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Have We Closed the Book on ‘Alien Vs. Predator’?

“When I said to [Ridley Scott], ‘You know, Weyland was a character in one of the Alien Vs. Predator movies,’ he just sort of looked at me like I had just slapped him in the face. That was the beginning, middle and end of all Alien Vs. Predator references in our story process.”  — Damon Lindeloff

For fans of all things Alien Vs. Predator, the above quote from Prometheus co-writer Damon Lindelof likely sounds the death knell for the continuation of the AVP shared cinematic universe, and perhaps even beyond.  Indeed, with Ridley Scott’s return to the franchise he started, and Shane Black looking to the original Predator to re-energize that franchise, neither seem interested in the high-concept crossover anymore. The two monsters appear to have consciously uncoupled, unlikely to share the same screen again.

While your feelings about the dissolution of this marriage depends on your level of devotion to either franchise, I’m happy to consider the AVP movies a fun but failed genre experiment and move on.

Before we close the book, however, let’s take a moment to consider the history of how the Alien and Predator franchises came together, ultimately resulting in two films and a few key references.

A year before Stephen Hopkins’ Predator 2 hit theaters in 1990, Dark Horse comics put the creatures together in a three-issue anthology called  “Dark Horse Presents” (#34-36), the final issue of which pit the two in their first official battle.

   

During the production of Predator 2, effects artists John Rosengrant and Shane Mahan (who had also both worked on James Cameron’s Aliens), came up with the idea to include a Xenomorph skull among the Predator’s hunting trophies when Danny Glover boards the alien ship during the film’s finale.

The inclusion of the Alien skull was meant as an inside joke, similar to how Stephen Spielberg famously included Star Wars references in his early work, but it ignited the imagination of many keen-eyed viewers who, in a pre-Reddit 1990, shared the story of seeing the skull with friends who may have missed it.

I personally remember missing the reference in Predator 2, then, upon hearing the rumor, immediately renting the film again and fast-forwarding to the end of the VHS tape to see for myself.

Here’s that moment:

No doubt, one of the kids whose imaginations were set alight from this crossover was director Paul W.S. Anderson, a self-professed genre nerd, who brought the first AVP film to the screen in 2004.

One of the ways Anderson bridged the franchises was to make the smart decision to include the human counterpart to Aliens‘ android Bishop, Charles Bishop Weyland as played by the same actor, Lance Henriksen. And like in Prometheus, the Weyland in the film is looking for eternal life.

So, while I can understand why Ridley Scott would reject the idea of considering AVP cannon, Lindelof bringing up the connection makes perfect sense to me thematically.

Lance Henriksen as Charles Bishop Weyland in AVP.

Next came the Brothers Strause’s AVP: Requiem, by all accounts a misfire. And while the directors have claimed to be determined to make an AVP 3, now that Scott and Black are driving the respective franchises, I think it’s safe to say the project is unlikely to come together.

It’s worth noting that no film in the Alien franchise contains a reference to the Predator series, while Nimród Antal’s subsequent Predators continues the trend of Predator movies referencing the world of Alien. The references are harder to spot, but many believe that a Xenomorph skull appears at the Predator camp in the film, while characters utter a line verbatim from Aliens (“If the time comes, I’ll do us both”).

Even in the expanded world of comics and novels the Alien Vs. Predator products have either slowed down or become a little… silly. I mean, Dredd has entered the battle at this point just to keep the idea interesting. Don’t get me wrong. I love Aliens, Predators and Dredds, but that stew is a little overwhelming.

So, what do you think? Have we officially closed the book on the AVP cinematic universe? And what hope do you think the concept has overall?



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COMMENTS

65 Comments
  • Daniel Anderson

    I liked Requiem better than its predecessor. Had more than 8 minutes action between aliens and predator. It was a Hard R and showed the strength and cunningness of a predator. With that said, some of the effects and abilities were meh at best (aliens mouth ligaments and predaliens ability to lay eggs). I believe AvP is a franchise that deserves a proper reboot. And it needs to include Colonial Marines FFS. The games and comics did a much better job.

    • zomnombie

      I totally agree, the first was an eye roller. The second had its moments.

    • ArmitageX

      Glad to see I’m not the only one who enjoys AVP2. Total guilty pleasure.

