- "The hunt has evolved."
- ―The Predator tagline
The Predator is a 2018 science fiction film directed by Shane Black and starring Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and Sterling K. Brown. It is a sequel to the 1990 film Predator 2. Written by Black and Fred Dekker, it follows an Army Ranger sniper who encounters a Predator while on a mission in Central America and subsequently crosses paths with a government taskforce seeking to capture and study the creature. When it becomes clear the Predator is in fact attempting to help mankind defend itself against increasing attacks by its brethren, the sniper is forced to team up with a group of misfit military outcasts to battle the genetically modified Predator sent to Earth to kill the fugitive.
John Davis, who served as one of the producers on the original film, returned in the same role for the new sequel, while 20th Century Fox executive Matt Reilly and Davis Entertainment's Ira Napoliello oversaw the production. The film was originally slated for a March 2, 2018 release date, but this was later delayed until August 3, 2018, and again until September 14, 2018.
In deep space, a Predator craft is pursued and fired upon by another Predator vessel, escaping when it opens a wormhole to jump away. It arrives at Earth, where damage from its confrontation causes it to crash-land, the pilot ejecting in a pod that comes down in Mexico, interrupting a covert American anti-drug enforcement operation. The Predator on board attacks the three-man Army Ranger team, but the final surviving member, a sniper named Quinn McKenna, manages to seriously wound the creature with its own weaponry. McKenna escapes with several pieces of stolen Predator equipment while the Predator itself is captured by a taskforce from Project Stargazer that arrives on the scene, led by Agent Traeger. McKenna reaches a nearby town and manages to mail the stolen Predator tech home to keep it safe, before he too is apprehended.
Taken back to the United States, McKenna is debriefed by Stargazer personnel, correctly guessing that they seek to silence him for what he has seen. He is eventually shipped off with a busload of military prisoners who suffer from a range of mental conditions and who have christened themselves "The Loonies" as a result. Meanwhile, the captive Predator is taken to a laboratory where it is studied by Stargazer scientists, including Sean Keyes, son of the late Peter Keyes, and evolutionary biologist Casey Brackett. Elsewhere, military radar detects another Predator vessel entering Earth's atmosphere, and a pair of F-22 Raptors are dispatched to investigate. The Predator ship quickly destroys the two fighters before making for the Stargazer base. Seemingly anticipating the vessel's arrival, the captured Predator escapes its bonds and begins rampaging through the facility, slaughtering the soldiers attempting to stop it but sparing Casey when it finds her cowering naked and unarmed in a decontamination shower.
The Loonies witness the creature's escape first hand and use the distraction to overpower their guards, fleeing the base with Casey. They hide out at a motel, where McKenna informs the others of the Predator equipment he stole in Mexico. He now now fears the Predator will be heading to his home to retrieve it, endangering his estranged wife Emily and autistic son Rory. The group agrees to help save his family, but upon arriving they discover that Rory has already gone out trick or treating wearing the recovered equipment as his costume. Searching the neighbourhood, McKenna and the Loonies find him just in time to save him from a pair of Predator dogs. The group is then confronted by the escaped Predator, and they flee with Rory to a nearby school. Inside, McKenna is cornered by the creature; he prepares to give back its lost technology it the hopes it will spare him and his son, but before he can hand it over the Predator is attacked by a second, much larger Predator, which quickly overpowers the first creature and tears off its head. McKenna and the others flee once again.
Laying low at an abandoned barn, Casey concludes the new creature is the result of genetic experimentation by the Predators, in which they are gathering worthy traits from other species and fusing them with their own genome to create an upgraded version of themselves. While most of the Loonies go to secure transport, McKenna, Casey and remaining Loonie Nebraska are captured by Traeger, who shares his theory that the Predators anticipate climate change will soon lead to the extinction of the human race, and with it their ability to retrieve human DNA for further hybridization. Thus they are scrambling to retrieve as much as they can before it is too late, accounting for an increasing number of incidents in recent times. Seeing Rory drawing a map leading to the deceased Predator's ship, Traeger takes him away to find the vessel. McKenna and the others escape and, reunited with the rest of the Loonies, set off in pursuit.
