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Alien vs. Predator (also known as AVP) is a 2004 American science fiction film directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and starring Sanaa Lathan and Lance Henriksen.

The film adapts an crossover bringing together the eponymous creatures of the Alien and Predator series, a concept which originated in a 1989 comic book.

Anderson, Dan O'Bannon, and Ronald Shusett wrote the story, and Anderson and Shane Salerno adapted the story into a screenplay. Their writing was influenced by Aztec mythology, the comic book series, and the writings of Erich von Däniken.

The film was released on 13 August, 2004 in North America and 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, the film grossed over $172 million at the worldwide box office. The film is followed by a sequel Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).


Production

Before 20th Century Fox gave Alien vs. Predator the greenlight, Aliens writer/director James Cameron had been working on a story for a fifth Alien film.

Alien director Ridley Scott had 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"; this project eventually became Scott's 2012 film Prometheus.

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."


AVP Behind the Scenes

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."

Conversely, Ridley Scott had no interest in the Alien vs. Predator films. When asked in May 2012 if he had watched them, Scott laughed, "No. I couldn't do that. I couldn't quite take that step."


Development

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.

Screenwriter Peter Briggs created 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.


AVP Behind the Scenes

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. Anderson pitched Davis a story he worked on for eight years, and showed him concept art created by Randy Bowen.

Impressed with Anderson's idea, Davis thought the story was like Jaws in that it "just drew you in, it drew you in". Anderson started to work on the film after completing the script for Resident Evil: Apocalypse, with Shane Salerno co-writing.

Salerno spent six months writing the shooting script, finished its development, and stayed on for revisions throughout the film's production.


Story and Setting

Early reports claimed the story was about humans who tried to lure Predators with Alien eggs, although the idea was scrapped.

Influenced by the work of Erich von Däniken, Anderson researched von Däniken's theories on how he believed early civilisations were able to construct massive pyramids with the help of aliens, an idea drawn from Aztec mythology.

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 passage rituals every 100 years in which they would hunt Aliens.


AVP Behind the Scenes

To explain how these ancient civilisations "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 Aliens vs. Predator comic series were included.

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 sequel to the Predator films and prequel to the Alien series, Anderson was cautious of contradicting continuity in the franchises.

He chose to set the film on the remote Norwegian Antarctic island of Bouvet commenting, "It's definitely the most hostile environment on Earth and probably the closest to an Alien surface you can get."


AVP Behind the Scenes

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."



Resources:
wikipedia.org, imdb.com,
Final Production Script
by Paul W.S. Anderson






Alien vs. Predator - 2004 | Detailed Plot & Screenshots


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Above the surface, no one sees that something is approaching at incredible speed. It's the Predator Spacecraft cloaked in the fury of the storm. Quinn stands by the winching gear. A couple of his men are working frantically on the machinery. The whaling station is already in the grip of the katabatic winds. Quinn struggles through the snow, barking orders above the deafening storm.

Debris and tarps are being uprooted by the wind. Flung through the air like tissue paper. Quinn moves his men into the Whaling Station buildings. Suddenly the spacecraft passes Quinn. Its massive bulk lost in the storm. A moment later, Quinn looks up, perhaps sensing something, but the spacecraft is already gone, leaving just turbulence in its wake. The Predator spacecraft cuts through the storm.

The tremendous force of the katabatic winds that would destroy any ordinary plane have no effect on the futuristic spacecraft. Suddenly, three shimmering steel missiles are fired from the belly of the craft. At ground level, three massive explosions of snow and ice, as the Predator missiles impact with the ground. One of the craters caused by the impact, lies one of the missiles, still intact. The missile is cylindrical.


Twelve feet long and four feet wide. Like a giant steel coffin. Another two craters stretching off into the distance, and in each one -- another steel coffin. Around them, the katabatic winds are still raging. As we zoom in on a missile, a hairline crack appears in the steel. It runs the length of the cylinder. The crack widens revealing the lid has Predator terminal readouts and bright light spills out.

2,000 feet below, the expedition members reach the bottom of the tunnel. In contrast to the deafening storm above, underground, everything is calm. Silent. Lex lights a flare, illuminating a scene of surreal beauty. Weyland is puzzled how this is possible, there's no sign of another team. They are in an ice grotto, surrounded by giant stalactites and stalagmites made of frozen glacial water.


Up ahead, the grotto opens out into a bigger ice cave. A vast ceiling vaulting off above them into the darkness. No telling how big this place is. Max's men are already unpacking multiple sets of portable floodlights. They begin hooking them to power cables which run back up the tunnel to generators on the surface. Weyland looks around the grotto, breathless from the descent. Multiple banks of powerful floodlights kick in.


