Alien 3 (stylized as ALIEN³) is a 1992 American science-fiction horror film directed by David Fincher in his feature directorial debut and written by David Giler, Walter Hill and Larry Ferguson from a story by Vincent Ward. It serves as the third film installment of the Alien franchise, and takes place after the events of Aliens (1986).
The film stars Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ellen Ripley. She and an Alien organism are the only ones to survive the Colonial Marine spaceship Sulaco's escape pod's crash on a planet housing a penal colony populated by violent male inmates. Tom Woodruff, Jr. plays the alien named "Dragon." Additional roles are played by Charles Dance, Brian Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Ralph Brown, Paul McGann, Danny Webb, Lance Henriksen, Holt McCallany, and Danielle Edmond.
The film faced large-scale problems during production, including shooting without a script, with various screenwriters and directors attached. Fincher was finally brought in to direct after a proposed version with Vincent Ward at the helm was cancelled well into pre-production.
Alien 3 was released on May 22, 1992. While underperforming at the American box office, it earned over $100 million outside of North America. The film received polarized reviews and was regarded as inferior to the previous installments. Fincher has since disowned the film, blaming studio interference and deadlines. In 2003, a revised version of the film known as the Assembly Cut was released without Fincher's involvement; it received a warmer reception than the first release version. The animal action in the film was monitored by the American Humane Association. The film 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.
A sequel, Alien Resurrection, was released in November 26, 1997, with Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ellen Ripley in the film.