Jump to: Spoilers (27)
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. Schwarzenegger famously won the election, so he was unavailable to appear.
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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.
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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."
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The altars where victims were placed in the Chamber of Sacrifices of the pyramid are arranged identically to the hibernation pods in the original Alien (1979).
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In the official theatrical trailer, there is a brief shot of the prison planet Fury 161 from Alien 3 (1992).
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When Ridley Scott and James Cameron, directors of Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986) respectively, heard of this crossover, they both disliked the idea, dismissing it as "franchise milking". When Scott was asked about his opinion of the finished film in 2007, he jokingly stated that he had to be careful not to damage his "very nice relationship with 20th Century Fox", but implied that Fox was aware of his negative feelings for it. He admitted in 2012 that he never worked up the nerve to watch the movie, but later called it "a daft idea" that brought down the franchise. Cameron, on the other hand, admitted that he enjoyed it despite his initial reservations, and placed it third on his favorite of the Alien movies.
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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.
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This film had both the shortest filming and shortest 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.
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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).
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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) (even though that was only meant as a nod to the popular Alien vs Predator comic book series).
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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).
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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.
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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."
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After the opening credits are shown, special effects designers Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis have brief cameos as the technicians who discover the heat bloom coming from the pyramid.
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According to director Paul W.S. Anderson, if they'd filmed in Hollywood, the sets would have cost them $20 million. In Prague, they only cost $2 million, an important factor in keeping the film's budget down below $50 million.
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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.
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The animatronic Queen was driven 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 precisely in front of the camera.
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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).
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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.
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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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Lex calling an Alien an "ugly mother..." (with a sound drowning out the latter part due to the PG-13 rating) 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.
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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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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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The design in the center of the floor of the sacrificial chamber is almost identical to the artwork of the Alien 3 (1992) poster.
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At Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated, the workshop crew nicknamed the three Predator characters Scar (main Predator), Celtic, and Chopper.
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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 character's animatronic face mask. Although the design drew a lot of criticism because its skin is much smoother compared to previous movies, this was a deliberate choice since this Predator is supposed to be a much younger specimen. The creature's facial skin tones were also made more human and less amphibian, to help audiences associate and bond with the character.
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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 company satellite.
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Lance Henriksen was first to be cast, to maintain some kind of continuity with the previous films.
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Only film in either the "Alien" or the "Predator" series to be made for, and receive, a PG-13 rating from the MPAA. This choice led to much backlash from fans of the otherwise R-rated franchises. As a compromise, an unrated version was later released on DVD.
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The basic bodysuits for all three predators in the film (Scar, Celtic and Chopper) were 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 individuals. Scar was given longer, telescopic Wristblades, a throwable 'shuriken' and a new sleeker Combistick; Scar's mask was designed to mimic the original Jungle Hunter design.
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Director Paul W.S. Anderson developed the Shuriken as a replacement for the Smart Disc; while he liked the concept of a thrown Predator cutting weapon, he thought the Smart Disc in Predator 2 (1990) "looked too much like a Frisbee." The Shuriken was based on the traditional Japanese weapons of the same name (colloquially known as "throwing stars"), although with greatly increased size, and the additional ability to be folded away for storage. He also redesigned the shoulder-mounted cannons to appear more bulky and powerful, since he thought that the versions seen in the previous movies looked like a hairdryer.
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A pair of what appear to be human skulls are mounted on Chopper's backpack, indicating he has hunted on Earth before. This would also imply it is necessary for a Young Blood to specifically hunt Xenomorphs to become Blooded - other prey such as humans does not suffice.
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Lead Predator Ian Whyte ran on the beach with rocks strapped to his vest, to train for his role.
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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, with both real elements and CGI often used within the same shot (depending on what looked best). 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. 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. He later commented, "Yes, we make you wait 45 minutes, but once it goes off, from there until the end of the movie, it's fucking relentless".
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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 also depicted in promotional material, but director Paul W.S. Anderson chose to remove it to tighten the pace, and because he believed that most Alien fans didn't necessarily need a re-introduction to the facehugger. The scene was restored in the movie's unrated extended cut, though.
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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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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. Interestingly, Busey had already played a different character in Predator 2 (1990) 14 years prior. The Yutani character was later used in the sequel, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), this time as a female.
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The first film in the "Alien" franchise to not feature Sigourney Weaver, who has said in interviews the idea of the crossover "sounded awful."
