William Gibson's Alien III Script



The silent field of stars -- eclipsed by the dark bulk of of an approaching ship.



A towering cliff of metal, Sulaco.

(The script then cuts to an inside tracking shot of the hyper-sleep vault and the line of open and empty capsules. We finally track across 4 closed capsules - Newt, Ripley, Hicks, and finally Bishop. Bishop's capsule, however, is covered with a "hothouse" mist and condensation.)


A tear of fluid streaks the condensation.

An alarm sounds.

A monitor begins to scroll data.

(We then hear the computer announcing that Sulaco has experienced a navagational error and entered the territory of the U.P.P. [Union of Progressive Peoples - A clear analogy for the late U.S.S.R. - A subplot which probably contributed to the demise of this script.] We cut to an exterior shot of the Sulaco and witness the approach of a UPP interceptor ship carrying commandos. They dock with the Sulaco and board her. They enter the ship though an airlock near the cargo bay. As they enter, they find Bishop's twisted and tangled lower torso. They see the blast damage on the drop ship and exchange knowing looks...It is apparent these are combat veterans. As the commandos enter the hyper-sleep vault, the computer announces a security breach. They move down the line of capsules and stop at Bishop's.)


The chilly aisle of capsules.

Commandos move down the line, guns poised. They peer in at Newt, Ripley, and Hicks, but the lid of Bishop's capsule is pearl white. (text deleted) The lid rises. A dense pale mist flows out, spilling over the edges of the capsule, revealing the ovoid of a gray alien egg. Rooted in the center of Bishop's synthetic entrails, the egg instantly ejaculates a face-hugger, which strikes the leader's faceplate in a spray of acid. (lots of text deleted)

(At this point, one of the other commandos, a young Vietnamese woman, attempts to shoot the facehugger without killing the leader. Things go wrong and his head is literally destroyed. They throw him out the airlock and leave with Bishop's remains.)



A station the size of a small moon, and growing; unfinished sections of hull are open to vacuum. A vast, irregular structure, the result of of the shifting goals of succesive administrations.

(This is our introduction to Anchorpoint which serves as the setting for about 75% of Alien III. I see it as a cross between the Deathstar and Deep Space 9. It is huge and well-used like the Deathstar, but it is by run civil administrators and company reps, with only a military attache and a few troops. Like DSN, it has shopping malls, schools, and the type of stuff associated with a colony rather than a military base.

At this time we are introduced to Tully, a civilian lab technician, and the station's ops officer, Jackson. Tully is written as sort of a malcontented doctoral student. He's very smart, very good at his job, and has some degree of contempt for authority. Jackson is a really neat character. She is a "tough broad," much like Ripley, but carries none of the baggage that Ripley is saddled with. They have a lengthy conversation at this point which sort of brings the audience up to speed. I've included just a small portion.)

The Sulaco. Departed gateway four years ago with a compliment of fifteen. A dozen marines, an android, a company representative, and the former warrant officer of a merchant vessel...


So, the bio-readout gives us the warant officer, one -- count him -- marine, and a nine-year-old girl. Makes you wonder what happened out there, doesn't it?

So ask'em. Wake'em up and ask'em. Them not me.

But That's the GOOD news, Tully. Three hours before Sulaco turned up, we docked a priority shuttle out of Gateway. Two passengers. Milisci, Tully. Weapons Division.

That the bad news?

They want the ship pulled in with full biohazard precautions, by oh-eight-hundred hours. BioLab techs are priority for the deck squad. that's you Tully.

The phone screen goes blank.

(heartfelt) Shit!

(We are then introduced to Spence, who is I think Tully's girlfriend. That part's not real clear as events overtake the issue very quickly from here on out. The next five pages of script are dedicated to a WONDERFUL sequence of scenes where Tully and other lab techs, accompanied by marines from Anchorpoint are seen in an enormous docking bay where they board Sulaco. I'll put in the last page of it here.)

Yessir. Lights on in there.

The officer presses a button.

The door slides open. Bright white. The aisle. Empty. The row of capsules. Tully's marine is first through the door, gun ready, slow, careful. Tully steps in after him, raises his instrument, takes a sample.