By the time they catch up with Traeger, Stargazer personnel have already secured the crashed Predator ship. McKenna and the Loonies launch an assault, but are interrupted by the upgraded Predator, which carves a path through the Stargazer security force and boards the vessel. Once aboard, it uses Stargazer-developed translation software to inform the humans outside that it intends to destroy the craft in order to keep it out of their hands. It then offers to give them a head start before it begins hunting them. Forced into an uneasy truce, McKenna, Traeger and the other survivors flee into the woods as the ship explodes. The Predator soon catches up with them and begins killing off the team; Traeger arms himself with a captured Predator Plasmacaster but accidentally kills himself with it when distracted by Casey, while Loonies Coyle and Baxley are grievously wounded and simultaneously shoot each other to end their suffering.
The Predator takes Rory, apparently deeming his autism an advancement in human evolution and therefore worthwhile for Predator hybridization, and takes off in its ship. McKenna and the two remaining Loonies, Nebraska and Nettles, jump aboard, but Nettles is killed when the Predator activates the ship's energy shield, slicing off his legs and leaving him to fall from the vessel to his death. Nebraska sacrifices himself to bring the ship down, jumping into an engine, and it crashes back down into the forest below. McKenna, Casey and Rory collectively engage the upgraded Predator, and are finally able to overpower and kill it. In the aftermath, they pay tribute to their fallen comrades.
Some time later, McKenna visits a scientific laboratory where his son is now working to decode Predator technology. While there, he witnesses the opening of a pod that was ejected from the first Predator ship before the upgraded creature destroyed it. A piece of technology emerges, attaching itself to a nearby worker and encasing him in an armored "Predator Killer" suit, before deactivating once again.
- Quinn McKenna .... Boyd Holbrook
- Nebraska Williams .... Trevante Rhodes
- Rory McKenna .... Jacob Tremblay
- Coyle .... Keegan-Michael Key
- Casey Brackett .... Olivia Munn
- Traeger .... Sterling K. Brown
- Baxley .... Thomas Jane
- Lynch .... Alfie Allen
- Nettles .... Augusto Aguilera
- Keyes .... Jake Busey
- Emily .... Yvonne Strahovski
- Predator .... Brian A. Prince
- Dupree .... Mike Dopud
- Sapir .... Niall Matter
- Cantina Bartender .... Javier Lacroix
- EJ .... Gabe LaBelle
- Derek .... Nikolas Dukic
- Agent Church .... R. J. Fetherstonhaugh
- Helicopter Pilot .... James Salisbury
- Postal Worker .... Garry Chalk
- VA Psych .... Duncan Fraser
- Merc Soldier .... Emy Aneke
- Bus MP #1 .... Darryl Scheelar
- Bus MP #2 .... Fraser Aitcheson
- Security Tech .... Eduard Witzke
- Tech Hamlin .... Jan Bos
- Lt. General .... Lochlyn Munro
- Tracking Supervisor .... Françoise Yip
- F-22 Pilot #1 .... Rhys Williams
- F-22 Pilot #2 .... Malcolm Masters
- F-22 Pilot #3 .... Harrison MacDonald
- Transport Driver .... Sage Brocklebank
- Merc on the Road .... Coulton Jackson
- Stoner .... Sean Owen Roberts
- Emily's House Merc .... Colin Corrigan
- Cryptographer .... Anousha Alamian
- Guard with Rory .... Ryan Scramstad
- Barn Merc #1 .... Patrick Sabongui
- Barn Marc #2 .... J. C. Williams
- Barn Merc #3 .... Sean Kohnke
- Translator Voice .... Juan Pacheco
- Merc #1 .... Lars Grant
- Merc #2 .... Byron Brisco
- Merc #3 .... Fraser Corbett
- Merc #4 .... Chad Bellamy
- Dr. Yamada .... Peter Shinkoda
- Scientist .... Aaron Craven
Nimród Antal and Robert Rodriguez
Following the release of Predators, the film's director Nimród Antal discussed the idea of a sequel and said that he would love to make one. The film's producer Robert Rodriguez likewise stated that he was interested in a sequel because of the large number of potential ideas the Game Preserve Planet setting provided, and also proposed a prequel movie about Laurence Fishburne's character Noland. Rodriguez later stated that he viewed a sequel as a chance to "really go crazy" with the "new storyline, new location and world" that Predators had set up, and confirmed that 20th Century Fox was at least considering creating a sequel. However, the project apparently stalled and went quiet for several years.