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The "Alien vs. Predator" story crossed over to virtually all forms of media before becoming a feature film. There was a successful comic book series, toy line, multiple video games, soundtrack (for the PC game), and even a trading card series.
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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 Alien 3 (1992).
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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.
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The more commercially successful of the two "Alien vs. Predator" movies, grossing over $172 million.
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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.
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The pendant worn by the sacrificial maiden around her neck carries the curled Xenomorph fetus design originally created for Alien 3 (1992)'s marketing campaign.
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The sub-plot of a human female displaying enough courage and prowess (namely by killing a couple of Xenomorphs) for a Predator to fight alongside her and blood her as a warrior, with her then killing a Queen alien before the predator dies from his wounds, is all taken from the first Alien vs. Predator comic (and the Alien vs Predator: Prey novelization), in which exactly this happens between Machiko Noguchi and "Broken Tusk". Unlike Alexa, however, Machiko would go on to live with the Predators and eventually become fully accepted into their ranks (albeit while still facing some bigotry).
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The xenomorph with the net-shaped scars on its head was called Grid or Nethead by the special effects team.
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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.
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Celtic is the biggest and the leader of the three Predator Young Bloods, with a more elaborate and distinguishable Bio-Mask. Ian Whyte, who played Celtic in the film, said he tried to give the Predator the attitude of an alpha male.
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Around the time of the film's release, it was reported that Paul W.S. Anderson had said at a special industry screening that the film was always planned as an R-rated movie, and shot that way, but only three weeks prior to release, the studio severely cut the film for a 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.
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Fifteen to twenty tons of fake snow were used for this movie.
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Screenwriter Peter Briggs wrote a 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.
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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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About 13 plus minutes into the film, Lance Henriksen (Bishop) sits in front of his Compaq with a pen, tapping it in between the fingers on his splayed open left hand. This is reminiscent of Bishop in the movie Aliens (1986), when Bishop performed the knife trick on Bill Paxton's hand in the mess hall.
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It is revealed in the film and its accompanying novelization that the Predators have been coming to Earth for centuries, so it is unknown just how long the Queen may have lain dormant within the Predator pyramid. It is possible she was there for thousands of years.
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Jerry Goldsmith and Alan Silvestri were planning to team up for the first film's score, but Goldsmith's battle with cancer (and eventual death) prevented the pairing from occurring.
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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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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.
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Production designer Richard Bridgland created unique hieroglyphics just for this movie.
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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.
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Paul W.S. Anderson stepped down from directing Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) (although he did stay on as Producer) and directing Mortal Kombat (2021) to write and direct this film.
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According to the novelization, the Antarctica Queen is larger than a T-rex and longer than a Blue Whale, which would make her between 79 and 82 feet in length, far larger than what is seen in the film.
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The theatrical trailer includes soundbite samples from the original trailer for Alien (1979) and Bret (Harry Dean Stanton) screaming.
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Carsten Norgaard broke a rib during the filming of his fight with Celtic at the mouth of the ice tunnel, but did not attribute the pain to a broken bone at the time. In fact, he continued working for the remainder of the day and all of the following day before realizing the nature of his injury and receiving treatment. At first, he thought that breaking a rib was a sign of dedication to stunt work, until director Paul W.S. Anderson told him that during the making of Mortal Kombat (1995), Robin Shou would sometimes break or bruise at least three ribs during a fight.
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First Predator movie to feature a left-handed Predator (Ian Whyte the first Predator actor who is left handed).
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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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Chopper has unusual rusty-brown colored armor, whereas almost all other Yautja have grayish armor. It is unknown if this is an intentional design or just wear and tear from his days as a hunter.
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Almost every set in this movie had to be built from scratch (twenty-five to thirty in total).
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The ship they take to the island is an homage 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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Much like in Alien (1979), the exploration team wears color-coded uniforms - Stafford's mercenaries wear silver coats, the scientists and archaeologists wear yellow coats, and Quinn's drilling team wear orange overalls. The only exceptions are Weyland and Lex, who also wear silver coats (although Lex quickly removes hers to reveal a red winter jacket and pants beneath).
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Not screened for critics.
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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.
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The three Yautja (Predators), from oldest to youngest, are called Celtic, Chopper, and Scar.
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Celtic's name is based on the the fact that his mask was modeled after Celtic knot works. Chopper gets his name from the long scimitars he was given in place of the traditional Predator wristblades. He's also referred to as Gill due to the gill-like styles on his Biomask. His name may also be a nod to the famous quote from the first Predator film: "Get to the chopper!"
