Alien 3 (stylized as ALIEN³) is a 1992 science fiction horror film, the third installment in the Alien franchise, and the debut of director David Fincher. It is a sequel to James Cameron's Aliens, itself a sequel to Ridley Scott's Alien.
The story begins with an ejected pod from the Colonial Marine spaceship Sulaco in Aliens crash-landing on a prison-run refinery planet, killing everyone aboard except Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). Unknown to Ripley, an Alien egg was aboard the ship. It is born in the prison and begins a killing spree.
Alien 3 had a difficult production, with various screenwriters and directors getting involved in the project, and shooting began without a finished script. The film was the big-budget debut of a young David Fincher, who was brought into the project after a proposed version with Vincent Ward at the helm was cancelled well into pre-production. Fincher had little time to prepare, and the experience of making the film proved agonizing for him. Besides the need to shoot and rewrite the script simultaneously while fitting in sets that had already been built, filming was also plagued by incessant creative interference from studio executives, who overruled many of Fincher's decisions and dictated a large part of production. Adding to Fincher's burdens was the pressure to create a film worthy of the previous two and their revered directors. Upon completion, the studio dismantled and reworked the film without Fincher's consent, including a teaser trailer that suggested the film would take place on Earth. Fincher has since disowned the film, citing the aforementioned reasons. A heavily-revised version of the film, known as the Assembly Cut, was released in 2003, which Fincher refused to be involved with.
The film was released to mixed reviews, and is generally considered the most divisive entry in the series. While under-performing at the United States box office, it earned over $100 million outside of North America and was considered a financial success.