Liam O’Donnell’s Unfilmed Alien vs. Predator 3 Treatment

Posted by Corporal Hicks on February 6, 2023 (Updated: 07-Sep-2023)

During the run up to the release of Aliens vs. Predator Requiem, directors Colin and Greg Strause spoke several times about their desires to return to helm a third Aliens vs. Predator film. This would not come to be, and a third Aliens vs. Predator film doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon. But being the fans we are, when we had the chance to speak to director and writer Liam O’Donnell who worked closely with the Brothers Strause during the production of AvP Requiem, we had to ask him about what work the Brothers did on a potential third film. 

Throughout their interviews a constant was the Brothers’ desire to take the film further into the future, and hopefully into space, something which the tighter budgets had made impossible for the first two AvP films.  

The Brothers had been thinking about a story revolving around a Special Ops team armed with Predator based weaponry going to the Predator homeworld or a Predator colony to take the fight to the extra-terrestrial hunters. While story concepts and ideas were thrown around, according to Liam no treatment or script was ever completed for the Brother’s vision for a third film. 

Liam O’Donnell is a name that will now be recognizable as the shepherd of the Skyline franchise, having written Skyline, and written and directed the far better received sequels Beyond Skyline and Skylines, with a fourth film, Skyline Radial, recently announced.  

Though credited as a visual effects creative consultant for Requiem, O’Donnell did a lot of uncredited creative work with the Brother’s to help get them the directorial job. Make sure you listen to our podcast with Liam to find out more about his work on the film. 

While working on AvP Requiem in 2007, O’Donnell had actually written a treatment for a potential Alien vs. Predator 3. This was a rough first draft of the treatment, that saw little polish and went no further, but as always, I’m intrigued by the possibilities of the road-not-taken when it comes to the Alien and Predator films we never saw so I’ve been eager to explore what this potential third Alien vs. Predator could have been like. 

O’Donnell was conscious of Fox’s unwillingness to spend much money on the Alien vs. Predator films but since he was also immersed in the fanbase at that time, being a member on various fan message boards including Alien vs. Predator Galaxy’s own forums, O’Donnell also had the desires of fandom in the back of his mind.  

 Liam O'Donnell's Unfilmed Alien vs. Predator 3 Treatment

Liam O’Donnell directs Iko Uwais on the set of Beyond Skyline.

Concerned that Fox wouldn’t be interested in a potential 3rd film if it was set too far into the future, but immensely aware that the fanbase desperately wanted to move away from modern settings, O’Donnell took his Alien vs. Predator 3 20 years into the future, setting it around 2024 and moving it to the wildland of Africa. 

Speaking to Alien vs. Predator Galaxy back in 2017, Liam read out the initial summary of the treatment. But thanks to some very sophisticated software provided by the Grant Corporation, who are very interested in Weyland-Yutani’s activities, AvP Galaxy was able to get a more detailed look at what that potential Alien vs. Predator 3 could have looked like! 

In 2024 the world was steering in the direction of a world controlled by corporations rather than states. The treatment would describe it as a “unified hegemonic Federation dominated by the now merged Weyland Yutani Corporation.”  

Following the retrieval of the Predator Plasma Pistol at the end of Aliens vs. Predator Requiem and the insights from investigating the alien technology, Weyland-Yutani developed interstellar engines. Their sights were now set on the stars and a colonization initiative began. Unfortunately, this technology was fuelled by a rare mineral that could only be mined in South Africa. 

O’Donnell’s treatment focused around a small group of human characters. Rena, a UN peace-keeper. Kembe, a local tribal leader from the South African town the treatment is set near and his son Mikal. We also have Devlin, the leader of a rebel group that is opposed to Weyland-Yutani’s increasing influence.  

The treatment begins when Rena travels to South Africa where she finds herself caught between Kembe and Devlin. The two share an uneasy alliance, with Devlin’s rebels actually helping protect Kembe’s village from nearby marauders and warlords. But Devlin’s opposition to Weyland-Yutani puts Kembe’s village in danger as the corporation’s reach grows.  

The villagers are unaware that Devlin is also running a secret mine and is stockpiling the mineral that fuels Weyland-Yutani’s reverse engineered plasma technology. However, a small number of Devlin’s men have started to go missing in the mines. Unknown to the rebels, an Alien hive had been established within the depths of the underground cave system by the Alien Queen from the original Alien vs. Predator who had survived the end of the first film. 

 Liam O'Donnell's Unfilmed Alien vs. Predator 3 Treatment

Global warming and the melting of the polar ice caps had freed the Queen from her frozen prison and she had eventually found her way to South Africa.  