Sebastian turns . . . stops dead in amazement. We still don't know what they have seen. But whatever it is, it's breathtaking. One by one, team member is slack-jawed. The lights reveal the pyramid, towering above them, hundreds of stone steps. The team look like tiny ants standing before it.


Two thirds of the magnificent structure is fully visible, the rest is buried in the walls of the ice cave. It's an awesome sight. Lex and Weyland share a look. Despite being short on breath, Weyland cracks a broad smile and turns to the group thanking them. Lex shoots a flare towards the pyramid to light it up.


The team make their way up the steps towards the entrance chamber. The entrance is located half-way up the pyramid. Lex illuminates a pictogram showing two creatures locked in combat (an Alien and Predator).

She looks down and takes a bearing on her digital compass. Above the entrance are three lines of ancient hieroglyphics. Sebastian steps up to examine the writing more closely. Verheiden steps through the entrance, stepping on a stone tile which sink ever so slightly into the ground. A hidden trigger of some kind. No one notices as the team enter one by one.


Predator Spacecraft: The computer onboard the Predator spaceship is still projecting the hologram of the pyramid. The humans are all represent ed by tiny holographic figures. The humans' presence within the pyramid has activated something deep within the structure. The camera closes in on this vast room at the base of the pyramid. A vast chamber, at its heart, a deep pool of freezing vapor.


Hi-tech chains of incredible tensile strength run from the ceiling and down into the vapor pool, disappearing from sight. The trigger Verheiden stepped on has activated something and suddenly, the chains begin to move. They are pulling something up massive from the vapor pool. And slowly, majestically, she rises out of the freezing mist like some mythic beast -- An Alien Queen.


A giant of her species. And around the Alien Queen is built a grotesque machine, in which she is being held prisoner. A complex web of pipes and tubes which pierce her body in a hundred different places. She is literally part of the machine, the ultimate bio-mechanical synthesis. This machine which holds the Alien Queen prisoner, is clearly of Predator design, for it has all the familiar techno-medieval features.

It could almost be some giant gothic torture device from the Inquisition. As the chains continue to lift the Alien Queen into the air, we see that these shackles are attached to her every limb. There are even holes punched through the "crown" above her head, through which chains run. The lifting chains lock into place, leaving the Alien Queen suspended in mid-air, hanging above the floor of the chamber like some great dragon caught in flight.


It's a stunning, terrifying image. Close on the Alien Queen unmoving. Her head covered in a thin sheet of ice. Residue of the freezing vapor in which she has been stored. Suddenly, the ice begins to crack. Without warning, the twin mouths of the Alien Queen begin to move. She is waking up. Her whole body struggles and strains against the chains. But in vain. Despite her immense size and incredible strength, she is a prisoner here.

At the pyramid entrance, the Alien Queen's scream barely pierces the long hallway that is covered in hieroglyphics, carved out of the stone but the team, focused on their work, don't hear it. Thomas is examining another section of the hieroglyphics. Analyzing the wall, Sebastian thinks it translates to only the chosen may enter. Above the surface, most of the men are under cover hiding from the storm.

Quinn is still outside checking on the equipment. Ensuring that everything is tied down correctly. Suddenly, Klaus on sentry duty, hears something, he has his gun pulled. The low rumble of the Predators growl. The sound is chilling. Primal. And after a moment, it is snatched away in the wind. The storm has lost none of its fury. Klaus hears the noise again, he spins, aiming his gun everywhere, nothing to be seen.

Something behind him. Klaus turns and brings up his Desert Eagle to take aim. He has one of the Cloaked Predators in his sights. We switch to Quinn tending to securing equipment, he's alerted by Klaus' scream. The Mess Hall is the closest structure to the mouth of the tunnel. The walls groan under the strain of the storm raging outside. Sven and Boris are huddled around a camping stove, boiling water for tea.


At the back of the shelter, Mikkel is working on a space heater. They freeze what they are doing as they also hear Klaus' scream. The door suddenly blows open but nothing enters except a flurry of snow. Every man in the room draws a gun. The blur of a cloaked Predator enters the room. One man is hit by an invisible hand. The force of the blow sending him crashing to the ground, his neck broken.

In an instant, another man seems to be levitating. His feet are a clear three feet off the ground, and he is rising still further into the air. Gurgling noises noises are coming from the him. Only now do we see the shimmering humanoid outline behind him. A Predator has impaled the man and is lifting him into the air. The last survivor fires way with his machine gun, but is suddenly flung backwards with incredible force.

