It's pretty cool that two of the most iconic movie monsters share the same cinematic universe.

Thanks to the Alien vs Predator films, the Alien and Predator franchises converged to take place in the same timeline. Now, there are 12 movies in total to watch - if you feel like revisiting what's known as the Alien Universe - the oldest of which is Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic Alien, set in 2122. However, the earliest film, chronologically, is the first Predator, set the year it premiered: 1987.

To make things even more complicated, these films' creators have planted easter eggs in other movies. Coupled with online theories, this has resulted in the inclusion of Blade Runner into the Alien Universe. (It shares the same director as Alien, Ridley Scott.) To help you make sense of the Alien-Predator timeline, we put all the films in chronological order, with Blade Runner as a bonus.

Alien vs Predator chronological movie order

Follow our guide below, and you will watch the events in the Alien Universe as they happened. At the bottom of this article, you'll find a spoiler-free, bulleted-list version of this guide, plus additional watch orders with no spoilers.

NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS BELOW.

20th Century Fox

Predator (1987)

Alan “Dutch" Schaefer (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his team of elite soldiers are sent on a mission to rescue hostages from a central American jungle. Soon after landing, the team encounters evidence that the mission isn’t all that it seems. In fact, they're the ones being hunted by a Predator alien.

Carl Weathers stars as Dutch’s friend, Dillon. And John McTiernan directed the film.

20th Century Fox

Predator 2 (1990)

This Predator sequel traded in the jungles for the skyscrapers of Los Angeles. Danny Glover stars as Michael R Harrigan, a lieutenant on the LAPD fighting against warring drug cartels. The heavily armed feud between the cartels and the police draw the attention of a Predator looking for new prey. When Harrigan begins to suspect something out of this world is murdering gang members, he meets Special Agent Peter Keyes (played by Gary Busey), who leads a special government task force hoping to capture the Predator.

Stephen Hopkins directed Predator 2.

20th Century Fox

Alien vs Predator (2004)

When a satellite discovers a heat signature beneath the ice of Antarctica, the owner of the Weyland Corporation, Charles Bishop Weyland (played by Lance Henriksen), assembles a team to investigate. It's headed by a guide named Alexa Woods (played by Sanaa Lathan). Once there, the team discovers a pyramid under the ice built by an unknown alien civilization.

Paul WS Anderson directed Alien vs Predator.

20th Century Fox

Alien vs Predator Requiem (2007)

This Alien vs Predator sequel picks up directly after the events of the 2004 film: We see a Predator spaceship carrying an Alien-Predator hybrid crash in Colorado right as Dallas Howard (played by Steven Pasquale) is returning to reunite with his younger brother Ricky (Johnny Lewis). The ship releases the Predalien on to the town, along with facehugger aliens, which create more Xenomorph (Aliens). If that wasn’t enough, the last surviving Predator calls in reinforcements.

Greg and Colin Strause directed this installment.

20th Century Fox

The Predator (2018)

A Predator ship crash-lands, and a surviving Predator attacks a US Army team in the middle of a rescue mission. Army Sniper Quinn McKenna (played by Boyd Holbrook) incapacitates the extraterrestrial monster, but soon, both he and the Predator are taken into custody by the US government and Special Agent Will Traeger (played by Sterling K Brown).

Shane Black, who starred in the original Predator as Hawkins, directed this film.

20th Century Fox

Predators (2010)

A group of people including a Spetnaz soldier, Israeli Defense Forces sniper, multiple drug cartel enforcers, and a death row inmate are led by a mysterious soldier named Royce (played by Adrien Brody) through a jungle, which they parachuted into while unconscious. Soon, the group finds themselves being hunted by two different groups of Predators.

Nimrod Antal directed Predators.

20th Century Fox

Prometheus (2008)

The opening scene of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus shows the Alien race (known as Engineers) seeding life on Earth before jumping to the year 2089. There, a discovery by archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (played by Logan Marshall-Green) leads the Weyland Corporation to dispatch the duo on an investigation of the planet LV-223. Guy Pearce plays Peter Weyland in this film. He's the son of Charles Bishop Weyland in Alien vs Predator.

Lis Anna-Langston directed Prometheus.

20th Century Fox

Alien Covenant (2017)

Set 11 years after Prometheus in 2104, The Covenant is a colonisation ship headed toward Origae-6 when it suffers damage from a shockwave, forcing the ship’s android Walter (played by Michael Fassbender) to awaken the human crew members. While repairing the ship, the crew discovers the transmission of a human voice from a nearby habitable planet. Fassbender plays not only Walter but also Peter Weyland’s android, David, from Prometheus.

Ridley Scott returned to the Alien series to direct Covenant.

20th Century Fox

Alien (1979)

This is actually the oldest film on this entire list (and quite possibly the best), but it's set father along in the Alien Universe timeline. In 2122, the crew of the Nostromo is on their way back to Earth when they receive a transmission from a nearby moon known as LV-426. When they respond to the beacon, executive officer Kane (played by John Hurt) is attacked by an Alien that emerges from an egg-like cocoon. This film introduces Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley.

Alien is directed by Ridley Scott.

20th Century Fox

Aliens (1986)

Ripley is awoken from stasis after 57 years of floating through space. The Weyland-Yutani Corporation dismisses her claims about finding the ship full of Xenomorph eggs on LV-426 because the planet is now the site of a successful colony known as Hadley’s Hope. That is until they suddenly lose all communication with the colony -- at which point they ask Ripley to return as a consultant to a group of marines. The film also stars Michael Biehn as Corporal Dwayne Hicks and Bill Paxton as Private Hudson. 

