The Predator, known by fans as Predator 4, is the name of the Predator sequel from Shane Black. The script was written by Shane Black and Fred Dekker and was released September 14, 2018 in the United States while the UK got it two days earlier on September 12th.
From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled Science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.
- Boyd Holbrook as Quinn McKenna, a former Marine and Special Forces commando who discovers the existence of the Predators.
- Olivia Munn as Casey Bracket, an evolutionary scientist and a biologist. Her character is brought in by the CIA to look study the alien creature.
- Trevante Rhodes as Nebraska Williams, one of the Loonies who Quinn meets on the prison bus.
- Keegan-Michael Key as Coyle, a man who joins Quinn and Williams to fight the Predators.
- Sterling K. Brown as William Traeger, a CIA agent who imprisons Quinn but later works together.
- Jacob Tremblay as Quinn’s autistic son, Rory, who is able to read the Predator language.
- Yvonne Strahovski as Quinn’s ex-wife Emily and the mother to Rory.
- Alfie Allen as Lynch, a former Marine who is part of the Loonies group.
- Thomas Jane as Baxley, a military veteran from the Afghanistan and Iraq war who has Tourettes.
- Augusto Aguilera as Nettles, one of the Loonies group.
- Jake Busey as Sean Keyes, the son of Peter Keyes, from Predator 2 is a scientist for the government agency.
- Niall Matter as Sapir.
On June 24, 2014, it was revealed that Shane Black would direct a reboot to Predator. He wrote the treatment for it and Fred Dekker wrote the script. John Davis produced the new Predator film. There was some initial reports that it was going to be a reboot/remake but on June 25, 2014, Shane Black clarified that he will be making a sequel in the Predator series and not a reboot.
Shane Black is no stranger to the franchise having played commando Hawkins in the 1987’s Predator. Most recently, he co-wrote and directed 2013’s Iron Man 3. Whilst promoting The Nice Guys, Shane Black spoke about how he became attached to The Predator, stating he hadn’t initially wanted the job despite Fox getting in contact and asking him to do it. It was Fox’s willingness to make a big budget, “spectacle” film that convinced Black to become involved.
In August 2015, producer John Davis said Shane Black’s script has a fresh perspective and will reinvent the franchise. At the end of November 2015, Fred Dekker confirmed that the script for Predator 4 had been “turned in”. On the 16th of February 2016, Shane Black confirmed Predator 4’s title was in fact The Predator.
There were rumours circulating for years that Arnold Schwarzenegger might reprise his role as Dutch Schaefer in a Predator film. Schwarzengger had lunch with Black but Schwarzenegger revealed was very unhappy with the script and refused to take part, saying he’d only do it if “there’s a chance that they rewrite it, or make it a more significant role.” His role in the film was going to be very minimal.
In April 2016, rapper 50 Cent said he would have a role in the Predator film but this never transpired. There were a few different actors in the running for the lead role. Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper reportedly passed on the lead role. James Franco was in the running at one point. MMA Fighter Conor McGregor was offered the role but turned it down due to money. Boyd Holbrook replaced Del Toro. Olivia Munn then joined the cast as a scientist in the movie. The character Keyes was played by Jake Busey who happens to be the son of the government agent Peter Keyes from Predator 2. Peter Keyes was played by Gary Busey who is Jake’s father in real-life.
The Predator was originally due to begin filming in September 2016 but that was delayed. Filming commenced in February 20, 2017 and ended filming May 15, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. Amalgamated Dynamics who are no stranger to the franchise having worked on Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, AvP and AvP Requiem handled the practical effects such as the Predator costume. The Fugitive Predator‘s armour was created by Quantum FX
The visual effects were provided by MPC, Atomic Fiction, Raynault VFX, Rising Sun Pictures and Proof. The Upgrade Predator is the first time in a Predator film that a Predator was a purely CGI creation. Henry Jackman did the score for the film, which took Alan Silvestri’s themes from the original Predator. The film’s soundtrack album was released by Lakeshore Records on September 28, 2018.
There were some considerable reshoots during post-production. Most of the third act of the film was reshot due to the poor reaction from the test screenings. Firstly, the Ark was carrying a few hybrid creatures in stasis tubes which escape and the Loonies have to fight them. These scenes were in the test screenings with unfinished visual effects. Two ‘Emissary’ Predators were cut from the finished film. They would have been seen firing mounted guns during an APC chase, battling the Upgrade Predator and the hybrid creatures.
Originally, Edward James Olmos was going to play General Woodhurst working above Traeger’s character. There was a scene showing Olmos in his office and another at the Ark. Originally, the third act was shot during the day time but according to Black, the CGI looked terrible so it was changed to night. Edward James Olmos said his scenes were cut due to pacing issues. None of these deleted scenes were on the DVD/Blu-Ray though you could see some footage in the behind-the-scenes features. Two alternative endings were shot – one showing Ripley in a pod with a breather mask and another with an adult version of Newt in a pod. (See The Predator Deleted Scenes for more info on these missing scenes).
