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AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) Poster

Trivia

The altars where victims were placed in the Chamber of Sacrifices of the pyramid, is arranged identically to the hibernation pods in the original Alien (1979).
Jump to: Director Trademark (1) | Spoilers (12)
In an interview, Director Paul W.S. Anderson said that Arnold Schwarzenegger offered to reprise his role as Dutch Schaeffer (from Predator (1987)) at the end of this movie as a cameo, but only if he lost the election for California Governor.
The Antarctic setting on Bouvet Island is based on the unexplained "Vela Incident" of September 22, 1979, where a satellite recorded a flash of light near the island. It was first speculated to have been a man made nuclear explosion, or a natural event, such as a meteor strike, but this has never been resolved.
When Lex asks Sebastian how to say "scared shitless" in Italian, he replies "Non vedo l'ora di uscire da questa piramide con te, perché mi sto cagando addosso." Translated, this literally means "I can't wait to get out of this pyramid with you, because I'm shitting myself."
Lex is calling an Alien an "ugly mother..." is a reference to the two previous Predator films, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator (1987)) and Danny Glover (Predator 2 (1990)) refer to the Predators as such.
While this film languished in "development hell" for years, 20th Century Fox considered producing a fifth film in the "Alien" franchise instead. James Cameron, who wrote and directed Aliens (1986), had written a script and even approached Sigourney Weaver to star and Ridley Scott to direct, both of whom expressed interest. When the studio decided to use the Alien and Predator crossover story instead, Cameron, Weaver, and Scott all distanced themselves from the project, and later, declared they would never work on either franchise again. Several years later, Ridley Scott ended up reworking his pitch into his Alien prequel Prometheus (2012).
Was rumored to be in development ever since a skull from the title characters in the Alien film series appeared in the spaceship trophy room in Predator 2 (1990).
Except for scenes with stand-ins, Ian Whyte played all of the Predators. He was the first Predator actor since Kevin Peter Hall who died in 1991.
The character played by Lance Henriksen, Charles Bishop Weyland, is a co-founder of the Weyland Yutani Corporation. This is "the company" referred to in the "Alien" movies. He is the "ancestor" of the Bishop Android from Aliens (1986) and Alien³ (1992), who were also played by Henriksen. In his office on the ship, he does the same hand trick as the Android in Aliens (1986).
In the official theatrical trailer, there is a brief shot of the prison planet Fury 161 from Alien³ (1992).
The animatronic Queen was controlled by a motion-control rig, which could save her movements digitally. So, if the Queen made a nice looking move in rehearsal, the move could be replayed verbatim in front of the camera.
The character of Verheiden was named after comic book writer Mark Verheiden, creator of the first Alien Vs. Predator comic series, and the first story involving both species. Contrary to popular belief, the comic was released prior to the infamous shot of the alien "skull" in Predator 2 (1990).
The words "alien" and "predator" are never said in this movie. Aliens are called "things", "creatures", and "serpents." Predators are referred to as "hunters" and "humanoids."
At the beginning of the film, the readout of the Predator ship is shown reflected in the visor of the Predator's mask, just as in Alien (1979), the readouts of the Nostromo were reflected on the space helmets.
Paul W.S. Anderson rewarded hardcore Alien and Predator fans by scattering references to the individual franchises within his film. For instance, the opening shot of the movie appears to be a silhouette of the Alien Queen from Aliens (1986), before being completely revealed as a Weyland Satellite.
The shot taken from inside the pyramid, of the team approaching the top with their flashlights, references the shot in Alien (1979) of the Nostromo's expedition team walking up to the entrance of the derelict ship.
This film had both the shortest filming and post-production schedules of any "major studio" film in 2004. Filming was given 2 1/2 months, while post-production was given just four months to complete.
The design in the center of the floor of the sacrificial chamber is almost identical to the artwork of the Alien³ (1992) poster.
Guillermo del Toro was offered the director's chair, but opted to make Hellboy (2004) instead.
At Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated, the workshop crew nicknamed the three Predator characters Scar (main Predator), Celtic, and Chopper.
The green glow stick dropped down the shaft contains the same fluorescent liquid used by the effects departments of all the Predator movies as the Predators' blood. According to Predator (1987) director John McTiernan, they stumbled on the effect after unconvincing attempts to make the blood look orange forced the crew to look for alternatives.
The Morse code picked up by the satellite at the beginning of the film, spells out the words, "Whoever wins, we lose." This is, of course, the tagline used to promote the film.
Ridley Scott hated the film, but James Cameron admitted that he enjoyed it, and placed it third on his favorite of the Alien movies.
