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Casting

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 Microsoft building an android in 100 years time that has the face of Bill Gates."


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Anderson opted for a European cast including Italian actor Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner from 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 Lathan was 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.


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Anderson reported in an interview that Arnold Schwarzenegger was willing to reprise his role as Major Alan "Dutch" Schaeffer from Predator in a short cameo appearance if he lost the recall election on condition that the filming should take place at his residence.

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".


Filming and Set Designs

Production began in late 2003 at Barrandov Studios in Prague, Czech Republic, where most of the filming took place.

Production designer Richard 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 hieroglyphs were influenced by Egyptian, Cambodian, and Aztec civilisations, while the regular shifting of the pyramid's rooms was meant to evoke a sense of claustrophobia similar to the original Alien film.

According to Anderson, if he was to build the sets in Los Angeles they 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 snow were used (roughly 1520 tons).

A 4.5-meter miniature of an icebreaker with 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 scale 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 Bruno were in charge of the project, which contained 400 effects shots.

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 fiberglass copies. 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.

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".

Music

Austrian composer Harald Kloser was 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 orchestral as 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."

The score was released on 31 August 2004, and received mixed reviews.

James Christopher Monger of Allmusic thought 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."

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."

John Fallon of JoBlo.com compared it to character development in the film, "too generic to completely engage or leave a permanent impression."




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






Alien vs. Predator - 2004 | Detailed Plot & Screenshots


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Now on the lower level, their flashlight beams cut through the darkness. Lex checks her digital compass. Up ahead there is a small glow. Weyland, Lex, Sebastian, Miller, Max, and Connors enter in a vast chamber of some kind. They find the glow stick they dropped through the grate in the sacrificial chamber.

They look up and quickly realize that the sacrificial chamber is directly above them, linked by a stone shaft of some kind. Lex sees something. The rest of them train their flashlights on the object. At the center of the room is a Sarcophagus. Fifteen feet long, four feet wide. Sebastian carefully examines the Sarcophagus. His flashlight illuminates three metal dials inlaid into the stone.

He figures out the "combination," it's based on time periods. Sebastian turns the first of the metal dials on the top of the Sarcophagus. It moves easily. Sebastian turns the remaining two discs. The entire team is stunned as the lid to the Sarcophagus begins to open on its own power. Everyone reacts as the lid finishes opening and slides to a smooth halt.


The interior of the Sarcophagus is dark. There's no way you can see in without peering dangerously over the edge. Sebastian cautiously approaches the edge, and slowly peers inside. The others crowd around the Sarcophagus. The interior of the Sarcophagus contains -- guns. Three futuristic weapons of an alien design. Predator design. The team stands over the sarcophagus staring at the futuristic guns.

They're a little freaked. None of the 'experts' seem to know what they are. Miller steps up and starts a basic spectral analysis of the metal, careful not to disturb the guns. His hand-held computer starts processing the information. Lex sees that Weyland is having a hard time breathing. Weyland pulls out his hand-held portable oxygen bottle and takes a shot into his lungs.

The other look concerned. In fact everyone does - except Lex. Her eyes are focused on the person she is worried about most - Weyland. She speaks quietly to him. Weyland nods but he's not doing well and he can't hide it. She decides for the team to pull back and return to base camp and they can return to the pyramid in the morning. Max chimes in his team are staying. Lex will settle for no compromises and insists.

Everyone looks at Weyland to over rule her, but he supports her decision. They decide to take the guns with them for further tests on the surface. Sebastian protests. Too late. Connors reaches into the Sarcophagus and grabs the first two guns. Max reaches in and grabs the final gun but when the weight of Max's gun is removed from its place inside the chamber, a hidden trigger underneath it is activated with a deafening: The click echoes around the chamber. Everyone shares concerned looks.


We switch to the Predator's holographic readout of the Sarcophagus room. The three Predators are now at the pyramid entrance and were watching Weyland's team with their monitoring technology. They exchange concerned looks. This clearly was not part of the plan. The Predators pick up their pace as they also cloak themselves.

The Sarcophagus chamber: For a moment nothing, then it happens. The walls of the chamber begin to move. Sealing up the old entrances, and revealing brand new passageways into and out of the chamber. We move past Lex, Sebastian, Miller, Max, and Connors. Weyland is standing before what used to be a solid wall only now it is open to a long dark corridor. A large block of stone quickly starts to slide down and seals the entrance before anyone can get out.


