Alien fans rejoice! William Gibson's original script for Alien 3 is being turned into an audiobook by Audible. Not only that, but Michael Biehn is returning to reprise his role as Corporal Hicks for the audio dramatization of the story. This is, all around, great news for fans of the franchise. Not only because we're currently in a bit of a dry spell on the movie front ever since Alien: Covenant was released, but this will allow us to experience what could have been in perhaps the most authentic way possible.
Alien 3 was stuck in development at Fox for some time following the success of James Cameron's 1986 sequel Aliens, which was the first sequel to Ridley Scott's original sci-fi classic. Eventually, David Fincher wound up in the director's chair for a story that involved Ripley being the sole survivor of the Sulaco, with both Newt and Hicks winding up dead. Ripley ends up on a planet occupied by former prisoners and a Xenomorph begins to wreak havoc on the place. The movie has its defenders. That said, it couldn't match its predecessors and served, in many ways, as a disappointment.
Things could have gone in a very different direction. Originally, legendary sci-fi author William Gibson, whose works include Neuromancer and Count Zero, was hired by the studio to pen a version of Alien 3 in 1987. His version, which now lives in infamy, was never made and simply collected dust for many years. It was recently given a comic book adaptation by Dark Horse and now, we're getting this audio drama. Audible released a brief synopsis for the audiobook, which reads as follows.
"The story begins with the Sulaco on its return journey from LV-426. On board the military ship are the cryogenically frozen skeleton crew of that film's survivors: Ripley, Hicks, Newt and Bishop. We travel aboard and hear an alarm blare. Our heroes are no longer alone..."
Michael Biehn hasn't reprised his role as Hicks on screen since 1986. He has, however, lent his voice to several video games in the past, such as Aliens: Colonial Marines. For many, one of the great failings of 1992's Alien 3 was not bringing back Hicks or Newt and, instead, killing them both off screen. Maybe if we're really lucky they can get Sigourney Weaver back as well? Probably not, but a little wishful thinking never hurt anyone.
The full voice cast includes Tom Alexander , Barbara Barnes, Michael Biehn, Cliff Chapman, Samantha Coughlan, Ben Cura, Dar Dash, Harry Ditson, Mairead Doherty, Graham Hoadly, Lorelei King, Laurel Lefkow, Martin McDougall, Sarah Pitard, Michael Roberts, David Seddon, Andrew James Spooner, Siri Steinmo, Dai Tabuchi, Keith Wickham and Rebecca Yeo. The production is set to be directed by Dirk Maggs. For now, there is no word on a specific release date. Though, with Alien Day 2019 just around the corner, set for Friday, April 26, we could be learning more in the very near future. The Alien 3 audiobook is available for pre-order now over at Audible.com.