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      AVPR is one of the worst movies ever, literally

      • Daniel Anderson

        k…

  • Creepshow

    I have closed the door on “Alien Day”.

    And I have plenty of slaps saved up for the Star Wars tweakers on May the 4th.

  • Michael Josef Kappel

    Nope, we’re gonna find out in this movie that Danny McBride is the son of Dutch from the first movie and it will tie AvP into the franchise. 😉

    • My hopes and prayers is that he screams to one of the xenomorphs “You’re fucking out! I’m fucking in!” before he kills it all Kenny Powers style.

  • Harley Mitchel Dirk

    I think the concept can still work as a film especially with crossovers being a big thing again. It definitely works as a video game and those games should be continued asap. The comics have always had more misses than hits, I can take them or leave them.

    • gantarat

      yeah,fox take crossover serious on canon comic and novel (fire and stone,life and death,rage war)

      just find good director.

      • Chupicron

        Good god, not Rage War. NEVER Rage War. Holy hell, what Tim Lebbon has done to the yautja under Titan Books is just unforgivable. Predator: Incursion may be the single worst Aliens, Predator, or AvP book I have ever read. Like, even ignoring how hard he dropped the ball on the preds and how inconsistent/disposable he made them, that entire book was just objectively awfully written.

        None of the characters had any uniqueness behind them and while I forced myself through, I couldn’t bring myself to give a single crap about any of them or any of their plights. And it jumped back and forth in perspectives so often you practically couldn’t go more than a couple of pages reading from the eyes of the same character. And god, sometimes you couldn’t even tell you’d switched characters unless it was one of the many across-the-Universe jumps! They all left such little impression as distinct entities that many just kind of read the same.

        Then the villains… They were just a less interesting, human version of the killer clans from Predator: Prey to the Heavens and Aliens vs Predator: Three World War. And what was the point of seeing through the eyes of a little girl for like, 4 pages as her colony none of the main characters ever saw was destroyed? And for that matter, my god, does Tim Lebbon know anything about children or how they think and function? Because that was one hella one-dimensional, unbelievable, and unsympathetic character who just felt like a really poorly executed attempt to play at heart strings simply because she’s supposedly a kid. (I’d sooner buy that she was Weyland-Yutani’s first ever attempt at making a social android that was sold as a children’s toy like Furbies.)

  • LOX TO THE DEATH

    They just a joke now the frst one is so dumb ‘my friend the predator-buddy lets fight together’ and Requiem i have ‘watched’ like 3 times and still have no clue what is going on its the worst lighting in a movie of all time……..AvP 3 would need to be proper violent gory have characters we gave a fuck about a nice budget for practical effects and a serious director

  • Daniel Baldwin

    They’ll make another eventually, when both franchises die down separately.

  • RKSDooM

    I love the idea of ALIENS fighting PREDATORS, and I like some of the story ideas that have come from that idea in the comics, but the first film isn’t my bag.

    I hated that the ALIEN franchise went from one visionary director to the next and somehow ended up with Paul Anderson.

    I mean, the guy that made THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN may not be an A-lister, but surely he’s a more impressive choice than the guy who made freaking MORTAL KOMBAT and EVENT HORIZON.

    Paul Anderson makes fun, stupid movies. It’s what he does. And that’s fine (I still kill 90 minutes now and again on MORTAL KOMBAT or a RESIDENT EVIL flick), but that was never how I felt about the ALIEN franchise. Even when it misfired I felt that it was a step above “dumb fun.”

    But when the studio hired Paul Anderson that told you everything you needed to know about what kind of a film they were looking to make. Absurdly buffed up Predators and bullet time facehuggers because it looks kewl and a splashy CGI Queen ending and “Hey look! It’s Lance Henrikson! I LOVE Lance Henrikson!” …all at the expense of atmosphere and suspense and logic (Why would a Predator, which knows what the Aliens are and what their abilities consist of, EVER use a freaking razor net on one?) while also ignoring inconvenient pieces of continuity whenever it gets in the way.

    Like MORTAL KOMBAT and RESIDENT EVIL and, to a slightly lesser extent, EVENT HORIZON, it’s dumb fun. Not the worst way to kill 90 minutes.

    I just want more than that from the ALIEN franchise.

    I haven’t actually seen the second AvP yet, mostly because it looked like it was going to be more of the same, so I’ve never prioritized it.