Much of the human action and drama in Liam O’Donnell’s treatment comes when Weyland-Yutani’s private security force attacks both Kembe’s village and Devlin’s camp. The survivors are forced into Devlin’s mines and the surrounding African jungle where they encounter and are slaughtered by the Aliens and Predators as the survivors attempt to get to their refuge – a spaceship that the rebel leader Devlin has been secretly building to escape from Earth, powered by the mineral he was mining without Kembe’s knowledge. He intended to use it to take his and Kembe’s people off the planet, to escape the oppression of the Company. 

During a sequence in which Weyland-Yutani security forces are attacking the rebel base, we’re introduced to two of the three Predators that are featured in this treatment, drawn by the battle unfolding between the human forces. Described as Twin Predators, they are armed with what would have been a unique new variation of the Plasma Caster that fired smaller calibre plasma blasts with a greater rate of fire and accuracy. When Nimrod Antal’s Predators released in 2010 we’d see something similar on the shoulder of Mr Black.  

Working together, driven on by the chaos of the conflict, the Twin Predators slaughter rebels and Weyland-Yutani commandos alike. While the Predators work to fill their trophy rooms, Devlin and a small number of his men are able to escape into the mines, using explosives to seal the entrance behind them. 

In tribute to the infamous hive battle scenes in Aliens, the commanding officer of the Weyland-Yutani forces had been directing the battle from within the perceived safety of an Armoured Personal Carrier. This APC soon comes under fire from the Predators and is knocked over. The officer attempts to retreat but finds himself face-to-face with the third and final Predator who promptly ends the man’s life with the sole of its boot.  

As Devlin and several rebels retreat into the Alien infested mines, there’s an interesting scene in which a facehugger attacks and attaches to one of the rebels. Another rebel tries to cut it off, but the acid blood burns through the potential host’s face and kills him. Its potential host dying, and other Aliens approaching the survivors, the facehugger detaches amidst the chaos and leaves the mine system through a nearby exit to the surface.  

The facehugger emerges near a watering hole where we find Lions nearby…You’ve guessed it, we see some Lion Alien hybrids in this treatment! 

After the survivors from the rebels and Kembe’s village meet-up, they’re ambushed by surviving members of the Weyland-Yutani security force. The solitary Predator takes this opportunity to attempt to collect some fresh trophies.  

Fleeing the Predator into the surrounding jungle, heading back towards the mine, the survivors lead the extra-terrestrial hunter right into the path of a Lion Alien and the two duke it out in the trees of the jungle, fighting from branch to branch.  

 Liam O'Donnell's Unfilmed Alien vs. Predator 3 Treatment

Declan Loftus visualizes the tree-top battle in this amazing artwork commissioned exclusively for Alien vs. Predator Galaxy!

The hybrid has inherited the speed of its host and it’s just so much faster than the Predator, able to dodge plasma blasts. The Lion Alien continues to pursue the Predator through the tree-top canopy, catching the Predator out of position and pounces. Though the Predator is able to stab it mid-leap with its wrist-blades, the Lion Alien lands on the Predator, causing the pair to fall from the branches.  

Falling forty feet through the air, the hybrid Alien lands on top of the Predator, crushing the extra-terrestrial hunter on impact. The Twin Predators later come across the corpse of the Predator and another battle takes place, this one much larger in scope and in variety of enemies.  

The Safari Battle sees the Twin Predators go up against a menagerie of hybrid Aliens born from various animals in the African jungle. “All quadrapeds.  All extremely fast and deadly” the treatment describes them.  

The Twin Predators fare much better than their solitary hunting partner. Through their ability to work together, the Predators are able to slay most of the hybrid Aliens until only the Lion Alien is left standing amongst the acid-blooded corpses. The Predators are able to lead the Alien into a trap, but their combined weight causes them all to fall into a sink hole that lands them deep in the Alien infested mine.  

The survivors, who had used the earlier Predator attack to escape into the mines, are forced deeper underground by tunnels blocked off by hive resin and further Alien attacks. They eventually come face-to-face with the Queen, but the encounter is cut short when the Twin Predators arrive once again. 

Having called her brood to her, the two Predators are surrounded by Aliens as the Queen detaches herself from her egg sack. The Predators attempt to work together as they’ve been doing throughout their previous fights, but noticing their effectiveness when working together, the Queen forces the Predators to separate. One of the Predators is forced to fend off the other Aliens, while the other is corned by the Queen. 

 Liam O'Donnell's Unfilmed Alien vs. Predator 3 Treatment

Artwork by the ever amazing Dave Dorman.

