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Renny Harlin Reveals His "Alien 3" Ideas That Fox Didn't Like

Posted: August 20th, 2011 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Renny Harlin Reveals His "Alien 3" Ideas That Fox DidnSubmit Comment
Some of you may have heard that Renny Harlin (Cliffhanger, Die Hard 2) was once tasked with directing the third "Alien" film, which he eventually dropped and David Fincher was brought on as his replacement. Now, in an interview with CraveOnline, Harlin explained why he left the project.

He said: "As a young filmmaker, I'm only 28-years-old, I had made 'Nightmare on Elm Street 4,' which got a very good critical reception and a huge box office reception, and all of a sudden I'm being offered movies by Spielberg and everybody in town. And I'm a huge fan of course of Ridley Scott and James Cameron, and then I'm offered 'Alien 3.' And I think, this is a fantastic opportunity. I get my office on the Fox lot in Hollywood, and there I am, and I literally have to pinch myself when I'm sitting in my office. I'm on a studio lot, I'm 28 and I'm making this giant movie. I can't believe. And at the same time I'm really scared, because I feel that if I make a movie that is just a copy of the previous ones and just adds a little firepower or something, I'm going to be a laughing stock. I'm just going to be compared to the previous directors and they're going to say that I'm an idiot. So I feel huge pressure [to do] something smart.

And so I work on it for a few months, and I develop first one idea which was that this movie was going to take place on the planet where the aliens are actually from. So basically my pitch to the studio was, let's look at aliens like ants. They are ants, and somewhere is the anthill. And now we're going to travel to the anthill to find out, really, what are they all about? And who knows? Maybe they're not really evil to begin with. Maybe it's just a mechanism of survival that they are demonstrating. It would be really interesting and obviously you'd have an action-packed thriller but it would be really interesting to me to go to their origins and make this alien origin story. And then they reject that and say people don't want to see that. I don't understand to this day why they didn't buy it.

And the second one was, I know you remember that were talking like '88, '89, so this is before 'Jurassic Park' and movies like that, so then I have another idea. Let the aliens come on Earth. Picture Middle America, a cornfield, and the aliens are going through the cornfield toward the farmhouse. And they're just like, 'Eh, no, people won't like it. It's a science fiction movie, it has to take place in outer space. People won't buy it if they come to Earth. We don't like it.'

So I just get more and more depressed because they don't like my ideas, and then they come up with this idea... And none of these people work at the studio anymore, so there's no one to really blame. They want to tell the story about a prison spaceship where the aliens come. And they say it's contained, and that's how it should be, and I say, I don't get it. The audience isn't going to relate to a bunch of prisoners. They're prisoners, they're all bad guys, and no matter what you do it's just going to be this dark story. And what's so great about the previous ones, is that the first one was basically about truck drivers and the second one there's a little kid and so on, it's like a mission movie.

So go back and forth, and finally they are adamant about it, and one day I just look at it and say, 'You know, I honestly can't make this because I don't believe in it. I don't think I'm going to make a good movie.' And I quit, and it was a scary thing to do, after having worked on it for at least a year, but I had no idea what my future was going to be and who was going to hire me, and I just had to trust my gut instinct. Do I quit? And then the next day, the same studio, Fox, offered me '[The Adventures of] Ford Fairlane' and subsequently 'Die Hard 2,' and all those things happened.

But it was a tricky time in my life, and then the interesting thing was that then David Fincher was hired to do it, and they did the prison planet, and while David Fincher was a genius filmmaker, even he couldn't squeeze out a movie that would satisfy people, and the franchise took a real hit at that point. And David Fincher took a real hit, and it wasn't until he went on to do 'Seven' that he sort of got out of that situation. But it's just one of those things where you just gotta follow your instincts. And sometimes, to be honest, I wish that I had done that more in my career. Sometimes you [just] want to work, you're frustrated because you can't get a project off the ground, and you end up doing something that is maybe not the perfect thing for you to do.

Source: CraveOnline

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Displaying 24 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
Shudder writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 5:38:38 AM

Can't be surprised, all those ideas were sh*t anway and would have made a bad movie worse.
Rambo writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 6:07:34 AM

There are 5 scripts that were rejected:

Ward's - http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/alien3_fasano.txt

Gibson's - http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/alien3_gibson.txt

Giler & Hill's - http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/alien3_hill.txt

Twohy's - http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/alien3_twohy.txt

Red's - http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/alien3_red.txt
SeWerin writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 7:02:44 AM

Many apparently haven't seen the superior extended cut of Alien 3 which is awesome.

I love Alien 3, they had balls to do something different and unexpected.
bandolero999 writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 9:02:19 AM

It would of made Fox Bankrupt as well with Renny Harlins direction.