The other two marines move past Tully. Soft scuff of their boots on the deck. Tully doesn't know quite what to do. Lowers his sampler, hesitates, The first marine reaches Newt's capsule. He lowers his rifle. (something startled, almost gentle in his voice) They're here...

Eight inches of razor-sharp serrated tail plunges out through the back of his suit as he's lifted off his feet by something we can't see. Ugly RIPPING noise as the alien withdraws its stinger (Gibson clearly refers to the tail as a stinger at several points in the script) -- blood tidily contained by the translucent membrane of the biohazard envelope.

The stinger of a second alien whips around the neck of one of the other two marines; the alien is clinging to the ceiling. He screams. Tully's marine sags against the foot of Ripley's capsule, his arm across the controls -- the green indicator lights go out -- as the first alien lunges up into view.


On the jaws.


Her eyes snap open


As the beast mounts her coffin, terminal nightmare.


No-ooooooooooooooooooooo! Her hands claw frantically at the smooth curve of the plastic canopy.

The remaining marine, crazy with adrenialine and terror, unleashes his flame thrower. The first alien and Ripley's capsule vanish in a napalm fireball. the marine spins, screaming incoherently, and liquid fire hoses the second alien, which drops its victim and falls burning into the deck.

The vault is an inferno. Ripley's capsule is sagging, melting.


(We see Ripley's damaged capsule being rolled into a very elaborate medlab and doctors go to work on her. Then we cut to Hicks sitting on the edge of a hospital bed in a dressing gown lighting a cigarette. Spence comes in and has a brief conversation with him. He asks about Newt and Ripley and Bishop. She tells him that Newt and Ripley are fine, and that she doesn't know who Bishop is. Newt comes running in chased by an orderly. He grabs for Newt and Hicks almost assaults him, but is stopped when Spence calls off the orderly. They demand to see Ripley. Spence takes them to her room. She is in a deep coma)


I don't know honey.

It's better not to.



Smaller than Anchorpoint


CLOSE on Bishop. He stares straight ahead, the corner of his mouth twitching mechanically.

(The UPP scientists are downloading all of Bishop's data and are learning all about the aliens. The young Vietnamese commando is present and confirms the image of the facehugger -- They all stare in horror at the image of the adult alien. The young woman shakes her head and says she has not seen this. The two adults on the Sulaco are never explained and neither is the fact that the capsules were left alone. There is a possibility that there may have been live animals, or animals such as dogs on the Sulaco in hypersleep. This may account for the adults as well as the dog thread in the screen version. Lab animals are turned into aliens later in the Gibson script. The egg in Bishop's entrails is explained in great detail.)


You getting this on tape Miller?

You bet your ass. Orders.

That's good because I'd swear I just saw a piece of this shit move...

On the monitor, the tip of the probe trembles, brushes one of the globules. The second tech takes it, inserts it in a plastic tube, seals the tube in a small metal cannister, and writes #17 on the side in red grease pencil.

Since when do androids get diseases?

I dunno. Sure looks like something got to this poor bastard...

(This is a key scene in the script as it introduces the alien "spores" and "DNA" samples which are capable of spreading the species like a disease. Even androids can act as a host at least to the extent of producing a viable egg with a facehugger inside. The effects on a living host are entirely different as we'll see shortly.

At this point in the story, we are introduced to Col. Rosetti, local commandant of the colonial marine detachment at Anchorpoint. We also meet Kevin Fox and Susan Welles. They are the Weyland-Yutani scum-yuppies from the weapons division sent by the company. They are real knock-offs of Burke, only not so endearing...Yeeech! We also meet Shuman, the diplomat. He is involved now as the UPP is making a stink about the Sulaco entering their space. The four of them debrief Hicks in a "security bubble" and learn what he knows. They do not tell him about the aliens found on the Sulaco. In the bubble we also meet Trent, the head bio-geneticist at Anchorpoint. He quizzes Hicks about the alien's life-cycle. They realize that Hicks doesn't know anything about the genetic material they have discovered in the hyper-sleep vault. They also fail to tell him they are experimenting with it and trying to clone it. They do tell Hicks about the UPP grabbing Bishop.