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When one of the explorers is searching the whaling compound, the red light from the guy's flare comes through the crack in a 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).
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The date used is October 10th, 1904 as well as October 10th, 2004, which shows up at the camcorder as 10/10/04. This is very convenient for both the US, since they use the MM/DD/YY notation as well as for the rest of world, which uses DD/MM/YY, that is the date 10/10/04 is the same for everybody.
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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. He got a full credit for writing the sequel, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).
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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.
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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".
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Sanaa Lathan was initially unfamiliar with either the Alien or the Predator franchises prior to being cast in the film.
Along with the other creatures seen in the film, conceptual artist Constantine Sekeris originally proposed a radical redesign of the Queen as part of Edge FX's bid to develop the movie's creature effects. Among other differences, the Queen was proposed as a four-legged creature, far more insectile than previous Queens. However, the ideas were deemed too far removed from the Queens seen previously in the series and were rejected. Even once a design more comparable to the First Acheron Queen had been settled upon, several notable divergences were still proposed. For example, it was originally planned to include a far more pronounced line of spines along the top of the Queen's head crest; while these spines are present in the film, they are more subtle that in original concept sketches. Other differences between the Alien vs. Predator Queen when compared to the one in Aliens that made it into the film include her greater height, her thinner, more "streamlined" body (a result of no longer needing to encase puppeteers inside the model), sharper and spikier head crest, thinner, and more muscular neck. The Queen's hands also lack the distinct holes seen on the Acheron Queen.
The finished Queen animatronic had some 47 points of articulation (far more than the animatronic used in Aliens (1986)), powered by hydraulics, and was controlled by 5-6 puppeteers, their inputs fed via a pair of motion control computers, one external, the other housed within the Queen's body. The hydraulic and motion control systems used to animate the Queen date back to Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.'s work on Starship Troopers. As in Aliens, the full-size Queen was supported by a crane during shooting that was either kept out of shot or digitally removed from the footage subsequently. For several scenes during the final conflict between the Queen and the film's heroes, including full-body shots that showed the creature charging, the Queen was portrayed by a CGI model. A third-scale cable-controlled puppet was also built for shots of the Queen in captivity.
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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The role of Max Stafford was written specifically for Colin Salmon.
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The pyramid design was inspired by pyramids built by the Cambodian, Aztec, and Jain civilizations.
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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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Weyland is frequently heard coughing from "too much excitement". Lance Henriksen was fighting a genuine cold on set.
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Although the original cut runs one hundred minutes, twelve of those minutes are credits.
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The film has been accused by fans and critics of playing favorites, as the Xenomorphs in the film very easily overpower the Predators, and a single Xenomorph kills two of three Predators in the film. This may be attributed to Paul W.S. Anderson openly preferring the Alien franchise over the Predator films, gushing in interviews on the film about how he finally got to make an Alien film after he regrettably turned down Alien: Resurrection (1997). Ironically, the inverse would happen with the sequel, where the bias was in favor of the Predators.
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The film is simultaneously both the last Alien and Predator film to be released on the VHS format. It's also the first Alien and Predator film to be released on the then newly introduced Blu-ray format in 2007.
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Director Paul W.S. Anderson had previously been approached to direct Alien: Resurrection (1997), but he passed on the opportunity to do Event Horizon (1997) instead.
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In the novelization of Alien vs. Predator, Rousseau reacts much faster to the emerging Facehuggers than in the movie, shooting one of the Eggs as the situation begins to deteriorate. However, the creature within was already airborne by the time the bullet hits, demonstrating their supreme agility.
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David Twohy was approached by 20th Century Fox 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 Alien 3 (1992).
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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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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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Carsten Norgaard had appeared previously in the 1990s in a serious of TV adverts in Ireland for the Norwegian oil company Statoil's Irish chain of petrol stations, as the character "Erik from Oslo". This makes his AVP character's line about drilling possibly a subtle call-back in-joke to one of his earlier acting roles.
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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Scar is the first yautja to use a shuriken.
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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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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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This movie is a sequel to the first two Predator movies, but a prequel to the entire Alien series (although it was eventually de-canonized as the latter).
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Chopper is so far the only Predator seen to use Scimitars, although the Super Predators on the Game Preserve Planet in Predators (2010) would later use greatly extended, singular Wristblades that are somewhat similar in appearance.
