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ALIEN VS. PREDATOR

About The Production
In 1979, Twentieth Century Fox released director Ridley Scott's "Alien,” which was hailed by critics and audiences worldwide as a seminal work of science fiction. The film's success spawned a film franchise for the studio, with three more adventures in the saga: James Cameron's "Aliens,” David Fincher's "Alien3” and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "Alien Resurrection.”

In 1987, Fox introduced another creature from outer space, "Predator,” directed by John McTiernan and produced by John Davis, about an invisibilitycloaked extra-terrestrial warrior that wreaked havoc in the jungle. (Among the film's cast members were two future Governors: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura.) PREDATOR 2, which followed three years later, raised hell in the urban jungle of Los Angeles.

Now, nearly a quarter-century after the debut of "Alien,” comes ALIEN VS. PREDATOR, one of the most anticipated face-offs in sci-fi film history. Bringing ALIEN VS. PREDATOR to the screen has been an almost decadelong journey. Twentieth Century Fox considered various storylines until writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson came to the studio with the idea of setting the story on Earth, in contemporary times. The story would take place between the events of "Predator” and "Alien.”

"Putting humans in the middle of the maelstrom really ups the stakes in an Alien/Predator battle,” says AVP producer John Davis. "Over the years, I had heard story pitches from over 40 writers, until Paul approached us with his take. His story really drew us in.”

Anderson had been nurturing that idea since the beginning of his career – long before the studio called him to present his concept. "Almost nine years ago, just for fun, I came up with an idea for an Alien/Predator film,” Anderson recalls. "Then, I was at Sundance with my very first film ["Shopping”], a European, independent film, and I thought I would never get to make a movie like AVP.

"Fast forward to eight years later,” Anderson continues, "and Fox is trying to make the movie – and they called me in to talk about it. I basically pitched the same idea I'd been thinking about at Sundance years earlier. And this time I got to make it.”

According to Davis, it was essential to have a director who was plugged into the worlds of both the Aliens and Predators, and no one knew the films better than Anderson. "In addition to being a talented filmmaker, Paul is the ultimate Alien and Predator fan,” says the producer. "He's seen the original ‘Alien' and ‘Predator' hundreds of times, and he can recite virtually every scene by memory. The way to make an exciting movie is to begin with a director who's passionate about the material and has to do it. Paul had to make ALIEN VS. PREDATOR.”

Anderson's encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Alien and Predator was critical in his efforts to avoid contradicting elements of previous Alien and Predator films. (For example, a quick shot of an Alien "trophy skull” in "Predator 2” suggested previous encounters between the two species.) At the same time, "ALIEN VS. PREDATOR introduces a lot of mythology,” says Anderson, "but it's more related to Earth's history than to the previous films.”

Anderson's new mythology for AVP posits Predators visiting Earth thousands of years ago, when they were worshipped as gods, exerting a strong influence on certain cultures, like the Aztecs and Mayans. "This notion actually began with a brief glimpse in ‘Predator 2' of the Predator spaceship interior, which had an Aztec design,” Anderson recalls. "It led me to think about the effects that Predators, as an alien species, would have on primitive human cultures.”

While establishing this new mythology, Anderson created an important character and casting connection with the Alien film franchise. The character of billionaire industrialist Charles Bishop Weyland was written for actor<

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