The Evolution of the PredAlien

J. J. Booker's "Hy'brid" from the Facehugger fanzine 1993

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a) In 1993, the Alien Fanclub fanzine Facehugger edited by Simon Clarke, an amature comic book writer /illustrator by the name of J. J. Booker surprised the readers with a short story called "Hy'brid" where a new alien hybrid has been bred by the human race to deal with the known aliens, one mixed with the genes of the Predator.

from Facehugger's Hy'brid



b) In the Aliens vs Predator comicbook, every alien that came out from a host whether it was human or beast would grow into a man sized semi-humanoid creature as seen in Aliens Most people were unaware of the idea that the Alien should take on the characteristics of the host. However the creature in this story also had developed the ability to become invisible like its host had managed to do by technology, which is something that the final Predalien would not be able to do.
from Facehugger's Hy'brid

c) The "Facehugger" fanzine produced a couple of stories with some inventive enough "what if" amature comic book stories on the theme of Alien hybrids. The artist J. J. Booker designed the creature retaining the idea of a division down the centre. Original concept drawings for Stan Winston's predator featured a tongue that was split into two, and this artist gave the creature a skull that divides into two rear lobes and a double ended tail.  ( See: Facehugger, Issue 5, March 1993)

Dave Dorman's Predalien mid 1990s

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Dave Dorman the freelance illustrator talked about how 20th Century Fox/Dark Horse  approached him for a design for the Alien/ Predator hybrid and he created a painting around the mid 1990s that wouldn't have been unveiled to the public's attention until a much later date on his internet blog in the months leading up to the movie Alien vs Predator: Requiem

"Alien vs Predator duel"

leading from: The Evolution of the PredAlien

In 1995 "Alien vs Predator duel" was the first comic book to feature an alien that had grown inside a predator and taken on the host's features and became a monster based on Dave Dorman's earlier creation.  In the drawings, spines running along the tail are almost razor blade like.




White hybrids in Alien vs Predator: Deadliest of the species

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In 1996, Dark Horse intoduced another Predator/Alien hybrid in a comic book series Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of Species, called a White Hybrid. This creature had human genes as well in the mix.
  1. entry in Wikipedia regading this character"White Hybrids
    The hybrids are a race of Aliens created by a corrupted computer system called "Toy". The hybrids possess the traits of Aliens, Predators and humans. Like Aliens, they are a eusocial species with acid for blood (though it is less acidic than that of the ordinary strain) and like humans, they are capable of speech and can use firearms. They are led by a hybrid king which generates facehuggers capable of impregnating ordinary Aliens.
    Appears in: Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of Species
    "




Alien vs Predator film's Hybrid Chestburster

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The hybrid chestburster

Alien vs Predator "hybrid" chestburster

The Alien/Predator hybrid chestburster makes it's appearance at the end of Alien vs predator. The director Paul Anderson didn't expect this end shot to lead to what would become the beginning of the story of following film Alien vs Predator Requiem, but it would happen never the less. The final design as seen in the maquette replica photo reflects very much the concept work drawn by Patrick Tatopoulos , one of the illustrators working on the film.
concept design by Patrick Tatopoulos

Sideshow's maquette replica

Farzad Varahramyan's Predaliens

leading from: The Evolution of the PredAlien


Farzad Varahramyan was hired by ADI to create concept art for the Predalien. We find several sketches and a painting. The mandibles are elongated with long teeth. The sketches feature the creature with a bulbous cranium that is not very elongated in comparison to the ones that we often see, but this creature has long finger like projections coming out of the back instead of the typical spines that hang down the side of the Predator's head like dreadlocks.


Farzad also created a painting of the Predalien, the lower mandibles have teeth running along them and what appears to be a tendon running beneath it. He decided to give his version of the creature a long tale with a scorpion's stinger at the end.


