The following gives an overview of all the edits made between the three versions of the film — The original 8m 59s Work Print, the 6m 53s Pre-Release cut, and the final 7m 8s Release version.
General Notes: Many minor edits were made of a few seconds or less to tighten up certain shots and scenes. These will not be listed individually.
Audio: The only scenes with complete audio were the Command Center of the USA scene, which was released as a preview scene a month before the finished film, and the Yutani Building scene, where the explosions were timed to the audio.
After the “a film by Alan Smithee” credit, there was originally a 40 second expository sequence of white text on black, narrated by Low Resolution Carl Sagan, explaining how this film tied into AvP: Requiem. An almost subliminal Low Resolution Carl Sagan face was visible behind the text, growing as the scene continued until it filled the frame, before smash cutting to the main title, also narrated. (NOTE: In the Pre-Release version, the opening “Penniless Sentry’s Socks” logo and fanfare was cut).
Cut Because: Too long, particularly for repeat viewings; too slow, with nothing really happening; and superfluous, as the information is more or less explained throughout the film anyway. Carl Sagan’s voice over “Vengeance for … Wolf” was funny the first time, but the 40 second drag beforehand ruined much of its impact on repeat viewings.
The shot originally ran some 20 seconds.
Cut Because: The shot was originally meant to have more dialogue over it, but even in the Work Print the only line spoken during this was “Incoming message for Elder Predator”.
Command Centre of the USA
A shot was added after the scene was released for preview, with FBI Person picking up the phone and talking to Yutani, saying he knew what the “unknown object” was and that he’d talk to her later.
Cut Because: The Yutani Building scene was drastically modified during post-production, and the FBI Person’s involvement in the scene was dropped entirely. As the FBI Person never meets with Yutani, there was no reason for the dialogue to be here.
One of two instances where a shot was extended, not cut. The first shot of the Elder Predator walking away from the Personal Predator Pod was much shorter in the Work Print, and was lengthened in the Pre-Release and Release versions to make the scene flow better.
The difference here is between the Pre-Release version and the other two. The Pre-Release version has a different title card that fades in and out, rather than fading in from left to right, and omits the opening line from Yutani prior to the first explosion. Ambient sound was also added to the scene of city streets.
Cut Because: Staring at a still image for so long while the dialogue played was felt to be undesirable and slowed the scene down. It was re-inserted into the Release version at the request of voice actor Bugsy Malone, who was partial to his line reading of the cut dialogue.
Two lines of dialogue are cut between Security Person and the President. Omitted line italicized:
President: I don’t know who’s Wolf.
Security Person: One of those unknown animals you drooped the bomb on back in 2004.
President: Then, uh, let him come. My body is ready.
Security Person: But sir, this alien is strong, so you are doom if you stay here.
President: I’m not scared, because my KFC gives me strength.
Cut Because: To keep the scene moving, and because the two omitted lines could be cut from the conversation fairly seamlessly.
President vs. Elder Predator
Probably the most different scene between Work Print and Release. In the Work Print the President only punches the Elder Predator once with his KFC Bucket Punch. When the Elder Predator starts hitting the President a second time, the shot order is reversed in the Work Print: It starts with the shot of the Elder Predator and President in frame together, then cuts to the POV shot of the Elder Predator. The POV shot is also shorter in the Work Print than in the other versions.
Cut Because: The second punch was added for two reasons: Firstly, so that there was something of an actual fight. Secondly, because it took an hour to get that bucket moving roughly in time with the fist, and using the shot once felt like a waste of time and effort.
The second time the Elder Predator starts hitting the President was rearranged to minimize the footage of the President being hit, as my face kept moving out from behind the mask. The POV shot was extended to fill this gap.
The Final Battle
After the KFC Bucket and Elder Predator have mortally wounded each other and fall to the ground, the Work Print has a shot of the KFC Bucket saying, “Now we both die.”
The shot of the Elder Predator activating his wrist nuke originally came after he’d finished asking Wolf to forgive his sins, as too the shot of the Earth came after the KFC bucket had finished screaming “Noooo!”
Cut Because: There was no footage created for the shot of the KFC Bucket saying “Now we both die”, so a static shot of it from when it entered the room was used. This looked too jarring and out of place, so the line was cut. The other two edits were also made purely for pacing reasons.