- Alien vs. Predator (film)
name = Alien vs. Predator
Paul W.S. Anderson
producer = Gordon Carroll
writer = Story:
Paul W. S. Anderson Dan O'Bannon Ronald Shusett
Paul W.S. Anderson
Sanaa Lathan Lance Henriksen Raoul Bova Ewen Bremner Colin Salmon
editing = Alex Berner
20th Century Fox
released = August 13, 2004
runtime = Theatrical cut:
language = English
budget = $60 million (Production)cite web
title=Box Office Mojo: Alien vs. Predator
publisher=Box Office Mojo
gross = $171,251,996
preceded_by = "
followed_by = ""
amg_id = 1:288761
imdb_id = 0370263
"Alien vs. Predator" (also known as "AVP") is a
science fiction filmreleased in 2004 by 20th Century Fox. It is an adaptation of a crossover franchise between the titular extraterrestrials from the "Alien" and "Predator" series, a concept which originated in a 1989 comic book. An "Alien vs. Predator" film was put on hiatus until 2002, with the final production based on a story written by Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett, and director Paul W. S. Anderson, and a screenplayby Anderson and Shane Salernowhich was influenced by Aztec mythology, the comic book series, and the writings of Erich von Däniken.
Set in 2004, "Alien vs. Predator" follows a group of
paleontologists, archaeologists, and others assembled by billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland ( Lance Henriksen) for an expedition near the Antarctic after discovering a mysterious heat signal. Hoping to claim the find for himself, Weyland and the group discover a pyramid below the surface of a whaling station. Hieroglyphicsand sculptures reveal that the pyramid is a hunting ground for Predators who kill Aliens as a rite of passage. The humans are caught in the middle of a battle between the two species and attempt to prevent the Aliens from reaching the surface.
Released on August 13, 2004 in North America, "Alien vs. Predator" received mostly negative reviews from film critics. Some praised the special effects and set designs, while others dismissed the film for its "wooden dialogue", and "cardboard characters". Nevertheless, "Alien vs. Predator" became the most commercially successful film in the franchises, grossing a total of $171 million. The film's success led to a sequel in 2007 titled "".
In 2004, a satellite detects a mysterious heat bloom beneath Bouvetøya, an island about one thousand miles north of
Antarctica. Billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland( Lance Henriksen) assembles a team of scientists to investigate the heat source and claim it for his multinational communications company Weyland Industries. The team includes paleontologists, archaeologists, linguistic experts, drillers, mercenaries, and a female guide named Alexa Woods ( Sanaa Lathan).
As a Predator ship reaches Earth's orbit, it blasts a shaft through the ice towards the source of the heat bloom. When the humans arrive at the site above the heat source, an abandoned whaling station, they find the shaft and descend beneath the ice. They discover a mysterious
pyramidand begin to explore it, finding evidence of a civilization predating written history and what appears to be a sacrificial chamber filled with human skeletons with ruptured rib cages.
Meanwhile, three Predators land and kill the humans on the surface, making their way down to the pyramid and arriving just as the team unwittingly powers up the structure. An Alien queen awakens from cryogenic stasis and begins to produce eggs, from which facehuggers hatch and attach to several humans trapped in the sacrificial chamber. Chestbursters emerge from the humans and quickly grow into adult Aliens. Conflicts erupt between the Predators, Aliens, and humans, resulting in several deaths. Unbeknownst to the others, a Predator is implanted with an Alien embryo.
Through translation of the pyramid's hieroglyphs the explorers learn that the Predators have been visiting Earth for thousands of years. It was they who taught early human civilizations how to build pyramids, and were worshipped as gods. Every 100 years they would visit Earth to take part in a
rite of passagein which several humans would sacrifice themselves as hosts for the Aliens, creating the "ultimate prey" for the Predators to hunt. If overwhelmed, the Predators would activate their self-destruct weapons to eliminate the Aliens and themselves. The explorers deduce that this is why the current Predators are at the pyramid, and that the heat bloom was to attract humans for the purpose of making new Aliens to hunt.
