William Gibson's Alien 3

William Gibson's Alien 3

This is the official adaptation of the original screenplay for Alien 3, written by William Gibson, the award-winning science fiction author of the cyberpunk cult classic Neuromancer. You'll see familiar characters and places—but not all is the same in this horrifying Cold War thriller!After the deadly events of the film Aliens, the spaceship Sulaco carrying the sleeping bodies of Ripley, Hicks, Newt...

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Title:William Gibson's Alien 3
Author:William Gibson
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Edition Language:English

William Gibson's Alien 3 Reviews

  • Zachary

    The story was a bit confusing and the characters had a few solutions that were a little too convenient. Still, I found this to be a lot of fun. I liked seeing Bishop and Hicks more, kinda wish this was the script used for Alien 3.

  • Toby

    Should be read and enjoyed as a piece of lost film history brought to life, rather than an attempt to reroute the franchise. Gibson's draft script is not the finished article but I still enjoyed the complexity he brings to the Alien-verse, and just like in his novels, the dialogue snaps.

  • Chris

    The making of the film

    is arguably more interesting than the film itself. It went through so many variations, so many writers and directors were attached, multiple ideas were attempted and rejected that it's astounding (or completely unsurprising) that the final product was as lackluster as it was.

    I really love the idea of going back to original scripts and publishing them, either as books or beautifully illustrated comics as has been done many times before. So, when I heard W

    The making of the film

    is arguably more interesting than the film itself. It went through so many variations, so many writers and directors were attached, multiple ideas were attempted and rejected that it's astounding (or completely unsurprising) that the final product was as lackluster as it was.

    I really love the idea of going back to original scripts and publishing them, either as books or beautifully illustrated comics as has been done many times before. So, when I heard William Gibson's original script for

    was being adapted for comics, I knew I'd have to get it.

    He takes the story in a very different direction from the final film, arguably a more interesting one. The biggest drawback is the lack of Ellen Ripley's character, a requirement as Sigourney Weaver wasn't planning on returning at that stage. It does allow Corporal Hicks played by Michael Biehn in

    to take a more central role, but his actual character isn't all that fleshed out... he mostly reacts to what's going on around him.

    The story is much more about biological warfare and combines the horror of the first with the action of the second. Whether it would have worked as a film is anyone's guess but I think it would have been more interesting than the one we got. It also left the door open for what could have been the most interesting sequel of the franchise.

    The artwork is pretty solid, although of the characters based on actors only Bishop really looks like Lance Henriksen. The variations of the xenomorphs were interesting and I really liked the design of some of the space stations.

    As a stand-alone sequel to the

    franchise this book is mildly entertaining, but the appeal of seeing what could have been is the real draw-card.

  • Craig

    I was hoping for the sequel that Aliens really deserved and there are moments in this, but it is still kind of a mess. Gibson says in an introduction that it was his first attempt at a screenplay and "work for hire," and he does a pretty good job, but there are some weird things here that just don't fit with the earlier iterations of the story (such as the alien lifecycle, which is quite a bit different this time out). Also, it's quite strange that Ripley is not really present at all, other than

    I was hoping for the sequel that Aliens really deserved and there are moments in this, but it is still kind of a mess. Gibson says in an introduction that it was his first attempt at a screenplay and "work for hire," and he does a pretty good job, but there are some weird things here that just don't fit with the earlier iterations of the story (such as the alien lifecycle, which is quite a bit different this time out). Also, it's quite strange that Ripley is not really present at all, other than as a comatose survivor of the Sulaco who is off to the side of things through most of the book (Newt makes more of an impact before being shipped off for home). Bishop and Hicks have the most to do, along with a new cast of characters, including some Marxist space colonists on their own space station and the crew of a Weyland-Yutani space station in danger of being mothballed. The script could still use some work--it isn't always clear who's who or just what the heck is going on (there are a couple of alien burst out scenes that look like they belong more in John Carpenter's version of The Thing than anything Alien-related). The artwork is pretty good throughout, though can be a bit sketchy at times. Also interesting to see how this first attempt (with some revisions and polish) ultimately evolved into the weirdness that was David Fincher's Alien 3.

  • Chad

    I'll give this an extra star just because this is a fantastic idea, to turn unproduced screenplays that fans would love to read as comic books. As a long time fan of the Alien franchise, I was really excited to read this. Alien 3 is not a very good movie, even with David Fincher behind it. I will say this script has absolutely nothing to do with the Fincher movie. It's a completely different direction.

