While there had been talk of Alien 5 being imminent, the production stalled, the chatter went silent, and the film now appears dead in the water. However, Audible has been quietly doing its bit to fill the void and has unveiled the next best thing to a new Alien sequel.
You wanted Alien 5. You heard the talk. You got excited. Then it all went quiet. Director Neill Blomkamp, the man leading the charge, lost patience with studio Fox and moved on to other projects. Alien 5, which actor Michael Biehn was adamant would happen, was dead in the water.
But wait. Audio book specialist Audible began hatching its own plan.
Alien 5 was tipped to follow the story directly from James Cameron’s 1986 film Aliens, ignoring Alien 3 to create a new story tangent. Cue Audible getting its hands on William Gibson’s original script for the film, the unproduced work that saw Hicks and Newt survive the horrors of Aliens with a plot focused on the marine corporal in the aftermath of losing his entire squad.
Not only has Audible produced the script as an audio play, it has recruited Michael Biehn and Lance Henrikson to reprise their roles. For those desperate to see a new Alien sequel diretcly follow Aliens, this is the perfect antidote while we wait to see what Fox might do next.
Alien 3 was stuck in development before David Fincher took the helm for a film that disappointed some fans. Most were disillusioned by the credits sequence killing off two of the main survivors from the previous film while further production problems caused the studio to theatrically release a version of the move that was not the originally intended cut of the director.
What audiences saw at cinemas in 1992 was a decent science-fiction horror but not one reaching the heights of Ridley Scott and James Cameron’s efforts previously. The film has since been re-released on home video formats with deleted scenes edited back in, giving audiences the chance to see a cut that is closer to Fincher’s original vision. The longer version is a far better film. But despite the improvement, he still killed Hicks and Newt. Now they’re back in audible’s Alien 3.
Audible’s Alien 3 “audio movie” begins where Aliens left off
“Every film fan has a mental list of the Greatest Movies Never Made,” says Dirk Maggs, director of Audible’s Alien 3 audio play. “The greatest of these in the sci-fi genre has been William Gibson’s unmade script. It’s by one of the giants of the literary genre, and takes the situation set up in Aliens, moving forward into fresh regions of the Alien Universe and continuing the stories of our old friends from James Cameron’s movie. It’s been a privilege and honour to finally bring this story to life with this wonderful cast as an immersive audio movie.”
Neuromancer author Gibson’s original script has been available to read online for some time with Dark Horse Comics using it as the basis for a new comic book series. However, Maggs’ new audio play brings it to life in an original and immersive way with the important additions of Biehn and Henrikson’s voices lending added immersion to the experience.
Why Michael Biehn’s presence in Audible’s Alien 3 is so crucial
Audible’s Alien 3 has the chance to give Corporal Dwayne Hicks a proper send off. This is the moment Aliens’ other hero gets one last shot at the limelight.
Hicks is an iconic character and Biehn’s performance is a major part of the character’s success. So as Hicks returns, Michael Biehn’s presence is warranted.
Corporal Dwayne Hicks, played by Cameron favourite Michael Biehn, is the heroic colonial marine of the film. Leading a team of well-equipped soldiers to hostile territory on a desolate planet named LV 426, Hicks, despite his best efforts, cannot save his fellow soldiers from systematic demise in the face of alien hordes. The only survivor of those on a military payroll, Hicks helps Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and a young child escape the planet with the assistance of android Bishop (Lance Henriksen).
By the end of James Cameron’s heart-stopping film, we know we’ve faced terror in the face and survived. We’ve been put through a rollercoaster ride of emotions built on the deeply unsettling, earth-shattering horror of a ghastly villain with a single-minded thirst for human flesh and an almost unstoppable ability to get it. Yet we, along with our hero Hicks and his companion Ripley, survive. We made it. Somehow, we made it. And now get to find out what happens next. Again.
Alien 3 is out now and available on Audible.