The remaining humans decide that the Predators must be allowed to succeed in their hunt so the Aliens do not reach the surface. As the battle continues most of the characters are killed, leaving only Alexa and a single Predator to fight against the Aliens. The two form an alliance and use the Predator’s self-destruct device to destroy the pyramid and the remaining Aliens. Alexa and the Predator reach the surface, where they battle the escaped Alien queen. They defeat the queen by attaching its chain to a water tower and pushing it over a cliff into the water, dragging the queen to the ocean floor. The Predator, however, dies from its wounds.
A Predator ship uncloaks and several Predators appear. They collect their fallen comrade and present Alexa with one of their spear weapons in recognition of her skill as a warrior. As they retreat into space, a chestburster erupts from the dead Predator. It appears to be an Alien/Predator hybrid with the characteristic
mandibles of both creatures.
Sanaa Lathanas Alexa Woods, the film's chief protagonist. Alexa is an experienced guide who spent several seasons exploring the Arctic and Antarctic environments. She is hired as the guide for a team of explorers and scientists that is sent by Weyland Industries to explore a pyramid beneath the ice of Bouvetøya.
Lance Henriksenas Charles Bishop Weyland, the billionaire head of Weyland Industries. He organizes the exploration and funds the team to investigate the pyramid.
Raoul Bovaas Sebastian De Rosa, an archaeologist hired to be part of the exploration team. He is able to translate the pyramid's hieroglyphics.
Ewen Bremneras Graeme Miller, a member of the exploration team.
Colin Salmonas Maxwell Stafford, a member of the exploration team and assistant to Mr. Weyland. He tracks down Alexa and brings her to Antarctica so that Weyland can convince her to join the team.
*Tommy Flanagan as Mark Verheiden, a mercenary member of the exploration team.
*Joseph Rye as Joe Connors, a member of the exploration team.
Agathe De La Boulayeas Adele Rousseau, a mercenary member of the exploration team.
Carsten Norgaardas Rustin Quinn, a mercenary member of the exploration team.
Sam Troughtonas Thomas Parkes, a member of the exploration team.
*Ian Whyte as the Predator, one of the film's titular alien species. Three Predators come to Earth in order to create and hunt Aliens within the pyramid as a rite of passage. Whyte played the lead Predator, called "Scar" in the film's credits.
*Tom Woodruff, Jr. as the Alien, the other titular species of the film. Several Aliens attack the humans and Predators within the pyramid. The Alien played by Woodruff is listed in the film's credits as "Grid," after a grid-like wound received during the film.
Additional members of the exploration team were played by Petr Jákl (Stone),
Pavel Bezdek(Bass), Kieran Bew(Klaus), Carsten Voigt (Mikkel), Jan Filipensky (Boris), and Adrian Bouchet (Sven).
The concept of "Alien vs. Predator" originated from the "Aliens versus Predator" comic book in 1989, and was hinted at when an Alien skull appeared in a trophy case aboard the Predator ship in "
Predator 2"."Cinescape Presents v3 #9", "Movie Aliens"] Screenwriter Peter Briggscreated the original spec screenplay in 1990–1991, which was based on the first comic series. In 1991, he successfully pitched the concept to 20th Century Fox, who owned the film franchises, although the company did not move forward with the project until 2002. A draft penned by James DeMonaco and Kevin Fox was rejected by producer John Davis, who hoped to give the film an original approach by setting it on Earth.cite web
title="Alien vs. Predator" Still Seeking a Script
As there were six producers between the film franchises, Davis had difficulty securing the rights as the producers were worried about a film featuring the two creatures.