At this point there is a complex and important scene in the Tissue Culture Lab with Tully and Spence. It involves lots of high tech goodies and what would have been some terrific CGI sequences as they examine the alien samples. It all culminates with them looking #17 under extreme magnification we see the sample brought into focus...)


As the screen fills with an image that might be a bizzare landscape, its lines and textures recalling the interior of the derelict ship in "ALIEN."

(This sequence is followed by a long set of scenes with Newt and Hicks as Newt prepares to return to earth aboard the Sulaco which has been sterilized. Ripley is still in a coma and Newt makes her a map of her Grandparent's home in Oregon so she can find her when she wakes up...Lot's of cuteness and string-pulling as Newt departs Anchorpoint.

We jump back to Rodina Station and meet a bunch of new characters. Braun, Rodina's Chief of R&D, Colonel-Doctor Suslov, the Head of the station, and several military and diplomatic officers. The scene is basically a discussion of where are we? - where are they? re: the development of the aliens as a weapon, and what to do about Bishop? They decide the best course of action is not to overplay their hand, but to sterilize Bishop and send him back with no traces of the alien spores or any memory of his time at Rodina. They rebuild him (with inferior UPP technology - this later becomes a plot element and a running joke in the script) and return him to Anchorpoint.



Trent, head of biolab, Rosetti, and Fox wait, seated, as Tully wheels a holographic Display Module into position. The lights dim. A faint, ghostly cube shimmers in front of the three men.

Initially this was merely routine, you understand. We attempted to determine its compatibility with terrestial DNA.

What kind of DNA Doctor?

Human, of course.

Something shivers and shakes and takes form in the cube of light: a double helix threaded with green and red beads of light.

TRENT (continuing) Watch closey, please.

The alien genetic material looks like a cubist's vision of an art deco staircase, its asymmetrical segments glowing day-glow green and purple.

That's a biological structure? More like part of a machine...

The alien form makes contact with the human DNA. The transformation is shockingly swift, but its stages can still be followed: the thing seems to pull itself into and THROUGH the coils, and for an instant the two are meshed, locked, and then the final stage. A new shape glows, a HYBRID; the green and red beads have been altered beyond recognition.

Like a high-speed viral takeover...! What's the real-time duration on this, Trent?

(from the shadows beyond the glowing cube) That was it. What you see is what you get. That's how fast it is...

(Several scenes follow that I'll just encapsulate for you. They are all important, but only in that they introduce characters or minor plot elements.

#1 Hicks meets Walker the foreman of the Anchorpoint machine-shop...He is a tough customer.

#2 Jackson, Shuman, UPP Diplomatic Officer discuss Bishop's return. #3 Bishops arrives at Anchorpoint. #4 Hicks meets Tully in a bar on the Mall and Tully reveals that Fox and Welles have ordered the lab to experiment with the alien DNA.

#5 Rosetti, Fox, Trent, and Welles in the security bubble discussing the progress of the experiments. Rosetti raises minor objections, but wimps out when Fox threatens his career.

#6 Bishop being checked out by a medlab tech and jokes about his shitty UPP polycarbonate knee joints. This is followed by a long scene with Hicks and Spence where she fully spills the beans about the "research.")


(lots of text deleted)

Maybe I don't either. It's just...We've got to tell somebody...Now there's a rumor somebody came in on a UPP ship today, somebody off Sulaco...


I don't know.

Maybe Progressive Peoples'll get their own alien too. Maybe they'll grow some...

(horrified) Shit! You'd better hope not...

Why's that?

Their lab gear's five years behind ours. they'd never be able to control it

Think you can, huh?

I don't know...

(More scenes follow:

#1 Tully complains to Jackson that there are problems with one of the stasis systems in the lab.

#2 Rodina - BioLab: Braun and Suslov are discussing the alien as a weapon in front of a large stasis tube. Scene ends with a closeup on the tube showing a "chestburster suspended like a fetal dolphin."

#3 Long scene where Bishop tells Hicks about Ripley and the queen on the Sulaco. He also warns Hicks to watch him carefully as the UPP may have reprogrammed him and he would not know it.

