a) In talks about scriptwriting Alien 3
Before Clive Barker had released Hellraiser which came out in 1987, he had several meetings with David Giler in London and LA where they talked about Alien 3, the idea was that he would write the script and perhaps direct, he was also approached about continuing the Friday The Thirteen series. At the time Clive was busy and was not so happy about daeling with someone else's aesthetic picking up someone else's narrative. The parameters on originality were fairly strict. As much as he thought that Alien and Aliens were excellent films, he wanted what he did to come from him since what he did best was to imagine.
b) Clives problem with the aliens
A problem with the aliens that he could never get his head around was the fact that the aliens didn't seem terribly interesting to him. Essentially they were machines, albeit organic ones, they were a tribe of mute, instinct led devourers that were murderers and lived far too short a time and this was so very far from what he did with monsters in his stories and films.
c) Results of having turned it down
When he turned down the job of writing the screenplay for Alien III, Clive's agent went mad at him, and he had never seen an agent in such a state of mortal panic as when he said no. Presumably it would have brought Clive millions. Soon he and the agent parted company
d) View 1 on the resulting film
The resulting film was not something that he really liked very much. He met David Fincher to discuss the problems he had making the movie. The first thing was that so much emotional commitment was thrown out of the window because the little girl Newt and Michael Biehn's character Hicks were dead from the beginning of the film and he didn't want that to happen, because he wanted continuity, and he felt cheated being asked to begin again when he didn't want to.
e) View 2 on the resulting film
The other thing was that he didn't understand the metaphysics of the piece. All they had in the film was a colony of bald monk prisoners with some pseudo-religion which the audience was not given any real insight into. The idea of them having no guns, and no gadgets was interesting, but that too for Clive was never really developed, so he felt teased with possibilities.
f) View 3 on the resulting film
On top of that, he didn't know how a movie could be called 'Alien cubed' and just have one alien beast, after in the second movie, there was the mother alien with a "cavern" full of eggs and a whole army of these creatures. The threat seemed so minuscule, and he wanted a much more terrible threat than that.
- Clive Barker: I turned down the job of writing the screenplay for Aliens III. I think that I should be pursuing my own stuff. What I do best is imagine. I don't like the idea of picking up on somebody else's narrative. (Talking Terror With Clive Barker By Douglas E. Winter, Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine, Vol 7, No 2, June 1987) (copied and pasted from www.clivebarker.info/)
- Jonathan Ross: You were offered was it er, Aliens 3,
Clive Barker: Aliens 3 was er, well, was certain a possibility, yeah, ("The Last Resort with Jonathan Ross", Generally discovered by http://www.hitfix.com/)
- He was asked to write, and possibly direct, the motion picture Alien 3 (1992), but he declined for the simple reason that it was the third entry in a series based on someone else's aesthetic and universe. (Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic, p470)
- “I had several meetings with [producer] David [Giler] in London and L.A. talking about it.” He tells me in the limousine that serves as a soundproof location for our interview. “But I could never get my head around the fact that the Aliens didn't seem terribly interesting to me. They're essentially machines, albeit organic ones. And that, "he adds, referring to his penchant for creating extremely articulate (and often sympathetic) monsters, “is so very far from what i do. I just couldn't find my way around this warrior tribe of mute, instinct-led devourers; murderers”…(Aliens comic #8, 1993, Article: "Aliens: A Dire Tribe" by David Hughes, an interview with director Clive Barker. 1993)
- Clive mentions meeting with Fincher and discussing the problems he had making ALIEN 3, and I ask Clive for his opinion of Fincher's startling, contentious, jury-is-still-out, second sequel. “I have two problems with the picture. The first is that so much emotional commitment is thrown out of the window because Micheal Biehn and Newt are dead from the beginning of the picture. I didn't want that to happen, i wanted continuity, and felt cheated by the fact that i had been asked to begin again. I didn't want to begin again."(Aliens comic #8, 1993, Article: "Aliens: A Dire Tribe" by David Hughes, an interview with director Clive Barker. 1993)
- “The second thing was that I didn't understand the meta physics of the piece. That is to say, all we have is this colony of bald monk prisoners with some pseudo-religion which we're not given any real insight into. The idea of them having no guns and gadgets was interesting, but that too was never really developed. So i felt we were being teased with possibilities which were never then delivered."(Aliens comic #8, 1993, Article: "Aliens: A Dire Tribe" by David Hughes, an interview with director Clive Barker. 1993)
“Actually,” he adds, ” I have a third objection, I don't think you can call a picture 'Alien Cubed' and show me one Alien. Given what we'd seen in the second picture – the mother Alien, caverns full of eggs, whole armies of these creatures – the threat seemed so… minuscule. I wanted the threat to be much more terrible than it was.”(Aliens comic #8, 1993, Article: "Aliens: A Dire Tribe" by David Hughes, an interview with director Clive Barker. 1993)
Finally, I ask what else would Clive Barker have wanted from 'Alien 3'? “Put it this way.” he replies, “I'd have loved to have seen what Vincent Ward would have done with it.” (Aliens comic #8, 1993, Article: "Aliens: A Dire Tribe" by David Hughes, an interview with director Clive Barker.)
- Clive Barker: I was busy and secondly it was someone else's aesthetic. The parameters on originality were fairly strict. (Who's Afraid Of Clive Barker?: The Titan Of Terror And His Studies In Dread Reckoning By David Streitfield, The Washington Post, 1987 )(copied and pasted from www.clivebarker.info/)
- The result was Hellraiser which begins in a large room full of a man who has been torn apart with meathooks, and goes on to explore what happens to him next. Before it was released Hollywood was making offers - to write and direct Alien III or continue to Friday The Thirteenth series- but Clive was off in search of something new enough to interest him (Clive Barker: Shadows In Eden, p3)
- ..On the same track of big budget film-making, Clive passed on this one too...
"There was talk of me directing Aliens 3, but I didn't want to do it. They're excellent films but I want what I do to come from me."
(Clive Barker By Paul Mathur, Blitz, No 49, January 1987) (copied and pasted from www.clivebarker.info/)
- Clive Barker: I turned down a request to write and direct Aliens III. My agent in
California went mad - you've never seen an agent in such a state of
mortal panic as when I said no. It would have brought me millions,
presumably. Incidentally, he's not my agent any more.
(Queasy Does It, By Martin Burden, New York Post, 17 September 1987 ) (copied and pasted from www.clivebarker.info/)