Something invisible has impaled him, slamming him back against the wall and pinning him there. His feet hang six inches off the ground. In his last dying moments, the man watches a futuristic spear slowly materialize in his mid-section. Quinn appears in the doorway. Quinn stops dead. The room is devastated. Quinn sees three bodies hanging from the rafters by their ankles. Quinn's lips move, but there is no sound.


What Quinn sees: A shimmering figure moving toward him. Humanoid but not human. Predator. The distinctive twin blades slide from the Predator's wrist. Quinn sees these blades perfectly, for the razor sharp edges are outlined with the steaming blood of dead men. From nowhere, a Predator spear heads right for him. Quinn slams the door to the mess hall, but the spear slices straight through it, cutting his arm.

Quinn has bought himself a few seconds. He uses them to run. Quinn stumbles through the whiteout. Suddenly he runs straight into something. Looks up in shock to see -- a dead body. What's left of Klaus. After that, Quinn sees three more bodies. All strung up by their ankles. Swaying in the wind. Quinn's entire team is dead. Quinn sees Klaus' gun. He grabs it, stands up in time to see the blur of a cloaked Predator on a roof and fires.


The bullets ricochet off the Predator's armor. He uncloaks and drops down with a roar. Quinn swings the gun at the Predator, but backhands Quinn in the chest. Quinn goes down hard. He is stunned by the Predator's power. Quinn won't surrender. He picks up board and shatters across the Predator's arm. Another blow by the Predator sends him into the air and down the mouth of the tunnel.

200 feet below the surface, Quinn slides down the tunnel, gaining speed every second. His hands grasp desperately at the icy walls, the cabling of the winch system, anything to help slow his descent. He pulls out his ice axe and strikes it into the ice to slow himself down, but he's sliding too fast for it to stick and he loses it. Quinn screams as he continues to fall.


The Predator stands above the entrance to the tunnel. And behind him, two more Predators step from the storm. The Predator activates his wrist computer. Displayed on it we see a three dimensional representation of the Pyramid below the ice. From the very heart of the Pyramid there is an electonic pulse. A homing signal of some kind which the Predators are clearly following.


In the pyramid, Lex illuminates another passage. She leads the team into the next chamber.


Their flashlights illuminate a large chamber with an impressive vaulted ceiling and bizarre ancient imagery chiseled into the walls. Seven mummified cadavers lay on seven long stone slabs. They conclude it's a sacrificial chamber.


They illuminate walls of human bones and skulls. Many of the skeletons are still intact. Sebastian examines some hieroglyphics written on the edge of a sacrificial slab. Rousseau is examining the ribcage of a skeleton. A hole has been punched through the bones outward. Something broke out of the body.


Inside the Alien Queen's chamber, we see the egg sack below the Queen, held firmly in place by the Predator machine that surrounds her. Almost as soon as the Alien Queen awakes, she begins to lay eggs. Beneath the egg sack is an automated conveyor belt which takes the eggs away from the Alien Queen.

She feeds the conveyor with a steady stream of eggs. We now see that the whole chamber is one giant machine built to service the captive Alien Queen. When the Alien Queen sees her eggs being taken from her, she goes berserk, straining against her chains to be free. But it is hopeless. The Alien Queen screams in frustration.

Back in the sacrificial chamber, Max's flashlight illuminates a stone grate on the bottom of the floor with small holes in it. Max activates a green glow stick and drops it in one of the holes. It falls but hits the level below. It appears to be a shaft between levels.


Quinn's body lies near the tunnel entrance in the ice grotto. He is covered in frost. Looks like he never regained consciousness and has frozen to death. His eyes suddenly pop open. He's alive, but barely. He can hardly move.


Two Predators appear before him. They have descended the tunnel. All he can do is watch helpless as the Predators get closer. Quinn is holding his breath. He can't believe it as the Predators walk straight past him.


So close that he could reach out and touch them. After a moment, Quinn cranes his neck to see where the Predators are going. He sees two shapes headed straight for the Pyramid.


Just when Quinn thought he was safe, he turns around and sees the third Predator standing right over him. Twin blades scythes down toward Quinn as his screams echo in the ice grotto.

In the sacrificial chamber, Weyland wants to move to the lower level. Max motions to Lex to take the lead. Sebastian, Miller, Weyland and Connors follow Lex down a tunnel. Hanging back momentarily, Max gives instructions to Thomas and Rousseau. They are to remain there and catalog everything. Thomas gives Rousseau a boyish look, she just glares back and turns away.



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