Aliens Pin-up # 5 FRAMED Michael Biehn Cpl. Dwayne Hicks


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Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton. It is the sequel to the 1979 film Alien and the second installment of the Alien franchise. The film follows Weaver’s character Ellen Ripley as she returns to the planet where her crew encountered the hostile Alien creature, this time accompanied by a unit of space marines.

Brandywine Productions was interested in a follow-up to Alien as soon as its 1979 release, but the new management at 20th Century Fox postponed those plans until 1983. That year Brandywine picked Cameron to write after reading his script for The Terminator, and once that film became a hit in 1984, Fox greenlit Aliens, that would also be directed by Cameron, with a budget of approximately $18 million. The script was written with a war film tone influenced by the Vietnam War to contrast the horror motifs of the original Alien. It was filmed in England at Pinewood Studios and at a decommissioned power plant in Acton, London.

Aliens was a critical and commercial success, with positive reviews that considered it an entertaining film that despite the tonal shift still served as a worthy sequel to Alien, and grossed $180 million worldwide. The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including a Best Actress nomination for Sigourney Weaver, winning both Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects. It won eight Saturn Awards, including Best Science Fiction Film, Best Actress for Weaver and Best Direction and Best Writing for Cameron. Aliens is frequently considered one of the best action films ever released.

Cameron drew inspiration for the Aliens story from the Vietnam War, a situation in which a technologically superior force was mired in a hostile foreign environment: “Their training and technology are inappropriate for the specifics, and that can be seen as analogous to the inability of superior American firepower to conquer the unseen enemy in Vietnam: a lot of firepower and very little wisdom, and it didn’t work.” The attitude of the space marines was influenced by the Vietnam War; they are portrayed as cocky and confident of their inevitable victory, but when they find themselves facing a less technologically advanced but more determined enemy, the outcome is not what they expect. Cameron listed Robert A. Heinlein’s novel Starship Troopers as a major influence that lead to the incorporation of various themes and phrases, such as the terms “the drop” and “bug hunt”, as well as the cargo-loader exoskeleton.

Cameron opted to hire actors who had, or could imitate, American accents. After over 3,000 individuals in the United Kingdom were unsuccessfully auditioned, American actors were chosen instead, including three who had previously worked with Cameron on The Terminator: Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Michael Biehn. Actors who played Marines were asked to read Starship Troopers and undergo military training, which included running, lifting weights, learning salutes, marches, deployments, and maneuvers, for two weeks. Cameron wanted the Marines to train together so that they would form bonds that would show on-screen.

Michael Biehn as Corporal Dwayne Hicks: One of the Colonial Marines’ squad leaders; he was hastily cast a week after filming had commenced, and thus was not present for the military training that the other actors playing marines went through James Remar was originally cast as Hicks but left the project over creative differences with Cameron.

Michael Connell Biehn (born July 31, 1956) is an American actor and director. He is best known for his roles in James Cameron’s science fiction action films The Terminator (as Kyle Reese), Aliens (as Cpl. Dwayne Hicks), and The Abyss (as Lt. Coffey). He has also acted in such films as Tombstone, The Rock, and Planet Terror. On television, Biehn appeared in the cast of the Emmy Award-winning 1980s television series Hill Street Blues and the short-lived syndicated show Adventure Inc.

Although Hicks survived the events on LV-426, he was apparently subsequently killed, along with Newt, when they were jettisoned from the Sulaco due to a fire and their Type 337 EEV malfunctioned and crash landed on Fiorina “Fury” 161; Hicks was impaled by a fractured support beam, when the EEV came down in the ocean. His death was included in a report to Weyland-Yutani by the facility’s supervisor Superintendent Andrews. The body was later cremated with Newt on Fiorina 161.

“I wanna introduce you to a personal friend of mine. This is an M41A Pulse Rifle, ten millimeter, with over-and-under thirty millimeter pump action grenade launcher.” ?Hicks, to Ripley.

Hicks was outfitted with standard issue M3 Pattern Personal Armor and an M10 Pattern Ballistic Helmet for protection; his armor was fitted with a TNR Shoulder Lamp attachment for illumination. He had customized his armor vest with a heart design painted on the chest plate, to which he had attached a small padlock. During the initial operation to Hadley’s Hope, Hicks formed the covering element of Second Squad’s gun team, and consequently carried the standard assault carbine of the Corps, the M41A Pulse Rifle, as well as an M314 Motion Tracker. Later, when rescued by Marines from the USS Sephora, Hicks armed himself with the upgraded M41A Pulse Rifle MK2 and a M4A3 Service Pistol which he kept in a holster on his right leg. The Corporal also carried an ME3 Hand Welder, which he would frequently use for fortifying barricades or cutting through obstacles.

Alongside his issued gear, Hicks also carried some personal equipment, including a Tracer Bracelet and locator that eventually ended up with Newt. He also notably carried an Ithaca Model 37 pump-action shotgun, an old family heirloom handed down to him from his father,7 as a backup weapon holstered in a scabbard on his back.

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