Hybrid 009
(10-06_June)
Hybrid 010
(11-06-Jun)

  1. Shiny dome on "Face" transitions into bony ridged  dome
  2. Larger face proportions, more powerful mandibles
  3. Law jaw has dual fangs   (10-06-June)

Predalien with spidery finger dreadlocks
Hybrid 011 Further developed version of above drawing (11-06-June)



Hybrid 007 Acid Tipped stingers extend on demand and are whipped around
 by head action (27-05-March)

Hybrid 021 Upper body of predalien

Hybrid 026  Predalien with humanoid inner face

Michael Broom's Predalien


Hybrid 034 (06/13/06).  Broom's predalien with horizontal rear headspines
Hybrid 036 (06/14/04) Broom's predalien with rear claw like spines
Broom's predalien with articulated back spines and a head with a 
alien queen like ridges
Broom's Predalien with claw like back spines.
Broom's predalien with vertical hanging side head spines, short horizontal 
head spines and a head with a alien queen like back ridges

Justin Murray's Predaliens

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Justin Murray's Predalien
Justin Murray supplied a creature that looked as if it were something that could have belonged to a dark fantasy barbarian stories which would have fit in with the intended tone of Paul Anderson's Aliens vs Predator which took inspiration from the Frank Frazetta paintings associated with the old Conan the Barbarian and other Edgar Rice Burroughs or barbarian paperbacks through the 1960s and 70s.

Predalien by Justin Murray
His Predalien looked as if it could be a hulking ferocious thing with extended mandibles and trailing dreadlocks that had become like tentacles.  The pencil sketch on the right shows the creature with a row of skulls fixed to the side of its head. The concept of very elongated mandibles also can be found on a Predator mask design that he drew for the film project as well. See the Justin Murray's blog and www.justinmurrayart.com
Predalien by Justin Murray

Chris Ayers' Predalien

The AVP:R Alien warrior

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a) A new design for the alien warrior head lead to a creature with large fans and ridges along the skull that resembled Predator weaponary as if this were a sign of their genetic tampering to make their biomechanics reminiscent of the Predator's creativity as shown in the AVP movies. There were also attempts to bring back Giger's biomechanic style into the design which might be said to be visible within the new neck area..

Greg Strause talked about the aliens biomechanic look being based on the warrior aliens from Alien, but Colin Stause talked about the alien warrior's biomechanic look being due to the fact they try to conceal themselves in the spaceship. But if a part of the Alien Vs Predator: Requiem movie had the aliens warriors bursted from humans running around aboard the Predator spaceship, or at least it was scripted to, then we might even agree with the idea and take note of how parts of their ridged patterns also resemble the style of the Predator's armour designs.


Just Murray's Alien Warrior
b) Justin Murray's concept drawing shows an Alien warrior and this appears to be the only one released for the public, while is shows a creature with a face that's not much more than an oversized mouth and large jagged edges along the top, it doesn't show anything that resembles the armour of the Predators.

alien head with "chainsaw teeth" like ridges and  biomechanic look introduced to  the neck area



c) They had the cinematographer Daniel Pearl from that film working on AVP:R, but in hindsight came the suggestion that the angular ridges of the alien warriors would be as chainsaw teeth in homage to Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

d) The addition of the Predator style armour design into the head came at a point not spoken of, however here are a couple of examples of Predator weaponry and armour as featured in AVP and AVP:R for comparison.

replica of Predator's shuriken from AVP

AVP:R's Wolf's backpack with overlapping layers

AVP:R Predator's medikit sculpture
 
Source Quotes 
  1. Greg Strause: Our head design is a throwback to James Cameron. The new Alien head is based on the warrior design from ALIENS. But the detail level that they're now able to achieve is definitely a step up. (Starlog, March 2008, p55)
  2. Colin Strause: Part of the idea behind that, is that the Aliens try to conceal themselves in the spaceship. Their long, smooth surfaces blend in, like in ALIENS. The rigid head helps them camouflage into their environment. They are warrior Aliens. They aren't drones. So they have a different mentality. They're on a different mission as well. (Starlog, March 2008, p55)
  3. Colin & Greg Strause"The new head has been compared to a chainsaw, and we would have to agree" (Colin & Greg Strause, p9, AVPR: Inside the Monster Shop) 
  4. This writer is searching for another comment in Fangoria that he has read where one of the Strause brothers states that cinematographer Daniel Pearl agrees with the idea that the aliens are the chainsaws

