Peter Briggs near enough ripped the comic book off but it wasn't meant to be a straight adaption, and it wasn't meant to be a script that would be turned into a film, but just as a piece that would serve the purpose of getting him a script development job, rewriter or something of that nature.
There were elements there that he felt didn't fit into the Alien universe.
He wanted the story to go on in a different direction.
- Interviewer: I think most of the fanbase would have preferred to have seen your interpretation,
Peter Briggs: That's very kind, thankyou
Interviewer: E-even just as a first draft, You know, everybody says the first drafts are rushed and they're going to need the polish, all that stuff, all that. You know, you've got to do your polish. (00:35:00) But even from reading that first draft, I'm always like Hhhhuh
Peter Briggs: It's always interesting because you have to remember first of all that it's not really based upon the comic book, I mean, it is and it isn't, you know, I make no bones about the fact that yes, I ripped the comic book off, I did, it's not a straight adaption, partly because there were story elements in there that I didn't really feel fitted into the alien universe and there were things that I , I just wanted the story to go on a different direction, and so I , I did what I always do, I cherry pick things in places where they do work, and change thing where they don't, so it's a, it's a weird thing, so it's not really an adaption, but it's not a piece of work wholly original either, and it was never meant to be as a script that was meant to be made, you know, it was just a script to server a purpose of me trying to get a development job, rewriter or something on a project that I could build a career on. The fact that it thirty years later, the people are still talking about it is is weird and nice, but a lot that, so yuh. That was that. (00:36:00) (AVP Podcast interview #130 https://www.avpgalaxy.net/website/interviews/peter-briggs/)
- Peter Briggs: You do, I don't even know if I have the second draft
because I wrote this thing on an old computer called an Amstrad CPN and
it had it's own proprietary discs. Erm, I'm not even sure if I think I
must have the discs somewhere but I no longer have the computer. It's
not proprietary, which you know, it's funny because I see er when people
talk about restoring episodes of TV shows and things, you know, formats
and machines that they once wrote on. (00:50:00) They now no longer have
access to them so they have to go on archaeological journeys in order to
be able, you know, play back all this old material. Well, I, I , I'm
sure I have that second draft somewhere. I don't know that I've got a
hard copy of it any more, but it exists, I mean it started very
differently, it started off on a erm, on a, er, er a deep space surgery
ship, and the come across, this is the first draft of Alien vs Predator,
that they come across a a a pod floating in space, and and it's like
what is this and they bring it on board, and then there's a cut, and you
see the ship floating in space and it's it's it's wrecked and destroyed
erm and some, these three predator, you know, triangle scans go boing
and scan across the deck and you cut to see the inside of the ship, it's
all dead and in zero gravity, and there you know are books through
there, through (00:51:00) corridors and there's debris all around, and
the airlock hisses open and you know, this blurred shape comes in, and
then this other blurred shape comes in and it's Predators in, in zero-G
suits, erm, you know, one of the things I would, what annoyed me
especially in the Alien vs Predator movie, er, the Paul Anderson one,
was um, you know, Predators are hot blooded creatures and yet here with,
here they are in Antarctica, you know, erm, wearing the same outfits,
so I mean they'd probably freeze to death in seconds, um, so you know I
mean, these are Predators in space, and so Predators in space would have
to wear a space suit, so I had Predators in space suits, um, which
could have been fun,
Josh Miller: Mmhmm
Peter Briggs: You know now if you think about the suits they Nostromo guys you know have, in in Alien, you know they could have been these big Moebius looking weird plated things, you know, it could, it could, it could have been you know, I don't even know that Dark Horse has ever addressed that in any of the comics, erm, so erm, (00:52:00) they come on board, and they go around the ship and they find some bodies floating , they go and blast it open and they're attacked by aliens and so you know, erm one of the, one of the Predators very stupidly kind of you know goes for the alien, slashes it open and the acid burns through the deck at three dimensions and the ship rips open and they barely make it back to the ship and they destroy the ship and then they go back. And so it's, it's kind of a different beginning to the, the one in, in my current draft which is sort of in a cave in a, in a rocky canyon., erm and I, and I thought it was a more interesting start to the story that looks a bit, looks a bit bigger. (Best movies never made podcast #63)
- Peter Briggs: Yeah, let me briefly say because in the first draft it's sort of opens with a sort of crevasse and the camera goes into the crevasse and there's erm, there's a cave. predators go into this this sort of cave. There's an alien nest in there and I was, if you read that first draft of Alien vs Predator. The second draft began in space with it began on a cartography ship I think, and you know, there's a character reading Moby Dick. suddenly he's sitting in his quarter and we pull back from stars and we're in his cabin and there's a ping (00:46:00) and it's like well something's just come up on the scan. it was a little bit Aliens at the beginning and you sort of, you see this ship comes across a predator pod and one side of the pod is all sort of scarred and hacked and they bring it into their bay and we have a time cut and we see the other side of this ship and it's sort of floating there and there's some debris coming and suddenly there's these three little dots of light coming across the hull and go across the airlock. We're inside the ship and the airlock opens. So we're inside the airlock, the airlock opens and we're in Zero-G and there's debris flying through the corridors, everything's kind of generally wrecked and there's sparking lights and these three forms come aboard and decloak and Predators in Zero-G suits which is not something we've seen. Have we even seen that in the comic books. I'm not sure.
