Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Lost Alien

When is an Alien film not an Alien film ? Just finished reading John Fasano’s first draft screenplay of Alien 3, based on a story by Vincent Ward & John Fasano. David Hughes devotes a chapter to Ward’s treatment in his 2002 book The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made, and while I agree it might have made a great, visually stunning film, I’m not so sure it would have made a great Alien film. Right away I should sound a note of caution by saying Fasano’s screenplay went thru numerous drafts but based on this first effort, dated March 29, 1990, I must conclude that Fox made a wise choice to rein in the story’s development and fuse its best elements with Walter Hill and David Giler’s final shooting script. Vincent Ward gives a good account of the story in the 13min Alien Quadrilogy featurette Tales of the Wooden Planet: Vincent Ward's Vision, but in a nutshell, the screenplay has Ripley crash-landing on a man-made planetoid home to a colony of techno-phobic medieval monks which the alien quickly wreaks havoc upon. I won’t reveal any more for anyone interested in reading the screenplay, but certain ideas, like the alien taking on the physiology of its host (see the production sketch below). At one point, a hybrid incorporating a sheep, tends to dilute the idea that it’s an Alien film. Interestingly some ideas in the screenplay permeate Alien Resurrection - the hybrid alien, the swimming alien, but the fourth film’s bizarre take on the Alien concept ultimately ran the series into the ground. After reading John Fasano’s screenplay I’m more appreciative of David Fincher’s film. The screenplay can be viewed/downloaded here


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