According to Director Paul W.S. Anderson, if they'd filmed in Hollywood, the sets would have cost them twenty million dollars. In Prague, they only cost two million dollars, an important factor in keeping the film's budget down below fifty million dollars.
Lance Henriksen was first to be cast, to maintain some kind of continuity with the previous films.
When one of the explorers is searching the whaling compound, and walks past a door to a building, there is a shot from within the building, in which the red light from the guy's flare comes through the crack in the door to form a flat vertical beam that's picked up by the dust and snow from inside the room, just like the blue-green scanner from the salvage scene at the beginning of Aliens (1986).
The first film in the "Alien" franchise to not feature Sigourney Weaver, who has said in interviews the idea of the crossover "sounded awful."
After the opening credits are shown, Special Effects Designers Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis have brief cameos as technicians, who discover the heat bloom coming from the pyramid.
The Alien Queen was the most sophisticated animatronic ever built at the time. It had twice as many moving parts as the T-rex from Jurassic Park (1993).
The more commercially successful of both Alien Vs. Predator movies, grossing over 172 million dollars.
This is the first Alien film, and also the first Predator film, to get a rating other than an R.
Several hundred actresses tested for the role of Alexa Woods. Sanaa Lathan was selected one week before filming began, and had to fly to Prague immediately.
The Alien Vs. Predator story crossed over virtually all forms of media before becoming a feature film. There was a successful comic book series, toy line, multiple video games, soundtrack (of the PC game), and even a trading card series.
At the beginning of the film, the technician in the satellite control station has a "drinking" bird among the Tweety Pie dolls. These are the same birds that were seen on the dining room table in Alien (1979), and the abandoned prison canteen at the end of Alien³ (1992).
The scene in which Weyland's team discovers the sacrificial chamber inside the pyramid, was originally longer than seen in the theatrical cut. After Rousseau and Thomas discuss the hole in the corpse's chest, Sebastian finds a calcified facehugger. Lex and Sebastian then theorize as to what the creature's origin could be. The scene was restored in the movie's unrated extended cut.
Paul W.S. Anderson stepped down from directing Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) (although he did stay on as Producer) and directing Mortal Kombat to write and direct this film.
At one stage, both Peter Weller and Gary Busey were approached to do a cameo as John Yutani, the other founder of the infamous "Weyland-Yutani" Company from the "Alien" films, but Yutani was written out of the script. The character was later used in the sequel, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), this time as a female.
There's a shot where Lex pulls herself up a cliff. It's filmed exactly like the shot in Alien (1979) where Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) does the same, looking for the Alien, and in Aliens (1986), when Ripley pulls herself out of the airlock at the end. In both shots, the characters are sweating profusely, and one of their hands in front of their faces can be seen.
Not screened for critics.
This was a project that had floated around for about ten years. It was only when Paul W.S. Anderson did his verbal pitch to the executives at 20th Century Fox, that anyone showed any real interest. So much so, in fact, that they greenlit the film immediately.
First Predator movie to feature a left-handed Predator.
20th Century Fox wanted Roland Emmerich to direct the film back in the late 1990s, due to the box-office success of Independence Day (1996), but Emmerich turned down the offer, choosing to work on other projects.
Around the time of the film's release, it was reported that at a special industry screening, Paul W.S. Anderson had said that the film was always planned as an R-rated movie, and shot that way, but only three weeks prior to release, the studio changed that by severely cutting the film for a lower PG-13 rating. This account has been heavily disputed by original "AVP" writer Peter Briggs. It was later revealed that this "press-screening" never actually took place, and was only an Internet rumor started by fans. Anderson has said in interviews, that the film seen in theaters is the version he intended audiences to see. However, to appease the fans, an unrated version with added scenes and gore was released later.
On the official poster for the movie, with the Predator in the lower right corner and the alien in the upper left, drooling; the raised black parts of the alien's jaw, along with the opening in its mouth, spell out the letters AVP in an organic version of the font used for the movie's title.
Lead Predator Ian Whyte ran on the beach with rocks strapped to his vest, to train for his role.
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The theatrical trailer includes soundbite samples from the original trailer for Alien (1979) and Bret (Harry Dean Stanton) screaming.
A very early script would have had the film take place in the same timespace as the Alien movies, complete with a Ripley-like character.
Jerry Goldsmith and Alan Silvestri were planning to team up for the first film's score, but Goldsmith's battle with cancer (and eventual passing) prevented the pairing from occurring.