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In the scene where Mr Weyland (Lance Henriksen) is viewing images of the pyramid in his office, you can see him quickly prod his pen in-between each if his fingers on his other hand. This is a nod to the iconic scene in Aliens (1986) where Bishop (Lance Henriksen) performs the same trick for the rest of the marines with Bill Paxton being an unwilling participant.
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The Predators' iconic wrist-blades are much larger in this film than in previous iterations. This is likely because the Predators in prior films were hunting humans, whereas Xenomorphs are a far tougher game, and using larger weapons makes just as much sense as a human hunter using a larger caliber rifle to kill a lion than a deer.
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The mechanism and appearance of the Queen's containment system inside the pyramid is one of the most direct references to the original Aliens vs. Predator comic book series. Her restraints in the film are virtually identical albeit iced over to the restraints used on the Queen in the comic.
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Once the sacrificial chamber becomes "Hived", none of the original hosts' bodies are anywhere to be seen. However, in one scene, the bodies of Thomas and what appears to be Rousseau can be briefly glimpsed in the passage way leading to the chamber, although Adele's jacket is closed whereas it was open when she died. These bodies can be more clearly seen in the "making of" featurettes. The body that is likely Adele is cocooned upside down, while only the orange jacket of Thomas can be seen among the resin. The body that is seen is actually a dummy, like the one used for Joe Connor's body.
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The non-firing G36C (and Desert Eagle) props used in Alien vs. Predator were supplied by airsoft store Wolf Armouries, located in London, England, who later offered to recreate the prop ("bar a few very minor details") for interested clients via their website.
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A modification named "Hunter's Moon" for Aliens versus Predator 2 allows players to play in the sacrificial chamber from the film, as well as the rest of the pyramid and Razorback Point on the surface above.
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Xenomorphs reproduce asexually, but in the novelization of Alien vs Predator, Grid (referred to as the Alpha Alien) is commonly referred to as male, being called 'him' or 'he' instead of 'it'.
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The hunter scar the Predators mark themselves with is the exact same scar James Belushi has in the final scene of Red Heat (1988)
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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 movie takes place 17 years after Predator (1987) which took place in 1987, and 118 years before Alien (1979), which took place in 2122.
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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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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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Grid was possibly some sort of leader to the Xenomorphs in the Pyramid, as it seems stronger and smarter, or at least more tactically adept, than the other Xenos around it.
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The film was comparatively well received in several European countries, and has since enjoyed a moderate cult success.
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The first Predator movie to have a human and a predator to fight along side each other.
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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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DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(Paul W.S. Anderson): [Tough female characters]: Alexa Woods and Adele Rousseau.
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At 10.08 in the film, Peter Weyland (Lance Henriksen) is sat in his office reviewing the structure of the Pyramid. Then idly begins to tap his pen on the desk over his hand before the cut to the next scene. This is the same way Lance Henriken's character Bishop does the knife trick in the famous scene in the Aliens (1986)
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Ever since the 1990's, there has been two Alien-related movies every decade: 1990's: Alien3 (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997). 2000's: AVP (2004) and AVP: Requiem (2008). 2010's: Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). Alien (1979) didn't fall in the eighties decade with Aliens (1986) by just a few months (It was released in USA in June 1979).
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Karima McAdams's debut.
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Previous movies in the "Alien" franchise (particularly Alien 3 (1992)) have established that the Alien creatures take on some physical characteristics of the hosts inside which they gestate. This film ends with an alien "chestburster" emerging from inside a Predator; the creature has green coloration and an obvious resemblance to the Predator's mandibles, and it makes the trademark "clicking" noise. The creature has been dubbed a "Predalien", and is the main antagonist in the sequel.
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With the filming of this movie, Lance Henriksen became the second actor to be killed by an Alien, a Predator, and a Terminator. Bill Paxton was the first. There is some controversy whether it should be 'assaulted' rather than 'killed', since Paxton may have only been punched by the Terminator in The Terminator (1984), and abducted by Aliens in Aliens (1986). Similarly, Henriksen's death in The Terminator was never confirmed on screen.
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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. In the continuity of the AvP movies, he is meant to be the "ancestor" of the Bishop Android from Aliens (1986) and Alien 3 (1992), who were also played by Henriksen. In his office on the ship, he does the same pen trick with his hand as the Bishop Android in Aliens (1986).
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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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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 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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Ian Whyte plays all three Predators in this film (and in shots featuring the three of them together, stand-ins were used for the other two), 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 either killed or mortally wounded by Aliens. That means that he has been (nearly) killed off five times by an Alien throughout his career.
