Renny Harlin’s Early Version of Alien 3 Wanted to Bring Xenomorphs to Earth


Put simply, Fox executives of the day allegedly didn’t feel that audiences would get invested in the idea of aliens on Earth. Yet, just four years after “Alien 3”┬áhit theaters, “Independence Day” would go on to become one of the biggest movies of all time up to that point. What’s more, FX is currently making an “Alien” TV show that will bring the action to Earth, which sort of brings the idea full circle. Harlin explained that he politely walked away from the project when he realized it couldn’t live up to his own high expectations:

“So let’s put the aliens on a prison ship. A prison ship? How am I going to relate to a prison ship? But that’s ancient history. I’m not blaming anybody, but for those who don’t know, I worked for a year on ‘Alien 3,’ and I quit politely, respectfully, because I couldn’t stand the idea of, after Ridley Scott and Jim Cameron, coming up with a movie that is just not going to live up to what the audience is expecting and give them that experience. The key to me, just to say again about the ‘Alien’ movies, was that they have to be relatable. They might be in outer space, but the characters are you and I, in outer space, and that’s what makes them tick.”

The production of “Alien 3” was famously a nightmare, and Fincher seems pretty unhappy about the whole thing to this day. The franchise lives on, however. Aside from the aforementioned TV show, Fede Alvarez, of “Don’t Breathe” fame, has directed a new film titled “Alien: Romulus” that takes place between the events of the first two films, which is set to hit theaters in August. Harlin, for his part, had a very fruitful career after leaving his ill-fated version of this film behind. Still, it’s hard not to wonder what could have been if Fox had just been able to get on board with his vision at the time.

“The Strangers: Chapter 1” hits theaters on May 17, 2024.

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