Predator (franchise)

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Predator
Predator-BR.jpg
Predator Trilogy Blu-Ray (2010)
Directed by John McTiernan (1)
Stephen Hopkins (2)
Nimród Antal (3)
Shane Black (4)
Produced by John Davis (1-4)
Lawrence Gordon (1-2)
Joel Silver (1-2)
Elizabeth Avellan (3)
Robert Rodriguez (3)
Written by Jim Thomas (1-2)
John Thomas (1-2)
Alex Litvak (3)
Michael Finch (3)
Shane Black (4)
Fred Dekker (4)
Story by Jim Thomas
John Thomas
(characters)
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (1)
Danny Glover (2)
Adrien Brody (3)
Music by Alan Silvestri (1-2)
John Debney (3)
Cinematography Donald McAlpine (1)
Peter Levy(2)
Gyula Pados (3)
Edited by Mark Helfrich (1)
John F. Link (1)
Mark Goldblatt (2)
Bert Lovitt (2)
Dan Zimmerman (3)
Production
company
Amercent Films (1)
American Entertainment Partners L.P. (1)
Davis Entertainment (1-3)
Lawrence Gordon Productions (1-2)
Silver Pictures (1-2)
Troublemaker Studios (3)
Dune Entertainment (3)
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates 1987 – present
Country United States
Language English
Budget $90 million
Box office $282,620,984

The Predator film series is a science fiction horror film franchise. Produced by 20th Century Fox, the series started in 1987 with the film Predator, which led to two sequels and novel, comic book and video game spin-offs. Related to the franchise are the Alien vs. Predator films, which combine the titular Predator with the creatures from the Alien film series.

Development[edit]

Predator was John McTiernan's second studio film as director. The studio hired screenplay writer Shane Black to not only play a supporting role in the film, but to keep an eye on McTiernan due to the director's inexperience. Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the film's creature,[1] the idea being that the physical action star would use his martial arts skills to make the creature an agile, ninja-esque hunter. When compared to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers and Jesse Ventura, actors known for their bodybuilding regimes, it became apparent a more physically imposing man was needed to make the creature appear threatening. Eventually, Van Damme was removed from the film and replaced by the actor and mime artist Kevin Peter Hall.

The predator creature's design is credited to special effects artist Stan Winston. While flying to Japan with Aliens director James Cameron, Winston, who had been hired to design the Predator, was doing concept art on the flight. Cameron saw what he was drawing and said, "I always wanted to see something with mandibles". Winston then included them in his designs. Schwarzenegger recommended Winston after his experience working on The Terminator.

The film's creature was originally designed with a long neck, a dog-like head and a single eye. This design was abandoned when it became apparent that the jungle locations would make shooting the complex design too difficult. Originally, the studio contracted the makeup effects for the alien from Richard Edlund's Boss Film Creature Shop. However, with problems filming the creature in Mexico and attempts to create a convincing monster of Van Damme, wearing a much different body suit, failing, makeup effects responsibilities were given to Winston and his studio, R/Greenberg Associates. According to former Boss Film Creature Shop makeup supervisor Steve Johnson, the makeup failed because of an impractical design by McTiernan that included 12-inch (300 mm) length extensions that gave the creature a backward bent satyr-leg. The design did not work in the jungle locations. After six weeks of shooting in the jungles of Palenque, Mexico, the production had to shut down so that Winston could make the new creature. This took eight months and then filming resumed for five weeks.

The sound of the creature was provided by Peter Cullen. Despite his resolution not to voice any more monsters following injuries to his throat sustained during the ADR of King Kong, his agent convinced him to audition. The bubbling sound was inspired by a mixture of the visual of the creature and his recollection of a dying horseshoe crab.[2]

R/Greenberg Associates created the film's optical effects, including the creature's ability to become invisible, its thermal vision point-of-view, its glowing blood, and the electric spark effects. The invisibility effect was achieved by having someone in a bright red suit (because it was the farthest opposite of the green of the jungle and the blue of the sky) the size of the creature. The take was then repeated without the actors using a 30% wider lens on the camera. When the two takes were combined optically, a vague outline of the alien could be seen with the background scenery bending around its shape. For the thermal vision, infrared film could not be used because it did not register in the range of body temperature wavelengths. The filmmakers used an Inframetrics thermal video scanner as it gave good heat images of objects and people.[citation needed] The glowing blood was achieved by green liquid from chem-lite sticks used by campers. The electrical sparks were rotoscoped animation using white paper pin registered on portable light tables to black-and-white prints of the film frames. The drawings were composited by the optical crew for the finished effects.