The Sacrificial chamber: Rousseau, Thomas and others brace as the walls begin to move. The entrances to the chamber are sealed up by huge blocks of stone that slide down from the ceiling. Rousseau pushes a large metal case under the door but it's hopelessly crushed.


Perplexed, Rousseau looks at the walls that just moved. They too are trapped. Sealed in like the other team. At the bottom of the sacrificial slabs, beneath the mummified bodies, Alien Eggs have suddenly appeared.


They sit snugly in the bowl shaped indentations. All seven sacrificial slabs have an Egg on them. There is a long silence. The first Egg begins to open.


One by one the other eggs begin to open. Rousseau pulls out a COLT.45, keeping it at her side. Rousseau brings up her handgun but it's too late.


The Face Hugger is already airborne. The other six launch themselves simultaneously.


The unique sight of seven Face Huggers are frozen for a moment in mid-air. One of the Face Huggers is leaping directly at Rousseau in slow motion. Terror frozen on her face. Then we return to real time: In a split second, the Face Hugger completes its flight. Slamming into Rousseau's face, smothering her mouth, muffling her screams. Their screams echo through the stone grate in the floor.

Sarcophagus chamber: A frantic tortured scream and several pistol shots are heard through the stone grate directly above them. They grab their walkie-talkies to call the team above, but no reply. Fear starts to spread around the chamber. Lex stares down the long dark corridor behind Weyland. Max and Connors open an equipment case. From within they start to take an arsenal of heavy weapons.

They are joined by three other men -- Bass, Stone, and Verheiden. Max slams a magazine home into his MP-5 -- he does a lock and load with rapid precision. Lex is furious they have guns, but they ignore her. Annoyed, Lex consults her digital wrist compass and leads the team through the long corridor. They hope to find Rousseau's team on the way up. Miller explains that he now realizes Weyland's satellite picked up the power needed to drive the pyramid's technology.

Sacrificial chamber: A Face Hugger lies beside Rousseau. We see others laying on the ground all with Face Huggers on them. Rousseau wakes, in immediate agony. She claws at her chest. Something is trying to get out. With a spurt of blood, a Chest Burster erupts. Another set of Alien Eggs have appeared at the bottom of the sacrificial slabs, in the bowl shaped indentation.


Chamber of the Gods: A long corridor stretching off into the darkness. They keep moving. Lex's flashlight illuminates a gigantic statue. Then another. The corridor is lined with them. Each statue is a Predator Warrior carved out of stone. Miller and Sebastian stare up at one of these bizarre stone creatures. They're humanoid in shape, though much larger than a human being in size.


Their heads are larger and they're wearing massive helmets. They're fierce, frightening and very powerful looking hunter/beasts. Sebastian is staring at another elaborate carving showing the Predators carrying their distinctive plasma guns -- the one they're carrying. Ancient carved murals depict humans kneeling in supplication before the Predators.


Predator vision: From an obscure high angle, looking down on the group of humans. The Predator zooms in, focusing on the backpacks carried by Max, Verheiden and Weyland. Within the packs are the three Predator Plasma Guns. Lex consults her digital compass. We see a Predator statue as the face of the statue softly distorts. It's not a statue. It's a real Predator. The human team have walked straight into an ambush.

Stone is bringing up the rear, MP-5 in hand. A noose suddenly drops around his neck, pulls tight, and drags him into the air. They are looking everywhere above, seeing nothing. Finally, Bass notices the real Predator and takes aim, but a Predator spear impales Bass instantly. The force hurling him back with astonishing force.


The men all firing, filling the chamber with the deafening sound of gunfire. The stone crumbles in pieces from the fire, but the Predator has ducked for cover. The men stop and re-load. The Pyramid has started to reconfigure once more.


Suddenly the Predator leaps to the others side of wall statues, the men firing once again. However, the Predator cloaks during mid-air. Thick stone slabs slide out from the wall, sub-dividing the chamber and splitting the human team into three separate groups.


Each trapped in their own newly created stone cell: Max, Weyland, Sebastian and Lex. Verheiden and Miller. And Connors, all by himself. Connors stares up at the walls. For the moment he is safe from the Predators, but there is no escape from this room. He's terrified. He pounds against the walls, screaming at the top of his voice. In Verheiden and Miller's cell, Connors' cry for help is barely audible.

