a) Moving from ICM to William Morris
Peter finished his script and moved from ICM to William Morris.
At the point he called up Steve Kenis at William Morris, a man that he had met a year prior,
He said "Steve, I know I didn't go with you before but if I came to William Morris, would you still be interested in representing me"
Steve replied "Sure Pete"
He was an American man who was like anyone's idea of what a film producer looked like which is a big man with a cigar behind a big desk
Peter moved over to William Morris.
However he was near enough bullish and forging ahead and he took the script to Steve Kenis
This was the first thing he had ever given him that was knew
Steve's said "Okay, what d'you got?" as if this was going to be a waste of his time
Peter place the script on his desk upside down and Stever looked at it quizzically and pulled it across the table, tuturned it the right way around, looked at it and said "Alien vs Predator. Alien vs Predator..." as if he was concerned that was going to be a waste of his time.
"Pete, have you any
idea how this is going to be shown?"
Peter's response was "sure " and he made other noises
|Steve Kenis - source: https://www.bifa.film/|
It was towards the end of September or the beginning of October when Steve Kenis flew over to Los Angeles and at the time, Peter was making at the time the Halcyon model of the Ripley's Powerloader, he sprayed it in the garden with paint and he was putting that together.
The first good sign that came through was when Steve called him from LAX and this was during the tume before everyone had cellphones. The phonecall was made from LAX after the plane had landed, and it seemed that he had enough of the inflight drinks
He said "Pete this is the greatest thing I've ever seen you know, I can't wait to talk to Larry about this, it's a great script, well done"
A couple of days later, around five twenty in the afternoon he recalled that while finishing off his power loader and withing a hairs breadth of Ripley's hair being painted, the phone rang.
Peter answered it and it was his agent Steve once again,
"Pete, Peter, hi, how are you doing?"
Steve then asked him "Peter, where are you?"
Peter replied "I'm in the hall"
Steve then asked "Are you sitting down?"
The reply was reply " No"
So said Steve "Sit down"
When Peter sat dutifully on the stair Steve came out with his big revelation "I sold your script"
"What?!" replied Peter
Stever continued "Twentieth century Fox, Joe Roth came to Larry Gordon this week, wanted to know if they could develop it, the idea of Alien Vs Predator"
It was as if the agent had walked into the right place at the right time and so the script over night which was something that normally couldn't happen because they didn't have the rights and no one would look at a script like that since the very idea of merging the franchises seemed unlikely.
If it had come across Steve's desk from a junior reader, it would have gone straight into development hell, because of the litigious nature of lawsuits, or perhaps some alias writer would have developed the material
- Peter Briggs: I finished my “Alien vs Predator” draft late September 1991. It was literally only written as a “get attention” sample, in the hope I’d maybe get a rewrite on some other movie off the back of it. My then-agent (Steve Kenis, the head of the William Morris agency in London) was friendly with producer Larry Gordon, who had a deal with Fox. Steve was coincidentally flying over to the States for meetings. Steve met Larry. They talked. I remember sitting heavily down on the stairs when Steve phoned me from L.A. to tell me Larry bought the script the same day. And then round-after-tortured-round of additional producer in-fighting killed the project dead on that go-around during the next year. (I was told later there was even serious talk about tweaking the project to make it a Schwarzenegger vehicle: Arnie was briefly attached to the pre-Stallone version of “Judge Dredd” I worked on for Tony Scott, so I can only imagine how that would have gone. More recently, the Strause Brothers in interview at the time of their “Requiem” sequel admitted they’d toyed with attempting my more-expensive outer-space,more sci-fi script, but went instead for the different Earthbound story you saw on the screen in 2007.) (http://bloody-disgusting.com/interviews/3354279/alien-vs-predator-writer-responds-sigourney-weaver-exclusive// July 22, 2015)
- Peter Briggs: I finished the script and I moved from ICM to William Morris. At the point I called up Steve Kenis at William Morris, a guy that I had met a year prior, I said, er, "Steve, I know I didn't go with you before but if I came to William Morris, would you still be interested in representing me, and he was like Sure Pete, It was a big bluff, an American guy he was like anyone's idea of what a film producer looked like which is a big guy with a cigar behind a big desk, and so I moved to William Morris and all my friends made jokes about me writing Alien vs Predator at this time, they were like Pete , why are you doing this, nothing is ever going to happen. And I was sort of bullish and forging ahead and I took it into William Morris and my agent said Okay. This is the first thing I'd ever given him was new, he said okay, what d'you got and I put the script on the desk upside down. he sort of looked at it quizzically and pulled it across the table, turned it the right way around , looked at it and went "Alien vs Predator" Pete, have you any idea how this is going to be shown and I said "sure you know, kind of like made noises, and he went, "look you know, I'm friends with Larry Gordon, I've got to go across to the states next week, Larry's an old friend of mine, I'll take it with him, you know, we'll have a chat" and so that was that, I had a. At the time, I was making at the time I remember the Halcyon model of the Ripley's Powerloader, I'd sprayed that in the garden with paint and I was putting that together and I remember the first good sing was an agent called me from LAX and this was the days, you know, the days before there were cellphones, so he called me from a payphone in LAX having landed and obviously availing himself from the inflight drinks