Alien 3 (stylized as ALIEN³) is a 1992 American science fiction horror film directed by David Fincher and written by David Giler, Walter Hill and Larry Ferguson, from a story by Vincent Ward. It stars Sigourney Weaver, reprising her role as Ellen Ripley. It is the third installment of the Alien franchise and led to a sequel, Alien Resurrection (1997).
Set right after the events of Aliens (1986), Ripley and an Alien organism are the only survivors of the Colonial Marine spaceship Sulaco following an escape pod's crash on a planet housing a penal colony populated by violent male inmates. Additional roles are played by Charles Dance, Brian Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Ralph Brown, Paul McGann, Danny Webb, Lance Henriksen, Holt McCallany, Pete Postlethwaite, and Danielle Edmond.
The film faced problems during production, including shooting without a script, and various screenwriters and directors were attached. Fincher, in his feature directorial debut, was brought in to direct after a proposed version with Vincent Ward as director was cancelled during pre-production.
Alien 3 was released on May 22, 1992. While it underperformed at the American box office, it earned over $100 million outside North America. The film received mixed reviews and was regarded as inferior to previous installments. Fincher has since disowned the film, blaming studio interference and deadlines. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, seven Saturn Awards (Best Science Fiction Film, Best Actress for Weaver, Best Supporting Actor for Dutton, Best Direction for Fincher, and Best Writing for Giler, Hill, and Ferguson), a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, and an MTV Movie Award for Best Action Sequence. In 2003, a revised version of the film known as the Assembly Cut was released without Fincher's involvement, and received a warmer reception.
Following the events of Aliens, an egg hatches aboard the Colonial Marine spaceship Sulaco, releasing a facehugger. A fire starts and the ship's computer launches an escape pod containing Ellen Ripley, the young girl Newt, Hicks, and the damaged android Bishop; all four are in cryonic stasis. Scans of the crew's cryotubes show a Queen Facehugger attached to one member. The pod crash-lands on Fiorina "Fury" 161, a foundry and maximum security double-Y chromosome work correctional facility inhabited by male inmates with a genetic mutation which gives the afflicted individual a predisposition for antisocial behavior. The inmates recover the crashed pod and its passengers. The same Facehugger is seen approaching inmate Thomas Murphy's dog, Spike.
Ripley is awakened by Clemens, the prison doctor, who informs her that she is the sole survivor. She is warned by the prison warden, Harold Andrews, that her presence may have disruptive effects. Ripley insists that Clemens perform an autopsy on Newt and that her and Hicks's bodies be subsequently burned, secretly fearing that Newt may be carrying an Alien embryo. Despite protests from the warden and his assistant Aaron, the autopsy is conducted and no embryo is found. The funeral proceeds in the foundry, attended by the prisoners and presided over by Andrews, with spiritual leader Dillon delivering a speech for the deceased as their bodies are dropped into the furnace. Elsewhere in the prison, a quadrupedal alien bursts from Spike.
Ripley finds the damaged Bishop in the prison's garbage dump. Just as she is leaving the area, she is cornered by four inmates and almost gang-raped. After being saved by Dillon, Ripley returns to the infirmary and re-activates Bishop, who, before asking to be permanently shut down, confirms through scanning ship records that a Facehugger was onboard and came with them to Fiorina in the escape pod. Growing to full size, the alien kills 3 inmates: Murphy, Boggs, and Rains and returns outcast prisoner Golic to his previously psychopathic state — Golic dubs the creature "the Dragon". Ripley informs Andrews of her previous encounter with the Xenomorphs and suggests everyone work together to hunt down and kill it. The highly skeptical Andrews does not believe her story, and explains that even if she were telling the truth, the facility is without weapons; their only hope is the rescue ship being sent for Ripley by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation.
The Alien ambushes Ripley and Clemens in the prison infirmary, killing him, and corners Ripley, but then mysteriously spares her and retreats. Ripley then rushes to the cafeteria to warn the others. Andrews insists she is delusional and orders Aaron to take her back to the infirmary, but the warden himself is dragged into the vents and killed by the monster. Ripley assumes command, rallying the inmates and proposes they pour flammable toxic waste into the ventilation system and ignite it to flush out the extraterrestrial. However, its intervention causes a premature explosion and several inmates are killed. With Aaron's help, Ripley scans herself using the escape pod's medical equipment and discovers the embryo of an Alien Queen growing inside her. She also discovers that Weyland-Yutani hopes to turn the aliens into biological weapons.
Deducing that the Alien will not kill her because of the embryo she carries, Ripley begs Dillon to kill her; he agrees only if she helps the inmates kill the Alien first. They form a plan to lure the Alien into the foundry's molding facility, trap it via a series of closing doors, and drown it in molten lead. The bait-and-chase plan results in the deaths of all the remaining prisoners except Dillon and Morse. Dillon sacrifices himself to position the Alien towards the mold as Morse pours the molten lead onto them. Although the Alien is covered in molten metal, it escapes the mold. Ripley activates the fire sprinklers, causing its molten metal exoskeleton to cool rapidly and shatter, blowing it apart.
The Weyland–Yutani team arrives, including scientists, heavily armed commandos and a man who looks identical to Bishop, who explains that he is Bishop's creator. He tries to persuade Ripley to undergo surgery to remove the Alien Queen embryo, which he claims will be destroyed. Highly skeptical, Ripley refuses and steps back onto a mobile platform, which Morse positions over the furnace. The Weyland–Yutani team shoot Morse in the leg in an attempt to stop him; Aaron, believing the Bishop look-alike is an android, strikes the man with a wrench and is shot by the commandos, killing him. Ignoring Bishop's pleas to give them the embryo, Ripley throws herself into the furnace, killing herself, just as the infant queen erupts from her. The facilities are closed down. Morse, the sole survivor, is led away as Ripley's final logbook recording from the Nostromo plays in the EEV.