“Alien Identity” Will Undo Franchise’s Cruelest Kills

Tribute film to revive much loved supporting cast.

I enjoyed Alien 3 (1992, Fincher) more than most people. Sure, it’s not a perfect movie; cursory research into the film’s behind-the-scenes history reveals a deeply problematic production. This was writer/director David Fincher’s big-budget debut, but he was brought in well into pre-production, had little time to prepare, and was charged with directing and re-writing a previously approved script simultaneously. Outside creative intervention from producers led Fincher to characterize the experience as “agonizing” and he eventually sought to disavow himself from the film entirely.


While I appreciated the film’s bleak tone and utter nihilism, most critics and fans agreed that Alien 3 was inferior to its predecessors, a sequel that failed to do justice to its source material. Many, including Aliens director James Cameron and much of that film’s cast, were completely incensed, especially by the decision to kill off Newt, Hicks, and Bishop (in the sequel’s opening moments no less!). Cameron called it “a slap in the face to fans,” and Michael Beihn (who played Corporal Hicks), upon learning of his character’s demise, demanded and received almost as much money for the use of his likeness in a single scene in Alien 3 as he did for Aliens.

Now, almost 30 years later, Sonnet Realm plans on reviving the Alien Franchise’s cruelest kills with a tribute film. According to their website:

ALIEN IDENTITY takes place 14 years after the events of James Cameron’s 1986 blockbuster Aliens, and continues the story of Rebecca “Newt” Jorden, the little girl we all loved, but despised to see perish in vain. We’ve decided to bring her back as the lead actress played by the talented Elle Viane Sonnet, to tell her amazing story as a young woman with a haunting past and an uncertain future. Since we’re doing it this way we are obviously not considering the events of Alien 3 or Resurrection, and are considering them to be cryo-sleep nightmares.

Newt Lives!

Newt Lives!

It [will play] heavily on the aesthetics of H.R. Giger and takes place 14 years after the events of Aliens, with an alternate timeline. The director wants to explore further into the unknown, discovering uncharted territory, introducing new heroes, villains, and ideas, while remaining faithful to the essence of Alien.

Official Synopsis: When given confidential information about her traumatizing youth, deep space colonist Rebecca “Newt” Jorden, must find the courage to face her new found identity.

It’s a do-over many fans can get behind, and even 20th Century Fox has given the filmmakers their blessing to proceed. What makes this project even more exciting is that Sonnet Realm is bringing back a couple original cast members from Aliens. Carrie Henn, the actress who played young Newt in 1986 will return to play Anne Jorden (Newt’s Mother) in a flashback; this will be her first return to movie acting since Aliens. Also on board: Ricco Ross who played cool yet sarcastic Private Robert Frost (who uttered the epic line: “What do you expect us to use [against them], man? Harsh language?”); Ross will play that character’s brother, Richard Frost.

Carrie Henn

Carrie Henn

Alien Identity writer/director Adam Sonnet is clearly ecstatic about his brainchild:

“I just want to say that I am very thankful to the fans for their encouragement and support for this very exciting film. We’re bringing some of the best talent on board to give it the quality and purity it deserves. We will be revealing more surprises in the coming months.”

Not to be confused with Alien 5, the official Neill Blomkamp-helmed Alien sequel currently in pre-production at 20th Century Fox (which also plans on resurrecting Ripley and Corporal Hicks), Alien Identity is part of a growing trend of fan-made films that have been growing in popularity and professionalism. Once considered lesser in quality, recent tribute films like Batman: Dead End and Predator: Dark Ages are nearly indistinguishable from major studio releases in every respect.

Ricco Ross

Ricco Ross

Alien Identity will use Kickstarter to raise funds for filming; Sonnet Realm plans on launching that campaign sometime in the coming months (yes, of course we’ll keep you posted). No word on whether this film will fill us in on the revised fates of Ripley, Hicks, and/or Bishop—but we certainly hope so!

Does Alien Identity sound like a film you’d like to see? We’re you upset by the deaths of Newt, Hicks, and Bishop in Alien 3? What’s your opinion about tribute films made by fans? Sound off in the Comments section!

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10 Comments on this post.

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  • Evan A. Baker
    5 July 2015 at 12:34 am - Reply

    If they want to make a movie that ignores Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection, then they should do just that: ignore them. Re-contextualizing the work of other artists in that way is viciously disrespectful.

    • Josh Millican
      5 July 2015 at 2:13 am - Reply

      I feel you. But does the fact that it’s a fan film give them extra leeway? Or does that even matter?

  • raymond felch
    5 July 2015 at 3:09 am - Reply

    this is so awesome i really really cant what!!!

  • Charles
    5 July 2015 at 4:21 am - Reply

    This is a very disrespectful thing to do. Taking someone else’s work and openly disregarding it is not cool.

    Not only that, but in any writing course, the first thing they tell you is that it should never be “just a dream.” Saying something is an alternate timeline is one thing, because it acknowledges that your work exists alongside someone else’s work, but to say that, “Oh, that thing I don’t like is not a real thing” is very disrespectful, fan film or not.

  • Theresa shively
    5 July 2015 at 5:55 am - Reply

    Yes,when they killed off newt and Hicks I was pissed so yeah I would see it.

  • Matthew Myers
    5 July 2015 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Interesting, the writer side of me agrees with Evan and Charles on this one, but the Alien fanboy in me is looking forward to seeing what this film is going to be like.

    I have found tribute films be like tribute bands. The core audience appreciates them, they are never taken that seriously or commended for their work.

  • Jasper Clemmons
    5 July 2015 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    What’s disrespectful is making Alien 3 without a script. What’s disrespectful is killing off Newt making all of Ripley’s efforts in vain. Everyone cheered Ripley when she risked her life to go back and rescue Newt only to find out, oops she died in her sleep on the way home. What a great disservice to the fans making an Alien film without any idea of where they were going. If they couldn’t foresee what to do with Newt they should of figured out another angle.

    Secondly this is a fan film so they can take any angle they wish and it’s technically but canon. I’m looking forward to it.

  • Jasper Clemmons
    5 July 2015 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Sorry I meant it’s “not” canon. Stupid auto correct.

  • nolo
    5 July 2015 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    The type on this article is too small. The type on your website is too small. i can’t even share it because reading it was visually annoying. good job.

  • Michael Crowley
    6 July 2015 at 10:45 am - Reply

    I’d be curious to know what Ridley Scott or Dan O’Bannon think–I would hope they’d get a kick out of the fact that a movie they made and characters they created 36 years ago still resonate. I don’t see these movies as holy writ. They’re studio product. If fat cat producers can do what they will with the characters, why not fans, who have a lot more respect for and emotional connection to the material?