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Alien 3: The Cocoon Sequence & Aquatic Facehugger

Alien 3: The Cocoon Sequence & Aquatic Facehugger

The December 1990 Hill and Giler draft feature a sequence in which Dillon and Morse accidentally walk into the alien's cocoon chamber.

In this version, Dillon and Morse enter the Assembly hall. To their horror, the Assembly hall has been transformed into a cocoon chamber. Inside they come across Andrews barely alive and asking them to kill him. Inside the cocoon chamber, they discover a blue membrane similar to the one Kane see's in the egg chamber in Alien, this prevents them getting to Andrews. Dillon decides to set the cocoons ablaze, in the midst of the flames, the Alien shrieks and they both look up and see the Alien holding a torso and a dead prisoner. Dillon throws a torch at the Alien covering it in a sheet of fire, and it disappears. The rest of the cocoon chamber sets a light...


This scene or a version like it was almost filmed. One of Alien's most famous deleted scenes, which was re-inserted into the director's cut, is the 'egg morphing' scene in which Ripley comes across the cocoons of Dallas and Brett. Brett is being turned into an egg. Fincher, being a Ridley Scott fan, wanted to feature a similar sequence for Alien 3. However, the plug was pulled on the scene and never made it before the cameras. Twenty or so cocoons were planned to be built by ADI, starting on two of them only one was ever completed, which was done solely for Fincher Himself!

"We were going to end up making twenty of these cocoons, all vacuum formed and stapled up. We started on two, and then the plug was pulled because Fincher's idea was that the creature simply kills to eat. Actually, we did finish one off for Fincher because he liked it so much. He had it on set with him and would occasionally climb into it for inspiration. He called it his 'thinking shell'".

- Tomm Woodruff Jr., Alien The Special Effects Book -- © Bill Norton

During the troubled pre-production of Alien 3 David Fincher, accompanied by Fred Zinnerman and Gordon Carroll paid a visit to H R Giger at his home in Zurich in 1990. Giger was asked to re-think and improve on the Alien designs created for the first film and was committed to designing an Aquatic Facehugger, Bambi Chest Burster, Full-Grown Alien and an Alien Skin.

I've often wondered about this 'Aquatic Facehugger' and why it was aquatic, etc. A while ago I found on Flickr a photograph of an Alien 3 design of Giger's 'Swimming Facehugger'.

The Swimming Facehugger Design

Looking at this design and a few others Giger had designed this facehugger with special flaps of skin that would open up allowed the creature to propel itself in water. It's my belief that this was designed to swim ashore after the EEV crash to find its victim the OX.


What's also crossed my mind is whether this swimming facehugger design influenced the Super Facehugger design in some way as it had webbed fingers. Who knows.

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Gee WAug-11-2016 6:54 AM


That alien nest sequence would have been great! It would have added some nice continuity to Ridley Scott's scene, even though that was never in the theatrical cut (was that particular deleted scene from Alien known at the time?). It would have been cool to see the alien actually cocooning someone.

The aquatic facehugger I don't really like. Much like Giger's redesign of the Alien with female lips, he was designing the creatures to fit the plot. They are cool concepts but don't match what we know about the alien biology. And aliens don't grow female lips just because there are only male prisoners present, or produce aquatic facehuggers because the filmmakers want a water scene. I would think the facehuggers are capable of swimming anyway.

xeno_alpha_07Aug-11-2016 7:26 AM


Yes, the Dallas cocoon scene was known by Alien 3's pre-production.  Details of deleted scenes appeared in various magazines after Alien's release.  James Cameron knew about it too and knew it was cut making it possible to make his story work, etc.

Giger originally designed the creature to 'kiss' it's victims with a different type of Inner jaw.  This new inner jaw would go down your throat and retract fast pulling the insides out.  Or something along those lines.

The design below shows the new inner jaw as the creature 'kisses' the victim's eye.

I'm convinced the webbed fingers on the super-facehugger came from the aquatic design.

S.MAug-11-2016 4:32 PM


I think you're probably right.

The December 18 1990 version of the script featuring the 'hive' with Andrews actually results in Dillons death three quarters of the way through the film.

He prays then starts hacking at the Alien with an axe.  Would've made for a pretty good scene I reckon.

Chestbursters!Aug-11-2016 5:45 PM



Axing an Alien? That would've been so goddamn beautiful... :)

BigDaveAug-12-2016 6:53 AM


Yes that Cocoon scene would have been great and i think more so if they only did use the one that they had... but they said they had two they was working on and this would have been PERFECT!

Would have added to the continuity to Alien and Ridleys Vission.... and also helped us connect the Dome Head Alien Big Chap to the Dome Head Runner Xeno..

It would have allowed us to make sense of the Procreation and back up a theory that when away from a Hive, a lone Face Huger produces a Organism that has the ability to Morph a Host into a Royal Egg, and then required just a Host for the Eggs Face Hugger to then allow the Prison Complex to host a Queen.

Shame this was never used...

As for the Aquatic Face Huger i did not care much for it

Thoughts_DreamsAug-13-2016 8:14 AM


I wonder how different people's perception of the alien would have been if they had used the cocoon scene with Dallas and made it more official so to speak? Maybe Cameron wouldn't had used his queen concept if they would had used the egg morphing in Alien?

DC AMBROSEAug-14-2016 1:36 PM


Interesting, never knew the Superfacehugger was supposed to be aquatic in nature. Makes sense. "Axing" an Alien, however, makes very little sense considering their physical robustness, and is probably why they cut it.

S.MAug-14-2016 2:59 PM


It never really came close to being shot.  I don't see a problem with it, though.  Alien's can be pierced by bullets or a harpoon or Alien teeth.  Cutting it with an axe isn't unusual. Mind you, you get that close to an Alien to hit with an axe, you're not likely to walk away.  Which is precisely what happens.

bregoAug-14-2016 11:28 PM


Love the cocooning imagery. Would have been amazing. Re the Super/Aquatic/Magical/Queen Facehugger we never saw, although the designs I've seen are creepy and weird and I rather like the webbing between its legs, where did it come from? And it only would have experienced water after the crash of the EEV, meaning it would have had to have evolved webbing inside the EEV before it was opened by the inmates. Perhaps we are missing another piece of the puzzling A3 what could have been scenario.

S.MAug-15-2016 1:21 AM


There was a number of scripts in 1990.  Fasano and Ward were still working on it in March, but the above picture says Fincher and is dated August.  I've not read a script that has a swimming hugger.

While it might be because it needed to swim - I'm not even sure they ever made an articulated Queen hugger.  The only one that appears on screen is an inanimate prop.

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Written By xeno_alpha_07
Published: 2016-08-11 06:34:07

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