Production of a fourth Predator film was first announced in an exclusive by The Hollywood Reporter published on their website on June 24, 2014, with Shane Black confirmed as director. Despite the initial report claiming the film would be a reboot, Black later clarified in an interview with Collider that the film is in fact a sequel. Black, who will outline the basic plot in a script treatment, and Fred Dekker, who will develop the script, previously co-wrote the 1987 movie The Monster Squad together. In August 2015, it was reported that work on the film was on-going, and that the script was almost finished. On November 30, Dekker confirmed via his official Facebook page that the film's script had been completed and handed to 20th Century Fox.
On February 16, 2016, a piece of artwork consisting of an image of a Predator overlaid with the slogan "You'll never see him coming" and "The Predator" was posted on the official Predator Facebook page, leading to widespread speculation that the title of the new film would be The Predator; later the same day, Black confirmed that this was indeed the case. In March 2016, during interviews for his film The Nice Guys, Black stated that The Predator would be an "event" film and that the budget will be considerably larger than for other recent movies featuring the Predator. It was also confirmed that the film would have an R-rating, with Black stating that he had demanded this before agreeing to become involved. "I made a condition of my participation with Predator that it be the same rating as the first movie, and the first movie was Rated R. In other words, I don't want to cut away every time the Predator does something violent."
On September 16, 2016 it was announced that Oscar-winning actor Benicio Del Toro was in talks to star in the film, although the following month it was announced that he had left the project due to scheduling issues. Boyd Holbrook was subsequently linked with the film's leading role. Olivia Munn was also reported to be in talks to join the film, in the role of a scientist opposite Holbrook's commando character. Throughout early 2017, actors Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane, Yvonne Strahovski, Augusto Aguilera and Jake Busey were announced as joining the cast. Veteran actor Edward James Olmos was also announced as having taken on a role in the film, but Olmos later revealed that his character had been deleted from the movie during post-production. Comparing the film's main cast to the team from the original Predator in 1987, Black commented, "[They're] maybe a little more broken, they have to struggle to regain or capture what they're good at, as opposed to already being the best in the world." Arnold Schwarzenegger, star of the original 1987 film, revealed that he would not be appearing in the new movie, despite meeting with director Shane Black and being offered a small role. Actor Steve Wilder was also set to appear in a small part in the film, but his role was cut after his history as a convicted sex offender was brought to the attention of Fox.
Principal photography took place in Vancouver, British Columbia from February 20 to June 2, 2017. However, the film underwent substantial reworking in post-production, including two weeks of reshoots in Vancouver from March 12-29, 2018. Director Black stated in interviews that these reshoots were primarily geared towards switching the final action sequence from day to night for aesthetic reasons, but they additionally involved substantial restructuring of the movie's final act, with at least one major action sequence being removed and replaced with an entirely different scene. A completely new epilogue scene was also shot and added by the studio, something about which the film's co-writer Fred Dekker was quite disparaging. He would later point out, "What they ended up with was the terrible ending that I have nothing to do with it. Shane [Black] didn't write it either. That was sort of someone decided it was a good idea..."
Regarding the reported humor in the film, Black stated the comedic elements would be kept grounded, likening the tone to the 1969 movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid — "When you're under fire, one of the basic defense mechanisms is to grit your teeth and make a joke. I took sort of a Butch-and-Sundance approach. In that movie, they got shot to pieces at the end, but they never stopped wising off."
A novelisation of the film, written by Christopher Golden and Mark Morris, was published by Titan Books in September of 2018. Titan earlier published an official prequel to the film, titled The Predator: Hunters and Hunted and written by James A. Moore.
During post-production, producer John Davis revealed that the movie "will set up two sequels", although director Black was keen to point out that while sequels were possible, his focus was on creating a self-contained picture.
- The slogan in the teaser poster, "You'll never see him coming", is an obvious reference to the Yautja's Cloak, but also a nod to Iron Man 3, which was written and directed by Black, in which the character of The Mandarin notably uses the line, "You'll never see me coming..."
- The Predator is the first film to depict Predators speaking in their own language, as opposed to merely mimicking humans.
- The Predator shown in the teaser poster is actually the Crucified Predator from Predators, identifiable by the damage to its bio-helmet.