The Queen tears the Predator in half, but before it dies, he manages to pin himself onto the Queen. The second twin, who has been able to evade death at the hands of the other Aliens, sees what his dying brother is about to do and retreats. The Queen and dying Predator go down in a nuclear explosion.  

As the remaining rebels and villagers use the distraction to reach Devlin’s secret spaceship, it is revealed that the UN peace-keeper Rena is actually a mole for Weyland-Yutani who has been continually revealing the survivors location to the Company’s security forces. Rena kills Kembe, but the rebel leader Devlin and the village leader’s son, Mikal, are able to escape on the spacecraft. 

The young boy is put into cryosleep, but as is tradition in the Alien franchise, we have one final surprise act aboard the ship. The final Predator was able to sneak onto the craft, as was a lone Alien and a Queen Facehugger. 

And so begins a dialogue less cat-and-mouse battle sequence aboard Devlin’s ship, where the Alien and Predator are baiting traps for each other, and evading the other’s traps. The battle comes to a head when Devlin finds both extra-terrestrials locked in combat near an airlock where the lone survivor opens the airlock in an attempt jettison them both from the spaceship.  

The Alien gains the upper-hand and throws the Predator towards the open door to vacuum, but the Predator is able to gain a moment of respite by shooting his netgun to create a barrier. That respite is short-lived, however, as the Alien loses its own battle against the rushing vacuum and is pulled towards the Predator.  

Their combined weight causes the net to be ripped from the airlock, and both Alien and Predator fall into the void together, viciously ripping into each other as the net constricts around them, tearing them to pieces.  

Devlin’s relief at surviving the Alien and Predator is likewise short-lived as he notices the Predator removed its wrist-nuke and the alien device is counting down. Devlin has the time to eject Mikal’s cryochamber before the ship is reduced to atoms when the Predator’s self-destruct detonates.  

 Liam O'Donnell's Unfilmed Alien vs. Predator 3 Treatment

But the nightmare hasn’t ended yet. Mikal’s cryo-chamber is retrieved from the depths of space and he finds himself awakening in a strange biomechanical laboratory. As he stirs back to consciousness, Mikal finds himself surrounded by Space Jockeys who are there to observe the birth of a Queen chestburster from the young human. 

Strange biomechanical machinery reaches down to retrieve and contain the young Xenomorph matriarch as we fade to black to the sound of the Derelict’s distress call… 

I would like to just re-iterate again that this was just a first pass at a treatment and it wasn’t taken any further. Despite thinking the treatment was interesting, once Aliens vs. Predator Requiem released to a disappointing reception the Strause Brothers stopped development on a sequel. O’Donnell did ultimately revisit the concept of a Special Forces unit on an alien planet in Skylines, the third film in the Skyline franchise, which was produced by Colin and Greg Strause. 

Be sure to listen to our interview with Liam about his time working on Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. It’s a really interesting retrospective on the time spent making the film. 

And while the news of a new Alien vs. Predator film isn’t likely to set our motion trackers pinging any time soon, it’s not outside the realms of possibility. As recently as August of 2022, while discussing the future of the franchises long time Predator, and Alien vs. Predator, producer John Davis told Variety that “maybe there’s another ‘Alien vs. Predator’ story in a different situation.”  

Would you like to see another Alien vs. Predator film? Are there elements of Liam O’Donnell’s treatment you’d like to see revisited? Sound off in the comments section below!  

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Comments: 23
  1. There has got to be a third part to this. It is too good to just leave us hanging. Maybe in the third part have more predators in the hunt and battle. Also, this second part was way too dark. It was hard to see anything at times. Thank you

  2. Good Lord thank goodness that never went any further 😆

    AvP worked well in games and comics – please Hollywood, just leave AvP before you make it even worse than AvPR – the only movie to rival Batman & Robin and Highlander II as cinema’s biggest travesties.

  3. Nice story line with surprise elements, definitely better than the first 2.
    Prey worked because of its screen play and the unique action sequences. Likewise, need a solid director who loves this franchise, interested in giving new treatment to do better.

  4. Think this could have been cool, surely better than the first two. With the right budget and studio doing the creatures, this could have worked. Great Video Hicks and sick painting.

  5. It’d be curious should 20th century studios decide to return to AVP with either a Reboot of Part 3, though perhaps absured but they may acknowledge some of the recent predator entries Predators and The Predator (considering the latter’s reputation it’s unlikely) and Easter eggs setting up events leading to the Alien prequels, but considering there are numerous inconsistencies and details that can’t render it in continuity it is unlikely. Never say never to another attempt at a Aliens vs Predator movie, it took Godzilla vs Kong another 59 years for there to be a rematch between the two on film.

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