Last July, 20th Century Fox announced that Paul W.S. Anderson (writer/director of the “Resident Evil” film adaptation) had been chosen to spearhead a cinematic match-up between two cult characters in film history with “Alien vs. Predator.” It’s a battle long-savored by moviegoers and likely to be a tentpole release for the studio.
But, since then, all has been quiet with the project, until now. The film, which follows up on the 1999 videogame featuring the same titular clash and the Dark Horse comic book series, has begun moving into high gear, with sources telling FilmJerk.com that principal photography is now scheduled to begin late October in Prague. These sources follow a scooper giving similar details today at Cinescape. But FilmJerk is the only source to get details on the lead characters as well, or as these characters might be better known, potential cannon fodder.
Of course, some have decried Anderson’s selection for the project, based on the work he did on “Resident Evil.” There are also those who view this as a thinly-veiled attempt to prop up two franchises that dropped significantly at the box office with subsequent entries (particularly “Alien”). Whatever the case may be, this looks to be a smart move by the studio to reinvigorate the two brands in a combined attempt (the last installment of “The Predator” came out in 1990 and “Alien” last graced screens in 1997) and coax each franchise back to the forefront.
This new film will not involve any of the human characters from the films’ previous efforts, instead using entirely new individuals. As reported by several news sources, the story looks to involve human scientists going on an expedition to Antarctica to lure Predator hunters, using Alien eggs as bait. Of course, these plans quickly goes awry and the humans find themselves in the crossfire between two warring alien species.
Among the characters are:
- Alexia “Lex” Homer: In her late 20s, Lex is stunning, buff, courageous, and intelligent, as well as the heroine of this film. She is an environmental researcher hired by Weyland Industries to keep everyone on the expedition “alive,” as the head of the company puts it. A tough cookie, with a good sense of humor, she has a history of guts and glory having been the youngest to climb Mount Everest without oxygen tanks. Lex is initially second in command to Max Stafford, but when all hell breaks loose, she must assume full leadership of the remaining crew. She is not only a survivor, but a true warrior as well.
- Sebastian Wells: Wells is an American archeologist in his early 30s who is very passionate about his work. Described as “unshaven and rumpled, yet also handsome and charming,” Sebastian joins the team and has an instant chemistry with Lex. His expertise, and fervid beliefs often has him butting heads with his boss, whom he feels has his priorities askew.
- Verheiden: A tanned, muscular European, Verheiden is an Egyptologist who is just as much “at home with manual labor as with a text book.” He also has a romantic history with Lex, which ended rather precariously. This is evident when they are reunited on
Weyland’s team, and Verheiden notices that Sebastian is his likely rival. The casting agents are looking for someone who speaks with a strong accent.
- Charles Weyland: In his early 40s, Weyland is a driven billionaire industrialist with blue eyes and shock of dark black hair, giving him the air of a sportsman or movie star. This zealous, all-knowing patron of science has a secret beneath his virile bravado and cultured manner: He is dying of cancer. He is a man rapidly decaying, with his signature 9-iron golf club really serves as his cane and his cataracts disguised by blue contact lenses. Weyland has no intention of dying without first leaving a legacy for humankind. He finances the expedition, chooses its team members and insists on coming along— no matter what the consequence to his health.
- Max Stafford: An “elegant, handsome man of Afro-Caribbean descent,” he is well over 6 feet tall and speaks with a clipped, precise English accent. Max is Charles Weyland’s right arm – a loyal spokesman and ex-soldier whose job is to assemble and lead the expedition team.
- Quinn: He is muscular, arrogant and brutish, a leathery skinned Texan who is in charge of the expedition’s drill team. Quinn must face the aliens alone, and ends up narrowly escaping death. According to the character notes, his second confrontation with the enemy doesn’t go nearly as well, it seems.
- Miller: A dedicated scientist who looks the part. He wears thick glasses, and his age is undeterminable. He’s also a bit clumsy and is self-effacing and awkward around women – something Lex notices firsthand. A chemical engineer, Miller is an integral part of the expedition whose astute observations and knowledge of metallurgy help unlock the mystery behind Weyland’s discovery.
Except for the part of Lex, casting agents are looking to fill out the above castmembers those who are a citizen of the European Union, and who hold a passport to one of these countries.
The four “Alien” films took in more than $260 million in domestic box office combined, not counting ancillaries and DVD/VHS sales; in comparison, the two “Predator” films brought in just over $90 million. Adjusted for current-day inflation, the “Alien” domestic sum rises to $460 million, with the latter two films in the franchise accounting for just over a quarter of that total. Not known at this time is how it affects a rumored fifth film in the “Alien” canon.
Producer: John Davis
Director/Writer: Paul Anderson
Casting Directors: Donna Isaacson and Christian Kaplan
Start Date: Late October, 2003