The Hunt: Alien vs. Predator was a 1991 script draft for a film based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, written by Peter Briggs. Briggs was the first person to undertake the project, although after his script was rejected development of the film would stall for almost a decade. His story bears no relation to Alien vs. Predator as it was ultimately made, and is instead based more closely on the original Aliens vs. Predator comic book by Dark Horse Comics. When the project was finally picked up, it was followed by the first draft of what would become the final shooting script, written by Paul W. S. Anderson and Shane Salerno.
After killing several Xenomorphs on a desolate planet, a group of Predators, led by an individual known as Broken Tusk, return to their ship with their trophies. Aboard their vessel is a captive Xenomorph Queen, whose Eggs they have been using to seed worlds with Xenomorphs that they may then hunt. As the Eggs emerge from the Queen's Egg sac, they are scanned to determine their contents — any containing Royal Facehuggers are immediately destroyed, so as to prevent any seeded Hives from expanding beyond control. Broken Tusk, apparently seeking a greater challenge, interrupts the process and loads a Royal Egg into a seeding probe before launching it into space.
The probe eventually makes landfall of the planet Ryushi, which is home to a communications outpost manned by a small group of colonists. On its way in, the probe destroys the relay satellite in orbit around the planet, cutting off not only communications with other nearby colonies, but also between the staff at the comms outpost and a group of civilians on a hunting excursion elsewhere on the planet. The hunting party see the pod land and go to investigate, and one of their number, Ackland, is subsequently attacked and subdued by a Facehugger. He is taken back to the hunters' camp, but Broken Tusk and the other Predators attack, killing all but one of the remaining hunters, who escapes. The Predators find Ackland with the Facehugger attached to him, but leave him where he is, intending to allow the Xenomorph infestation to spread.
The following day, the administrator at the comms outpost, Hiroko Noguchi, and the head mechanic, Don Kamen, head out to the hunting party's camp in a small vertical take-off craft to re-establish communications. They find the camp destroyed, with two of the hunters hanging skinned from the surrounding trees. They also find a comatose Ackland and the now-dead Facehugger that had attacked him, taking both back to the main outpost. After they land, a Predator that had secretly clung to their aircraft disembarks and begins watching events at the compound. The lone surviving hunter also makes it back to the outpost, badly wounded and ranting about the giant humanoids that attacked them.
The Chestburster inside Ackland eventually emerges, revealing itself to be an infant Queen, and the creature escapes into the lower levels of the outpost. A search is initiated, but after three days, nothing is found. However, the following evening, the Xenomorphs attack en masse, having bred using the planet's indigenous wildlife, including Rhino-like quadrupeds. The human inhabitants arm themselves with Pulse Rifles and motion trackers, and attempt to contain the creatures by sealing blast doors within the complex. Even so, the Xenomorphs rapidly spread throughout the outpost using the sewers and service ducts. To make matters worse, the Predators also attack, although they are more interested in fighting the Xenomorphs than the humans. However, the sheer numbers of Xenomorphs soon overwhelm the complex, and all of the Predators bar Broken Tusk are killed, while the human inhabitants are reduced to two separate groups, one holed up in the operations center and the other trapped inside the garage. The outpost itself is left critically damaged and on fire.
The surviving humans formulate a plan to escape using their remaining vehicles, one of which is capable of transporting the entire operations center — and the survivors it contains — on its back. However, the operations module first needs to be lifted onto the vehicle using a crane, which must be programmed for the task. Noguchi volunteers to go to the crane and carry out the required work, and swims through the sewer system in a diving suit specially modified with an in-built motion tracker. She discovers the Hive in the tunnels and is attacked by several Xenomorphs, but manages to escape and reprogram the crane.
The survivors put their plan into action and flee in the vehicles, but Noguchi is cornered by Xenomorphs and orders the others to leave her behind. At the last moment, Broken Tusk returns and saves her, apparently impressed by her acts of courage that he had previously witnessed. He arms her with a Combistick and together the two venture back into the Hive. Within the Queen's chamber, Broken Tusk finds one of his comrades, cocooned to the wall, chest ripped open, while Noguchi discovers Kamen, captured alive and impregnated with a Chestburster. He begs her to kill him, but when she is unable to carry out the act, Broken Tusk executes Kamen with his Wristblades. Broken Tusk arms the Self-Destruct Device on the wrist of the cocooned Predator and the two survivors flee, just as the outpost begins to explode from the damage caused to it, killing the Queen.
As they leave, a second, adolescent Queen emerges from a sac in the Hive's ceiling and attacks, wounding Broken Tusk. After a brief fight, Noguchi and the Predator flee to the surface and make for the vertical take-off craft, which they can use to escape. They make it aboard the aircraft, although the adolescent Queen also manages to jump on board, clinging to the fuselage. Broken Tusk arms himself with a Pulse Rifle and shoots the Queen, causing her to fall back into the burning outpost, killing her. As Noguchi and the Predator fly away, the comms outpost is obliterated by the Self-Destruct Device.
