For his role in Aliens, Biehn was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actor. He is known for his work in the films of James Cameron; he has appeared in four of the director's movies. On the set of Planet Terror, Biehn was encouraged by director Robert Rodriguez to make his own film, and Biehn's directorial debut, The Blood Bond, was realised in 2010.
Biehn replaced James Remar in the role of Hicks when the latter was caught in possession of illegal substances and was fired from the production of Aliens. Cameron knew Biehn from filming The Terminator two years previously, and he was subsequently cast as Hicks.
As a result of his late casting, Biehn did not get to customise his own combat armor as the other Marine actors had done; the motifs on his battledress had already been created by Remar.
Biehn recalled asking Robert Rodriguez during the production of Planet Terror why the director had cast him. Rodriguez responded,"I wanted to cast you because there's a certain moment in that movie where all hell is breaking loose, and I wanted to see you coming through these hospital doors, to see you bang through these double doors, and I want the audience to stand up and cheer." Biehn was dubious, but later recalled, "Anyway, we're at the big screen downtown, a thousand people, and the movie starts, blah blah blah happens, Josh Brolin's doing his thing. All of a sudden, I come crashing through the front door with a shotgun in my hand... and fucking everybody goes crazy. Everybody stands up and cheers. Here comes the fucking cavalry, which I guess I represented. Which I guess he knew I represented. That's Robert. He knew that moment was going to happen if he cast me in that role, as opposed to somebody else, I think, because of all the stuff that I had done back in the 80s I guess was kind of heroic."