AVP: Ron Shusett and Dan O'Bannon's involvement

leading from

a)  Getting involved with AVP
Dan O'Bannon was surprised that he got a credit for Alien Vs Predator. Ron Shusett was very concerned and wanted Dan to be involved and so Dan said "Okay, we'll go after an arbitration, after my original spec screenplay".

b) Seeing what they were pilfering
He noticed that they were taking everything they could from the unfilmed material from the original Alien.

They found a particular element from his screenplay, which was the big pyramid.

They also used the cocoon scene, which had been shot but unused until the 2004 Alien director's cut.

So it seems as if they took ideas from the first script to put together a story, and it was on that basis that O'Bannon and Shusett got their credit and also because the situation among the people who wrote the finished screenplay was so massively fused and because Ronnie's and O'Bannon's situation was so clear.

There was so much going on that he had to care and so O'Bannon felt that he had to say in this instance "You have to say 'Oh, my god! There goes my career. I have to care!'" And  he would recall that Buddha said , "Suffering comes through desire"

c) An idea for AVP
Dan gave them one idea for the movie which they did not use, and his idea was about the most obvious creative thing you have to solve on a such a movie as this was: What's the connection between the species?

He realised that what they came up with in the movie was that the Predators bred aliens as part of a complicated ritual.

But O'Bannon's idea was, "What if the Predators are the Aliens?"

Going back the first movie, there's a part in the end when they blow up the ship,

And as far as he thought, it still had one stage left, and so his idea was that if it metamorphosed one more time, it would have become the Predator and thus created continuity between the two ideas, but they didn't use it.

He thought it was  a good idea, but they weren't interested in hearing from him.

Although Dan didn't indicate personal involvement with the AVP movie, whatever they had done seemed to be enough for Ron Shusett decide that he himself was someone who worked on AVP with Dan.

d) Dan and Ron's thoughts on AVP
Dan saw the AVP,  a word that he used for it was "Videogame" but still he thought it was totally enjoyable.

Artistically, he thought that there wasn't any excuse for any of the Alien sequels.

Ron saw it as a successful movie, re-energizing the franchise like Frankenstein Meets Wolfman, which wasn't an R.

There were scares but it was done more for action and adventure and he was finding out that the audiences liked it.

Ron and others who were concerned were all afraid it would be rejected because it had been a comic book and a video game for 10 years.

They thought people wouldn’t buy it as a movie but they did, maybe because of the change of pace.

  1. Dan O'Bannon: Well, I was surprised. This credit arbitration procedure... The only time I did ever really care was on the first picture Alien. I fought really hard for my credit there. Every movie subsequently, if some other writer wanted to have a credit, my general tendency was not to bother. Sometimes I've had co-writers who have cared, so I had to arbituate. Don Jakoby [his co-scriptor on Lifeforce, Invaders from Mars and Blue Thunder] was always concerned about credit.(Fangoria,#239, p37)
  2. Dan O'Bannon: What happened in the case of Alien vs Predator was complex.  Ronnie Shusett was very concerned and wanted me to be involved, and I said 'OK, we'll go after an arbitration, after my original spec screenplay. ' They took everything that could find that had not been filmed in the first Alien. They found a particular element from my screenplay, which was the big pyramid. They also used the legendary cocoon scene, which was shot but never used back then. They just took ideas from the first script in order to put together a story, and it was on that basis [that we got credit] and also because the situation among the guys who wrote the finished screenplay was so massively fused and because Ronnie's and my situation was so clear. There's so much going on that you have to care. You have to say 'Oh, my god! There goes my career. I have to care!" Buddha says , "Suffering comes through desire, ' you know? (Fangoria,#239, p37) 
  3. Dan O'Bannon: I did give them one idea '[for AVP] that they did not use, and I'll tell you what it was. The most obvious creative thing you have to solve on a movie like this is: What's the connection between the species? What they came up with was that the Predators bred aliens as part of a complicated ritual. But my idea was, what if the Predators are the Aliens? In the first movie, there's a part in the end when they blow up the ship, And it still had one stage left, and my idea was that if it metamorphosed one more time, it would have become the Predator, but thy didn't use it. it was good though! My one great idea for them and they didn't use it. I thought AVP was totally enjoyable, anyway. I mean, artistically, there isn't any excuse for any of the Alien sequels. (Fangoria,#239, p37-38) 
  4.  Den of Geek: Did you even see the first Alien Vs. Predator film?
    Dan O'Bannon: Yeah, sure, I saw it.

    What did you think of it?

    Dan O'Bannon: Videogame. I did have an idea that they didn’t use, and that was that the alien in his next phase turns into the predator. But they weren’t interested in hearing from me…at least it would have had some continuity between the two ideas. ( http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/alien/13160/the-den-of-geek-interview-dan-obannon#ixzz2YMG275pw)
  5.  MidnightTicket: Do you feel that Alien lends itself well to sequels?
    Ron Shusett: There were other sequels that didn’t work of Alien. The first two were great and the only other one that was successful was the fifth one, which I worked on. I worked on the first one, not Cameron’s. The next one I worked on with Dan was the fifth, Alien Vs. Predator. The first Alien Vs. Predator. It re-energized it like Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman. That wasn’t an R. There were scares but it was done more for action and adventure and audiences liked it. We were all afraid it would be rejected because it had been a comic book and a video game for 10 years. We thought people wouldn’t buy it as a movie but they did, maybe because of the change of pace. The second one was a disaster because you couldn’t take more than one movie of those two creatures fighting each other. Otherwise it just got on your nerves as repetitious. Dan and I get credits on all the sequels as “Created By”. On Alien Vs. Predator we also got “Original Story By” credits. (http://www.midniteticket.com/blog/interview-ron-shusett-sequels-schwarzenegger-minority-report)

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