Joe Roth at Fox was the big champion of the script, he authorized the second draft, which was a tidy up and Peter was really happy with it.
Some of the characters disappeared from it, a lot of the dialogue was re-worked, the beginning changed, some of the extra sequences would be different...
There was about 70% of his first draft remaining in the second. At one point there was even serious talk about tweaking the project to make it a Schwarzenegger vehicle.
The huge stumbling block to the project all along was the producers.
There was big resistance mostly from the ALIEN camp, particularly he heard from David Giler, who he believed went down on print as saying something like, "I'm violently opposed to this, because it dilutes the whole ALIEN franchise."
And this was just was Peter thought that ALIEN 3 did to the franchise all by itself.
c) Joe Roth leaves
However Joe Roth left, he went off to Disney, someone new came in to fill his place, and the project floundered.
There wasn't any one strong person who was going to fight for it, and there was in-fighting among the producers about who would get what percentage of the grosses.
It was all muscle-flexing over who would get the credit, and the thing just went into limbo.
Peter felt quite sure that if Joe Roth had stayed at Fox, that Alien Resurrection would not have gone ahead and his draft of Alien Vs Predator would have gone into Production.
He realised that it would have cost a lot more to make than Paul Anderson's movie which turned out to be sixty million dollars, while he estimated the budget for his own script being somewhere between sixty to eighty million dollars.
- Mr. D: What is your relationship with ‘Alien vs Predator’ for anyone who doesn’t know?
Peter Briggs: Okay. As you’re twisting my arm, let’s pull the corpse out of hypersleep and whack it over the head again…! Well, I wrote that first draft in a 6 week period in 1991, basically to get out of a development grind at Paramount UK that was driving me nuts, in the desperate hope that I could use it as a sample to land a rewrite gig with someone like Joel Silver. Weirdly, I sold it overnight instead to 20th Century Fox, and it set the project along its tortured path. If Joe Roth had stayed at Fox, we could have been spared “Alien Resurrection”, and my draft might have happened. Though it would have cost a whole helluva lot more to make than Paul Anderson’s….er, tale. Probably a 100 mill. At least 60-80. (bloody-disgusting.com/ August 29th 2004)
- Peter Briggs: Here’s a fun anecdote: I wrote “A vs P” originally – oh, God…did you hear that? I actually said “A vs P”. I hate that thing…it’s like “T2″ or “LXG”! Anyway, I wrote it on an Amstrad computer, which was about one step above a Univac Room Filler. In ’92 I swapped to an Apple Mac, which I’ve used ever since. And I ended up losing the Amstrad disk, which was some weird, unreadable proprietary brand anyway. It wasn’t until whoever it was transcribed it and pirated it onto the web years later, that I was able to cut-and-paste it into Final Draft and have an electronic copy again. So, thank-you, Internet Leaker, wherever you were! (bloody-disgusting.com/ August 29th 2004)
- Peter Briggs: I have to say that for the budget of “A vs P”, which I’ve actually heard from a couple of sources is lower than what’s been bandied around, it’s a very fine looking piece of art-direction by those guys. Really decent sets. The icebreaker miniatures were nicely done. The Aliens have never moved better, as well — just wonderful animatronics. That Queen was a fabulous piece of work. I do wish that A.D.I. wouldn’t alter the sculpt of the regular Aliens, though. (bloody-disgusting.com/ August 29th 2004)
- Mr. D: In
an interview in Fangoria magazine, Anderson says he’d read your
version, and that it was more like the comic book. Would you comment on
Peter Briggs: Well, in as much as I used a few elements from the Randy Stradley comic material — the captive queen, the hoverbikes, and the main female character he created, as a jumping-off point…but my “A vs P” wasn’t an adaptation of the comic book. If you put the two side by side, they were disparately different stories. I mean, look at Anderson’s draft. He’s gone back into the comic-books and quite calculatedly pinched the Predator “Alien Finger Blooding”, for example, from there, which I deliberately didn’t use. Would YOU let someone come near you with something hissing with Alien blood? I sure as hell wouldn’t!
You know, I did read that Fangoria piece. Anderson made a couple of nutty comments in there: that there’d been many drafts at the studio before he came onboard? Uh…no. There was me, and then there was the DeMonaco & Fox draft. And that was it. All this material was presented to the WGA arbitration, so I can tell you that for a fact. I find it a bit curious that after all this, DeMonaco’s now doing an adaptation of the “Driver” videogame for Paul Anderson, though…
(bloody-disgusting.com/ August 29th 2004)
- IGN: What do you feel has been your most important professional accomplishment to date?
Peter Briggs: Depending on the way you interpret that question, there are a couple. Finally learning to keep my mouth shut would be one. I'm brutally honest, which gets me into trouble, especially working in a business where nepotism is endemic, and idiocy prevails. My dad used to tell me that as a kid, my favorite phrase was: "but, why?" I'm a hothead, which people often misinterpret as arrogance. But I'm trying to get better.
In terms of what I've written, "accomplishment" would be deciding initially to write Alien vs. Predator on spec, despite various people telling me it'd be a pointless exercise. It got me noticed, and I couldn't ask more than that. Although given its ultimate fate... (http://uk.ign.com, 6th December 2004)
- IGN: Which project do you feel didn't live up to what you envisioned?
Peter Briggs: All of them, which is primarily the reason I'm striving hard to direct my next project. It's demoralizing seeing your work get strained through the filter of moronic executives, and directors that oughtn't ever be attached. The one that really makes me want to screech like Godzilla and stomp buildings to rubble, is Alien vs. Predator. I don't even want to start on that... (http://uk.ign.com, 6th December 2004)
- 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//
- Peter Briggs: Larry Gordon would later tell me “Alien vs Predator”
had only been discussed for the first time at Fox literally days before
Steve gave him the script in September 1991, which is why I was in the
right place at the right time to make my first sale. Maybe they were in a
panic about “Alien 3”…I have no idea. And so when I hear Sigourney Weaver recounting her killing off Ripley in “Alien 3” because she’d heard Fox were talking about doing “Alien vs Predator”,
despite the fact our project was first spoken about and initiated well
over a year (not even counting Vincent Ward’s involvement!) after her
movie had gone into active production, I really have to roll my eyes at