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AvPGalaxy Interviews Marc Cerasini – Author of Alien vs. Predator Movie Novelization

Back in July of 2004, a month a head of the release of the actual film, HarperCollins published the novelization of Paul W.S Anderson’s Alien vs. Predator written by Marc Cerasini. It would be the last novelization of an Alien film until Alan Dean Foster returned for Alien: Covenant earlier this year.

Alien vs. Predator Galaxy recently had the chance to put across some questions to Marc Cerasini about his work on the Alien vs. Predator novelization and learn about the development of the novelization and the difficulties Marc faced while working on it.

“AvPG – How involved were 20th Century Fox, Paul W.S. Anderson or Shane Salerno with your work on the novelization of Alien vs. Predator?

MC – I had no contact with Paul Anderson or Shane Salerno. If I had I would not have written the novel from the wrong script. Unlike 24, where I worked directly with showrunners like Virgil Williams, I was out of the loop and my adaptation showed it.”

 AvPGalaxy Interviews Marc Cerasini - Author of Alien vs. Predator Movie Novelization

Be sure to head on over to our interviews section to check out the interview in it’s entirety. Thanks again to Marc for taking the time to answer our questions and to SiL for contributing to this.

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Comments: 15
  1. HuDaFuK
    And let's not forget that the finished film, which you really liked also had it's own animal problems -

    http://www.avpgalaxy.net/gallery/albums/movies/avp/bluray/orig_avpbluray229.jpg

    This little guy isn't found in Antarctic region. Irresponsible of Paul Anderson.

    Never mind animals, the film doesn't manage to get the location of Bouvet Island even remotely right. The satellite shows it being almost 3,000 miles away from where it really is :laugh:

    Still, hard to harp on them for the wrong species of penguin. Even the mighty original Predator features a python that actually lives on the opposite side of the world to where the movie takes place :P
  2. Corporal Hicks
    Marc's response to the AvPR novelization question was interesting too. I wouldn't have thought it'd have been massively interesting to novelize but coming at it from the POV of expanding all those characters is pretty understandable. I couldn't imagine trying to make them all interesting.
  3. RidgeTop
    Really nice interview, enjoyed that. I remember reading this book before I saw the film. Personally I thought it was a really good read, kind of a slightly larger scale version of what we got in the film. Crazy that Fox gave him such narrow timelines to work with.

    Some of these differences seemed to be filmed as we saw in the trailer with Grid making it to the surface.

    A shame he couldn't do AVPR. With me being a sucker for that movie, I would've loved a novelization for that as well.
  4. Corporal Hicks
    I'm sure some would. But this particular aspect, with the penguin, must have really riled you up.

    But onto reasonable and unhyperbolic responses to the interview, I'm really intrigued by just how different the older draft must have been - and that Marc really enjoyed it. We've got access to one earlier draft but it was after the ones Marc seemed to have and that's got some pretty noticeable differences in it - http://www.avpgalaxy.net/files/scripts/avp-alien-vs-predator-2003-09-23.pdf
  5. Corporal Hicks
    Wow. All that over the habitats of penguins and polar bears? It's his job to adapt a script. He did that but wanted to remove it later during editing. A process he didn't really get chance to do properly. And as HuDa says, couple that limited time with his Dad dying...Jesus, Winde, those are some really unreasonable comments.

    And let's not forget that the finished film, which you really liked also had it's own animal problems -

    http://www.avpgalaxy.net/gallery/albums/movies/avp/bluray/orig_avpbluray229.jpg

    This little guy isn't found in Antarctic region. Irresponsible of Paul Anderson.
  6. HuDaFuK
    But he stated he fully meant to correct it later.

    He didn't because Fox dumped a huge amount more work on his lap through their incompetence at the precise moment his father unexpectedly died.

    Seems pretty heartless to criticise him for that.
  7. windebieste
    It is irresponsible for an Author to perpetrate such inaccuracies regardless of whether it's fact or fiction.  It's their job to have the balls and stand up and say "This is wrong." 

    It doesn't matter what the justifications are.  There are no polar bears in the south pole.  It's misinformation perpetuated deliberately.

    That just makes it worse.

    -Windebieste.
  8. Corporal Hicks
    At best, the novelisation was merely a pedestrian exercise in its execution.  While it's a fiction and a fantasy script drenched in its comic book origins this kind of factual error is just inexcusable: "Nothing existed in Sector 14, unless you counted polar bears and penguins."* This is beyond sloppy.  It demonstrates no interest in the material the author is writing about and reflects an ignorance of the world at large. 

    Did you actually read this, Winde? He fully acknowledges that he knew they didn't live together.

    Quote
    There was still confusion about whether we were at the North or South Pole, but I wrote the tie in figuring it was the South Pole, and made the tracked vehicles orange (as they are in Antarctica, by international law). Both polar bears and penguins were mentioned in the script so I wrote them in. Of course polar bears and penguins don’t live on the same pole, but I wrote as scripted with the intention of cutting later (see below why those cuts never happened).

    Quote
    I had perhaps a month or six weeks to write an 80-thousand word draft and I finished it on time and turned it in on a Friday. That Saturday I got a call from my brother that my father had died suddenly. On Monday as I was packing for the trip home for the funeral, I got a call from my editor that changed everything.

    Someone at the production company had failed to send me the FINAL draft of the script, which was significantly different from the one I wrote from. I was told that Fox would not approve my tie-in without changes and I had a week to make them. I went to my Dad’s funeral, got back on a plane to New York the next day, and rewrote the final draft of AvP in five days.
  9. HuDaFuK
    Really interesting interview. Would love to get my hands on that early script he talks about!

    While it's a fiction and a fantasy script drenched in its comic book origins this kind of factual error is just inexcusable: "Nothing existed in Sector 14, unless you counted polar bears and penguins."* This is beyond sloppy.  It demonstrates no interest in the material the author is writing about and reflects an ignorance of the world at large. 

    So, No.  Cerasini doesn't get to base all the book's inadequacies on not being able access the final script.  This is just outright bad writing.

    If you read the interview, he says he took the bit about polar bears from the script. He knew it was wrong, but as it was in the script he included it.
  10. windebieste
    I really liked the 'AvP' movie.  It was a romp.  A popcorn fest piece of junk.  It was Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. Rider Haggard and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle taking us on a popular culture excursion to ne'er before explored part of the world and the ludicrous adventure to be had there.  It was Boys Own adventure for 21st Century juvenile in us all. 

    I enjoyed it for this reason.

    At best, the novelisation was merely a pedestrian exercise in its execution.  While it's a fiction and a fantasy script drenched in its comic book origins this kind of factual error is just inexcusable: "Nothing existed in Sector 14, unless you counted polar bears and penguins."* This is beyond sloppy.  It demonstrates no interest in the material the author is writing about and reflects an ignorance of the world at large. 

    So, No.  Cerasini doesn't get to base all the book's inadequacies on not being able access the final script.  This is just outright bad writing.

    -Windebieste.

    *AvP - ALIEN vs PREDATOR, Marc Cerasini, p24.


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