Aliens is directed by James Cameron.

20th Century Fox

Alien 3 (1992)

Set Immediately after Aliens, the ship carrying the survivors of Hadley’s Hope catches fire. A survival pod is ejected and crashlands on Fiorina 161, a prison planet populated by violent male inmates. The only survivor is Ripley and a facehugger, which soon attaches onto an inmate's dog. Once full-grown, the Xenomorph begins working its way through the prisoners.

This film marks the debut of director David Fincher.

20th Century Fox

Alien Resurrection (1997)

Alien Resurrection sees a 200-year jump forward in the timeline to 2379. Scientists aboard the USM Auriga have cloned Ripley to harvest the embryo of a Queen Xenomorph. Of course, the full-grown Alien queen escapes with the help of some other lab-grown Xenomorphs, and it’s up to Ripley and a group of mercenaries including Wynona Ryder as Annalee Call and Ron Pearlman as Ron Johner.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet directed this installment.

Bonus: More movies in the Alien Universe

Here are a few movies loosely connected to the Alien vs Predator chronology.

Warner Bros.

Blade Runner (1982)

  • Watch after Predators (2010)

Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) is a former police officer who’s taken up the profession of a Blade Runner. His job is to track down rogue synthetic humans known as replicants. His latest case is to fund and retire four Nexus-6 replicants led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer).

The film is set in 2019, so about 100 years before the events of 1979’s Alien, but Ridley Scott, the director of both films, sees the films as intrinsically linked, saying once in a Blade Runner director’s commentary:

“This world could easily be the city that supports the crew that go out in Alien. So, in other words, when the crew of Alien come back in, they might go into this place and go into a bar off the street near where Deckard lives. That’s how I thought about it.”

Warner Bros.

Soldier (1998)

  • Watch after Blade Runner (1982)

Soldier is probably the most surprising movie on this list. It follows the story of a group of orphans, born in 1996 and raised to be the perfect soldiers. An opening montage shows the group through their early training and through 40 years of fighting under the leadership of Sgt. Todd 3465 (played by Kurt Russell). If you look closely, you’ll notice some of the wars the soldiers fight in are the same ones the replicant Roy Batty was a veteran of in Blade Runner. When a new group of genetically enhanced soldiers replace Todd’s group, he finds himself dumped on a trash planet experiencing life for the first time.

Soldier was written by David Peoples, who co-wrote Blade Runner and has said he views the films as occurring in the same universe, so if we’re counting Blade Runne, we have to count this movie, too.

Warner Bros./ Sony Pictures

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

  • Watch after Soldier (1998)

K (played by Ryan Gosling), is a replicant Blade Runner. While out on an assignment, he discovers a box that has the remains of a replicant that died during a cesarean section, which is unusual because replicants aren’t supposed to reproduce. The ensuing investigation reveals that the body of the replicant is Rachael (played by Sean Young), a special replicant designed by Eldon Tyrell, who ran off with Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) in the original Blade Runner. The film was directed by Denis Villeneuve. As far as easter eggs go, keep your eyes peeled for the replicants in jars that K sees while he’s escorted through the Wallace Corporation. They have a sneaky resemblance to the Engineers.

20th Century Fox

Firefly (2002 to 2003) and Serenity (2005)

  • Watch after Alien Resurrection (1997)

This Joss Whedon TV series and its feature film are also theorised to be part of the Alien Universe, although we wouldn’t exactly call it canon. The series is set in the year 2517, which would be 138 years after Alien Resurrection and another 200 years after the rest of the events in the universe. There’s no need to look further than the first episode for the connection to the Alien Universe. During a space dogfight, you get a view of the hud of one of the weapons aboard the spaceship Serenity, where you can see the Weyland-Yutani corporation logo from Alien.


Complete Alien Universe at a glance

This is a version of the guide above, complete with bonus/optional Alien Universe timeline movies, but free of spoilers.

  • Predator (1987)
  • Predator 2 (1990)
  • Alien vs Predator (2004)
  • Alien vs Predator Requiem (2007)
  • The Predator (2018)
  • Predators (2010)
  • Optional: Blade Runner (1982)
  • Optional: Soldier (1998)
  • Optional: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
  • Prometheus (2008)
  • Alien Covenant (2017)
  • Alien (1979)
  • Aliens (1986)
  • Alien 3 (1992)
  • Alien Resurrection (1997)
  • Optional: Firefly (2002 to 2003) and Serenity (2005)

Alien Universe release date order

Again, this is a version of the guide above, but free of spoilers and also in the order of which they premiered in theatres or on TV.

  • Alien (1979)
  • Optional: Blade Runner (1982)
  • Aliens (1986)
  • Predator (1987)
  • Predator 2 (1990)
  • Alien 3 (1992)
  • Alien Resurrection (1997)
  • Optional: Soldier (1998)
  • Optional: Firefly (2002 to 2003)
  • Optional: Serenity (2005)
  • Alien vs Predator (2004)
  • Alien vs Predator Requiem (2007)
  • Prometheus (2008)
  • Predators (2010)
  • The Predator (2018)
  • Alien Covenant (2017)
  • Optional: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Did you like this?

Then maybe you'll like our other movie order viewing guides:

We also have these rumour round-ups on upcoming movies:

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