Paul W.S. Andersonpitched Davis a story he worked on for eight years, and showed him concept art created by Randy Bowen.Audio commentary by Paul W.S. Anderson, Lance Henriksenand Sanaa Lathan, 2004, 20th Century Fox] Impressed with Anderson's idea, Davis thought the story was like "Jaws" in that it "just drew you in, it drew you in".The Making of "Alien vs. Predator", 2004, 20th Century Fox] Anderson started to work on the film after completing the script for "", with Shane Salernoco-writing. Salerno spent six months writing the shooting script, finished its development, and stayed on for revisions throughout the film's production.cite web
title=Armageddon It: Shane Salerno Speaks Out! - Part Two
author=Seeton, Reg and Van Buskirk, Dayna
tory and setting
Early reports claimed the story was about humans who tried to lure Predators with Alien eggs, although the idea was scrapped.cite web
title=Anderson Will Direct "Aliens vs. Predator"
accessdate=2008-01-13] Influenced by the work of
Erich von Däniken, Anderson researched Däniken's theories on how he believed early civilizations were able to construct massive pyramids with the help of aliens, an idea drawn from Aztec mythology.cite web
title="Aliens vs. Predator" featurette
accessdate=2008-01-13] Anderson wove these ideas into "Alien vs. Predator", describing a scenario in which Predators taught ancient humans to build pyramids and used Earth for
rite of passagerituals every 100 years in which they would hunt Aliens. To explain how these ancient civilizations "disappeared without a trace", Anderson came up with the idea that the Predators, if overwhelmed by the Aliens, would use their self-destruct weapons to kill everything in the area. H. P. Lovecraft's 1931 novella " At the Mountains of Madness" served as an inspiration for the film, and several elements of the "Alien vs. Predator" comic series were included. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, "Alien: Definitive Edition" DVD] Anderson's initial script called for five Predators to appear in the film, although the number was later reduced to three.
As "Alien vs. Predator" is a
sequelto the "Predator" films and prequelto the "Alien" series, Anderson was cautious of contradicting continuity in the franchises. He chose to set the film on the remote Norwegian Antarcticisland of Bouvet commenting, "It's definitely the most hostile environment on Earth and probably the closest to an Alien surface you can get." Anderson thought that setting the film in an urban environment like New York City would break continuity with the "Alien" series as the protagonist, Ellen Ripley, had no knowledge the creatures existed. "You can't have an Alien running around the city now, because it would've been written up and everyone will know about it. So there's nothing in this movie that contradicts anything that already exists."Let's get ready to rumble!, "Movie Magic", January 2005, page 62]
The first actor to be cast for "Alien vs. Predator" was
Lance Henriksen, who played the character Bishop in "Aliens" and " Alien 3". Although the "Alien" movies are set 150 years in the future, Anderson wanted to keep continuity with the series by including a familiar actor. Henriksen plays billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland, a character that ties in with the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. According to Anderson, Weyland becomes known for the discovery of the pyramid, and as a result the Weyland-Yutani Corporation models the Bishop android in the "Alien" films after him; "when the Bishop android is created in 150 years time, it's created with the face of the creator. It's kind of like Microsoftbuilding an android in 100 years time that has the face of Bill Gates."cite web
title=Interview with "AvP" Director Paul Anderson
Anderson opted for a European cast including Italian actor
Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremnerfrom Scotland, and English actor Colin Salmon. Producer Davis said, "There's a truly international flavor to the cast, and gives the film a lot of character." Several hundred actresses attended the auditions to be cast as the film's heroine Alexa Woods. Sanaa Lathanwas selected, and one week later she flew to Prague to begin filming. The filmmakers knew there would be comparisons to "Alien" heroine Ellen Ripley and did not want a clone of the character, but wanted to make her similar while adding something different.
