Even though Disney’s had access to the Alien and Predator franchises since it purchased 20th Century Fox in 2019, the corporation has only recently started to put the two licenses at work. Last year saw the release of the pretty excellent Prey, while a new Alien movie (from Don’t Breathe director Fede Alvarez) and TV show (from Legion’s Noah Hawley) are both in the works. But as it turns out, there’s at least one other project for both that was quietly made…it just doesn’t sound like we’ll ever get a chance to watch it.
During an April episode of the Perfect Organism podcast celebrating Alien Day, 20th Century Studios’ ex-licensing director Josh Izzo revealed an Alien vs. Predator anime was made at some point prior to the acquisition. According to him, there’s “10 episodes of a fully completed Alien vs. Predator anime series that I produced,” and set between the events of the first Alien vs. Predator movie and Alien Resurrection. Interestingly, the anime’s been done for quite some time, as he added that it predates the production and release for both Alien Covenant and The Predator, each franchises’ respective final films before the acquisition.
As Izzo described it, he initially started from the idea of a straight-to-DVD film for Alien and Predator as separate entities, or an AvP one. Either way, he pitched the film as 20th Century being “the masters of our own destiny rather than waiting for theatrical whenever a movie decides to come out.” After getting the greenlight from the consumer products head, he eventually settled on an AvP series. Without explicitly confirming it, Izzo implies that the director was Shinji Aramaki (who recently directed Adult Swim’s Blade Runner: Black Lotus). Serving as western consultants were the “unbelievably crazy talented” Eric Calderon (Afro Samurai) and Dave Baker.
But will Disney ever release this anime? That’s the big question, and currently unknown. It doesn’t sound like there’s any complications to its release—remember, for example, that Prey didn’t get a theatrical release because the movie would’ve then gone to HBO Max. Or maybe, it’s just a matter of timing: Prey released to great reviews and had a high viewership in its opening weekend. Disney may be waiting to see how either the Alien movie or show performs to verify that Prey wasn’t a fluke and both franchises can provide momentum for the anime.
Or, depressingly, it may just be that it’s decided to never release it all simply because it can. We won’t know until we know.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.