#4 Long scene in the culture lab with Tully and Welles. Ends with the stasis system failing and the contents spraying all over Welles and Tully. They are immediately taken to a "de-con" unit. Welles is seriously pissed off!

#5 Bishop and Hicks sneak into the tissue culture lab and destroy all of the alien cultures. Ends with both of them in white plastic restraints as they are placed in separate cells. The next scene is the beginning of the proverbial shit hitting the fan.)


Meeting of the full Anchorpoint Directorate, including Welles and Fox and a number of new faces. Welles is white lipped with fury.

(lots of dialog omitted)

You have no more material to work with, Trent. In any case, it's become obvious that you aren't the man for the job. We took the precaution of obtaining our own samples. they're on their way to Gateway. (Wow! Does this open a lot of possibilities...Like "Earth Hive" for instance.)

(with cold satisfaction)...and everything, every move each of you have made, since our arrival, is going to be gone over with a fine toothed c-c-c-c-c--

As Welles begins to stammer, her eyes betray a terrible consternation. She rises from her chair, lurches forward, catching herself on her hands. The c-c-c-c- phases into a chattering palsy as a thick strand of blood-streaked drool descends toward the table. Fox, seated to her left, has instinctively shoved his own chair back, ready to run. Everyone else is frozen with shock.

As the chittering tooth-burr becomes a shrill SHRIEK of inhuman rage, the transformation takes place. Segmented biomechanoid tendons squirm beneath the skin of her arms. Her hands claw at one another, tearing redundant flesh from alien talons. then the shriek dies. She straightens up. And, rips her face apart in a single movement, the glistening claws coming away with skin, eyes, muscle, teeth, and splinters of bone...The sound of ripping cloth. the new beast sheds its human skin in a single sinuous, bloody ripple, molting on fast forward...An instant of utter silence as the featureless mask moves. From side to side. Scanning.

Trent vomits explosively. the marine guard snatches his pistol from its holster and fires wildly across the table. Blind screaming chaos.


As the Directorate plunges, like a single panicked organism, to the far side of the bubble. The thing is on Fox before he can get up from his chair.


On his scream as the sucking, fanged tounge plunges through the orbit of his eye.


A marine with a flamethrower bursts through the door, torching Fox and the new beast, setting fire to the bubble's acoustic foam baffles.

(Clearly, this script was destined to get an "R" rating...From this point on the script becomes an Aliens-like war movie. Many brief cutting scenes follow:

#1 Spence finds Tully's contaminated lab badge. #2 Rosetti gets Hicks and Bishop out of their cells and enlists their help.

#3 Hicks (in full combat armor) and Walker driving into the construction zone in a jeep searching for Tully.

#4 Jackson, Spence, and Bishop tracking them on monitors from operations. #5 Hicks and Walker find and kill the alien that was Tully. #6 Closeup of Spence as Tully's locator dot blinks out. #7 INT. RODINA Mass confusion as we see the commandos fighting their way through what has obviously become a war-zone. Then we see the result of Suslov's genetic tinkering: It's a new type of alien - "bigger, meaner, faster, able to reproduce more rapidly." The commandos swarm through a hatch and seal the thick steel door. We hear slamming and pounding as the steel begins to buckle.

All of this is followed by a really long scene with Hicks, Jackson, Bishop, Shuman, and Rosetti in operations. We find out the closest ship is the transport Kansas City which is 20 hours away. the following exchange takes place in the midle of it:)

We abandon the station.

Destroy the station, man! We got nukes?

Outlawed under the strategic arms reduction treaty.

We can fiddle the overrides on the fusion package. Baby nova.

We're dealing with a new form Colonel. We know nothing of this new mode of reproduction. Others may have already become hosts.

What are you suggesting?

Inorder to be ENTIRELY certain, Colonel, it would be necessary to override the fusion package now.

Jackson looks up at Bishop; he's suggesting mass suicide.

I thought you were programmed to protect human life?

(with android blandness) I'm taking the long view.

