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Story Notes for Alien vs. Predator

Weeknights during prime time on AMC, you can catch Story Notes — real time trivia and facts about your favorite movies! Below is the online version of the Story Notes for Alien vs. Predator.

Anthology Notes
AVP takes place after the events of Predator (1987) and before the events of Alien (1979). There are lots of references to both franchises in this movie.

Weyland is one half of Weyland-Yutani, the company responsible for the terrible events in Alien (1979). “The Company” would stop at nothing to obtain a living alien (called a xenomorph).

Bishop was designed in Charles Bishop Weyland’s likeness.

Predators came to Earth in both of the first two Predator movies. They were in Guatemala in the first one (1987) and Los Angeles in the second (1990).

An Alien/Predator movie crossover was hinted at in Predator 2 (1990). There’s an alien skull on the wall of the predator ship at the end.

After the success of AVP, both franchises produced separate movies: There was Predators in 2010 and Prometheus in 2012.

AVPR: Aliens Vs. Predator – Requiem (2007) begins right where AVP ends.

Awards Notes
The original alien design won a Best Visual Effects Academy Award in 1980.

Biography Notes
Lance Henriksen (Weyland) played the android Bishop in Aliens (1986) and Alien 3 (1992).

Director and co-screenwriter Paul W.S. Anderson’s first big-budget movie was Mortal Kombat (1995).

Sanaa Lathan (Lex) was nominated for a Tony for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun the year after this.

Sanaa Lathan (Lex) was a vampire in Blade (1998), starring Wesley Snipes.

Casting Notes
Sanaa Lathan was cast as Lex just three days before she had to be on set. Her role took so long to cast because producers wanted a relative unknown with serious acting chops.

Raoul Bova (Sebastian) was in Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) the year before this.

Ewen Bremner (Graeme Miller) got his big break playing a junkie in Trainspotting (1996).

Lance Henriksen was originally considered for the title part in The Terminator (1984).

Colin Salmon (Maxwell Stafford) was Charles Robinson in three 007 movies.

Rousseau is French actress Agathe de La Boulaye’s first American movie role.

Tommy Flanagan was Chibs on Sons of Anarchy (2008-2011).

The lead predator is 7’1″ basketball player Ian Whyte, in his first movie role. He’s also been in Prometheus (2012), Clash of the Titans (2010), and Game of Thrones (2011-2012).

Finance Notes
AVP opened at #1 earning $38.3 million its first weekend, the best of either franchise at that time.

Historical Notes
Ancient pyramids have been discovered on nearly every continent.

Sir Ernest Shackleton was a famous Arctic explorer in the early 20th century.

Whaling stations abandoned in the early 20th century are well preserved because of the extreme cold.

The Aztecs actually used two calendars: one for agriculture and one for religious ceremonies.

The mass extinction of a civilization is based on the history of the Incas. Director Paul W.S. Anderson was inspired by the writings of Erich von Daniken when co-writing AVP. Von Daniken proposed that alien influence explained similarities between ancient cultures.

Location Notes
Most of AVP was filmed in an old factory in Prague that had been abandoned after WWII.

Music Notes
Composer Harald Kloser also scored The Day After Tomorrow (2004) the year AVP was made.

Pop Culture Notes
Verheiden (Tommy Flanagan) is actually named after the creator of the Alien Vs. Predator comic.

Press Notes
Entertainment Weekly said AVP would “set your inner adolescent stirring if not quite bursting out of your chest.”

Entertainment Weekly said AVP would “set your inner adolescent stirring if not quite bursting out of your chest.”

The New York Times called AVP a “dark, handsome, well-designed film.”

Prop Note
Some of the guns were designed by Richard Bridgland, who also worked on Director Anderson’s Resident Evil.

Quotation Notes
Lance Henriksen (Weyland): “There’s a lot of dignity in these characters. They’re taking on an adventure. Humans have a great way of risking themselves for ideas and ideals.”

Director Anderson: “It literally sent chills down my spine to see a predator and an alien in the same frame.”

Sanaa Lathan on working with Director Anderson: “He’s like a big kid, and the actors are his action figures.”

Director Paul W.S. Anderson: “At the end of the day… it’s the actors that sell the horror.”

Director Anderson: “To make an Alien or Predator movie is a dream come true for me. At the same time you have 14 years of expectations as to what that movie is going to be like.”

Henriksen (Weyland): “We all ask ourselves what we do if we had all the money in the world.[Weyland] decides to go on an adventure. There’s something explosive about a use of power in this way.”

Lathan (Lex) on slime: “Several times when I had to scream, the goo got in my mouth. It was gross.”

Lathan (Lex) on working with the creatures on set: “Every time… it’s a visceral ‘ugh.”

Script Note
Director Anderson said he held off showing the creatures as long as possible — like Ridley Scott did in Alien.

Set Notes
15-20 tons of fake snow were used for this movie.

This pyramid design was inspired by pyramids built by the Cambodian, Aztec and Jain civilizations.

This alien queen was the most sophisticated animatronic ever built at the time. It has twice as many moving parts as the T-rex from Jurassic Park (1993).

Production designer Richard Bridgland created unique hieroglyphics just for this movie.

The predator “clicking” sound is created vocally and then digitally altered.

Lance Henriksen (Weyland) was actually fighting a cold while on set.

The aliens inside those eggs are called “facehuggers.”

The concept of implanting aliens in humans was inspired by wasps that lay eggs in caterpillars.

“Predator vision” was shot with a U.S. military heat vision camera.

A top priority for Director Anderson was capturing that sense of claustrophobia in the original Alien (1979).

There were two buckets kept on set at all times: one of liquid slime and one of thick slime.

The aliens were created in three ways: animatronics, actors in costumes, and digital animation.

The special effects department designed the internal anatomy of an alien.

Director Anderson wanted to portray the predators as medieval knights who needed to prove themselves.

Director Anderson’s goal was to go bigger than any previous movie did in showing what aliens could do.

Lead predator Ian Whyte ran on the beach with rocks strapped to his vest to train for his role.

Sanaa Lathan (Lex) said the most exhausting part of working on AVP was staying in a constant state of terror.

The green blood comes from the liquid inside glow sticks.

The crew was detained by customs in Prague for the large amounts of K-Y Jelly they were shipping in.

Director Anderson wanted to add lots of armor to the predator costume to obscure the rubber suit beneath.

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.

Almost every set in this movie had to be built from scratch (25-30 in total).

Source Notes
The concept for AVP: Alien Vs. Predator (2004) came from a 1989 comic book published by Dark Horse.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson was inspired by the writings of Erich von Daniken when co-writing AVP. Von Daniken believed aliens had visited Earth and influenced ancient cultures.

Trivia Notes
Bouvetoya is the most remote uninhabited island in the world, according to Guinness World Records.

AVP is the first movie in the Alien franchise that’s not set entirely in space.

A typical Antarctic expedition takes months of mental and physical preparation.

Mt. Rainier is one of the tallest summits in the U.S. and difficult to climb because it’s covered in glaciers.

Notice how the words “alien” and “predator” are never used in this movie.

The alien “mouth within a mouth” actually occurs in nature. It’s called a” pharyngeal jaw” and moray eels have them.

The name Weyland was inspired by the British Leyland Motor Company.

Special effects artist Stan Winston designed the original creature in Predator (1987).

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