Aaron Percival: They, they're in one of the more recent novels but I don't think there's actually been any sort of visualisation of that stuff
Peter Briggs: Yeah, if I were to visualise it, I would (00:47:00) guess it would look with the Predators plated kind of armour. it would all look like another kind of version of the Nostromo spacesuits maybe
Eric Adams: That's exactly what I envisioned when I heard about that actually
Peter Briggs: Yeah, I mean, there's not much you can do with plates and so they kind of work their way through the ship. Bodies float through with sort of internal guts, internal guts in Zero-G, and probably in CG these days, and then the aliens attack. You know it becomes pitched combat in some very stupidly kills an alien, and I I think I probably consciously lifting this from the Zero-G fight with the Klingons in Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country with the zero-G blood and I just thought, what happens if you've got Zero-G alien blood and well it was everywhere and it goes through the hull and so it explodes with decompression and it it's just ripped out. The Predator's suit back, get back out and they destroy the ship. Then we're on board the ship and we're pretty much (00:48:00) at that point onto the rest of the story as it sort of existed in the first draft (AVP Podcast interview #130 https://www.avpgalaxy.net/website/interviews/peter-briggs/)
|Refinery model used in the film Outland (released 1981) |
My source https://www.catspawdynamics.com/outland-the-press-kit/
c.i) Too bright to be spooky
A major problem with the comic book story was that the planet where it was set, Ryushi, was a desert planet , and that wouldn't have been noire, it wasn't very shadowy.
He associated the Predator with verdant canopies and cities, and the Alien with industrial hype wasteland of a creepy alien world
On a sand planet, perhaps he could have had a Predator cloaked in invisibility, but it wasn't very spooky with the biomechanoid aliens running through the desert in broad daylight.
c.ii) A few desert planets too many
He had seen a number of science fiction movies done on the cheap set on a desert world, with Star Wars aside because they had varying different planets in that universe.
But every time there was a space hunter or a metal storm on wherever, or perhaps even think about an episode of Star Trek filmed as Vasquez Rocks
it was a desert, and he knew that this was all likely to have been filmed outside Los Angeles
c.iii) Desert planet becomes a swamp world
His decision was to change it a Florida-esque swamp planet, since swamps were quite dangerous and spooky. it would have been an ideal place to show off the Predator
c.iv) Colony becomes a communications relay station resembling the Outland refinery
With that he had an installation that was no longer a colony as it was ain the comic book. he thought that if you didn't know it, it could be anything.
He wondered about how people communicated in the Alien universe and how they bounced signals around.
While he didn't want a mining operation because that was in Outland, but he wanted the refinery from that film, so he had it with the legs chopped down representing a communications relay station.
Here would be the industrial environment where the alien beasts could lurk.
- Peter Briggs: And but but you know the the one that was in Dark Horse presents was like a little stand alone story where the egg pods land on the planet and there's a, there's a hunt through a sort of swampy erm swampy grove and it's it's it's a nice little piece but then the the the actual story itself, the actual original you know, Randy Stradley, erm er, Chris Warner, erm Phil Norwood, erm, Alien vs Predator story starts off with the two guys in a spaceship having a conversation and they're going to Ryushi the planet, erm which has been colonised and it's a desert world and you get there and there's the, there's erm Machiko is her name.