Screenwriter Peter Briggs wrote his original speculative script for "Alien Vs. Predator" in 1991. The script sold overnight, and made him the subject of numerous magazine and book "success story" articles. His version went adrift following studio politics in the wake of executive Joe Roth's departure from 20th Century Fox.
The role of Max Stafford was written specifically for Colin Salmon.
Although the original cut runs one hundred minutes, twelve of those minutes are credits.
Almost every set in this movie had to be built from scratch (twenty-five to thirty in total).
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The mechanism that spews goo from the alien mouth couldn't be stopped when the cameras stopped. The alien mask dripped goo into a bucket between takes.
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The mask designs of the three Predators in this film, are all directly based on three of the Predators that appear at the end of Predator 2 (1990).
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Screenwriter Shane Salerno was the last writer and "closer" on this movie. He worked on the film for fifteen months, including prior to production, through filming in Prague, and all the way through post-production, without receiving the co-screenplay by credit that 20th Century Fox recommended him for to the WGA. Shane has a co-screenplay credit on the novelization of the film, dozens of magazine articles, and many of the original theater posters.
At one point, David Twohy was once approached by 20th Century Fox back in May 2000, about his availability to write and direct the film, but turned down the offer due to scheduling conflicts. Twohy had once worked on several unused story treatments for Alien³ (1992).
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Simon Pegg, a big fan of both the Alien and Predator franchises, was well known to have disliked this crossover, and made a quip about the film's tagline - "Whoever won, we left".
Scar is the only Young Blood in the film to successfully kill a Xenomorph, which means he actually held the rank of Blooded Predator by the time he emerged from the pyramid.
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The drawings that Paul W.S. Anderson used for his original presentation to 20th Century Fox were done by Patrick Tatopoulos.
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Fifteen to twenty tons of fake snow were used for this movie.
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It's not clear in the film if Scar was aware that he was impregnated with a chestburster. A deleted scene was to show that he is and that he attempts to stab himself through the chest with his ceremonial dagger before he dies, but he succumbs to his wounds before he can do so. However this sequence was cut.
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Scar is the first leading predator in the film series never to speak via Vocal Mimicry while he has some lines of dialogue in the script none of it made it into the film.
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When Scar marks himself with Xenomorph acidic blood the DVD commentary reveals that the mark is supposed to be a stylized drawing of a Xenomorph.
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The xenomorph Grid is a multiplayer skin in the 2010 video game Alien versus Predator, under the name "Nethead" it is unlocked when players reach Rank 34.
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The Antarctic Xenomorph Queen appears to be much larger than any other Queens seen in the movies and Comics, even outsizing the first Acheron Queen in Aliens (1986) this is most likely due to the fact that she's believed to be centuries-old, and had been used in many Yautja initiation hunts. Because of this, it can be said that Queens grow in size the older they are
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Lance Henriksen was actually fighting a cold while on-set.
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Liz May Brice makes a cameo as a Supervisor at the Weyland Industries Receiving Station. Brice played the Umbrella team medic in Resident Evil (2002), which was also directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, and also featured Colin Salmon.
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Sanaa Lathan (Alexa Woods) said the most exhausting part of working on the film, was staying in a constant state of terror.
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Brett Leonard, Chuck Russell, Joe Johnston, and Robert Cohen were all considered for directing the movie at one point.
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Production Designer Richard Bridgland created unique hieroglyphics just for this movie.
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There were two buckets kept on-set at all times: one of liquid slime, and one of thick slime.
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This is actually Paul W.S. Anderson's second movie that takes place in a cinematic universe that was established by Ridley Scott (with Alien (1979)). He first directed Soldier (1998), which takes place in the same universe as Scott's Blade Runner (1982).
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Paul W.S. Anderson's initial script called for five Predators to appear in the film, although the number was later reduced to three.
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Paul W.S. Anderson wrote the role of Weyland specifically for Lance Henriksen, and had always hoped the actor would accept the role.
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Of the three main predators, Scar is the only one to be seen without his mask. as the script required a greater amount of interaction with the character Lex Woods, a wider range of subtle facial movements were built into the characters animatronic face mask. The creatures facial skin tones were also made more human and less amphibian, to help audiences associate and bond with the character.
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The basic bodysuits for all three predators in the film- Scar, Celtic and Chopper were actually poured from the same mold before being customized after the fact to make each character appear unique. 16 suits were created, each painted in the same color scheme so that they could be replaced at any time if necessary. As in Predator 2, the armor was created separately as the script required it to be removed; armor pieces, made from either fiberglass or flexible urethane were used to customize the suits and create the three different individuals. Scar was given longer, telescopic Wristblades a throwable Shuriken and a new sleeker Combistick, Scars mask was designed to mimic the original Jungle Hunter design.