The Predalien

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a)Assembling ideas


 In Alien vs Predator: Requiem;, the Alien/Predator hybrid becomes a major creature and becomes a major creature and the directores decide to name this creature the Predalien, and amalgam of the two hybridized concepts

Several artists were brought in to offer their designs of a Predalien, Farzad Varahramyan, Michael Broom, and Justin Murray provided illustrations. Greg Figiel, Akihito Ikeda, Cory Schubert, Jordu Schell supplied maquette studies, Steve Koch provided photoshop artwork to provide visualisations incorporating such things as Jordu Schell's sculptures or skins from existing alien and predator suits and other pieces left over from the AvP movie. From their works, ADI chose elements which they liked to make their final creation.

b) Design Criteria of the Predalien

Fox executive Alex Young, Producer John Davis, and the Strauses were all in agreement that since this new creature was an Alien that had gestated inside a Predator, it may have picked up traits from its host but was fundamentally still an Alien, but this time they all felt that potent DNA of the host Predator might cause more intermixing traits. This allowed them to play more with superficial features like dreadlocks, mandibles and colouration.

c) Previsualization of the Predalien
About a year before they went into production on AVP Requiem, they got a call from producer John David with heads up that the project might be coming their way. As it is often the case in Hollywood, the plume of smoke could be seen long before the train arrived. That said, sometimes enthusiasm took over and they would just have to go where it took them, to they thought they'd generate a couple of Predalien designs. Alec Gillis had an idea for a Queen like version and he sculpted a head using castings of teeth from their miniature queen from Alien Vs Predator. For dreadocks, he cast multiple tails using molds of the miniature Alien from David Fincher's Alien 3, and head formed them into shape. Artists digitally added mandibles from the Predator at ADI's showroom and gave the creature the appropriate paintscheme.

d) Production 

Due to the tight production schedule, the design meetings were frequent. Starting from scattershot rounds of drawings, they were able to reduce the concepts down to a series of maquettes sculpted by veteran Steve Wang. He and the team of other sculptors worked furiously on the full scale sculpture. Artist Chris Ayers produced paint schemes for further comment and eventual approval. A few more design changes were requested while they were sculpting the full scale creature and thankfully Paul Deason pushed the appearance of the PredAlien to late in the schedule to give them them the desperately needed time

e) Artistic explorations
i. Drawings show experiments with different ideas for heads and mouths, the dreadlocks coming from the head of one creature would seem to grow in length at the back extending into the air like jellyfish tendrils. One example had the spikes transformed into dangling insect limbs with elbows, and in another they would stick horizontally out of the back of the head. (see Farzad Varahramyan's Predaliens)

ii. The spines sticking out of the back had become replaced by structures that seemed insect like limbs or reptilian claws, and on other occasions spines like the lower toothy mandibles of the Predator (see: Michael Broom's Predalien )

iii. An eccentric exploratory drawing featured a predalien with humanoid alien face protruding out from between mandibles of a Predator with small spines coming out backwards from the back of the head and shoulders. (see last image in Farzad Varahramyan's Predaliens)


f) Inspired by Giger

The final creatures body also had elements borrowed from concept paintings by Giger that could only just about be recognised, such as the way the muscles stretch across the shoulders and down the sides of the arm, as well as the humanoid mouth and chin



The sculptor Steve Wang, although one of the top special effects sculptors in the business who worked on the original predators created a form of biomechanics on the creatures body that bore his own style rather than Giger's, and the patterns around the stomach and groin are similar to Giger's concept paintings.

