impression of something that couldn't be explained in detail, but the idea was that Dallas was being eaten alive by this organism and that is still labeled as a transformation. Of course I admit that I don't know if Fincher would have seen his cocooning idea exactly that way. I wouldn't have minded this certain cocooning idea and the alien queen fetus in the same movie just to confuse everyone about what is going on and which is the more realistic.

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  2. Fascinating! I had no idea...I would’ve preferred this. I LOVE Aliens, but the queen bites divisive, and too familiar.

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  3. Just changed "that developed into the egg" to "that developed into the spore"

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