But right now Verheiden and Miller have their own problems. Max, Weyland, Lex, and Sebastian are trapped in their own stone cell. Connors is panicking, he falls down to another duct, dropping his gun. Connors is petrified. He hears noises, he frantically reaches for his gun, but notice there is a sticky substance on it. He sees something in the dark.

In Verheiden and Miller's cell, the claustrophobia of the cell is eating away at Verheiden. Miller looks at him, he takes charge and tries to calm him. Verheiden looks at Miller. The nerd has become a leader. In their own cell with no way out, Sebastian studies his watch. He explains to Lex his theory that the pyramid walls shift every ten minutes. In the distance a sound like rolling thunder.


As it gets closer, the noise refines -- it is the sound of stone scraping on stone. They get to their feet as a stone slab slides into the roof, revealing a brand new exit from the cell. The labyrinth awaits. They move one by one as a team. In Verheiden and Miller's cell, a stone slab slides back, revealing a brand new chamber duct. Miller peers into the darkness. Miller lowers his head and begins to crouch forward.

The duct is narrow and tight. It's only a foot or two wider than his shoulders. Verheiden glares at the scientist. Annoyed that Miller seems to be taking all this better than he is. Miller and Verheiden continue to make their way through the pitch black duct.


Verheiden finds Collin's gun and then hears the same noise. He's now armed with both guns, ready. Suddenly, a trap door opens and Verheiden falls through. Miller pounds in the area where the trap door grabbed Verheiden. Verheiden settles in for a wait. In a distance down the duct, Verheiden barely sees an alien in the darkness.

He turns only to see a second Alien waiting right there on top of him. A moment later, Miller hears Verheiden's horrifying screams. He knows his friend is dead. Miller looks up and is snatched by another Alien. In an instant he is gone. His flashlight drops to the floor.

Lex, Sebastian, Weyland, and Max make their way through the dark underground maze. Max is ahead on point with his MP-5 machine gun. Lex sees that Weyland is struggling, falling further behind. Weyland buckles under the weight of his backpack -- the one containing the Predator Plasma Gun. Lex takes the pack from Weyland.


Predator vision: The Predators have been watching them, they see that Lex now has one of their guns. One of the Predators activates his cloaking device. Max beams his flashlight into the obscurity just as a Predator emerges from the darkness. Max begins firing. But the Predator also shoots. materializing in mid-air before Max is a steel net. It knocks Max off his feet and envelops him.

The net is pulling ever tighter around him. The steel mesh cuts into Max's clothing and equipment, slicing through metal like it were paper. Weyland struggles with the net, but lacerates his own hands. The mesh is razor-sharp. Sebastian tries to cut at the net with a knife, but the blade just snaps against the strength of the Predator steel.

The Predator is suddenly behind them. They react, but too late. Lex swings her axe, but her and Weyland are sent crashing to the floor. The Predator grabs Sebastian by the throat and lifts him off the ground, choking the life out of him. With his other hand, the Predator raises a spear high above Max, ready to finish him off. Max is held fast in the ever tightening net.


The Predator drives his spear clear through the net. The force is so great, the spear embeds itself in the rock floor beneath Max. Lex witnesses Max's death. Sebastian looks to be next in line. He's helpless, being choked to death. Just moments from losing consciousness. Lex reaches for her ice axe, but a second cloaked Predator appears and savagely kicks Lex, sending her flying through the air.

Lex lands hard. The wind knocked out of her. She tries to struggle to her feet, but within seconds the Predator is on her again. But there's nothing Lex can do. For she too is about to die. On the twin blades sliding from the first Predator's wrist. Even in cloaked mode, the razor sharp edges seem to catch the light. The Predator brings the twin blades up above Lex's head.

She is just seconds from being decapitated. Lex tenses, ready for the blow. But it never comes. Instead, the Predator convulses. Its cloaking device begins to spark, and the Predator starts to become visible. The sparking spreads out from the Predator's chest as he is lifted into the air. Blood drips onto the face of Lex. Green, luminescent Predator blood.


As the creature hanging above her slowly becomes visible, Lex sees that something has impaled the Predator. A wicked barbed tail sticks straight through the Predator's chest. Slowly, an Alien unfolds from its hiding place in the ceiling. It has stabbed the Predator, the sharp point of its tail going clean through the Predator's armored chest. And now the other Predator registers the Alien. He tosses Sebastian to one side, no longer interested.



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