- Two unused endings for the film would have involved either Ellen Ripley or Newt being found within the pod that is the subject of interest for the last part of the film. Both women would have been wearing a breather helmet marked with the logo of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. These endings were filmed with Breanna Watkins portraying both Ripley and Newt, although neither was ultimately used.
- Inside the Stargazer facility, the makeshift spear using a severed Xenomorph tail used by Lex Woods in Alien vs. Predator is briefly seen. This marks the second time a Xenomorph body part has appeared in a Predator film, after the Drone skull seen in Predator 2.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Collider - Exclusive: Shane Black Says His PREDATOR Film Is a Sequel, Not a Reboot". Retrieved on 2014-06-26.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "The Hollywood Reporter - Fox Rebooting 'Predator' With Shane Black (Exclusive)". Retrieved on 2014-06-25.
- ↑ "Collider - 'The Predator' and 'Alien: Covenant' Get Official Release Dates". Retrieved on 2016-02-28.
- ↑ "Box Office Mojo - The predator (2018)". Retrieved on 2017-04-24.
- ↑ "MovieWeb - EXCLUSIVE: Robert Rodriguez Talks Predators Prequel, Sin City 2, Spy Kids 4 and Madman!". Movie Web (2010-07-01). Retrieved on July 3, 2010.
- ↑ "IGN - SDCC 10: Rodriguez Confirms Predators 2". IGN. News Corporation (July 22, 2010). Retrieved on 2010-07-22.
- ↑ "ComnigSoon.net - Predator Sequel Still on Track with Shane Black, Script Nearly Complete". Retrieved on 2015-10-08.
- ↑ "Facebook - A character from the new screenplay we just turned in. Art by Angus Herndon, age 7.". Retrieved on 2015-11-30.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 "Collider - Shane Black's 'Predator' Sequel Is Called 'The Predator'; First Poster Revealed". Retrieved on 2016-02-16.
- ↑ "Thrillist - Ryan Gosling Squeals & More 'Nice Guys' Scoops from Director Shane Black". Retrieved on 2016-03-23.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "Den of Geek - The Predator Exclusive: Shane Black Talks R-Rating and More". Retrieved on 2016-05-21.
- ↑ "Deadline - Benicio Del Toro In Talks To Star In 'Predator' Reboot". Retrieved on 2016-09-13.
- ↑ "IGN - THE PREDATOR: BENICIO DEL TORO OUT, WOLVERINE 3'S BOYD HOLBROOK IN TO STAR". Retrieved on 2016-10-12.
- ↑ "The Hollywood Reporter - Olivia Munn Joining Boyd Holbrook in Shane Black's 'Predator' Reboot (Exclusive)". Retrieved on 2016-11-04.
- ↑ "Slash Film - Edward James Olmos Has Been Cut Out of ‘The Predator’, But He's Okay With That". Retrieved on 2018-08-17.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 "Entertainment Weekly - From Predator star to The Predator director, Shane Black on creating the most dangerous predator yet". Retrieved on 2018-07-19.
- ↑ "Yahoo! Movies - Arnold Schwarzenegger Talks New Movie 'Aftermath'; Plus, 'Predator,' 'Twins,' 'Conan' Updates". Retrieved on 2017-04-06.
- ↑ "Fox Removes Scene After Learning Actor Is Registered Sex Offender". Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
- ↑ "Twitter - Shane Black". Retrieved on 2017-02-20.
- ↑ "AVPGalaxy - The Predator Wraps Filming Today!". Retrieved on 2017-06-06.
- ↑ "Screen Rant - The Predator Reshoots Explained: Every Cut And Change Fox Made To Shane Black's Movie". Retrieved on 2020-04-02.
- ↑ "Screen Rant - The Predator Reshoots Explained: Every Cut And Change Fox Made To Shane Black's Movie". Retrieved on 2020-04-02.
- ↑ "Collider - ‘The Predator’ Co-Writer Fred Dekker Explains How the Film Was Supposed to End". Retrieved on 2020-04-02.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 "Variety - Director Shane Black Took a 'Butch-and-Sundance Approach' to 'The Predator'". Retrieved on 2018-07-19.
- ↑ "Twitter - Alec Gillis". Retrieved on 2016-08-17.
- ↑ Predator Killer Ripley Alternate Ending Announcement