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Verheiden is the only character in the film franchise seen to remain conscious while being impregnated by Facehugger; all other victims have been rendered unconscious during this process. Some have theorized that this occurs because he was cocooned at the time and therefore unable to resist. While unique in the film series, several novels have had characters likewise remain conscious during Chestburster implantation, including several individuals in Alien: Sea of Sorrows.
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Scar appears to violate Yautja code when he kills Quinn at the bottom of the ice tunnel, even though he is unarmed and injured. However, this kill was acceptable as a 'finishing blow', since Quinn had fought an uncloaked Celtic on the surface, had been injured as a result of the engagement and had proven his worthiness in combat. Furthermore, he also knew of the Predators' presence. It could also be that Scar saw this as a 'mercy kill' as he recognized that Quinn had no hope of survival due to his injuries and the cold (the Predator from Predator (1987) did a similar thing with Hawkins (Shane Black) who was also unarmed but severely injured).
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When the Predator breaks off an Alien's 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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The reason that 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 (probably adolescents in Predator terms) and relatively inexperienced; also, there were not supposed to be humans running around distracting the Predators (normally, the only humans inside are the ones ritually sacrificed to spawn the Aliens, and they are dead as soon as the trial begins). In contrast, the Predator "Wolf" in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), this film's sequel, is a seasoned veteran and manages to kill nearly all of the Aliens he encounters.
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The mechanism and appearance of the Queen's containment system inside the pyramid is one of the most direct references to the original Aliens vs. Predator comic book series. Her restraints in the film are virtually identical -- albeit iced over - to the restraints used on the Queen in the comic.
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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).
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Before getting impaled to death, Maxwell Stafford (Colin Salmon) gets pinned against a wall and nearly cut into cubes by the Predator's net weapon. This is remarkably similar to the way his character "One" dies in Resident Evil (2002) (also directed by Paul W.S. Anderson). In that film, he is also cut into cubes, that time by a waffled laser beam passing through his body.
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The canon value of this film and its sequel Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) to both the Alien and Predator franchises has long been subject of debate, since they were made by the original studio but without the approval or cooperation of the original makers. However, after the release of the Alien prequel Prometheus (2012), it has been confirmed by multiple sources (including Ridley Scott and AvP director Paul W.S. Anderson himself) that the AvP franchise is not considered to be an official part of the Alien universe anymore. Fox studios allowed Scott to present his own official backstory to how the Xenomorphs came to be in Prometheus and its sequel Alien: Covenant (2017), by explaining that Peter Weyland was the founder of Weyland Industries and that his android creation David used the black substance to re-create the xenomorphs, no longer making AvP an official prequel to the Alien movie franchise, but taking place in a separate non-canon continuity (similar to how games such as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) were no longer considered canon when Disney took over the Star Wars franchise). With no such statements issued for the Predator franchise, the AvP movies could still be considered as official parts of the Predator series. Although Predators (2010) purposely chose to ignore the AvP movies, Alexa Woods' Xenomorph tail spear can be briefly spotted in The Predator (2018) (even though that film doesn't explicitly acknowledge the AvP movies either, only the first two Predator films).
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The film was never cut or edited for a theatrical release, it was always intended to be a PG-13 rated film. As a result, several techniques and methods were used to sustain the rating as best as possible: - A human is rarely seen being actually pierced or stabbed with the Predators' sharp weapons onscreen, and when the penetration is shown, no blood is visible (unless you're watching the unrated cut). The violence is only inferred. - The Predators never rip out any skulls from a human or skin their corpses, as is typical for their species, only doing this to Xenomorphs. Instead they hang up the human corpses with wires. - The Xenomorphs never actually kill any of the humans (if you exclude the chestbursters), only kidnapping them to be used as hosts for chestbursters. - All of the heavy gore scenes only occur with the extraterrestrial creatures. - Any human characters that die from a chestburster are strategically dressed in orange or red clothing to minimize the visibility of the gore. Sebastian's chestburster death in particular is only seen through the Predator's thermal vision mask, and the gory aftermath is not shown. - Only one F-bomb is dropped in the film, when Alexa says that she hopes the bomb "kills every f**king one of them" referring to the hatching facehuggers. She also says the Predator franchise's catchphrase "you're one ugly motherf**ker" but it's censored.