What the f*ck is up with all the Renny Harlin news his latest movie looks like sh*t anyway with washed up actors like Val the Fat f*ck Kilmer and Andy Garcia who idk why should be in Univision or Telemundo
Max Rockatansky Junior writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 9:08:01 AM

Too bad that couldn't have been said for Cutthroat Island, hunh Renny ?
Damon242 writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 9:09:08 AM

"maybe they're not really evil to begin with"

Oh, so the aliens have morals then? Didn't know nature was so evil.
BadChadB33 writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 9:19:19 AM

Is this National Renny day or some shti?
citysims writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 10:10:28 AM

I'm actually Part of a small minority that thinks "Alien 3" was not only better than "Aliens" due to James Cameron doing what he does best and that totally F**K up a movie with his Military bravado! In Aliens the Alien itself lost the aura of invincibility and the movie lost touch with everything that Ridley Scott accomplished in his Masterpiece. If David Fincher had been allowed to do all that he initicially set out to do this would have been just as good as Ridley's vision in the first one. A Dark, Dank vision of a prision world and a Alien running loose.
pornfly writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 12:37:32 PM

Nightmare on elm street 4 had very good critical reception??? from who? 'Dream Warriors' was the last one to get good reception,they were all crap after that and i even liked the tv show. I remember when they were supposed to have aliens come to earth, i thought it was cool but a corn field?? 'earth? what a sh*thole'(ron pearlman) @sewerin i didnt know they had an extended cut of alien3,i'm gonna check it out. thx
Johnnyb writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 12:40:42 PM

Between Alien and Aliens, a lot of things changed it. Alien was a simple story of mystery, suspense and at the same time horror from the unknown of this creatures called Xenomorph.... It was excellent in his moment. It was bringing a lot of things that in that moment other movies were not having and that is called creativity....

And around the 80s instead of having a new developing of the mystery of this Xenomorph with just got an action thriller packed of Xenomorph killing militia without a reason.... I dont want to destroy the film.... I liked Aliens and I could say is better than Alien but its not. Not all the movies have to be action packed to be great or awesome.....

It just now that Mr.Harlin reveal something that could have change it the way of seeing Alien franchise at the time. However those ideas, that the studios consider "stupid", come to fruition in the form of A vs. P and Prometheus. The first even with his sequel, a total mess by a video game fan director and the other one we have still to see until next year. But of course, Im not doubting of Ridley but it better be good that in some way can surpassed his masterpiece Alien.....
Lulupendragon writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 1:14:21 PM

I thought Alien 3 was ok. It did have some good scenes in it, but for the most part it wasn't better than Aliens. Aliens was more about struggling to stay alive in an Alien hive more than just battling one Alien. I guess you could call it a survival horror movie?
SeWerin writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 2:00:01 PM


It's called Special 'Assembly Cut' Edition. It has 30 minutes of extra footage. It is almost completely new movie as it adds much needed pacing, character development, explanations of some scenes. It is closer to Finchers vision. It rises rating of movie for at least 2 to 3 points. It's a must watch version for alien fan.
Rambo writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 6:10:10 PM

Aliens was the best movie in the franchise and also one of the best movies of all time.Alien 3 was average at best and had a weak script.killing newt and hicks was a mistake.
Chewbacca writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 7:26:28 PM

Renny for pete's sake you are a hack director if I can ever sniff one out.

Cutthroat Island-Major Ass
Deep Blue Sea-Mildly Diverting Ass
Driven-Puts the Ass in Nasscar
Mindhunters-Headache inducing Ass
The Covenant-Ass Ass Ass
12 Rounds-Ass/Marine Ripoff/Ass Ripping off Ass
Exorcist Beginning-Why...

Sums it up, with the exception of a few okay films this guy directs nothing but Ass.
Stapes writes:
on August 20th, 2011 at 7:35:21 PM

I've seen Fincher's extended cut of Alien 3 and while it was indeed better than the theatrical cut, it was still by no means a good film and definitely not a good follow up to Cameron's sequel. And Nightmare on Elm Street 4 WAS the last good Freddy film, great work from a director so young. Ford Fairlane is a classic also.
DaveThePhotoGuy writes:
on August 21st, 2011 at 5:41:55 AM

I'm with SeWerin & citysims, I loved "Alien 3" never get's the credit it deserves.
Zack_Morris writes:
on August 21st, 2011 at 6:27:34 PM

@citysims "small minority"......you mean yourself!
Alien is amazing, groundbreaking. The balls Jim Cameron had to direct it and step into Ridley's shoes! Seriously think about it, How do you out do alien? Flip it into a action film, loads of marine's , loads of guns and loads of aliens. Oh and a queen alien and Ripley fights it in a mech! What more do you want?

Alien is groundbreaking but Aliens steps up to the f*cking plate! Not many sequels are as good if not better than the first. He's done it with Aliens and Terminator 2. Alien 3 is ok, it's shot well , had a good atmosphere and probably the most talented cast of all four films. But it lacks, soul and the story line is all over the place. Not bad considering Finchers first film and he directed it without a finished script.

eximius007 writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 10:30:19 AM

Renny Harlin- Shut your mouth. You made the Covenant (biggest POS I've ever seen) you have no place in Hollywood and are only good for stocking up DVD's at the Dollar Store, go work at Arby's, get a real job.
darkraven28 writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 9:51:55 PM

Give Renny Harlin a microphone and a few Tanqueray and Tonics, and the anecdotes fly like condoms at a gay pride parade. WTF, Renny?
seveltoto writes:
on November 6th, 2017 at 12:43:35 AM

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