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Scar appears in the video game Predator Concrete Jungle (2005) as an alternate skin for the player character under the name "Alien Hunter- Antartica, 2004".
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Celtic name is based on the the fact that his mask was modeled after Celtic knotworks and Chopper gets his name because he was given long scimitars in place of the traditional Predator Wristblades . He's also referred to as Gill due to the gill-like styles on his Biomask.
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Sam Troughton (Thomas Parks) is the grandson of Patrick Troughton, famous for playing the second incarnation of The Doctor in the long-running BBC science fiction series Doctor Who (1963).
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The ship, the Piper Maru, they take to the island, is a reference to The X-Files: Piper Maru (1996) (The X-Files), where a French ship, called the Piper Maru, finds a sunken World War II plane containing the black oil alien. ("Piper Maru" was used, because it was Gillian Anderson's daughter's first and middle name.)
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The watch Lex wears is a Suunto X6M, an high-end watch (typically selling for around $500 USD) which features a combined barometer, thermometer, altimeter, clinometer and compass.
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The pyramid design was inspired by pyramids built by the Cambodian, Aztec, and Jain civilizations.
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Several hundred actresses attended the auditions to be cast as Alexa Woods. Sanaa Lathan was selected, and one week later she flew to Prague to begin filming.
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Early reports claimed the story was about humans who tried to lure Predators with Alien eggs, although the idea was scrapped.
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Director Trademark 

Paul W.S. Anderson: [Tough female characters] Alexa Woods.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Previous movies in the "Alien" franchise (particularly Alien³ (1992)) have established that the Alien creatures take on some physical characteristics of the creatures, inside which they gestate. This film ends with an alien "chestburster" emerging from inside a Predator; the creature has green coloration, an obvious resemblance to the Predator face, and makes the trademark "clicking" noise. The creature has been dubbed a "Predalien", and is the main antagonist in the sequel.
With the filming of this movie, Lance Henriksen became the second actor to be attacked by an Alien, a Predator, and a Terminator. Bill Paxton was the first.
Ian Whyte plays all three Predators in this movie, and would go on to appear as the Predator in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), as well as the Last Engineer in Prometheus (2012). In all three movies, his characters are killed or mortally wounded by Aliens. That means that he is killed off five times by an Alien throughout the Alien franchise.
Body Count: Nine hundred thirty-four (including nine hundred eleven adult Xenomorphs and six Predators).
The reason a single Alien kills two Predators in such a short period of time, is because the trial inside the pyramid, is supposed to be a coming of age ritual for specifically selected Predators, who were young, and relatively inexperienced; unlike the Predator "The Wolf" in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), this film's sequel, who manages to kill nearly all of the Aliens he encounters.
Maxwell Stafford (Colin Salmon) dies by getting pinned against a wall and cut into cubes by the Predator's net weapon. This is remarkably similar to the way his character "One" dies in Resident Evil (2002). In that film, he is also cut into cubes, that time by a waffled laser beam passing through his body.
The Alien, with the net shape scars on its head, was nicknamed "grid" and "nethead" by the Special Effects team.
Since the Alien prequel Prometheus (2012), it has been confirmed by multiple sources and Ridley Scott himself, that the AVP franchise now is not canon to the main Alien/Predator universe(s). Prometheus is the sole backstory to how the Xenomorphs came to be, no longer making this film a prequel to any Alien movie franchise.
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The shot of the Alien Queen sinking into the Antarctic Ocean, mirrors the shot of the Alien Queen floating out into space at the end of Aliens (1986).
When the Predator breaks off an Aliens finger to tattoo Alexa, the other Predators show up at the end, and it's the insignia tattooed on her cheek, that saves her life. This is a direct homage to Mark Verheiden's Predators comic book (1991), where it shows the character in the comic book story, who looks a little like Sanaa Lathan. When the character proves her worth, by killing Aliens, and saving the Predator's life, he tattoos (burns) his personal insignia into her cheek.
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If not including the facehuggers impregnating the characters, an Alien never actually kills a human in the film, the Predators are the only creatures that kill the humans, while the Aliens just kidnap humans for the facehuggers to impregnate. However, one single Alien drone defeats and kills two of the three main Predators around five minutes after the two species meet on-screen for the first time. In fact, this is the only film in the Alien franchise, that does not feature Aliens killing humans.
The three yautja (Predators), from oldest to youngest, are Celtic, Chopper, and Scar.

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