g) Endless Criticisms
Some fans jokingly compared this creature to something from the Guyver films which Steve Wang had the roles of director and co-director, special makeup effects and the creature effects department for. Some even went as far as to describe it as a new villain for the Power Rangers, an episode of which was directed by Steve Wang.
Quite frankly the design hasn't been final enough for many fans, many of whom have their own design for a Predalien in their own minds and some preferred Dave Dorman's idea from some years earlier. Had James Cameron and Stan Winston been involved, it certainly would have been a different design completely, as it would have been also had Giger been involved.

h) "Weird Dwarf Alien"

"weird dwarf alien"
In raw footage of the Predalien costume, it was mansized with a large head, often on a platform. Alec Gillis admitted that in still if you didn't know what the design of the creature was about and you saw its legs, it looked like a dwarf and it was more often than not that you managed to see the costume this way. Tom Woodruff who is a normal sized man, wore the rubber suits for the main alien of the film since Alien 3.

  1. Gillis & Woodruff:  In Alien vs Predator: Requiem, the Alien/Predator hybrid known becomes a major creature and the directors decide to name this creature the Predalien, an amalgam of the two hybridized concepts. (AVPR: Inside the Monster Shop) 
  2. Gillis & Woodruff: Fox executive Alex Young,  Producer John Davis and the Strauses were all in agreement that since this new creature was an Alien that had gestated inside a Predator, it may have picked up traits from its host but was fundamentally still an Alien, but this time we all felt that the potent DNA of the host Predator might cause more intermixing traits. This allowed us to play more with the superficial features like dreadlocks, mandibles, and colouration.   (AVPR: Inside the Monster Shop, p107) 
  3. Gillis & Woodruff: About a year before we began production on AVP2 we got a call from Producer John Davis with heads up that the project might be coming our way. As is often the case in Hollywood, you see the plume of smoke long before the train arrives. That said, sometimes enthusiasm takes over and you just have to go where it takes you, so we thought we'd generate a couple of PredAlien designs. Alec had an idea for a Queen-like version and he sculpted a head using castings of teeth from our miniature Queen from AVP.  For dreadlocks, he cast multiple tails using molds of the miniature Alien from Fincher's Alien 3, and heat formed them into shape. Artists digitally added mandibles from the Predator at ADI's showroom and gave the creature the appropriate paintscheme.(AVPR: Inside the Monster Shop, p105) 
  4. Gillis & Woodruff:  Due to the tight production schedule, the design meetings were frequent. Starting from a scattershot round of drawings we were able to reduce the concepts down to a series of maquettes. After feedback from the directors and the studio, we boiled down the notes into a single maquette sculpted by veteran Steve Wang. He and our team of other sculptors worked furiously on the full scale sculpture. Artist Chris Ayers produced paint schemes for further comment and eventual approval. A few more design changes were requested while we were sculpting the full-scale creature, and thankfully producer Paul Deason pushed the appearance of the PredAlien to late in the schedule to give us desperately needed time.(AVPR: Inside the Monster Shop, p107-111)
  5. Alec Gillis: When you see Tom in a suit, it's kind of goofy from head to toe because it's legs look very squat, we're always very concerned that the still photographers will take a picture, somebody that really doesn't know that this thing is mostly meant to be shot from waste up releases a shot to the magazine where it looks like it's a weird dwarf alien and that can cause great concern among the fans. (DVD documentary on the making of the Predalien)

Marvel's Iron Spider

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The Evolution of the PredAlien

Inspiration for backspine concepts?

Marvel's Iron Spider, 2006
In 2006 the comic book Civil War Vol 1 #1 was released and this featured a new armoured suit for Spiderman designed by Tony Stark AKA Iron Man, and it featured three mechanical spider like mechanical legs emanating from the back, and by the following year prehensile backspines although shortened turn up in concept drawings for the Predalien by 2007, something not previously seen in the Alien concept sketches.

Broom's Predalien with prehensile claw like back spines, 2007