The heavily damaged aircraft soon crashes in the jungle. As Noguchi helps the injured Broken Tusk from the wreckage, he is mortally wounded by a final Xenomorph that has stowed away on board. Noguchi takes up the Predator's Smart Disc and faces the creature alone, but is quickly overpowered. Just as the Xenomorph prepares to land the killing blow, Broken Tusk shoots it with the Pulse Rifle, killing it. Noguchi goes to Broken Tusk's side, but the Predator dies from its wounds.
Two USCM ships arrive in response to the loss of communications with Ryushi. Before they can reach Noguchi, a Predator vessel also lands, its occupants emerging and carrying Broken Tusk's body away with honor. The lead Predator offers Noguchi his Combistick as a trophy, before respectfully inviting her aboard his ship, the implication clear. Noguchi glances at the dropships descending to the surface in the distance, before joining the Predators aboard their vessel.
The script is far closer to the original Aliens vs. Predator comic than the movie that was eventually made, and features several characters inspired by those in the comic. For example, Broken Tusk is obviously based on the Predator of the same name from the comic book, while Hiroko Noguchi is a combination of Hiroki Shimura and Machiko Noguchi (her name in fact being an amalgam of both). The overall plot is also broadly similar to the comic. However, there are differences. For example, while Ryushi is unintentionally infested by Xenomorphs in the comic, the Predators deliberately seed the planet with the creatures in the screenplay.
The script makes reference to the preceding films in the franchise, particularly those of the Alien series. For example, the screenplay refers to Gateway Station, Antarctica Traffic Control (mentioned briefly by Ripley in Alien) and the United States Colonial Marine Corps, linking it firmly with the Alien universe. Additionally, the scene where Hiroko returns to the Hive and encounters Kamen cocooned, impregnated and still alive mirrors scenes cut from both Alien and Aliens where Ripley discovers characters in a similar state (Dallas in Alien, Burke in Aliens). In the script, Kamen also mentions that the Xenomorphs have snapped his legs in order to fit him into a space on the Hive wall, something the creatures are said to do both in the initial treatment and novelization of Aliens (but not in the film itself).
As with many of the unmade scripts in the film franchise, Briggs' screenplay bestows the titular creatures, especially the Xenomorphs, with several new abilities not previously seen. Notably, Briggs proposes that the Xenomorphs' secrete the resin used to construct their Hives from their dorsal tubes rather than their mouths, a theory that has occasionally been proposed by fans of the series. The story features many Xenomorphs born of non-human hosts, including lemurs (an idea briefly touched upon in William Gibson's unproduced script for Alien3) and the rhino-like rhynth. A Xenomorph is also born from one of the Predators on the planet — the Predator host's body is found in the Hive, its chest ripped open, although the resultant creature is never seen and is presumably killed when the comms outpost explodes.
At the end of the story, Hiroko and Broken Tusk are confronted by an immature Queen that emerges from a fluid-filled, sac-like cocoon built into the roof of the Hive. The exact purpose of this cocoon is not clear, although it is possible that it serves as a means to create a Queen, possibly by transforming a pre-existing regular Xenomorph, without the presence of a "Royal Egg" that Briggs establishes at the beginning of the script. It is also possible that the cocoon simply serves as some form of growth medium that can accelerate the Queen's development, allowing it to reach the Egg-laying stage faster.
In comparison to the Xenomorphs, the Predators undergo far fewer alterations. In fact, the only real change in the creatures is with their Cloaks, which are now able to remain active even when in contact with water. By contrast, in the films, Yautja Cloaks are invariably shorted out by even the slightest contact with water.
Briggs later wrote a second draft of his script for 20th Century Fox, and this second version allegedly "tidied up" the original draft fairly significantly. According to Briggs, "Some of the characters disappeared from it, a lot of the dialogue was re-worked, the beginning's different, some of the extra sequences are different... There's about 70% of my first draft remaining in the second." However, the computer discs containing this second draft were subsequently lost and it has never surfaced online or elsewhere, and as a result details of what was changed remain sparse.
However, Briggs has since elaborated on some of the alterations in interviews. Among the more notable changes was a new opening sequence; whereas the first draft begins with Predators hunting Xenomorphs on a desert planet, the second draft instead shifted this action to a derelict human spacecraft, the crew of which inadvertently picked up one of the Predator's seeding probes and have thus fallen victim to the Aliens. The Predators board the ship, which has lost power to its artificial gravity systems, and engage the Xenomorphs within in zero-gravity combat. Briggs has also talked of a Xenomorph in the second draft that bears "vague hints of skeletal juggernauts with forms and shapes reminiscent of the cocooned Predators", hinting that a Predalien may have appeared. Concept artwork created by comics artist Dave Dorman for the film also suggests a Predalien would have made an appearance.
- Briggs' script was not initially intended as a serious pitch for a movie; rather, Briggs wrote the draft quickly in the hopes that it would impress 20th Century Fox executives sufficiently for them to give him a job rewriting other movies already in production. However, the script coincidentally came to Fox just days after the idea of an Alien vs. Predator movie had been discussed as a possible project going forwards, and as a result they immediately bought the rights and commissioned Briggs to write a second draft.
- At one point, Briggs mentions a "Yutani-Templin" company, implying that the Yutani Corporation was involved in other corporate mergers in addition to it's merger with Weyland-Yutani, and that these other conglomerates are still in operation. However, the exact nature of the company is never elaborated upon.