    • Brian McNatt

      The second AvP is so much worse than merely more of the same. Both alien species get reduced to basically slasher movie villains, killing off sexy and stupid young adults in gory ways. The predator’s supposed to be there cleaning up evidence of xenomorphs and predators, but goes out of his way to do traditional predator stuff like removing skulls and hanging skinned victims from trees. The lighting is so bad you basically can’t see anything for large chunks of the movie.

      Aside from them bringing back the ridge-head xenomorph design from ALIENS, a brief look at the predator homeworld, and a few cool new additions to the predator armory, Requiem is easily the worst film in both franchises.

  • disqus_k39rnaVe8B

    No! I hope for the day we’ll see Engineers vs Alien vs Predator.

    • gantarat

      read fire and stone it’s canon
      http://i.imgur.com/aCif8B1.jpg

    • Chupicron

      That’s happened a few times and it’s part of the actual problem with the current comic arcs. The engineers have been turned into nigh-indestructible supermen while the xenomorphs and yautja have been reduced to fodder villains.

  • Meatwad

    AVP was by all accounts a guilty pleasure. Weak storylines, but seeing these two colossal iconic movie monsters go at it made you forget about it.

  • DSK

    I think it would be a mistake to close the door on the AvP franchise because some of the books and videogames in particular 2001 AvP2 game have been fantastic and I personally enjoyed both AvP despite there flaws. There is potential for a great film or films to be made it just needs Fox to take it seriously and give it a good sized budget and get a great writer/director on board

  • Richter Belmont

    I would totally pay to see a film with Karl Urban’s Judge Dredd battle a Predator and a Xenomorph! That would be one violent threesome!

  • Chris Sims

    In my humble opinion the AVP universe is there and no matter what someone is going to bring it around again. well I think avpr might have lost some of its fandom due to the scene in the hospital with the pregnant mothers, is a very realistic depiction of how horrible the aliens monsters could be. And while I myself was Disturbed by it, I applauded the filmmakers for letting in there to show the evil that was the aliens so we might side more with the Predators. I look forward to more AVP universe in has even starting a the sequel in written form based those two films. it’s not game over yet!

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      lol what

    • Chupicron

      The Strause Brothers took a series about applying the themes of rape and rape pregnancy to men, and dedicated an entire movie to ensuring only women were raped/impregnated then killed brutally on-camera while men were all killed on the spot by the predalien queen. They were going purely for shock value and lost all the themes of Alien along the way.

  • Kaijudude

    For now , i think the idea is either dead or close to dying. But there’s a whole new generation that will probably start looking for an new match up between the two.

  • gantarat

    only two avp movie that not canon but predator still part of alien universe

    fire and stone crossover year event get mention on weyland-yutani report book
    http://i.imgur.com/URdlHds.jpg

    Since 2014 Fox do like disneys did with star wars eu. all comics,games,novels that from DH,Titan,Sega is happen/canon to flim universe now and fox work with them to make sure story did not contradict each other and future movie

    • Chupicron

      God I hope not to the Titans Books bit. Their writer does alright with the xenomorphs, but his hack job with the yautja is a complete abomination.

      • gantarat

        haha predator homeworld get fuck up by xenomorph.

        • Chupicron

          That part’s fine. Shit, given that the yautja’s most important deity, the goddess of death, the Black Warrior, took the form of a queen alien… It’s pretty clear something hardcore went down. Xenomorphs are literally at the top of their major pantheon. Pair that with their nomadic clanships and the old EU’s backstory of the xenomorphs as a force of nature that has “cleansed” the Universe of species that advanced too far cyclically over the millenia, and the yautja obsession with balance in some EU materials, and it wouldn’t be at all unreasonable to suspect that they lost their home world to the xenomorphs in the old EU the same way that the space jockeys and humans did. Who knows, maybe “the Hive World” itself was in fact once the yautja home world.

          What bothers me is that everything about Tim Lebbon’s work on re-imagining the preds was a shoddy hack job that completely fucked up with them culturally and biologically. And his imagination for alien weaponry is just kind of nonsensical garbage with no aesthetic cohesion to other pred tech. My god, the man even wrote that we somehow couldn’t tell the difference between the yautja sexes even by comparing their corpses. As a veterinary student, I can’t even tell you how many ways that’s dumb.