The first teaser trailer was shown at Cinemacon in April 2018 and it was later released online on May 10, 2018. On June 26, 2018, a new The Predator trailer was released. On August 31, 2018, 20th Century Fox released the final trailer for The Predator.
On February 28, 2015, Fox announced the release date as March 2, 2018 though this was later changed to February 9, 2018 to avoid clashing with monster shark movie Meg. In April 2017, Fox announced a new release date of August 3, 2018 for the movie, delaying it by six months. The Predator was delayed yet another time and was eventually released September 14, 2018. It had its premiere at TIFF in Toronto.
Sex Offender Controversy
Just hours before The Predator was due to premiere on September 6th, it was reported that 20th Century Fox had cut a scene out at the last minute featuring Steven Wilder Striegel who was a registered sex offender. L.A. Times reported it with statements from actress Olivia Munn, director Shane Black and 20th Century Fox. Fox stated they weren’t aware of Striegel’s background but Shane Black initially tried to defend Striegel, who was a friend of his. Later the same day, Black apologised and said he was ‘misled’ by a friend. Olivia Munn criticised Shane Black for casting him but thanked Fox for deleting the scene.
Munn also criticised her castmates for not giving her any support. On September 8th, The Predator cast members were scheduled to do interviews at TIFF to promote the film. Munn later said a number of them cancelled any interviews along side her and one even walked out of an interview when the deleted scene was mentioned. Olivia Munn said that none of her castmates had reached out to her and criticised them for making her feel like the bad guy. She did an interview with The Hollywood Reporter and she said she felt lonely sitting there by herself and Shane Black hadn’t spoken to her directly but appreciates his public apology.
As part of L.A. Times’ original report, they asked the other castmembers for statements but they refused. Munn said she had contacted them directly and encouraged them to make statements. None of them did but made some comments in the subsequent days. Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes and Augusto Aguilera did an video interview with L.A. Times. Rhodes and Aguilera said they weren’t disappointed in Black but more at the situation and thanked Olivia for speaking up. Munn said she didn’t accept Black’s apology because it wasn’t done to her personally.
The next day on September 8th, Keegan-Michael Key issued a statement and said that he wasn’t scheduled to do any interviews with Munn and that he’d reached out to her the previous week to say he was proud of her. Sterling K. Brown also issued a statement apologising to Munn and thanked Fox for deleting the scene. On September 10th. Boyd Holbrook apologised for being quiet but thanked Munn for speaking up. He said he did cancel press interviews on the previous Saturday because he didn’t want to cause any further pain to the victim.
On September 13th, the victim involved in Striegel’s crime came forward and identified herself. She thanked Munn for raising the situation. On September 17th, Jake Busey told Vanity Fair “I think it could’ve been done like a month from now, and let the studio and the director have their night of the release and the movie, and not destroy the movie over a discovery that was made a year after filming—and 10 years after the incident. I think the timing could have been better. The director was in tears at the red carpet, which is not really the way you want it to be. But it’s done, it’s put to bed.” Olivia Munn took to Twitter to criticise Vanity Fair for running the story with Jake Busey and said she wasn’t responsible for putting the story out publicly.
The deleted scene in question would have served as Casey Bracket’s introduction. Striegel played a jogger who bumps into Casey as she is with her dog.
The Predator had a budget of $88M. In its first weekend, The Predator came out on top with $24 million domestically while overseas, it made $30.7 million for a worldwide total of $54.7 million. For comparison sake. 2010’s Predators made $24.7m in its opening weekend while AvP Requiem made $10m. They both went on to make around $128m worldwide. The bad news, both those movies were made for around $45m and The Predator cost $88m to make. The Predator ended up making $51M domestically and $109.5m overseas for a worldwide total of $160.5m.
The Predator currently has a 33% ‘Rotten’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 255 reviews. The film gained a mixed reception with critics. Many praised the characters and the relationships with each other and the film is very gory and graphic despite copious amounts of CGI blood. The film, however, falls apart in the final act – many reviewers said it was rushed, badly edited and the visual effects were poor. The new Upgrade Predator also doesn’t bring much to the table other than being bigger and stronger than a regular Predator.
The Predator was released on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD formats on December 18, 2018 in America and the UK. As the third act was reshot during the night, Shane Black wanted to include both versions of the media releases – Predator AM and Predator PM but Fox refused as they didn’t want to pay for the visual effects during the daytime version.
A novelization of The Predator, written by Christopher Golden and a prequel novelization called The Predator: Hunters And Hunted, written by James A. Moore were released shortly after the film came out. NECA released six figures in 2018/2019 based on the Predators seen in the film. Three Fugitives were released, an Assassin Predator and each of the Emissary Predators which were cut from the final film.
The Predator Stills
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The Predator Concept Art
The Predator Magazine Articles
The Predator News Archive
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Genetic Aberrations, Revisiting The Predator – AvP Galaxy Podcast #95 ()
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Writer Fred Dekker Talks Original Third Act for The Predator ()
You can view the full news archive for The Predator here.