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Feature: Aliens vs Predator: Requiem

The battle continues…

One half of the Aliens vs Predator: Requiem directors, Colin Strause, gives us an insight into the making of the latest Alien fightfest

A $150 million Sci-Fi Dances with Wolves in Space. That was the pitch aspiring directors Colin and Greg Strause initially made for the smackdown of the century, AVP: Alien vs Predator. Perhaps a little too costly and ambitious, the project ultimately went to director Paul WS Anderson. Three years later, Colin and his brother, who won a BAFTA for their work on The Day After Tomorrow, are back to revitalize two of the genre’s most beloved franchises with Aliens vs Predator: Requiem.

“I’ve felt like both lost their way and Aliens almost became comical and lost what was so cool about the original movies,” reflects Strause. “The Alien movies were scary with real people. The first one was truck drivers in space and in the second one you have Ripley who is a forklift driver. You had a normal woman, normal grunts, so it was very relatable characters in horrific situations. Predator is this bad ass mission movie, so we looked at those two elements to really sculpt it. We have the mission aspect because we actually follow the Predator for quite a bit of the movie. He’s actually almost the star of the film. We see him arming up and we use the same music cues as with Schwarzenegger in the first Predator. We also have designs going back to the rigid head warriors for the Aliens and redesigned the Predators completely from scratch. If there is anything anyone can complain about in the last movie is the Predators didn’t look the way we imagined them. They are too bulky, they couldn’t move right, and since our story focuses on the Predator, he has to be agile enough to do all these fight sequences and jump around. He just has to move. The guy doesn’t need armour, so we could get rid of the bulk.”

Requiem picks up shortly after the last one ended, with the Predator ship crash-landing back on Earth near an unsuspecting small Colorado town. Before the Aliens begin their destructive rampage, the Predator manages to send a distress signal for help, a call that brings an elder hunter planet-side to clean up the mess. Meanwhile, there are mounting signs that the local residents are in immediate danger.

“There is a pretty big battle that happens underground, so the first battle between the Aliens and Predator has no Human anywhere to be seen,” explains Strause. “It is this huge sewer battle that literally explodes into the streets. There are these holes being blown up by the Predators and the Aliens pushing out the ditch covers onto the surface. From there, the town gets taken over pretty quickly. The power plant gets damaged and the National Guard comes in. All the people think it is everything but an invasion or infestation taking over. There are these other events happening that is causing mass chaos, the town is being evacuated, and then suddenly everyone is getting wiped out by these Aliens. It is cool because the characters are basically thrown into a giant blender and they don’t really know what is going on, but people are starting to die. The sheriff can’t get in touch with his dispatch, so the characters become more and more isolated until it dwindles down to the last 30 or 40 survivors.”

by Bryan Cairns

Read the full interview, plus another with one of the Predalien designers in
Shivers #136

Aliens vs Predator: Requiem © Twentieth Century Fox
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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Shivers #136
January 2008
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