(I believe this would have become one of the classic lines of the film. The scene ends with an incoming message, actually a warning, from Rodina. A technician explains what they have done and that all experiments must be terminated as they cannot be contained...No shit! There is a lot of funny reparte about "the Soviet space brothers" in this scene. Jackson almost takes on the air of a Hudson, except she's pretty gutsy. At the very end Jackson gathers everyone near the monitors as they notice that something huge is blocking the cameras in the air-scrubber chamber. Many scenes follow:

#1 Spence sitting in the eco-module...Birds begin to sing...The calm before the storm.

#2 EXT. RODINA - No movement. INT. - We see the Vietnamese commando sitting on the floor cradling her gun, the acid burned corpse of her partner is beside her.

#3 A series of very rapidly cut scenes where Hicks puts Ripley in a lifeboat and launches her into space. Bishop questions him about this as she might be infected. Hicks replies, "I owe her one."

#4 Great combat sequence as Hicks leads a group of "green" marines to the scrubber room where they find a huge mutant queen alien. The place look like the queens chamber on LV-426, only more grotesque. Lots of the new aliens come crawling out the walls. The marines destroy the new queen and kill lots of the drones, but as the Queen pulls loose from the framework that is supporting her, an enormous cloud of spores is released and then sucked into the air circulation system. Hicks has Bishop close the vents.

#5 INT. RODINA HUB - The commando works her way through the core of the station. She discover the almost the entire crew of the station, maybe a hundred people all cocooned in a multi-story column...A bas-relief of human bodies and glittering resin. A closeup of Braun and Suslov is shown.

#6 INT. OPS - Jackson, Rosetti, and Bishop are watching the approach of the UPP cruiser Nikolai Stoiko at Rodina (How they are doing this is not explained other than as some form of survelience system. It's clear that it's not direct video, but some form of remore imaging.)..

#7 INT. RODINA - The commando gets into an interceptor and escapes from the station. We see her blast away.

#8 EXT. RODINA - We see the Stoiko launch a missle and a nuclear blast destroy the station.

#9 INT. OPS - Jackson says, "I don't believe it! They send for help, and their own people nuked'em! Hicks replies, "Maybe they asked for it."

The following scenes are a real combat-fest.

#1 Walker on the Mall blasting aliens and taking pulls from a jug of liquor. In the end he becomes an alien.

#2 INT. ECO-MODULE - Spence enters and gasps at what she sees. The primates have been cocooned in the trees.

#3 Hicks on the Mall...scenes of carnage everywhere. #4 INT. OPS - Jackson, Hicks, Rosetti, Spence, and Bishop. Hicks wants to blow the fusion package immediately. Jackson says it doesn't matter as Hicks has destroyed the scrubber and with all the fires, they'll only have air for a few more hours anyway. One of the marines falls down in agony, only he doesn't become an alien. His chest bursts open and about half a dozen new model chestbursters pop out and run in all different directions. Hicks evacuates everyone.

#5 INT. CORRIDOR - Bishop heads off to rig the fusion package. Hicks gathers all the survivors to take them to the lifeboats. A few new characters are introduced at this point...All minor.

#6 Bishop in the Mall encounters yet another queen and her drones in the process of cocooning victims. Bishop runs for the elevator with the queen after him..

#7 Lots of cross-cutting between the group heading for the lifeboats fighting their way through the aliens and Bishops staving off the queen in the elevator. Bishop escapes by ripping up the floor of the elevator showing his android strength. The lifeboat party emerges from a wall of smoke to find the passage blocked by a wall of resin, human bones, marine helmets, rifles, etc. What follows is just too complex to distill and too long to copy and still be fair to Mr. Gibson. Let me just say that it's an incredible sequence of the lifeboat party taking alternate routes to the bay as the aliens keep blocking their path. Lots of explosions, shootouts, mucho violence...Really keen stuff!.

#8 Bishop arrives at the fusion package and proceeds to rig it to blow.

#9 We rejoin the lifeboat party at the crew quarters where we see even more carnage including what's left of a children's preschool. Memebers of the party freak out at this point. Spence and Hicks calm everyone down and they move on..

#10 Bishop exiting the fusion complex...One of his polycarbon knees gives out. He is now dragging one leg behind him.

