Which one was the one with monks living in the wooden space station? That was Terry Gilliam grade nutty. I was amazed when watching the "making of" doc on the quadrilogy the writer was still insisting it was a good idea.
That's the Vincent Ward one. I think the movie sounds interesting, but the science of a wooden ship in space is dubious to say the least.
There is an excellent article on the various Alien 3s that never were in the December 2008 issue of Empire magazine, which may still be available. Not sure if it's on the website. I think the article owes a bit to David Hughes' book The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made (Titan).
Other ideas were William Gibson's shopping-mall-in-space set script. Ripley is in a coma for most of it and the movie would have centred on Hicks (the Michael Biehn character from Aliens). Apparently the barcodes on heads that were in Alien 3 originated here.
Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2) wanted to make a movie set on the Aliens' home planet and explain what they were. He had the potentially interesting, potentially disastrous idea of suggesting that the creatures were maybe not born to be bad. The studio seemed to think it was disastrous and nixed that idea. Harlin eventually walked after the studio dithered about where to go with the next movie.
Eric Red (writer of The Hitcher and Near Dark) had a script involving a new marine hero, set on a farm space-station, with aliens being hatched from cattle and taking new shapes (shades of the various mutated ones in Resurrection?). No Ripley in this one.
David Twohy had one featuring a notorious badass criminal as its protagonist, set in a huge space station with prison slave labour. Any resemblance between this and his Pitch Black, featuring a notorious criminal, Riddick, taking on an alien monster is surely not coincidental ...
Personally, I don't know why neither Scott nor Cameron were asked back, nor for that matter, do I understand why producer Walter Hill, a first-class action movie maker in his own right, never stepped behind the camera. A John McTiernan Alien 3 might also have been fun and Paul Verhoeven is probably the only man in the world who could have upped the action & violence quota from Aliens, had they decided to go down that route.