    This story has a lot of issues. At the time, the studio told Gibson to sideline Rip

    I'll give this an extra star just because this is a fantastic idea, to turn unproduced screenplays that fans would love to read as comic books. As a long time fan of the Alien franchise, I was really excited to read this. Alien 3 is not a very good movie, even with David Fincher behind it. I will say this script has absolutely nothing to do with the Fincher movie. It's a completely different direction.

    This story has a lot of issues. At the time, the studio told Gibson to sideline Ripley so she's in a coma for the entire book. Newt, Hicks, and Bishop thankfully do get some love. The Xenomorphs have these new powers that make absolutely no sense. (Even if they do make for some neat scenes.)

    Johnny Christmas's art is pretty good. Christmas made a mistake keeping the same structure as the movie though. The script jumped back and forth between multiple characters and even ships, which can work in a movie because it's easier to tell we've switched scenes. It made this impossible to follow though as the pages bounced back and forth between 10 and 15 different characters. It was often unclear we had switched to a new scene and I was flipping back and forth to figure out what happened. Restructuring the screenplay into a more narrative order would have made for a better comic.

  • Tiago

    Good call on not picking this up for the third movie, its not a bad horror story, but its certainly not Alien material. There's some major flaws here, some that could even ruin the franchise in the process, for one there's the new Alien transformation, which makes absolutely no sense, its like Gibson didn't even watched the previous movies, the red-eyed Alien was totally random, and not using Ripley for the entirety of the story, goddamn... she's the main hero of the original series dude, you do

    Good call on not picking this up for the third movie, its not a bad horror story, but its certainly not Alien material. There's some major flaws here, some that could even ruin the franchise in the process, for one there's the new Alien transformation, which makes absolutely no sense, its like Gibson didn't even watched the previous movies, the red-eyed Alien was totally random, and not using Ripley for the entirety of the story, goddamn... she's the main hero of the original series dude, you don't just leave her on the capsule the whole movie.

    I'm a huge fan of the entire saga and I regard Alien 3 as the second worst movie in the series, so if Gibson's screenplay doesn't top that, I can't have many good things to say about it, other than its not a bad read, its just not Alien.

  • J L Shioshita

    So a few things - I'm a big fan of William Gibson, Neuromancer is one of my favorite books and I love the Alien franchise (give or take a few movies in there). I'm in the minority, but I also like the Alien 3 we got in theaters. I understand people's gripes with it, I miss Hicks and Newt too, but I watched the crap out of it in the 90s on a banged up VHS when my parents weren't looking and it holds a strange place in my heart. That being said, I always wanted to know what William Gibson's script

    So a few things - I'm a big fan of William Gibson, Neuromancer is one of my favorite books and I love the Alien franchise (give or take a few movies in there). I'm in the minority, but I also like the Alien 3 we got in theaters. I understand people's gripes with it, I miss Hicks and Newt too, but I watched the crap out of it in the 90s on a banged up VHS when my parents weren't looking and it holds a strange place in my heart. That being said, I always wanted to know what William Gibson's script would have looked like. So I read this comicbook as it came out, pumped up and ready to have my mind blown. Well...my mind was blown but not in a good way. Maybe the cold war backdrop would have been more meaningful back when it was written, but now it just seems cliched. The xenomorphs have become things from another planet, and specifically for the comicbook version, the layout and plotting from panel to panel was so confusing. When you take a complicated plot with multiple characters who are all drawn to look exactly the same and have forgettable names, and put them all in a comicbook together that jumps all over the place, I had no idea who was who or what was happening. Ripley's not even in it. I liked the individual covers though, but man, what a weird take. By the end of it, I didn't know what had happened, and I read it twice to try and make sure I didn't miss anything.

  • Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    .

    Following the incredible success of both the original Alien (1979) movie directed by Ridley Scott and its sequel Aliens (1986) directed by James Cameron, it was only a matter of time before another project was set loose at the box office to further explore the horrifying world filled with xenomorphs. Unfortunately, the third installment knew more problems than mankind could ever deal with, as issues during production arose from left and right, shooting began

    .

