That Time They Tried to Cram a Dog Inside an Alien Suit for Alien 3


Few major Hollywood films have a production as storied and infamous as that of Alien 3, a film that was such a clusterfuck behind the scenes that many agree that the making of it is more interesting than the film itself. For example, did you know they tried to stuff a whole ass dog inside of an Alien suit and have it chase Sigourney Weaver around.

For anyone unfamiliar with the production of Alien 3 and how much of a pain in the dick it was for everyone involved, we feel nothing sums up the state of production more than when director David Fincher was asked if he’d ever consider returning to the franchise and responded simply –

“I’d rather die of cancer.”

Essentially, virtually every aspect of production was an absolute nightmare behind the scenes with everything from the casting to the basic plot of the movie being something that was argued back and forth for years. To this end there was at least 5 different scripts written for the movie, each of which made it to various stages of development that proposed ideas ranging from the Aliens invading Earth to Ripley fighting the Alien on a planet made of wood inhabited by weird space monks who thought the penis-headed space monster to be a demon of some kind.

As for casting, this was similarly a shit-show, with production opting to kill off fan favourite characters like Corporal Hicks and Newt in such an unceremonious, insulting fashion, actor Micheal Biehn specifically demanded a wildly inflated figure for the rights to his headshot for a cutaway explaining his absence from the film almost entirely because he was so pissed off with how they wrote him off.

However, easily our favourite story about the casting is that Sigourney Weaver only agreed to appear in the film specifically if they killed her and the Alien off for good. Meaning Sigourney Weaver tried to save us from Alien: Resurrection. Which makes her even more of a hero.

Anyway, speaking of the Alien production wanted the titular xenomorph to be far more lithe and bestial in appearance to contrast with the larger, humanoid Aliens of earlier films and to this end contacted Alien-daddy H.R. Giger to design one. A design they threw out in favour of a totally original one someone cheaper designed that looked exactly like the one Giger drew anyway.

However, this new, smaller more compact and ergonomic Alien proved to be a pain to realise since they couldn’t exactly just shove a guy in there. Likewise, puppetry and digital effects, whilst good, couldn’t make the Alien do all the cool shit the script demanded, like chase Sigourney Weaver around and nibble on her ankles. So clearly the answer was to grab a whippet and cram it snout first into a rubber costume.

Whilst this sounds a stupid, and it was, the idea wasn’t without merit, whippets are among the thinnest, daintiest dogs and their slight build could be used to create a convincingly alien-looking Alien if filmed well. We mean, that’s pretty much how they got the effect of the original Alien to look so good, filming around the almost inhuman proportions of the rail-thin, near 7ft tall Nigerian student, Bolaji Badejo.

The problem is, whilst Badejo could warp and contort his massive frame in ways that looked unsettling and terrifying to a casual observer, a dog, even a dog as wiry and lithe as a whippet is still generally always, well, dog-shaped.

Good girl.

Something you thinking they’d have realised right away, but no it took until after production spent weeks and tens of thousands of dollars meticulously moulding and making a dog-sized Alien costume for a stunt-whippet that everyone realised the effect just, wasn’t scary and that there wasn’t really a way to film 11 pounds of whippet scooting along searching for treats that made it look anything but hilarious.