What do fans want from an Alien/Predator movie? Simple. They want Aliens fighting Predators, they want blood and they want carnage. And if the new films harder R rating is any indication, they’ll get what they want from “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem,” opening on Christmas day. CBR News spoke with directors/brothers Greg and Colin Strause about the film, their love for the series and their visual effects company, Hydralux.
Guys, thanks for joining us today. To begin with, what can fans of the series expect from this new film?
Greg Strause: Basically, we got a movie that in tone is quite a bit different than the last few movies in either franchise. It’s a lot grittier a film. It has a much scarier, darker tone. It is R rated. I don’t want to say we went overboard with the gore, but a lot of the kills are a lot gorier and more grimly.
Colin Strause: Yeah, it’s a little darker, more adult movie.
But it’s not a direct sequel to the last film, correct?
Greg: This is a standalone film. The human cast is entirely different than the last one.
Colin: It does pick up on the events from the very end of the last movie. Basically, we start with the birth of the Predailen again. We actually rewind a little bit. So we pick up with the birth of the Predalien and then from there the Predator ship crashes on Earth and all hell breaks loose in a small American town.
You mentioned the R rating. Was it your idea or the studio’s to put the gore back in the series?
Greg: The original script seemed like they were going for what we felt was more of an R rated tone. But sometimes what’s on the page really depends on how you shoot it. Colin and I felt it was really important that we push hard to really set this movie apart from the last one and we thought it was real important to go for the R.
How did you come up with the concept and design for the Predalien hybrid?
Greg: The physical design of her was something that came from the collaboration between Colin and I and Tom and Alec and their team over at Amalgamated Dynamics. We tried to massage the correct balance between the right amount of Alien characteristics and the correct amount of Predator DNA that would show up in a physical form on her. From those concepts they then began building maquettes, full twelve to fourteen inch tall clay maquettes. It allowed us to really see what she would look like in 3-D and we kept revising that until we had the final approved version. They had to completely sculpt an entire body, tail and head. Everything had to be done from scratch. It was a big undertaking to do a full monster head to toe from scratch.
Is it true that we’ll get to see the Predator home planet for the first time in this film?
Greg: Well, I think we’ve just hinted about it. I don’t think we’ve actually gone on the record about any specifics. I think that’s one of the things we were trying to save as a surprise.
So we don’t actually see the planet in this movie?
Colin: Maybe (laughing).
Greg: I think all we’ve ever confirmed is that we are going to see a new world.
There was a rumor on-line that you had originally pitched an idea for the film to take place in space, but you’re now saving that for another sequel. Can you tell us anything about that?
Colin: We originally pitched on the first “Alien vs. Predator” and it was kind of a space epic. I always equated it to “Dances with Wolves” in space. It involved the Alien home world and a lot of pretty interesting stuff. And the concept still holds up. So if this movie does really good and we have some interesting discussions with Fox, that’s one thing we want to come back to. We definitely think we have an idea there.
Greg: The sentiment, though, is that we feel the Earth stories of this franchise are done and the next one should be moved to space.
Were you guys fans of the series before and did that add any pressure to making this film?
Greg: It’s funny because Colin and I would do pitches on other movies that we were going after and people would always want to know what kind of movies we like. We would always say we love this because it’s so like “Aliens.” It’s scary and dark. Or this movie has a great mission movie element like “Predator.” We’ve always considered “Predator” one of the best mission movies of all time. It was pretty interesting because we’ve always used those references for what our favorite movies are and then to actually get to combine the two into one was pretty awesome.
Your company, Hydralux, has done the visual effects on dozens of movies. Does any one stand out as your favorite?
Colin: “Day After Tomorrow” and “300” were my favorites. Now all of these things are like battles, they’re grueling to get done. But it’s nice after a month of not looking at it to watch some of the stuff and go, oh this stuff looks pretty cool. I was pretty happy with the “300” stuff.
In addition to “300” you’ve worked on “Constantine,” “X3” and “The Fantastic Four” films. Have you always been comic book fans or did it just work out that way?
Greg: A little bit of both. These are the type of movies we like to watch so they’re naturally the ones we’ll most aggressively pursue to get to work on. We have wide varied tastes, but really if your going to be sitting at home on a Saturday afternoon and you want to watch a movie, I’ll put in “Constantine” or “X3” or something like that. Because they’re fun, they’re cool.
Do you actively campaign for projects that you’re interested in working on?
Colin: Oh yeah, definitely. If there’s something that we think is really cool, we’ll go after it and harass people, make lots of phone calls and figure out ways of being a little bit more competitive. So, if there is something we think is really cool, we definitely go after it harder.
You must get sent scripts for every comic book and sci-fi film in development. Do you have a dream project that you’re dying to do?
Greg: We have two movies that we’re doing meetings on right now. Of course, we can’t talk about them. It’s tough talking about that stuff especially if you have an inside track on something.
Colin: I’ll tell you one thing that we really wanted to do, but we didn’t get it, was “Terminator” 4. McG is doing that. That definitely could be an awesome movie.
Is there anything else that you’re working on that you can tell us about?
Colin: We have a disaster movie that we’ve written ourselves with our writing partner William O’Donnell. It’s a big disaster movie. That’s something that we’re pretty excited about and we’re just polishing away on the script right now.
Thanks, guys. “Aliens versus Predator: Requiem” is in theaters this Christmas.
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