There are things i really liked in the draft but there were the in the I beg your pardon, things I (00:43:00) really like in the comic book and you know, the comic book is great, I mean it's great fun but i-i, the Predators are really savage and really violent in it and I, I felt that some some of the, some of that (43 mins) Predator 2 predator kind of ethic of of of them um, was not quite in place for me and so I wanted to change a little of that, um, and I, I just first and foremost didn't want to set it on a desert word. I mean every time you sort of see a you know a science fiction movie that's done on the cheap, it's sort of set on a desert world, I mean Star Wars aside but you you know, which, you know, you've got the varying different planets in that universe but it's like every time there's a space hunter or a you know a metal storm of wherever, it's a, it's a desert, you know, because it's all shot outside Los Angeles, you know, and I wanted it to kind of be a, you know, (00:44:00) hunting aliens in bright sunlight isn't very noire, it's not very shadowy and and you know, interestingly, I mean, I I'm looking forwards to the new Predator film, the new what, what's, what's it, it's called Skulls at the moment, just with with the Indian, American Indian girl, erm, facing off against the Predators, so you know, that will be interesting, but that's a Predator, and I mean, you know, it's cloaked and there's a , there's a, there's a lot that you can do with that but Aliens in a in a in a desert environment didn't really excite me and so I thought what other, what can I put in it that that's going to be different and to me a swamp world kind of , a swamps kind of spooky and kind of kind of dangerous and so I had this installation that was no, that was no longer a colony as it was in er in a comic book er, um, so I though okay, (00:45:00) what's the rational behind this and and it's like I you know it could be it could have been anything and you know, I didn't want to do a mining operation because that was in Outland you know, erm you know, I I and so I thought, okay, it's a relay station, it you know, there th'urge is basically acting as engineering for a a a you know, because I figured how do you communicate in this, in the Alien universe, do you know, bounce signals outside. I came up with this communications relay thing um and you know there are, there are elements obviously from the script they were in there I, I do have a Japanese head of the company, you know I do have um a a a bunch of good old boys out in er, out in the wilds who get attacked by the Predators, um you you know that the aliens do take over the facility, you know our (00:46:00) girl has to make it from point A to point B. She teams up with the Predator but um, you know it would, you know I I I think its fair to say that while I did definitely rip off elements from it, um, it was more inspired by because I don't really feel there there was the, I mean you tell me, I mean, what's your, what's your observation of it (Best Movies Never Made podcast #63)
- Peter Briggs: (00:36:00) Well, speaking of the whole not being a direct adaption angle of it I mean. immediately one of the more noticeable changes that you, you made is that the Ryushi was completely different, you know, it's not this desert prospecting world anymore but a jungle communication relay, so what was it that made you think that didn't work in terms of the series?
Peter Briggs: Sunlight (hahaha)
Aaron Percival: Okay, that's important
Peter Briggs: Sunlight. I mean, Alien, Alien is, is a thing in the shadows that jumps out of the shadows, and there it is dark and creepy, and if you had an alien walking across the desert, that's not scary and you're looking at it, and and plus which, how many times have you ever seen like an episode of Star Trek where, we're at Vasquez Rocks and everyone's running around, you know, i-i-it becomes a cowboy movie and Predator movies, Predator is is in the dark at night in verdant canopies or cities, Alien is within industrial hype wasteland or a creepy alien world, and (00:37:00) Ryushi in the comic just didn't do it.It was just too bright. The possibility of events just wasn't there. You'd just see the aliens running around in broad daylight, it just wasn't exciting , so I changed it to this Florida-esque swamp type with a kind of, it was in my mind was the thought of what it would be like if you took the refinery from Outland and you chopped the pillars right down and put that in the middle of a swamp and that was my locale
Aaron Percival: What is this sneaky suspicion that we're tipping it a bit more to the Predator side here deliberately, you know, you know with the jungle-esque
Peter Briggs: No, no, that's wasn't even a consideration. It was just 'What is spooky?'", I could see how you could think that, we know that the Predator looks good in the jungle but at the same token, the aliens look good in an industrial setting so this was both worlds, really, it was both worlds, one into the other but it wasn't really a consideration, it was just I couldn't really use that world from the comic because it wasn't scary enough
Eric Adams: Tell you what, I, I always thought it was inspired by... there was a piece of artwork during (00:38:00) the AVP run which was of the predator in a swampy area and it was holding an alien up like that and one was coming out of the water. Honest to god I thought it was that but what you say makes a lot more sense
Peter Briggs: Weirdly enough I saw that, I think I saw that, I can't remember, when did that come, When I was, when I was writing
Eric Adams: It was during the run
Peter Briggs: I looked at that and I really liked it I remember but I think by that time I was so far into the story I was like no to hell with that, I'm not going to change it
Eric Adams: I I just thought it would be a great fusion with the tropical life being converted into this Giger landscape of death. I think it would work really well
Peter Briggs: It does and one of the considerations that I had during that which was life forms, okay, so what happens when you eventually get a life form, you know, let's say the alien, three aliens could travel quite quickly, quite fast. Does it move away from the hive quite quickly, I mean. what happens if it gets outside of a Predatoresque zone proximity. (00:39:00) I needrd to be able to tie up story so that the alien doesn't escape at the end. I see that that you enter hive world stories and the alien spreading across the planet. it could have been a sequel, I don't know. (AVP Podcast interview #130 https://www.avpgalaxy.net/website/interviews/peter-briggs/)
d.i) Need for a different chestburster
It was before Alien 3 had been released , so he had seen the chestbursters in Alien and Aliens, and thinkng about this he thought "How do I do this differently?"
d.ii) Avoiding a headburster
He noticed in one of the Dark Horse comics that there was a headburster with the creature coming out of a human body directly upwards and he didn't want to go there. (Of course there was head burster scene described in Vincent Ward's Alien 3 script)
- Aaron Percival: One
of the really interesting, well I thought it was really interesting
things where I noticed where, I love prep for interviews of course,
because it just gives me an excuse to go back and reread things
Peter Briggs: Mmhmm
Aaron Percival: I completely forgot about this. This wasn't even in my mind at all until I was rereading, you did the backburster, you know, before Alien Covenant, I mean
Peter Briggs: It's so weird. I saw Alien Covenant and I went, (00:41:00) ) "Oh, hey was somebody reading my script?"
So yeah, I did. I was surprised to see that
Aaron Percival: The setup was a little different but I mean is there any particular thing going off in your head while you were writing that piece... that sequence?
Peter Briggs: Well, yeah, you know, we we we've seen chestburster's in Alien and Aliens to that point, and you know we've obviously got Ripley's one in Alien 3 which I hadn't, you've got to remember I was writing it before I'd even see Alien 3. it was like "How do I do this differently?" In one of the Dark Horse comics there was a headburster, I think a chestburster coming out of somebody's head, like directly up, vertically and I didn't want to go there. I just thought "What if we play it for tension?" if we played it for kind of weird effect, and you know, this guy has his seizure, he hits the floor, he dies, like you know, okay, and then the body moves and then you know, j, I like the idea of the body being (00:42:00) shoved off to reveal the creature, so I yeah, it was just me, my way of not trying to do the same thing again
Eric Adams: I wont
Peter Briggs: ... some sort of variation
(AVP Podcast interview #130 https://www.avpgalaxy.net/website/interviews/peter-briggs/)
- Josh Miller: Well, my favorites, I think one of my favourite scenes in your script um which is funny 'cause er I feel that a similar scene ended up in the movie Jason X, but I feel when we meet Naguchi, she is training in like you know a Star Trek holodeck like scenario
Peter Briggs: Oh she's got a holographic swordsman, now that was something I , I didn't notice because I you know, as I, I said, I was sort of reading a lot of Eric, Eric Van Lusbaden books at that time erm, like Amico and the Ninja and er I was sort of fascinated by you know Samurai stuff and I just figured ahead, she's Japanese, maybe she's got a sword, what would she have would have would she be training, maybe she's training with a holographic sword, so I put that in in and i was kind of startled when I read Steve Perry's novelisation. (00:49:00) Now he took that from my script erm which is fine, erm, which is fine
Josh Miller: Oh, as you say, and the payoff in the movie is that later in the movie, erm, some aliens are like after her and they wind up in the holographic room
Peter Briggs: Yuh
Josh Miller: And you know, Samurai start coming up and the aliens are confused because they don't know that they're not real, ah, it's just a cool, cool sequence
Peter Briggs: I, well it's , it's funny that you should say that because I think I cut that in the second draft
Josh Miller: Oh really
Peter Briggs: Yuh yuh
Josh Miller: It's there in the first draft then (Best Movies Never Made podcast #63)
- Eric Adams: One
of the things that always stumped my mind from your script is, this is
another example of seeing a film come to fruition and me thinking, "way, I've seen that somewhere before!",
I really like this part in your script where you have Naguchi, she's
using a holographic samurai warrior that's for training with. it brought
to mind Total Recall with that holographic tennis player and there's
that one point where the Alien attacks her, she starts. activates the
hologram to distract. I remember when I saw Jurassic World and that
scene, there was a velociraptor holographic other other dime...I can't,
so I thought somebody watched, read your version of Alien vs Predator
Peter Briggs: It's weird, I do actually get occasionally, I meet A list writers now far more successful than probably I will ever be and they say oh yeah we were reading your script, I've been influenced since I was a kid. But who knows
Eric Adams: It's inspired people (00:43:00)
Peter Briggs: It could be a case of weird coincidence. I did notice when Steve Perry wrote his Alien Prey book, he pinched that. The book, so that was interesting. (AVP Podcast interview #130 https://www.avpgalaxy.net/website/interviews/peter-briggs/)
|Rynth Stampede from the Alien Vs Predator comic book series|
f) A need to keep the Rynth stampede
Peter decided to include the rhynths that seemed to be geneticaly modified rhinoceros like beasts. However the planet was no longer a ranching outpost, and so he had these creatures in a migration project, but it was tenuously used.
- Peter Briggs: No I was making making up fun scenes I wanted to see, I
mean I did like the erm, again in the comic book, that that I had a
varied very tenuous kind of thing. In the comic book there's the erm
Josh Miller: Mmhmm,
Peter Briggs: Erm, which I thought was a great idea but (you know, er, this is now no longer a ranching outpost so I think in my script I have a tag for a migration project or something, it was really tenuous but I wanted to have, have that in there (Best Movies Never Made podcast #63)