The Bloody Sci-Fi Thriller On Hulu Launched Legendary Director’s Career

By Jason Collins | Published

Alien is perhaps one of the best-known movie franchises worldwide, having spawned four mainline installments and at least five spin-offs. However, those who aren’t as familiar with the franchise know that every mainline installment had a different director. 1979’s Alien made Ridley Scott famous, 1986’s Aliens helped propel James Cameron’s career further, and 1992’s Alien 3 was the directorial debut of David Fincher, one of the most awarded directors in the industry. Now, his movie found its way on Hulu.

David Fincher Directed Alien 3

This is rather interesting, considering that Hulu is now bundled up with Disney+—a family-friendly platform. And the Alien franchise isn’t really known for being child-friendly. Nonetheless, one can’t neglect the fact that the movie, the weakest in the franchise, had set the stage for David Fincher to become one of the most acclaimed directors in Hollywood. So, it’s safe to say, with near-absolute certainty, that Alien 3 played a crucial role in shaping Fincher’s career despite its mixed reception.

A Notorious Devleopment Process

Alien 3 had a notoriously difficult development process, with multiple script rewrites by multiple different people. These rewrites introduced changes in direction that challenged the production of the movie from the very start. The script went through so many different iterations that one of them was completely devoid of the iconic alien stuff of nightmares, and if you were a kid in 1992, Xenomorphs were the definition of nightmare fuel. However, the studio settled on the one that brought Ellen Ripley, the protagonist of the first two films, to a penal colony on a remote planet.

Baptism By Fire

Fincher was then brought in to helm the project—after several directors had either left the production of Alien 3 or were dismissed—which came with its own set of challenges. Especially since Fincher was better known for his work on music videos rather than cinema. The director experienced a baptism by fire as he stepped into a production that was already facing several issues, including tight deadlines, a ballooning budget, and a script that was, at the time, still being rewritten. Yet, despite these hurdles, Fincher managed to deliver a decent release.

A Showcase For Sigourney Weaver

We’re not going to pretend that the troubles during the development hadn’t visually seeped into the final product—Alien 3 is, by far, the weakest entry among the mainline installments. The release polarized the critics and the audience, with most of the criticism being aimed at the film’s bleak tone. Sigourney Weaver’s return as Ellen Ripley was a significant draw for the film, and her fantastic performance carried the whole emotional weight of the movie, earning her widespread acclaim.

A Disappointing Box Office

Financially, Alien 3 did okay; it earned approximately $160 million worldwide, but it didn’t meet the studio’s expectations, given the exorbitantly high production costs—which tend to amass when you don’t know what you want. Ultimately, Alien 3, with all its shortcomings, is still an important part of the Alien franchise and a lasting testament to David Fincher’s talent. Those interested in watching Alien 3 can stream the movie via Hulu. Those with a Disney+ subscription as well can also stream it!