William Gibson's Unproduced 'Alien 3' Screenplay to Be Adapted Into Comic

Alien 3 Cover-Johnnie Christmas Dark Horse Comics -P 2018
Courtesy of Johnnie Christmas/Dark Horse Comics
Dark Horse Comics will publish Johnnie Christmas' adaptation starting this November.

A lost piece of cinema history is about to be rediscovered by Dark Horse Comics. Ahead of next week’s San Diego Comic-Con, the publisher has announced that it will be releasing a miniseries adapting the unproduced original screenplay for Alien 3 by acclaimed science-fiction author William Gibson.

The screenplay, which Gibson wrote in 1987 based on existing treatments, was eventually replaced amid the extensive development process for the movie, and tells a story entirely different from the eventual movie released in 1992; for one thing, Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley was sidelined almost completely, with two of the characters from James Cameron’s Aliens shouldering the brunt of the story: Bishop (Lance Henriksen) and Hicks (Michael Biehn).

William Gibson’s Alien 3, as the series will be called, will be adapted by writer-artist Johnnie Christmas, with colors from Tamra Bonvillain.

In a statement released to CBR.com, Gibson said, “When your first contracted screenplay (or screenplay of any kind, in my case) isn’t produced, but the film is eventually made with a different screenplay, retaining nothing of yours but a barcode tattoo on the back of a character’s neck, the last thing you ever expect is to see yours beautifully adapted and realized, decades later, in a different medium, by an artist of Johnnie Christmas’ caliber. It’s a wonderful experience, and I have no doubt that Johnnie’s version, which adheres almost entirely to the script, delivers more of my material to the audience than any feature film would have been likely to do.”

This isn’t the first time Dark Horse has adapted an unproduced screenplay for comics; in 2013, Mike Mayhew and J.W. Rinzler adapted George Lucas’ original draft of the Star Wars screenplay as the eight-issue The Star Wars miniseries.

William Gibson’s Alien 3 will launch Nov. 7.