          And to quote TIm Lebbon himself on the matter… “Fox/Titan told me that the canon material I had to adhere to included just the movies, ongoing comics and the previous Alien trilogy (me, Golden, Moore), and I haven’t even read Steve Perry’s work. But I’d heard about Yautja, and I thought it’s a much better sounding name. So I’ll admit to taking on that name without anything else that might have gone with it.” Which certainly explains why he got virtually everything about yautja culture, biology, and behavior wrong. Except that I can’t even fathom where he got their culture from if he actually watched the Predator movies.

          Also of note, I’m actually more an Alien fan than a Predator fan. But the Predator side of this equation got completely fucked by Titan Books and I find the extent to which everything about them’s been mangled to be completely unacceptable.

          • gantarat

            i want to see s.d. perry write avp again.

  • Leon Sheppard

    To this day I still have to chuckle at Ridley Scott’s dislike of the AVP films. Prometheus is so close to the first AVP that it’s uncanny. Both films start with a flashback of alien activity in Earth’s past. Fast-forward and now a team of experts under the direction of Mr Weyland are going to a remote location to investigate an unknown civilisation. They encounter hostile aliens and most of the team members are killed, but for a sole female survivor. The movies end with the birth of an abomination. HE MADE THE SAME FILM 😛

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      but avp sucks lol

      • Chupicron

        So did Prometheus. It was a chopped up mess with just as many plot holes and even less believable “scientists.”

        • Nahuel Benvenuto

          no, actually is a way better movie in every sense, AND there are no plot holes as so many say, and the characters are ok, it does is a little of a chopped up mess and all teh deleted scenes should have not been cut, but still is a decent movie, AVP is just mediocre

    • ArmitageX

      Glad to see I’m not the only one who spotted the similarities.

  • aFriendlyAgenda

    You have to give credit were credit is due

    You have to give credit to Walter Hill becasue he did “roughen up” the O’Bannon script But the longest lasting legacies of Alien, commercially at least, have mostly been the feminine hero, the android and Weylan Yutani

    All of these were pretty much Hill and Gilers additions

    • Martin Cann

      THANK YOU. It’s always peeved me how O’Bannon gets all the credit for Alien when everything that makes it Alien was added by OTHER PEOPLE

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    is a great idea, and a great movie could be made, but the only good thing to come out of it so far is the AVP2 PC game, the movies are terrible, maybe if A:C and TP do well at the box office we will get a GOOD AVP movie

  • Crimsonrain

    Dark Horse has been doing a great run for the past few years with the Aliens vs Predator vs Prometheus (they need to change that one name to something else). Dark Horse only dropped the ball once IMO. They could have created their own universe separate from the movies. They had Newt and Hicks survive….however Alien3 came out they changed the characters names to something totally meaningless to the reader since both characters died off screen in the movie.

    • Chupicron

      To be fair, the current continuity isn’t a continuation of the old comics, either. And their engineers are a lot more fearsome than they are in the Prometheus movie… The old continuity essentially ended with Three World War, and it’s really unclear what old comics were event being included as in-continuity with that thanks to Aliens: More Than Human being tied into it.

      God, they really should have stuck with the Three World War arcs to base their new comics off of. Living cities? The killer clans? That’s how you revitalize a title, not what we got in Fire & Stone or Life & Death. More Than Human’s issue 0 even left us with an open-ended, new version of the Earth War being established as having gone down. They could have gone back to the beginning with all these juicy story possibilities that they left open.

  • Francesco Falciani

    if only avp 2 could has not been so dark as shit …the picture at the top was brighted

  • Weresmurf

    There’s a few minor hints that they may be looking to merge the series again at some point down the track (websites etc from some promo stuff) but only after both are firmly established away from the original shitshows. Im ok with this.

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    We can only hope.

  • pablitonizer

    I keep saying the first AVP is not THAT bad! The setting is kindda cool, it explains a bit why mankind is not aware of the aliens race on earth. What I found stupid was the dialogues, how short the film was and how the female & the predator became allied, so so dumb in my opinion. It was supposed to be their war and humans were meant to be killed along the way.

    • CraxyD

      Similar to how Machiko Noguchi and Broken Tusk become allied in the Aliens vs. Predator: Prey comics and novelization.

