Film | by Shane “Space Wood” Hnetka

The San Diego Comic Con is July 19–22, and as usual it’s more about movies and TV than comic books. Disney opted out of having a panel, again, but other studios have upcoming releases to tease. Warner has previews of Wonder Woman 1984, Shazam and Aquaman; Sony’s bringing Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Fox will screen its extra-long cut of Deadpool 2. Good times, I suppose.

Gibson’s Alien

The story behind Alien 3 is way more interesting than the movie.

After the 1986 success of Aliens, producers Walter Hill and David Giler hired acclaimed writer William Gibson for two sequels — Ripley would have a cameo in the third film then make a big return in the fourth. Gibson based his script on a treatment Hill and Giler wrote but the pair weren’t impressed and asked him for a rewrite. Gibson declined. They then hired Eric Red, who wrote a quick draft he later disowned.

Writer David Twohy was brought in and moved the story to a prison planet. Then director Rennie Harlan left the project because he felt Twohy’s script was too similar to the previous movies; also he was tired of waiting.

Vincent Ward was then recruited to direct but he wanted to change the prison world to a Luddite planet with wooden spaceships. The studio didn’t like the idea (because wooden spaceships are stupid, duh), and Ward was punted. Hill and Giler then wrote the screenplay themselves, putting it back on a prison planet and hiring David Fincher to direct.

The end result was, well, pretty mediocre.

Anyway, after all this time Dark Horse Comics is  going to adapt Gibson’s original screenplay into a comic series. Gibson is quite happy with this. I am also quite happy with this. William Gibson’s Alien 3 will be released in November.

Another Remake-Reboot-Sequel

It was just announced that director Neill Blomkamp is going to direct a sequel to Robocop. Wait. Wait. Didn’t they just remake Robocop? Didn’t it both suck and bomb? But I guess this isn’t a sequel to the remake, it’s a sequel to the original — which already had two sequels and a crappy TV series.

Well, this sequel is apparently based on an unused script from original writers Michael Miner and Ed Neumeier.

I have no idea if they’re going to dress poor Peter Weller up as Robocop again.

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd. Read his weekly column Sunday Matinee on our blog.