How AvP Saved Predator (But Possibly Killed Alien)

AvP Made Predator Continuously Relevant (Even If It Pretends It Didn't Happen)

Less than five years after AvP: Requiem, the earlier ideas for both Predator 3 and Alien 5 had become movies. Predators hit first, wasting no time: Robert Rodriguez updated his original pitch of the hunting preserve, threw in a more diverse mix of genre archetypes, and ran with it. The film got fair reviews (and today is seriously under-regarded, yet ended up with almost identical box office totals to Alien vs. Predator:Requiem.

Related: The Predator Is In The Original Canon - Here's How

And that's an unspoken truth to the entire ordeal. Unlike the xenomorph, the Yautja had considerably less cultural cache outside of genre fans. If anything, the profile boost from AvP brought what could have easily been a forgotten curio to a whole new generation. The Predator 3 pitch that eventually became Predators first emerged in the mid-1990s, and by 2002 was still languishing in early development. Considering Predator 2 released way back in 1990, it was clear the film was struggling to get off the ground. After two Alien films as the de facto hero, however, it took less than three years. By giving it an A-list companion, Predator was viewed as an equal to Alien to anyone too young to have seen the original Predator in theaters.

But if AvP had any notoriety impact, Predators wasn't acknowledging it. The film actually only explicitly calls out the events of original Predator, with no reference to the 1997 or 2004-set events of Predator 2 or Alien vs. Predator (although an earlier draft of the script did feature a Danny Glover cameo). Rodriguez had been with the project since before the crossover, so there was clearly no desire to be overly reverential to it.

The Predator is doing something similar. It will obviously take into account the first movie, and Jake Busey's casting as the son of real-life father Gary Busey's Keyes means Predator 2 makes the cut too, but Predators doesn't appear to be given that the genetically-modified Ultimate Predator seems to directly clash with that film's Super Predators. As for Alien vs. Predator, Shane Black has confirmed there'll be no xenomorph references in the film. However, it's also been said all five previous films will get a nod in some form, meaning that even if it's on a purely meta-textual level, the latest entry is at least accepting that the AvP films exist. And, again, there likely wouldn't be a third reboot if it wasn't for Anderson's movie getting made.

Page 3: How AvP Ruined The Xenomorph

Key Release Dates
  • The Predator (2018) release date: Sep 14, 2018
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