and he was like "Pete this is the greatest thing I've ever seen you know, I can't wait to talk to Larry about this, it's a great script, well done" and that was that in fact I don't even think I even talked to him, I think it was on the answering machine and so a couple of days later I remember that I was finishing off my power loader, within a hairs breadth, Ripley's hair had been painted and phone went, it was about five o'clock in the afternoon and I kind of remember it as if it were yesterday and I answered it the whole way, it was my agent Steven he said "Peter, where are you?" I go, "I'm in the hall" he goes "are you sitting down?", I said" No" He goes "sit down" so I sat down dutifully on the stairs and he said "I sold your script" and I was like "What?" and he said "Twentieth century Fox, Joe Roth came to Larry Gordon this week, wanted to" you know, "know if they could develop it, the idea of Alien Vs Predator" and literally my agent walked into the right place at the right time and I sold the script over night. Which is, you know, people tell you you can't do this because you won't have, you don't have the rights, nobody will look at it, it will never happen and it doesn't. Something like this doesn't happen and it did happen. It was a billion to one thing and I was very lucky and that was that. (Alien vs Predator Galaxy podcast #130)
- Peter Briggs: I finished my script, I decided to jump, I decided to jump ship from ICM at, I called up Steve Kennis at William Morris and I said look you know, you erm said that you were interested in representing me a year ago, erm, are you still interested. He said yep, um and I was like okay, and I left and after a year when I was spinning at Paramount UK, and , and erm, I finished this draft and it wad the first thing I took into Steve said, and I went into a meeting with him and er and he said " Okay Briggs, what you got? " I put the script on his desk and he pulled it towards him upside down, he turned it around and he looked at it and he went "Alien vs Predator. Alien vs Predator...". Like "oh my boy, I'm so disappointed in you", you know, erm, and he goes, "Pete, Pete, have you any idea how difficult", this is from the head of William Morris, "difficult this would be to sell," I sort of shrugged and made vague noises, and he goes, and he looked at it and he looked at it, and went, "look I'm good friends with Larry Gordon, we go way back, I'm going over to the states next week, um, I'm going to meet with Larry and we'll we'll we'll have a talk about it", and I was like "Oh, okay", and erm it was summer, later Summer, it was coming in to fall and I, I er, you know, I used to make model kits when, when I finished the script, sort of like a weird little um little thing, I don't do it any more, wish I did but I'm I don't have the time any more. I was making Ripley's power loader at at the time, so I was making, making, making this Power Loader and erm, and Steve crossed to Los Angeles and the first inkling I guess I got something was arise, he called me, this was the day before, this was the time before cellphones before the internet and he calls me, this is like late 1991, like I guess the third week of September, beginning of October, and he calls me from the payphone at LAX having just flown over er er I guess in first class, I guess after enjoying a great deal of alcohol and he calls me and "Pete, Peter, I just read your script on the flight, I just want to tell you, it's one of the greatest things I've ever read," and and you know, I hope he wasn't driving from the airport that day, um, and er, and and he said er, okay right, I'll be calling you in the week, er, I'll I'll let you know what happens, bye.
Off he, off he went and I carried on making my model and then I guess about four days later, five days later, about twenty past five in the afternoon, nine twenty Los Angeles time he calls me and I said, ah ah on the landline in the hall, and the phone went and its "Pete, Peter, hi, how are you doing?", "good steve". "Where are you", "I'm in the hall". "Er, er, can you sit down?"
Interviewer: Yeah, sure, and he goes
Peter Briggs: Down, I'm sorry, I dutifully sat down on the, on the steps, and he said "I just sold your script" And I went, I I it was like, I remember like er the entire world focused down to like the middle of my eyesight and everything around me went grey. He goes I met with Larry, Larry has just er been talking, you know Gordon used to be the head of 20th Century Fox and he left a former company at Universal but he still had a first deal at Fox and erm, Joe Roth was still the head of Fox and erm, by some freak of of serendipity, Joe Roth had asked Larry Gordon to come up erm an Alien vs Predator project, and Steve walked in through the door and they read it and they liked and erm and I sold the script over night, erm, and that was it yeah.
Interviewer: That was crazy
Peter Briggs: There's a story that doesn't happen
Peter Briggs:And it happened
Interviewer: I mean, it's not supposed to happen that extra crazy part
Peter Briggs: Well, I didn't didn't have the right, I you know. if that had if that had come across the desk probably with a junior reader or something, um, it would have gone straight into the you know, like you know, it's like that scene in Trading Places where um, where Dan Aykroyd walks into the pawn shop and and you know, he, he just walks in and gives his watch across and er the black guy behind the er desk goes Hmm, burn my fingers, you know, you know, that's pushing it, well that's exactly it, that script would burn, you know, nobody could read it because of litigious nature of lawsuits, ubut m, you know it was just down to, you know I, I'd written it and they'd ask the to come up with it, you know I'd guess it probably would have gone into development hell, you know I guess they probably would have, you know developed this materials with probably some alias writer or something, erm and it you know, maybe the scripts would have been good, maybe the scripts wouldn't have been good, but I guess probably what happened next would still have happened which was that the project went into turnaround (Rough transcription of Best Movies Never Made podcast #63)