Anderson reported in an interview that California Governor
Arnold Schwarzeneggerwas willing to reprise his role as Major Alan "Dutch" Schaeffer from "Predator" in a short cameo appearanceif he lost the recall election on condition that the filming should take place at his residence.cite web
title=Exclusive: Paul Anderson on "AvP"
accessdate=2008-01-16] Schwarzenegger, however, won the election with 48.58% of the votes and was unavailable to participate in "Alien vs. Predator". Actress
Sigourney Weaver, who starred as Ellen Ripley in the "Alien" series, said she was happy not to be in the film, as a possible crossover was "the reason I wanted my character to die in the first place", and thought the concept "sounded awful".cite web
title=Sigourney Weaver: Loving the alien
accessdate=2008-01-16] "From The Ashes - Reviving The Story", "Alien Quadrilogy", 2003, 20th Century Fox]
Filming and set designs
Production began in late 2003 at
Barrandov Studiosin Prague, Czech Republic, where most of the filming took place. Production designerRichard Bridgland was in charge of sets, props and vehicles, based on early concept art Anderson had created to give a broad direction of how things would look. 25 to 30 life-sized sets were constructed at Barrandov Studios, many of which were interiors of the pyramid. The pyramid's carvings, sculptures, and hieroglyphswere influenced by Egyptian, Cambodian, and Azteccivilizations, while the regular shifting of the pyramid's rooms was meant to evoke a sense of claustrophobiasimilar to the original "Alien" film.cite web
title="Alien vs. Predator" A New World Vision
accessdate=2008-01-14] According to Anderson, if he was to build the sets in
Los Angelesthey would have cost $20 million. However, in Prague they cost $2 million, an important factor when the film's budget was less than $50 million.
Third scale miniatures several meters in height were created to give the film the effect of realism, rather than relying on
computer generated imagery(CGI). For the whaling station miniatures and life-sized sets, over 700 bags of artificial snowwas used (roughly 15–20 tons). A 4.5-meter miniature of an icebreakerwith working lights and a mechanical moving radar was created, costing almost $37,000 and taking 10 weeks to create. Visual effects producer Arthur Windus, claimed miniatures were beneficial in the filming process: "With computer graphics, you need to spend a lot of time making it real. With a miniature, you shoot it and its there." A 25-meter miniature of the whaling station was created in several months. It was designed so the model could be collapsed and then reconstructed, which proved beneficial for a six-second shot which required a re-shoot.
Effects and creatures
Special effects company Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated (ADI) was hired for the movie, having previously worked on "
Alien 3" and " Alien Resurrection". Visual special effects producers Arthur Windus and John Brunowere in charge of the project, which contained 400 effects shots.cite web
title=Local shoots shrinking
publisher="The Prague Post"
accessdate=2008-01-13] ADI founders Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr., and members of their company, began designing costumes, miniatures and effects in June 2003. For five months the creatures were redesigned, the Predators wrist blades being extended roughly four times longer than those in the "Predator" films, and a larger mechanical plasma caster was created for the Scar Predator.
The basic shape of the Predator mask was kept, although technical details were added and each Predator was given a unique mask to distinguish them from each other. These masks were created using clay, which was used to form moulds to create
fiberglasscopies. These copies were painted to give a weathered look, which Woodruff claims "is what the Predator is all about". A hydraulic Alien puppet was created so ADI would be able to make movements faster and give the Alien a "slimline and skeletal" appearance, rather than using an actor in a suit. The puppet required six people to run it; three for the head and body, two for the arms, and a sixth to make sure the signals were reaching the computer. Movements were recorded in the computer so that puppeteers would be able to repeat moves that Anderson liked. The puppet was used in six shots, including the fight scene with the Predator which took one month to film.
