The Predator (2018) is the fourth instalment in the Predator franchise, and one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. Excitement ramped up even more after San Diego Comic-Con, when 20th Century Fox released a new sneak peek of the upcoming movie.
The director and cast members, including Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes, Olivia Munn, and Sterling K. Brown, hosted a panel during which they talked about the gore and humor-filled R-rated film, written by Fred Dekker and directed by co-writer Shane Black.
They also released a creepy poster for the movie, showing a Predator face made up of human skulls.
The Hunt is On at Comic-Con! Check out this exclusive #ThePredator #SDCC2018 poster that was just released at @Predator presentation in Hall H! @oliviamunn @KeeganMKey @SterlingKBrown @_Trevante_ @JacobTremblay pic.twitter.com/WdyMhg5UXV
— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) July 19, 2018
Black and Dekker are hoping to use The Predator to relaunch the Predator franchise after sequels and spin-offs failed to live up to the promise of the original 1987 Predator movie directed by John McTiernan.
While speaking to the audience of more than 6,000 at San Diego Comic Con, Black described The Predator as the “dirty half-dozen” and insisted that it is “leaner and meaner” than the original 1987 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
— Predator (@Predator) July 19, 2018
Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming The Predator movie, including the release date, trailers, plot, casting, and how the story-line fits into the existing timeline of the Predator franchise.
The Predator 2018 release date
Filming of the movie, which 20th Century Fox plans to release in IMAX as well as in standard formats, was completed in June. The movie is now set for release on September 14. It was originally slated for a March 2018 release, but it was later moved to an earlier date in February, and then forward to August 3.
The movie was finally moved to September 14, following the announcement of last-minute reshoots that took place in Vancouver, Canada, in March 2018.
— YVRShoots (@yvrshoots) July 18, 2018
It was rumored at the time that the decision to move the release date forward from March to September was due to a fear that it would be overshadowed by other major film releases, such as Solo: A Star Wars Story, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, all of which were released early in the year.
There was also speculation that the producers targeted September in the hope of repeating the box office success of Stephen King’s IT in September 2017.
The timing of the release could truly prove critical to the success of The Predator. The producers hope to go on to launch a trilogy film series that would hopefully reinvent and reinvigorate the franchise, as producer John Davis revealed in a recent interview with Variety.
The original Predator, released in June 1987, is widely considered, after an initial mixed reaction, to be one of the best action films ever. However, subsequent movies of the franchise, including Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010), did not gain the same recognition. But many fans and critics have ascribed the under-performance of Predator 2 to the fact that Schwarzenegger was absent from it.
A crossover with the Alien franchise produced the Alien vs. Predator film series, which included Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007). Alien vs Predator (2004) was also a box office hit, although it received mixed reviews. However, its sequel, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, released on December 25, 2007, was probably the most unpopular film of the Predator and Alien vs. Predator film series, with an 11 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Predator 2018 trailers
In March 2018, Dekker posted a message to his Facebook page confirming the September 14 release date for The Predator, and then added a comment that fans should look out for the release of the movie’s first official trailer. The explosive first official trailer was eventually released on May 10, 2018.
A second trailer was released on June 26, 2018, after the release of a television spot on June 9.
The reaction to the trailer was mixed. The apparent lukewarm response by fans might have been due to caution after a string of under-performing entries in the franchise, following the release of Schwarzenegger’s 1987 blockbuster.
However, the producers of The Predator appear optimistic, judging from comments by producer John Davis who revealed in a recent interview that they were already planning sequels for The Predator (2018) to make a trilogy. It remains to be seen how fans respond to the upcoming movie, but there has been more positive response lately following the recent release of impressive images and the new trailer released at San Diego Comic-Con.
Black’s history of directing major successful action movies is also is a factor working in favor of the project.