      • Chupicron

        Except in that case, Machiko actually proved her worth in combat and was stuck in an unusual situation with one of the yautja’s most respected clan leaders who just took an active role in culling his batch of students when they violated the rules of the hunt. As opposed to an unblooded runt who broke several predator laws over the course of the film that each carry a death sentence. (Including the very laws Dachande killed his unblooded students over.) Like blooding himself. (None the less somebody else. None the less a HUMAN, which while not against their laws was definitely unheard of before Dachande did it. And now blooding marks are being given out to non-yautja like god damned candy since the AvP movie.)

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      is a mediocre movie

  • JoeInTheBox

    I wouldn’t mind an AVP series of movies, if they took place outside of the timeline and storylines set up by Ridley and Shane Black. It’ll be a nice way to do their own thing without being shackled to a “shared universe.”

  • Satanzilla

    Cross-franchise stuff is basically garbage. It’s purely for the fanboys. It’s a shame they took the alien franchise in that direction. Predator not so much so — a fun popcorn movie but not a great film in the same category as the first film, or frankly even the second.

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      i think that conceptually there is a great story to be told in a Alien Vs Predator movie, it just not had been told yet

  • horrormaker

    i would love to see another film, however, we need a solid story. A big (WHY?) these two are fighting. When Predators movie came out, i thought it would have neat to see the aliens on the predator’s hunting ground, with the heat and jungle. We have always seen the aliens in a cool and dark place. Change the pace, what if the aliens were hunting the predators. i like the first two films, i took them for what they were worth. i didn’t expect a huge budget or big (Star Wars) type movie. just a low key war.

  • Rohan

    What’s wierd is that most of the predator’s history is explained in the AVP universe, so, maybe keep it canonical for predator?

    • gantarat

      in new eu canon look like engineer and predator are rival.

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      avp are terrible so they are not canon

  • sparksfly

    Dredd (Carl Urban’s Dredd, not Stallone’s) taking on some Xenomorphs in the crumbling Mega-city would be entertaining–Especially if some Weyland-Utani people were around trying to interfere so Judgements could be rendered.

  • Halloween_Vic

    I honestly like both AVP films I mean I had fun while watching them. And to be honest I would like to see a AVP 3 or maybe a prequel with a much darker and sadistic vibe with the Predators going to the xeno planet and being a full on action/sci-fi film.

  • Halloween_Vic

    I loved the Predalien look, definitely underrated.

  • Alien vs Predator or Robocop vs. Terminator. In comics/video games they can be fun (still loved my NES game of Robocop vs Terminator) but when you introduce a story that is both engaging and believable is when it becomes difficult w crossing film series.

    The first AVP film had a decent story but needed to be R rated and bring in a person who would have grabbed the Predator’s attention (someone it would have deemed worthy of hunting instead of bait for a face hugger).

  • Bloodspatta

    I fucking hope so. VS movies are just fan fiction and they all suck. Yes, this includes FVJ.

  • Aaron

    Reminds me of Expendables: Love the concept, but horrible execution. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing an Alien vs Predator TV series, perhaps on Starz. So much potential.

  • Sky Commander

    Honestly I enjoy AVPR a lot more than AVP because they don’t tone it down in terms of violence the Wolf predator is a total bad ass and c’mon predaliens are sweet only problem is I have to have my TV at max brightness cause the morons apparently never heard of fucking lighting

  • The Drucifer

    I’ve always felt like they could coexist in the same universe but other than that, I grew up. making a PREDATORS type scenario with a hunting preserve containing humans and xenos would be the only way I wouldn’t roll my eyes at the prospect.

  • Halloween_Vic

    Yea that was one thing I wish it got more screen time. I mean a fucking Alien mix with a Predator why the hell did it not get more screen time lol. And oh man I have to see how that figure is gonna look. I recently saw a King Alien figure online and boy does he also look sick!

  • Halloween_Vic

    Right? Wouldn’t it be awesome if he’s in Covenant? lol I’m thinking way too ahead now.

  • D淡定D

    Yes, it’s good that there won’t be any more AVP movies. AVP exists only in games, comic books, etc.

    If the two really clash, I’d love to see Alien’s acid blood melt a Predator’s vagina-dentata like face. Modern day CG can realize the visual effect.

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