It’s easy to see why James Cameron originally cast actor James Remar as Cpl. Hicks in Aliens. Remar looked good in the armour, exuded a commanding presence and even had a history with producer Walter Hill, having appeared as Ajax in the Hill-produced classic The Warriors. But it was not to be.
There are conflicting reports as to why Remar left Aliens after only two weeks of shooting: people connected with the film cite ‘creative differences’ between Remar and director Cameron, while the actor stated in interviews that personal issues forced him to head back home suddenly. At any rate, Remar was quickly replaced by Michael Biehn, who had played Kyle Reese in Cameron’s previous film, The Terminator. How would Remar have handled the role of Hicks? We’ll never know, but we can look at these images of him with his fellow Colonial Marines inside the Alien nest and wonder: