The Alien franchise is truly one of ups and downs. Ridley Scott’s
1979 original, conceived as a haunted house movie in space, is a bona
fide classic that transcends the genre. James Cameron’s Aliens cranked
everything to 11 for a big action spectacle in 1986. The first two
movies are both excellent in their own right and complement one another
well; I would argue their place among the best back-to-back films in any
series. Studio meddling is often cited for the decrease in quality in
the next two installments in the saga, despite 1992’s Alien 3 having David Fincher in the director’s chair and 1997’s Alien:
Resurrection having a script by Joss Whedon.
With the Alien universe
dormant as star Sigourney Weaver moved on, the franchise devolved
further with 2004’s Alien vs. Predator and 2007’s Aliens vs. Predator:
Requiem. Scott returned to the world he created more than three decades
earlier with Prometheus in 2012. Rather than retconning the other
filmmakers’ work, he opted to make a film that serves as a prequel to
Alien but that can also stand on its own merits. With fan reaction
divided, Scott attempts to right his wrongs with Alien: Covenant, a
direct sequel to Prometheus that bridges the gap to Alien.
Shoutout to Alien: Covenant for finally rendering AvP and its sequel non-canonical.
Since we can strongly assume that the Xenomorph hasn’t been around before 2104, when Covenant is set, then the frustratingly mediocre Alien vs. Predator and breathtakingly terrible Aliens versus Predator: Requiem cannot be considered canon as
they both took place in 2004. Rejoice!
ADI (Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis’ special effects studio) got the opportunity to design an Alien/Predator hybrid when they worked on Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. Once again, it was an effects artist’s dream come true – a chance to combine two of the most iconic monsters in movie history and create something new. You can almost feel them geeking out when you look at some of their early designs. However, when they submitted their final design to the studio, the producers decided to ask a random 14-year-old kid who happened to be in the building that day what he thought of the design, because Hollywood is the only place in the universe that gives a shit what 14-year-old boys think. The kid’s response was, “Cool alien,” which threw the producers into a panic – clearly this meant that Woodruff and Gillis’ design didn’t have enough Predator in it (it should be noted that Predator, being a creature from space, is also an alien, so the kid might’ve just been speaking literally). So they sent Gillis and Woodruff back to the drawing board.