The Predator 2018 movie plot
Dekker warned in his post to Facebook fans in March that in addition to his trademark dark and edgy humor, The Predator promises a bloodbath and an “alarming” body count. According to the official synopsis for The Predator released in April 2018, Rory McKenna, a troubled autistic boy with unusual language learning skills, discovers a piece of the Predators’ alien technology and unintentionally triggers an alert that brings them back to planet Earth from the outer reaches of space.
— Keegan-Michael Key (@KeeganMKey) June 26, 2018
The Predators are now stronger and deadlier than ever before after having mastered technology to genetically upgrade themselves using DNA obtained from species they conquered across space. The fate of humanity now rests in the hands of a ragtag group composed of ex-soldiers, and a science teacher, who team up to hunt the Predators.
The film’s latest trailer released at San Diego Comic-Con reveals that although the movie is titled The Predator, the action involves more than one Predator. According to the movie’s cast members who spoke shortly after the SDCC panel on Thursday, one of the Predators is a new “hybridized” Super-Predator that is bigger and stronger than the rest.
“One of the predators, he’s a hybridized predator, so I believe he’s 11-feet tall,” Key said. “Your standard everyday garden-variety predator is 7 or 8 feet tall, and they’re crazily badass. He’s like badass, supra-badass.”
The “supra-badass” Predator is played by Brian A. Prince. The latest trailer shows the Super-Predator, played by Prince, slamming a smaller predator into a car and ripping off its head.
“He [Prince] is a 6-foot-10 guy who does parkour,” Key said, praising Prince’s performance. “And does it well. It’s not like, ‘Oh good for him, he jumped over that slide.’ He’s a real parkour guy. And it was demanding.”
The Predator 2018 cast
The Predator (2018) stars Logan villain Boyd Holbrook as former Army Ranger Quinn McKenna. McKenna’s young son, played by Room (2015) child star Jacob Tremblay, is a troubled autistic boy bullied at school.
Rory, Quinn’s son with his ex-wife Emily, accidentally triggers an alert that brings the Predators back to Earth. Quinn discovers that the Predators have landed on Earth but no one believes him. So he assembles a team of ex-marines to track them down.
The ex-soldiers who agree to join McKenna’s team include Trevante Rhodes as Nebraska Williams, a former Marine and best friend of McKenna; Keegan-Michael Key as Coyle; and Thomas Jane as Baxley, an Afghanistan and Iraq war veteran with PTSD. Game of Thrones actor Alfie Allen appears as Lynch, a former marine, and Augusto Aguiler as Nettles, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot who suffered brain injury in a crash.
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) actress Olivia Munn plays Casey Bracket, a disgruntled science teacher and biologist, while This is US TV series star Sterling K. Brown, plays government agent Will Traeger. Traeger jails Quinn but later finds that he needs him to track down and stop the Predators.
Others cast members include Yvonne Strahovski as Quinn’s ex-wife Emily McKenna and Rory’s mother, while Jake Busey plays Sean Keyes, Agent Peter Keyes’ son from Predator 2 (1990). The role of Peter Keyes was played by Jake Busey’s father Gary.
The movie is written by Fred Dekker and Shane Black. Black first came to prominence as the writer of Lethal Weapon (1987). He later directed and wrote Iron Man 3 (2013). He is also known to fans of the Predator franchise for playing the supporting role of Rich Hawkins, an unlucky radio operator who became the first on-screen victim of the Predator in the 1987 movie.
Timeline: How The Predator fits into the franchise
Shane Black revealed in a June 2016 interview how the events of The Predator (2018) fit into the framework of the wider franchise. He revealed that the events of the movie follow the events of Predator (1987) and Predator 2 (1990), but are set prior to the events of Predators (2010).
The key link is Jake Busey’s Predator 2 character Sean Keyes, who is Peter Keyes’ son. Peter Keyes was portrayed by Jake Busey’s father, Gary Busey. Fans will recall that Agent Peter Keyes was the head of the top-secret OWLF task force that was formed to track down the Predator in Predator 2 (1990).