The crew tried to keep CGI use to a minimum, as Anderson said people in suits and puppets are scarier than CGI monsters as they are "there in the frame". Roughly 70% of scenes were created using suits, puppets, and miniatures. The Alien queen was filmed using three variations: a 4.8-meter practical version, a 1.2-meter puppet, and a computer-generated version. The practical version required 12 puppeteers to operate, and CGI tails were added to the Aliens and the queen as they were difficult to animate using puppetry.cite web
title="Alien vs. Predator" production notes
accessdate=2008-01-14] Audio commentary by Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff and John Bruno, 2004, 20th Century Fox] Anderson praised "Alien" director
Ridley Scott's and "Predator" director John McTiernan's abilities at building suspense by not showing the creatures until late in the film, something Anderson wanted to accomplish with "Alien vs. Predator". "Yes, we make you wait 45 minutes, but once it goes off, from there until the end of the movie, it's fucking relentless".Salisbury, Mark. The "AVP" referee, " Fangoria" issue #235, page 44]
Harald Kloserwas hired to create the film's score. After completing the score for " The Day After Tomorrow", Kloser was chosen by Anderson as he is a fan of the franchises. It was recorded in London, and was primarily orchestralas Anderson commented, "this is a terrifying movie and it needs a terrifying, classic movie score to go with it; at the same time it's got huge action so it needs that kind of proper orchestral support."cite web
title=IGN FilmForce Exclusive: Interview with AVP Director Paul Anderson
The score was released on August 31, 2004, and received mixed reviews. James Christopher Monger of
Allmusicthought Kloser introduced electronic elements well, and called "Alien vs. Predator Main Theme a particularly striking and serves as a continuous creative source for the composer to dip his baton in."cite web
title= "Alien vs. Predator" Original Score
author=Christopher Monger, James
accessdate=2008-01-20] Mike Brennan of Soundtrack, however, said it "lacks the ingenuity of the previous trilogy and the "Predator" scores, which all shared a strong sense of rhythm in place of thematic content. Kloser throws in some interesting percussion cues ("Antarctica" and "Down the Tunnel"), but more as a sound effect than a consistent motif."cite web
title="Alien vs. Predator" score review
accessdate=2008-01-20] John Fallon of
JoBlo.comcompared it to character development in the movie, "too generic to completely engage or leave a permanent impression."cite web
title="Alien vs Predator" review
"Alien vs. Predator" was released in North America on August 13, 2004 in 3,395 theaters. The film grossed $38.2 million over its opening weekend for an average of $11,278 per theater, and was number one at the
box office. The film spent 16 weeks in cinemas and made $80 million in North America.cite web
title="Alien vs. Predator" gross
publisher=Box Office Mojo
accessdate=2008-01-13] It grossed $9 million in the United Kingdom, $16 million in Japan, and $8 million in Germany, for an international total of $90.9 million. This brought the film's total gross to $171 million, making it the highest grossing film in the "Predator" and "Alien" franchises (excluding the effect of inflation), although "Aliens" earned more in the domestic box office. "Alien vs. Predator" was the 33rd highest grossing film of 2004.cite web
title="2004 Domestic gross" (2004)
publisher=Box Office Mojo
Critics were not allowed to view the film in advance, and once they did the response was generally negative.cite web
title=It's an Underground Monster World Series
publisher="New York Times"
accessdate=2008-01-24] Based on 132 reviews, the film scored a 22% approval rating on
Rotten Tomatoes, and 29 out of 100 based on 21 reviews on Metacritic.cite web
title="Alien vs. Predator" critic reviews
accessdate=2008-01-13] Chief criticisms of the film included its dialogue, "cardboard characters",
PG-13rating, the "fast-paced editing" during fight sequences, and lighting. However, special effects and set designs received praise.
