Alien 3: The Unproduced Screenplay, also known as William Gibson's Alien 3, is a five-issue comic book adaptation of William Gibson's unproduced script for Alien3 that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from November 2018-March 2019. It was also published simultaneously in the digital format via Dark Horse Digital. The story was written by Johnnie Christmas, based on the original screenplay by William Gibson, and was illustrated by Christmas, colored by Tamra Bonvillain, lettered by Nate Piekos, and edited by Daniel Chabon, with cover art by Christmas. Paolo Rivera, James Stokoe, James Harren, Daniel Warren Johnson, Tradd Moore and Christian Ward also provided variant covers for various issues.
As with the later audio drama adaptation of Gibson's unmade script, the comic book is based on the second draft screenplay, which differs substantially from his more widely-known first draft.
#1: After the deadly events of the film Aliens, the spaceship Sulaco carrying the sleeping bodies of Ripley, Hicks, Newt, and Bishop is intercepted by the Union of Progressive Peoples. What the UPP forces don't expect is another deadly passenger that is about to unleash chaos between two governmental titans intent on developing the ultimate Cold War weapon of mass destruction.
#2: With the Sulaco containing more than meets the eye, the UPP team looks to find out what happened to Ripley, Bishop, and company. At the same time, the group on the Rodina have discovered that one of their own — Kurtz — may be infected on Anchorpoint, and uses the captured Bishop as a ransoming piece for Kurtz's return, who the Rodina crew view as a potential weapon.
#3: The crew of the Rodina quickly find themselves in a dire situation as the UPP side have an unwelcome guest aboard their ship. Meanwhile, the powers that be on the Sulaco look to replace the crew with the recently recovered android, Bishop. As they push the limits of ethics and morality, the crew decide something must be done.
#4: Suddenly, both the Rodina and Sulaco find themselves in a state of complete chaos, as the controlled environments go completely awry. When Hicks, Spence, and crew attempt to take matters into their own hands by expelling the Xenomorph embryos, they find that they may be too late.
#5: In this action-packed conclusion, all hell breaks loose for the crew of the Sulaco as it turns out the Xenomorph isn't the only monstrous threat. In a race against time our heroes have to fight their way off the ship before they are picked off one by one.
Following the disastrous mission to Acheron, the Sulaco is on its return journey to Earth. However, the vessel strays into space controlled by the Union of Progressive Peoples, leading a team of three UPP commandos to intercept and board it. Within, the commandos discover a Xenomorph Egg that has grown from the severed upper torso of Bishop as he slumbers in his hyperlseep capsule; almost immediately, a Facehugger bursts forth and attacks the commandos' leader, Kurtz. He stumbles away as he struggles with the creature, while his comrades Chang and Juan are forced to abandon him and evacuate the ship before it leaves UPP space, taking Bishop's torso with them.
The Sulaco continues onwards to Anchorpoint space station, where it is immediately quarantined. A search of the skip is ordered by Weyland-Yutani executives Fox and Welles, who have recently arrived at Anchorpoint to investigate the cause of the navigational error that caused the ship to stray into UPP territory. However, the station's commanding officer, Rosetti, privately sheds doubt on the purpose of their mission, pointing out that they departed Gateway before the Sulaco strayed off-course. When pressed, Fox and Welles reveal that they are from weapons division, and that the Sulaco was deliberately rerouted to Anchorpoint when "weapons-related material" on board became active. The ship's violation of UPP territory was a consequence of this. Rosetti is appalled, but his superiors on Earth order him to bow to Fox and Welles' demands.
The sweep of the ship is carried out by the station's biotech team, including colleagues and lovers Spence and Tully, accompanied by Fox and Welles. They recover the remaining survivors on board, although find Ripley has lapsed into a coma as a result of accidental damage caused to her cryotube by the commandos. Bishops' severed legs are retrieved, while Fox and Welles also discover the body of Kurtz, his chest burst open. Back aboard Anchorpoint, the Weyland-Yutani executives debrief Hicks and Newt, swearing both to silence regarding events on Acheron, and also order Spence and Tully to begin examining biological samples recovered from Bishop's legs.
Meanwhile, on the UPP space station Rodina, scientists are developing Xenomorph material recovered from the other half of Bishop's body, having concluded the Anchorpoint crew will be doing the same. Aware that their experiments violate arms reduction treaties between the two powers, diplomatic officer Rivera elects to have Bishop repaired and returned to Anchorpoint to buy them time to work.
