DARK Horse Comics started a trend in early 1990 when it released an edition of its ‘Presents’ series titled Aliens vs Predator. Pitting the two popular, albeit blood-thirsty, extra-terrestrial movie beings against each other formed the basis for a stand-alone comic book franchise soon after.
Hollywood got in on the act in later that year with the under-rated Predator 2, starring Danny Glover and Gary Busey. During the film’s finale, a ‘trophy cabinet’ could be seen on board the creature’s ship.
Among the glazed skulls featured on the shelves was one from an Alien – a Xenomorph to be exact, from the 1978 movie Alien and 1986 follow-up, Aliens.
It would be another 14 years before the pair would do battle together on the big screen with the disappointing Aliens Vs Predator (2004), which was followed by the improved, but still lacklustre AVP: Requiem (2007).
But, the crossovers haven’t ended solely with Alien and Predator though, as a host of other well-known action heroes have gone into combat against the two less then lovable ETs, usually, but not exclusively, on the pages of a comic book.
There’s been Superman vs Predator, Superman / Aliens, Batman vs Predator, Batman / Aliens, Green Lantern vs Predator, Predator vs Judge Dredd, Judge Dredd vs Aliens, Superman and Batman vs Aliens and Predator, and even Aliens vs Predator vs The Terminator.
Other than two aforementioned AVP features, there has been little on the film front. But arguably the best of them has actually been fan-made, by Sandy Collora in 2003.
It was called Batman: Dead End and, running for no more than eight minutes and costing $30,000, it saw the Caped Crusader up against his arch nemesis The Joker as well as an Alien and a Predator.
It was screened at the San Diego Comic Con and received rave reviews, namely from director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma), who described it as the “truest, best Batman movie ever made” – of course that was before Christopher Nolan got his hands on ‘The Dark Knight’ – and brilliant comic artist Alex Ross (Marvels, Kingdom Come), who said it was “Batman the way I’ve always wanted to see him”.
Now, another iconic sci-fi character from the ’80s, RoboCop, has entered the fray. Currently in production in France is another high-calibre fan-made production, simply titled RoboCop vs Predator.
It is being directed by Julien Dumont who contacted me recently after I published a series of images in which the Predator does battle with certain non-human heroes – Chewy from Star Wars, Shrek, Terminator/s, Hellboy and of course RoboCop.
Dumont is a 23-year-old Frenchman, lover of film-making and a massive Predator fan. He says he has dreamed of directing movies since the age of 10.
Dumont has never been to film school, but that hasn’t stopped him from leading a passionate team of actors in front of the camera and crew behind it (see photos above) on the set of RoboCop vs Predator.
“After (I) directed my first no budget short film called Action, I met two French fans, yautja 57 and murphy 38 who had the two costumes (Predator and RoboCop respectively),” he says.
Yautja is in reference to the name of the race that the Predator belongs to, while murphy is the name of Peter Weller’s police officer in RoboCop before he becomes the title character.
“They wanted to make a short film for fun, but I prefer creating an original, long movie with (a) real story.
“As we have no budget, it is difficult to shoot this movie, but many technicians (are) working free on (the) movie because they love the challenge.”
Dumont says this challenge of bringing RoboCop vs Predator to life is nearing completion – “almost two years!!!” after it began.
It looks pretty impressive. I’m looking forward to seeing the final product.
Watch a sneak preview below.