Video game blog Destructoid did a rundown of the history of a bunch of the Alien Vs Predator games. Briefly mentioned in their article that the arcade game released by Capcom in 1994, was actually going to be a tie-in with the film Fox was developing.
Adding that the game was based-off an earlier draft, but was released anyway.
“However, Capcom took home the nostalgia trophy, with its 1994 arcade classic still fondly remembered by many today. Aliens vs. Predator for the arcade featured three-player co-op and the four characters were made up of two marines and two predators, uniting against the Xenomorph threat. The game was actually based off of an early draft film script and its release had been intended to coincide with an Aliens vs. Predator movie, even when an entirely new script had been written. However, no Aliens vs. Predator film was to surface for another decade, so the game eventually released as a standalone crossover in 1994. Many would argue it was better than the film that eventually came out.”
Given that the game was released in 1994, this suggests the game was in fact based on the treatment written by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich in the early 1990s, that never saw the light of day.
The duo were hired to take a second crack at the film’s script, on the hells of the release of Universal Soldier in the early 90s, with Roland set to direct the film. His 1990 film Moon 44 took a majority of it’s look from James Cameron’s Aliens, so we understand where Fox was going with hiring Emmerich at the time.
Roland would of course move on to make Stargate.
The Capcom game featured two cyborg leads one of them being Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch.
Here’s an image of a custom Dutch figure, giving you a sense of what Arnold could have looked like as this version of the character, if it had been turned into a film.
Major Dutch Schaefer: Dutch is named after and roughly based on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in the original Predator film. He is a human cyborg and has a cybernetic arm with a smart gun mounted on it.
I’m curious if Fox had intentions on putting Arnold’s Predator role into this incarnation of Alien Vs Predator, since he had dropped-out of Predator 2 and didn’t look like he was returning at the time for future installments.
If it’s true that the game was influenced by the Roland’s film, Dutch might have been written as the film’s lead. The game is set on Earth, which plays to the Predator side of the franchise and also ended-up being the setting of both the Alien Vs Predator films. Something producer John Davis had been vocal about when it came to the writing the scripts, as he seemed to want to exclude spaceships and alien worlds.
Here’s the plot of the game.
California, has been overrun by the Aliens, and the cybernetically-enhanced Major Dutch Schaefer and Lieutenant Linn Kurosawa of the United States Colonial Marine Corps have been abandoned by their superiors and are cornered by a swarm of the Alien drones. Before they can be killed, a pair of the Predators appear and destroy the Aliens. The Predators offer an alliance with the two humans in order to stop the Alien infestation.
Arnold Schwarzenegger just happened to visit the set of Roland’s Universal Soldier during production, before it was published that Roland would be directing Alien Vs Predator. So, there is a strong possibility that Arnold might have wanted to be apart of AVP and he was checking-in on the project’s future director, along with how he was on set.
A little known fact about the film Predator, Jean Claude Van Damme was originally in the costume until they switched-up the actor and the predator’s design.
Another reason why we think Arnold might have been involved is that producers might have thought hiring him would be a way to continue the Alien franchise without Sigourney Weaver.
The studio spent years trying to write her out of the series and seemingly placing Arnold in the lead role could have been one way to do it. There had been incarnations where producers were pushing for Hicks to become the lead in Alien 3 and in certain drafts of Alien Resurrection it was going to be Newt’s clone.
We don’t know the officially reason why Roland’s version didn’t pan-out.
Hypothetically, if Schwarzenegger had been involved from the start he would have had been able to call shots about the creative direction of the film. Ultimately, if had been attached from day one and dropped out, that would surely be enough for the studio to back off for a couple of years.
James Cameron once mentioned in 2003, that he had considered using Arnold in his purposed Alien 5 just before Paul Anderson’s Alien Vs. Predator killed it.
“To an extent. yes. We’re looking at doing another one. Something similiar to what we did with Aliens. A bunch of great characters, and of course Sigourney. I’ve even discussed the possibility of putting him [Arnold Schwarzenegger] into the Alien movie.”
Essentially, Alien Vs Predator did end-up replacing Weaver’s franchise, so our theory might not be too farfetched.
Another piece of information that links this game to the comic and the early scripts is the character Lt. Linn Kurosawa, which seems like a call-back to the Japanese female lead in the comics and the main character featured in the first incarnation of the film was also a Japanese woman.
This new female lead also seemed like another excuse to replace Sigourney Weaver at the time.
The timelines fit to be the Roland and Dean Devlin version.
However, we don’t know how accurate this background on the game’s history is.
Schwarzenegger might have been apart of this film at some stage. Being the face of the Predator franchise and Predator 2 not being as well received as the original, it could have been a last ditch effort to get Arnold involved in another Predator film adding the successful action elements of James Cameron’s Aliens with Colonial Marines and waves of xenomorphs.