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Director Paul W.S. Anderson was very happy with the old-school practical approach of visual effects supervisor John Bruno. He jokingly stated that if possible, Bruno would try breeding real Predators and Aliens; if that failed, he would first rely on Alien and Predator suits, then on animatronic effects, before considering computer-generated images (CGI). Such was the blending of traditional and modern techniques that they often appear seamlessly within the same shot or frame. For example, in the shot where the Alien jumps on Celtic, both the Predator and the Alien were played by stuntmen in suits; only in the first frames where the Alien launches itself off the wall and the last frames where it lands was the Alien digitally replaced by a CGI effect. In the climax, as the Queen threatens Scar, the Predator is played by a stuntman in a suit, the Queen is a remote-operated animatronic, and her tail is computer-generated.
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Near the end, while the Alien Queen escapes the Pyramid, Lex and Scar (The Young Predator) encounter Sebastian who is stuck in the secretions created by the Xenomorphs and has a chestburster in his chest. Lex attempts to free him but Sebastian pleads with her to kill him out of mercy and to stop the Xenomorphs from reaching the surface and slaughtering humanity. This entire sequence is almost an exact remake of a scene that was cut from the original Alien (1979), but restored in the Director's Cut by Ridley Scott, where Ripley, as she attempts to escape from the soon to explode Nostromo, encounters a cocooned Dallas. He begs her to kill him ,and she immolates him out of mercy.
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Much like the original Alien film (and its official prequel Prometheus) the movie ends with only one human survivor whose fate remains mostly ambiguous. Ellen Ripley in Alien (1979) and her cat are inside an escape pod, Elizabeth Shaw and David the Android escape on an Engineer Ship to find Paradise, and Lex is seemingly alone on Boyetoya Island. However, it is more than likely that there were still crew on board Weyland's ship that took the crew to the Island so Lex more than likely was able to be rescued and didn't freeze to death.
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If not including the chestbursters lethally wounding the characters upon birth, 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 them 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.
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The CEO of the Yutani corporation was originally going to make an appearance in the film alongside Weyland, and was to be a male named John Yutani. Both of their appearances was to foreshadow the companies eventually uniting in the future. The character was dropped from the script and only Weyland appears in the final cut, so that Yutani could appear in a potential sequel. Ultimately, the character would be introduced in the sequel in the film's ending scene, and was gender swapped into a female. Ms. Yutani is played by Françoise Yip.
The 'Grid' Alien xenomorph is the only onscreen character to kill more than one Predator in any of the six theatrically released films featuring them.
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While the movie and its sequel have been officially omitted from the official time-line of Alien films (which subsequently also omits the Predator films from the time-line), it could still potentially fit in with the official time-line for a variety of reasons, most important being that the origins of either the Predator or Xenomorph species has never been explained within the context of AVP or Requiem.
From the previous Predator movies, it is known that the Predators often record voices of their human prey and use them to lure in, confuse or taunt other humans. In the original script, Scar uses that ability in an attempt to communicate with Lex. He plays an electronic version of her own voice, repeating phrases like "keep it together" and "make it to the surface" in order to steer her actions, like shooting Sebastian or fleeing the pyramid. The novelization adds that Scar got the phrases from listening in on her conversations with Sebastian. At the end, as Scar lays dying in front of Lex, he repeats her phrase "The enemy of the enemy is my friend" as a final sign of respect to her. These scenes were not included in any version of the movie, although the latter shot was confirmed to have actually been filmed.
It's doubtful if the Alien Queen survived her fate of being dragged to the bottom of the ocean by a chain. Some claim it is highly likely, since throughout the franchise, it has been heavily implied that Xenomorphs don't need to breathe, which would mean the Queen can't drown. Furthermore, Alien: Resurrection (1997) had established that Xenomorphs can adapt to underwater without any trouble. However, others state that if not lack of oxygen, it would be lack of food that would eventually kill the Queen, or otherwise the intense pressure in the deepest parts of the ocean would crush her.
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The method Scar and Lex use to defeat and kill the Alien Queen is similar to how Ripley defeats the Xenomorph in Alien. They use a weapon to drag or force the Alien into the void of space so it asphyxiates (or in the case of AVP, underwater so it drowns).
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Many viewers complained about the apparent inconsistency where Chopper's wristblades immediately melt when they come in contact with Alien blood, yet the same does not happen with Scar's knife used to cut the Alien head. The novelization of the movie explains that while the wristblades were made of corrodable material, Scar's knife is made of sharpened Alien bone, which, like Alien skin, is impervious to its own acid.
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