    Following the incredible success of both the original Alien (1979) movie directed by Ridley Scott and its sequel Aliens (1986) directed by James Cameron, it was only a matter of time before another project was set loose at the box office to further explore the horrifying world filled with xenomorphs. Unfortunately, the third installment knew more problems than mankind could ever deal with, as issues during production arose from left and right, shooting began without a script to help it, and countless screenwriters and directors were recruited for this movie. In his directorial debut, director David Fincher sees himself attributed the burden to launch this sequel and suffers through an underperforming and poorly-received movie that however didn’t stop him from later releasing some of the best movies cinema has ever witnessed.

    What is Alien 3 about? This unproduced screenplay is author William Gibson’s second draft for the movie. While both his first draft (can be found online here) and his second draft were turned down by studios, he was now invited to produce a graphic novel based on the second script for fans to discover what he originally planned for a sequel to Aliens. Set during the Cold War, the story begins with the Union of Progressive Peoples intercepting the spaceship Sulaco, carrying Ripley, Hicks, Newt, and Bishop. Within the ship, another deadly passenger happens to also be patiently waiting, looking for the perfect opportunity to reign havoc. While two of the most powerful governments are looking to develop a weapon of mass destruction, their project will have to be put to the side as they try and deal with the nastiest alien threat they will ever face.

    If you think Willaim Gibson’s screenplay is anything like the movie, think again. The script utilized for this graphic novel completely reimagines the franchise’s direction and invites readers to forget anything they’ve learned about the creatures to even enjoy this adventure a little. One of the biggest change is how Ripley, while present in this story, isn’t the main protagonist and is actualize quickly disposed of—not literally—halfway in. It was already a big move in the movie when Ripley was quickly made the center of attention as the rest of the crew was removed from the picture, but this time around, fans won’t have any known figures to truly follow as they are forced to reacquaint themselves with new figures who are completely uninteresting.

    If that wasn’t enough, the story also gives the xenomorphs new abilities that are absolutely insane. They aren’t just creatures that look for incubators in living beings in order to grow at an exponential rate, this time around they also have mutating powers that appear out of the blue, making them threats à la Terminator. As much as I love when a world expands and the story brings in new key components to play with, this seemed like an extremely ambitious idea that steered the original plotline into directions that are beyond anyone’s understanding. Would it have made for a better movie than what we got with Alien³, I doubt it.

    The artwork that accompanies this story is still decent with excellent and vibrant colouring that offers clear visuals that make it easy to follow the action. It’s in the structure of the story that it, however, suffers immensely with the story alternating points of view too often for anything to seem fluid. From one page to another, the story can shift perspectives, leaving no room for the reader to really grasp the context. With a lot of elements left aside for readers to deduce—actually, to guess—the artwork could never save the story even if the artists wanted to. Even the design of the xenomorphs is different and that’s something you just shouldn’t touch.

    Alien 3 is a high-reaching proposal that completely reshapes the xenomorph’s lore with new creatures, characters, and environments, without staying loyal to the original premise.

    Yours truly,

    Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer

    Official blog:

  • Roy

    Pretty dissapointing Aliens story. No Ripley slow plotting and weird aliens that aren't the aliens. Kinda see why this wasnt made into a film

  • Stephan

    Why is it that whenever a new chapter in the Alien saga is to be written there’s a need to change the creatures? The first movie portrayed a horrifying monster never seen before. In the second movie they suddenly had a queen. In the third the face huggers could infect more than one host, in the fourth they were cloned and we got a hybrid as well. And don’t get me started on the Aliens vs. Predator mess or *shudder* the Prometheus films.

    We get the same crap here. Suddenly the Aliens can inf

    Why is it that whenever a new chapter in the Alien saga is to be written there’s a need to change the creatures? The first movie portrayed a horrifying monster never seen before. In the second movie they suddenly had a queen. In the third the face huggers could infect more than one host, in the fourth they were cloned and we got a hybrid as well. And don’t get me started on the Aliens vs. Predator mess or *shudder* the Prometheus films.

    We get the same crap here. Suddenly the Aliens can infect humans by releasing spores in the air and having them transform the humans into aliens. There’s even one human who gets turned into an Alien after getting bit by one. I never thought the Aliens were space-werewolves.

    This is my biggest problem with this story. The way the Aliens infect humans makes the entire cycle of egg-> facehugger-> chestburster obsolete. Why would any of those be needed if it’s enough that the Aliens nibble on a human a bit?

    Besides the weird evolution of the monsters I found the story hard to follow. We get thrown between different characters and places I can hardly tell apart and everyone’s just running around for no apparent reason.

    No. This story certainly wasn’t my cup of tea.

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