Also, in an interview on Predator Special Edition, actor Carl Weathers said many of the actors would secretly wake up as early as 3 a.m. to work out before the day's shooting, in order to look "pumped" during the scene. Weathers also stated that he would act as if his physique was naturally given to him, and would work out only after all the other actors were nowhere to be seen. It was reported that actor Sonny Landham was so unstable on the set that a bodyguard was hired; not to protect Landham, but to protect the other cast members from him.

According to Schwarzenegger, filming was physically demanding as he had to swim in very cold water and spent three weeks covered in mud for the climactic battle with the alien. In addition, cast and crew endured very cold temperatures in the Mexican jungle that required heat lamps to be on all of the time. Schwarzenegger also faced the challenge of working with Kevin Peter Hall who could not see in the creature's suit. Hall could not see out of the mask and had to rehearse his scenes with it off and then memorize where everything was. The outfit was difficult to wear because it was heavy and off-balance.

The film was particularly successful and subsequently inspired a number of comic books, video games and popular anecdotes within the media. Schwarzenegger was asked to reprise his role in a Predator sequel, but was already attached to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and could not accept the role. The character was rewritten from the developing sequel's script, and the sequel to Predator, directed by Stephen Hopkins, was scheduled for 1990.

Due to excessive violence, Predator 2 was the first film to be given the newly instituted NC-17 rating in the United States. It was eventually rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America after being re-cut to its final theatrical length. The film cast Danny Glover in the lead role, and reprised Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator. Also, returning to the role of Anna in the sequel, Elpidia Carrillo was slated to be in two scenes but was cut back to a brief appearance on a video screen in the government agents' surveillance trailer. Her character is showing damage to the Central American jungle caused by the explosion at the conclusion of the first film.

Films[edit]

Predator (1987)[edit]

Main article: Predator (film)

A Covert-Ops U.S. Special Forces Unit, led by Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer is on a mission in Central America when they encounter an alien who hunts them for sport.

Predator 2 (1990)[edit]

Main article: Predator 2

In 1997, a different Predator arrives in Los Angeles and begins hunting violent gang members, drawing the attention of the local police force.

Predators (2010)[edit]

Main article: Predators (film)

In 2009, it was announced that Robert Rodriguez would relaunch the franchise.[3] Rodriguez had written a script titled Predators before he had filmed Desperado. In 2009, 20th Century Fox studio executive Alex Young called Rodriguez to consider using his treatment as the basis of reviving the individual Predator franchise.[4] Writer Alex Litvak was hired to write the screenplay.[5] Nimród Antal was signed on to direct the film. The film is set on the Predator game reserve planet, where a group of soldiers battle for their lives against the creatures.[6] The film stars Adrien Brody,[7] Alice Braga, Danny Trejo, Walt Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Topher Grace,[8] Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Louis Ozawa Changchien[9] and Laurence Fishburne.

Future[edit]

Nimród Antal has talked about a sequel and said he would love to do one. Rodriguez has said that he has interest in a sequel because of the large number of potential ideas the Predator planet setting provides:

There are so many great ideas... Just following Laurence Fishburne's character (Noland) around in a prequel would be a great movie. Just the tales he tells in this movie alone, I want to see those experiences... That's why I wasn't precious even about the original script I had, because once you come up with the idea of a Predator Planet, that Predators use as their hunting grounds and humans are involved somehow, the story ideas that you can come up with are so numerous that you can come up with any approach. So we already have several ideas that we can go with for a sequel. They would all be good ideas but we would probably put them together to see which one rises to the top, if we made another one.[10]

Rodriguez confirms that there will be a Predators sequel:

"[The studio] said, 'Let's do some other ones. What other story ideas do you have?'" says the filmmaker. "Because it was like, let's test out the market with this one. They really wanted it to be pretty contained, pretty scaled-back. They didn't want to put too many of the ideas into it that we could save for a second one. So we could see what the appetite was, because the bigger movie would actually be what comes following that. That kind of sets up a new storyline, new location and world, and then you can really go crazy from there."[11]

Adrien Brody also spoke about reprising his role in a possible sequel:

"I think a lot of that is determined by the success of the film. And I don't think that far ahead. The idea of reprising the role and going farther into that character is interesting to me… It would be exciting to watch a character progress or deteriorate. That's exciting for an actor. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Royce. Again, part of the attraction is I'm oddly drawn to material that affects me on an emotional level, and characters that are dealing with things that are challenging that I would question, that I'm not so familiar with. Royce has his emotional arc in this that most of the characters I've played don't come close to possessing. That's an interesting thing to cultivate."[12]

In June 2014 Fox announced a sequel with Shane Black writing and directing, Fred Dekker writing and John Davis producing.[13]

