HOLLYWOOD — In the first decade of the 21st century, fans of two of Hollywood's most powerful franchises welcomed a succession of "Alien vs. Predator" films to the multiplex — only to be left bemoaning the lackluster efforts.
Now, the start of a second decade finds both combatants bloody, bruised and, possibly, mortally wounded. Both have backed off to their respective corners to regroup, pledging to recapture once again the promise of their glory days. There are signs that things might be moving in the right direction. Last week, "Alien" director Ridley Scott revealed that he's determined to save his outer-space monster from the damage wrought by the "AVP" films. MTV News caught up with Adrien Brody on Monday night at the "Iron Man 2" premiere, where he echoed those sentiments.
"Absolutely," Brody said when asked if he thought the franchise characters had been damaged; the Oscar-winning actor will head "Predators," due out July 7. "And I think [saving the franchise] is also the objective of the studio. This is basically a reboot."
Brody is arguably the biggest star to be attached to the flicks since the heyday of Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose 1987 "Predator" was a massive hit — so massive, 23 years later most fans are still willing to give the dreadlocked man-hunter another look. Brody said he can promise fans that they won't be sorry.
"We're picking up where the first one left off," he explained. Previous efforts like "Predator 2" and the "AVP" films are irrelevant in this universe. "The first 'Predator' was an amazing film; I saw it in theaters when I was a kid. I remember how awesome the nonstop action was. There was a darkness to it."
In Brody's opinion, there's no reason a "Predator" flick shouldn't appeal to as big an audience as an "Iron Man" release. The actor also said he was really pleased that "Iron Man" star Robert Downey Jr. helped set the tone for a more realistic-looking action hero.
"What I admire about [the 'Iron Man' movies] is that they hired Robert, and he brought something special to the role. That's something that is a trend now, which is great," the star said. "I have 'Predators' coming out this summer, which I feel was a stretch for the studio to bring me in initially. But we're all confident that they made the right decision.
"In the past, with [strong] and heroic characters, Hollywood depict[ed] them with a physical brawn," Brody continued, recalling a generation of action heroes like Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Van Damme. "But if you look at real heroes, soldiers today, they're not much bigger than I am. It's about inner strength. That's something I think people know ... so when they see a movie — yes, it can be spectacular and have amazing effects and be entertaining, but it should have something in truth."
Brody plays a man abducted then released on a planet where the predator aliens aim to hunt him. His co-stars include physically unimposing actors Topher Grace and Alice Braga. "I think [our average physical size] will touch people more, and people will be more gratified with the experience."
This summer, "Predators" will give its grotesque, nonverbal monster one more shot. Sometime after, director Scott will take his turn with the "Alien" franchise. It seems unlikely the two monsters will ever do battle again, but this much is clear: Fans are holding out hope that some of that old magic can still be recaptured.
In the reboot, "We use a lot of practical effects, it's not make-believe," Brody said. "It should be a very intense, harrowing journey for these guys, and I think it will be pretty fun."
Make way for Tony Stark! Look out for Carrie Bradshaw! Here come Edward and Bella! The 2010 summer movie season has begun, and with it the return of familiar faces and the emergence of new ones. All week long during Summer Movie Preview Week, MTV News will be bringing you exclusive interviews, clips and photos for the most anticipated films of the coming months. Get ready to gorge on inside looks at "Eclipse," "Iron Man 2," "Predators," "The Other Guys," "Beastly," "Robin Hood" and more.
Check out everything we've got on "Predators."
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