Rick Kisonak of "
Film Threat" praised the film stating, "For a big dumb production about a movie monster smackdown, "Alien vs. Predator" is a surprisingly good time". Ian Grey of the " Orlando Weekly" felt, "Anderson clearly relished making this wonderful, utterly silly film; his heart shows in every drip of slime."cite web
title=Alien vs. Predator reviews Page 2
accessdate=2008-01-20] Staci Layne Wilson of Horror.com called it "a pretty movie to look at with its grandiose sets and top notch creature FX, but it's a lot like Anderson's previous works in that it's all facade and no foundation."cite web
title="Alien vs. Predator" Metacritic
However, with the majority of critics awarding the film a negative review, Michael Wilmington of the "
Chicago Tribune" commented it was full of "monster movie clichés that leave you praying for most of the cast to get killed off fast, to put them (and us) out of our misery." Jack Mathews of " New York Daily News" panned the movie, stating that "Writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson has created the darkest, if not worst, sci-fi movie since "Battlefield Earth"." Gary Dowell of "Dallas Morning News" called the film, "a transparent attempt to jumpstart two run-down franchises".cite web
title=Alien vs. Predator reviews Page 2
accessdate=2008-01-20] Ed Halter of "
The Village Voice" described the film's lighting for fight sequences as, "black-on-black-in-blackness",cite web
publisher="The Village Voice"
accessdate=2008-01-29] while Ty Burr of "
The Boston Globe" felt the lighting "left the audience in the dark".cite web
title="Alien vs. Predator" is an enjoyable schlockfest
publisher="The Boston Globe"
accessdate=2008-01-29] The film received a
Golden Raspberry(Razzie) nomination 2005 in the category of "Worst Remake or Sequel".cite web
title=25th annual Razzie awards - Worst remake or sequel
"Alien 5" and sequel
Before 20th Century Fox greenlit "Alien vs. Predator", "Aliens" writer/director
James Cameronhad been working on a story for a fifth "Alien" film. "Alien" director Ridley Scotthad talked with Cameron, stating "I think it would be a lot of fun, but the most important thing is to get the story right." In a 2002 interview, Scott's concept for a story was "to go back to where the alien creatures were first found and explain how they were created", however he has not shown interest in pursuing the project.cite web
title="Alien" vs. "Predator": Battle of the Sequels
accessdate=2008-01-14] On learning that Fox intended to pursue "Alien vs. Predator", Cameron believed the film would "kill the validity of the franchise" and ceased work on his story, "To me, that was "Frankenstein Meets Werewolf". It was Universal just taking their assets and starting to play them off against each other...Milking it." After viewing "Alien vs. Predator", however, Cameron remarked that "it was actually pretty good. I think of the five Alien films, I'd rate it third. I actually liked it. I actually liked it a lot."cite web|last=Vespe|first =Eric "Quint"|title =Holy Crap! Quint interviews James Cameron!!!|work =
Ain't It Cool News|date= 2006-02-07|url=http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=22405|accessdate =2007-12-20]
A sequel, "", was released on December 25, 2007. [cite web|url=http://superherohype.com/news.php?id=4111|title=Sequel scheduled|publisher=SuperHeroHype|date=2006-04-20|accessdate=2006-12-15] Directed by brothers Greg and Colin Strause, the story continues from the conclusion of "Alien vs. Predator".cite web
title=Colin and Greg Strause: Requiem for a scream
"Alien vs. Predator" was released on DVD in North America on January 25, 2005.cite web
title="Alien Vs. Predator" (Widescreen Edition)
accessdate=2008-01-29] The DVD contained two audio commentaries. The first featured Paul W.S. Anderson, Lance Henriksen, and Sanaa Lathan, while the second included ADI founders Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff, and special effects supervisor John Bruno. A 25-minute Making of Featurette and Darkhorse "AVP" comic covers galley were featured in the special features with three deleted scenes. On release, "Alien vs. Predator" debuted at number 1 on the Top DVD Sales and Top Video Rental charts in North America.cite web
title=Top DVD sales for the week of Feb 19, 2005
accessdate=2008-01-20] cite web
title=Top Video rentals for the week of Feb 19, 2005
A two-disc Extreme Edition was released on March 7, 2005, which featured
behind the scenesfootage of conception, pre-production, production, post-production, and licensing the franchise. An Unrated Edition was released on November 22, 2005, and contained the special features in the Extreme Edition, CGI blood and an extra eight minutes of footage. The extra footage contained "a few more shots of blood, gore, guts, and slime to spice things up, though, and tiny bits of connecting matter to help us follow the story line better, but none of it amounts to much", said John Puccio of DVD Town.cite web
title="AVP: Alien Vs. Predator" Unrated Version,Collector's Edition
author=J Puccio, John
accessdate=2008-01-20] The film was released on
Blu-ray Discin North America on January 23, 2007.
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Box Office Leaders USA
before = Collateral
year = 2004
date = August 15
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