There’s an Aliens Vs. Predator film coming out this August. Directed by Paul Anderson, director of the hugely underrated Event Horizon. Some friends think this is the worst thing since I don’t know what, but I’m actually excited by the prospect. Aliens! Predators! 🙂
I’ve always thought an Aliens vs. Predator film could be good. I somehow doubt it would have the same scare factor as the first two of Alien films, and it wouldn’t feel at all like either of the Predator films. It could be good.
Or, it could be bad. It could be really bad.
The Peter Briggs Aliens versus Predator script has been floating around the Internet for years. It’s an adaptation of the first Dark Horse Comics series, with a desert outback planet changed to a jungle planet, but with mostly the same characters. I’ve read it. It’s… okay. Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the makers of Stargate and Independence Day, considered making this one at one time. They had an attack of sense, and made Godzilla instead. Or maybe not–Godzilla was rotten, and I hate Jimmy Page to this day for ruining the guitar riff from “Kashmir.”
The script for this film coming out in August, though, it’s original, not an adaptation of someone else’s story. What I’ve heard sounds intriguing. That Paul W.S. Anderson is directing excites me–I thought Event Horizon was one freaked out movie, and if he could make that, he can make an Alien film. And it’s got Lance Henrickson as the founder of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, the business conglomerate that Ripley worked for in the first two films.
One of the things I like about the Alien films is their view on the military-industrial complex. They almost seem to me to be cautionary tales, about the dangers of giving too much power to an industry and an enterprise devoted to its own continuation as the expense of all else. (Okay, Alien doesn’t cover that ground, but the next three do, to varying degrees, and it’s an angle the comic books have mined, especially in Mark Verheiden’s trilogy.) What I understand about AVP, the movie, is that it will explore the idea of humans wanting to use the xenomorphs as bioweapons, exploiting them as a commodity rather than a living organism. In Verheiden’s first comic series there’s a line near the end of the story where Newt, the young child Ripley rescued in Aliens, muses on how the aliens didn’t destroy humanity, humanity destroyed humanity through its own hubris, and the aliens were merely the agent of that destruction. It’s easy to blame someone else, some-thing- else for problems, without finding fault in one’s own actions.
As an aside, the really interesting angle the comics played is religion. Alien 3 goes there, and the extended cut of the film in the Quadrilogy set explores the way humans might look upon the xenomorphs as god-avatars to a greater degree, but two comic books–Aliens: Sacrifice and Aliens: Salvation–explored the idea of the alien as god’s judgment upon humanity for its sins and the way christianity might incorporate the xenomorph as an agent of god’s wrath. Which goes back to Vincent Ward’s script for Alien 3 with the monks and the wooden space station.
I like the Alien films. I’ll be there, on opening day, to see Alien v. Predator, just as I saw Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection on their opening days. (For the record, I think Alien 3 was excellent–my favorite of the films and an utterly nihilistic experience–and I want those two hours of my life back for Alien: Resurrection.)
Is it August yet? 🙂