On Anchorpoint, the decontaminated Sulaco is cleared to return to Earth after a damaged cooling unit is replaced, and the vessel takes Newt with it. Meanwhile, an accident in the lab exposes Tully and Welles to Xenomorph genetic material. As a result, Tully and Spence are removed from the project and Bishop is placed in charge of the experiments. Shortly afterwards, the technician responsible for cleaning up following the accident is killed by the Xenomorph Drone born on the Sulaco, which was unintentionally brought aboard Anchorpoint within the damaged cooling unit.
Concerned by the ongoing experiments, Spence informs a horrified Hicks. At the Marine's insistence, they go to the lab to destroy the samples. Although they are successful, they are immediately apprehended by Rosetti and Welles, the latter of whom suddenly transforms into a Xenomorph Hybrid, the result of her exposure in the earlier accident. The creature kills Rosetti before fleeing with his body. In the aftermath, Spence goes to search for a similarly infected Tully, finding he has locked himself in a freezer to kill himself before he could transform like Welles. The survivors regroup in the station's command center, discovering it has been largely destroyed by Fox in an attempt to stop anyone calling for help and revealing Weyland-Yutani's experiments. Fox also destroys the station's escape pods, but not before Hicks manages to launch a still-comatose Ripley to safety in one of them.
Faced with this new Xenomorph threat, Hicks is shocked to learn that the only weapons on Anchorpoint are a Suit Gun with just five rounds remaining and a few grenades that were captured along with Kurtz's body. After arming up, he proposes they overload Anchorpoint's reactor to destroy the station. His extreme solution is backed up when the survivors see the UPP destroy Rodina to contain the experiments that have similarly spiralled out of control there. The survivors formulate a plan to escape on a maintenance craft and hope to hold out until a rescue ship arrives.
While Bishop goes to set the reactor, the survivors make the perilous trek across the station to the docking bay, attacked by the Hybrid along with way. Upon reaching their destination, Hicks discovers Fox, cocooned alive inside his ship by the Drone, and ends his suffering with a grenade. As the survivors prepare to evacuate, they are attacked once again by Hybrid. Suddenly, the Drone from the Sulaco appears and attacks the creature, tearing it in half, before turning on the survivors. Only Hicks, Spence and Bishop make it aboard the maintenance truck alive, while the Drone is killed by Chang, who arrives just in time in a UPP interceptor, having escaped Rodina before its destruction. She evacuates the others shortly before Anchorpoint detonates.
As the survivors await rescue, Bishop determines that Hicks and Spence are not infected, while informing them that Chang is dying of radiation poisoning following the destruction of Rodina. As a rescue ship approaches, Bishop suggests the opposing superpowers now have a common enemy in the Xenomorph, perhaps giving them the opportunity to cease their conflict and unite for a greater cause.
- Charles Tully
- Dwayne Hicks
- Kevin Fox
- Susan Welles
- Lance Bishop
- Frank Rosetti
- Rebecca "Newt" Jorden
- Ellen Ripley
- Hybrid (Anchorpoint)
As part of Alien Day 2018, Dark Horse Comics teased an unnamed alternate Alien3 project. At the time, it was immediately speculated that this would be an adaptation of Gibson's script; this was later confirmed to be the case when the comic was officially announced through Comic Book Resources.
Alien 3: The Unproduced Screenplay was collected as a hardcover trade paperback, released on July 24, 2019. As well as the five issues of the comic, the collected edition also included some of Johnnie Christmas' conceptual artwork and a foreword by William Gibson. The collected edition reused Christmas' cover artwork from issue 1.
- Bishop's left leg is totally missing below the knee when the survivors escape Anchorpoint, yet he is clearly shown standing aboard Chang's interceptor.
- Alien III (William Gibson) — The unused script by William Gibson.
- Alien III (audio drama) — The audio drama adaptation of Gibson's script.
- Alien 3: The Unproduced Screenplay (novel) — The novel adaptation of Gibson's script by Pat Cadigan.
- Alien: The Original Screenplay — A similar comic based on Dan O'Bannon's original script for Alien.
- Predator: The Original Screenplay — A similar comic based on Jim and John Thomas' original script for Predator.
- "Dark Horse Comics - WILLIAM GIBSON'S ALIEN 3 #1". Retrieved on 2018-08-22.
- "Twitter - Dark horse Comics". Retrieved on 2018-04-27.
- "CBR.com - EXCLUSIVE: William Gibson's Unproduced Alien 3 Script to be Adapted by Dark Horse". Retrieved on 2018-09-24.