#11 Spence is separated in a service shaft and trapped by an alien. She has a huge flare pistol and kills it. She rejoins Hicks and the others.

#12 Bishop climbing the elevator shaft and checking his watch: 21:40. They agreed he would set the fusion unit to blow at 22:00.

#13 Hicks and Jackson have it out with Rosetti who is not handling things very well. Basically, they kick his ass. One of the party, Tatsumi is bitten, but survives. They dress his wound and move on.

#14 Quick scene of Bishop back on the Mall putting a patch on his leg and then moving to rejoin the others. The queen is no longer there.

#15 Hicks and company arrive at the lifeboat bay. Closeup of Tatsumi's leg wound leaving a trail of yellow drops. Rosetti opens the door and the bay is filled with fresh new aliens. Hicks provides cover fire and they get the door closed again. They all pile into an office. It's Trent's, and they find him where he's already killed himself. Spence finds that the back wall of the office is actually an airlock. Sounds of the aliens throwing themselves against the door to the office. Hicks checks his watch it's 21:46.

#16 As they prepare to enter the lock, A chestburster crawls out of Tatsumi's wound and more erupt from his chest. The survivors enter the airlock. They all suit up and the color of their suits is important. Rosetti gets in a yellow suit. Shortly after they exit the lock Rosetti goes through the change inside his suit. He kills a lab tech and then Hicks kill him. Only Jackson, Hicks, and Spence are left alive. Hicks looks at his watch 21:59...22:00...Nothing! They move across the outside surface of Anchorpoint toward the external portion of the lifeboats..

#17 Outside shot of the lock shows the aliens following them...They are unaffected by the cold and the vacuum.

#18 Outside the lifeboat, Spence and jackson work on opening the hatch with a bypass. Hicks continue to kill aliens.

#19 Hicks sees a yellow spacesuit moving across the hull...Rosetti? No, it's Bishop. he has emerged from another lock. Bishop "greases" all the aliens that are left on the outside. He tells Hicks that he gave them an extra half hour of time.

#20 As they are getting in the lifeboat, the second queen emerges and leads a charge of new aliens toward them. They run out of ammo as the aliens close in on them.

#21 Cut to the UPP interceptor: shot of a port opening revealing a "viscious looking gattling style pulse cannon" (I could almost hear the audience cheering in my head as I read this scene). The interceptor wipes out the aliens.

#22 The commando lands the interceptor near them and takes them on board. Jackson is killed by the aliens in this scene. The aliens are coming up behind the ship. She fires the engines and fries them!

#23 The interceptor streaks away as the reactor overloads and blows. The last scene is in the interceptor and it's too long for fair-use, although, I'd love to put up the whole thing. Instead I'll just give you the gist of it and one very important extract.


(dialog omitted, but Bishop determines that none of them are infected or they would have already begun to change. The commando has had a lethal dose of radiation and will only live a few more hours.)

You're a species again, Hicks. United against a common enemy...


The source, Hicks. You'll have to trace them back, find the point of origin. The first source and destroy it.

I don't know, Bishop. Maybe we oughtta just stay out of their way...


You can't, Hicks. This goes far beyond mere interspecies competition. These creatures are to biological life what antimatter is to matter.

How do you mean?

There isn't room for the both of you, Hicks, not in this universe.

That's crazy, Bishop...

No. You're already at war, Hicks. War to extermination. The alien knows no other mode.

Hell, man, we been at war all my life. Near enough, anyway. With her (he looks down at the Vietnamese commando). With all her brothers and sisters. That's what got us into this shit in the first place!

But now you've seen the enemy, Hicks. So has she. She's not it. Neither are you. This is a Darwinian universe, Hicks. Will the alien be the ultimate survivor?

Hicks doesn't answer. He just looks at Bishop. Bishop goes back to repairing his circuitry.


Spence's sleeping face and the face of the dying commando.



Approach of a large ship.

The PING of homing radar.


As it slides past, enormous letters: KANSAS CITY


From below Kansas City as a wide bay opens up.

The interceptor comes into frame and is drawn up into the brightly lit hold.

The bay closes.


Kansas City. Receding. Gone.

The stars.