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From Script to Screen: Alien vs. Predator

The overall plot of Paul WS Anderson’s AvP remained largely unchanged through the course of its journey from script to screen. The heat bloom, the pyramid, the hunt, Lex and Scar are all present, as are most of the major cast in one way or another. But how many of these concepts were changed quite a lot on the way.

Part pointless trivia, part search for insight, this article will go over those changes and see how the story developed — for better or worse — until it hit the silver screen.

Sources: AvP Novel by Marc Cerasini; AICN script review dated October 29th, 2003September 26th 2003 draft by Paul WS AndersonProduction Draft.

Note: I’m hesitant to use the novel for anything other than broad strokes, as without the source draft Cerasini was working from, it’s often impossible to tell what’s embellishment and what’s from the script. It’s also clear that many changes were made to coincide with the script as it developed, which further clouds what was in the original draft.

 From Script to Screen: Alien vs. Predator

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Comments: 18
  1. SM
    The novel also had Miller being American - which he was until they started shooting until Anderson found out Bremner wasn't very funny as a Yank and had him use his normal accent instead.
  2. SiL
    I was thinking about it this morning and realised it was 14 years ago, so my hopes aren't high :P

    It'd be nice to find out what the process was for him, because his novel is a strange mixture of ideas that were abandoned early -- the Cambodia opening -- and things that weren't even changed until casting was complete -- like Sebastian's nationality. And then there are weird things in the middle where the concept was abandoned (Lex romance subplot) but it's still been maintained in the novel and just shifted to characters who survived to the production drafts.

    Would love to get some clarity on the five Predators, because the novel just has the other two dying immediately after Celtic.
  3. Corporal Hicks
    That they were supposed to be there, yes, but everything else we don't know. That's why I only included the information supported by other sources (that there were five) but left out the scenes from the novel that describe what happens to them.

    That's fair enough. Cerasini did accept my friend request so I'll give him a bump, see if I can get him to chat about the specific - if he remembers.
  4. SiL
    That they were supposed to be there, yes, but everything else we don't know. That's why I only included the information supported by other sources (that there were five) but left out the scenes from the novel that describe what happens to them.
  5. Darkness
    You missed out a key point that there were actually five Predators in one of the early scripts and somewhere along the way it was reduced to three. That would have changed the entire movie or at least added some more fights.
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