Cast and characters[edit]

Predator (1987) Predator 2 (1990) Predators (2010)
Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer Arnold Schwarzenegger (Mentioned only)
George Dillon Carl Weathers
Anna Gonsalves Elpidia Carrillo
Jorge "Poncho" Ramirez Richard Chaves
Mac Eliot Bill Duke
Blain Cooper Jesse Ventura
Billy Sole Sonny Landham
Rick Hawkins Shane Black
Major General Homer Phillips R. G. Armstrong
The Predator Kevin Peter Hall
Peter Cullen (Voice)
Kevin Peter Hall
Hal Rayle (Voice)
Derek Mears
Brian Steele
Carey Jones
Lieutenant Michael "Mike" R. Harrigan Danny Glover
Sergeant Danny "Danny Boy" Archuleta Rubén Blades
Detective Leona Cantrell María Conchita Alonso
Special Agent Peter J. Keyes Gary Busey
Garber Adam Baldwin
Detective Jerry Lambert Bill Paxton
King Willie Calvin Lockhart
Tony Pope Morton Downey, Jr.
Captain Phil Heinemann Robert Davi
Captain B. Pilgrim Kent McCord
El Scorpio Henry Kingi
Ramon Vega Corey Rand
Irene Edwards Lilyan Chauvin
Charlie Charles Haugk
Ruth Albright Sylvia Kauders
Juan Beltran Julian Reyes
Brian Brian Levinson
Jerome Ronald Moss
Royce Adrien Brody
Isabelle Alice Braga
Edwin Topher Grace
Stans Walton Goggins
Nikolai Oleg Taktarov
Hanzo Louis Ozawa Changchien
Mombasa Mahershalalhashbaz Ali
Cuchillo Danny Trejo
Ronald Noland Laurence Fishburne

Crossovers[edit]

Alien vs. Predator (2004)[edit]

In 2004, a Predator ship arrives in Earth orbit to draw humans to an ancient Predator training ground on Bouvetøya, an island about one thousand miles north of Antarctica. A buried pyramid which gives off a "heat bloom" attracts humans led by Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), who unknowingly activates an alien egg production line. Three Predator hunter initiates enter the structure, killing all humans in their way with the intention of hunting the newly formed alien warriors. Two Predators die in the ensuing battle, while the third allies itself with the lone surviving human, Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) in order to battle the escaped Queen Alien. The Queen is defeated, but not before she fatally wounds the last Predator. The orbiting Predator ship uncloaks and the crew retrieve the fallen Predator. A Predator elder gives Alexa a spear as a sign of respect, and then departs. Once in orbit it is revealed that a chestburster was in the corpse, though this specimen has Predator mandibles.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)[edit]

Set immediately after the previous film, the Predalien hybrid on board the Predator scout ship, which just separated from the mothership from the previous film, has grown to full adult size and sets about killing the Predators on board the ship, causing it to crash in Gunnison, Colorado. The last survivor activates a distress beacon with a video of the Predalien, which is received by a veteran Predator, who sets off towards Earth to "clean up" the infestation. When it arrives, the Predator tracks the Aliens into a section of the sewer below town. He removes evidence of their presence as he goes by using a corrosive blue liquid. It uses a laser net to try to contain the creatures, but the Aliens still manage to escape into the town above. The Predator fashions a plasma pistol from its remaining plasma caster and hunts Aliens all across town (accidentally cutting the power to the town in the process). During a confrontation with human survivors, the Predator loses its plasma pistol. The Predator then fights the Predalien singlehandedly, and the two mortally wound one another just as the US military drops a tactical nuclear bomb on the town, incinerating both combatants as well as the few remaining humans in the city. The salvaged plasma pistol is then taken to Ms. Yutani.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Film Release date Grosses Rank
  (All time domestic)  
Budget References
United States Non-US Worldwide
Predator June 12, 1987 $59,735,548 $38,532,010 $98,267,558 #1,064 $15,000,000 [14]
Predator 2 November 21, 1990 $30,669,413 $26,450,905 $57,120,318 #2,126 $35,000,000 [15][16]
Predators July 9, 2010 $52,000,688 $75,232,420 $127,233,108 #1,252 $40,000,000 [17]
Total $142,405,649 $140,215,335 $282,620,984 N/A (E) $90,000,000 N/A
List indicator(s)
  • (E) indicates figures based on available information.

Please note that the figures in this table are not inflation adjusted

Reviews[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Predator 78% (40 reviews)[18] 36/100 (11 reviews)[19]
Predator 2 25% (24 reviews)[20]
Predators 63% (183 reviews)[21] 51/100 (30 reviews)[22]

Spin-offs[edit]

There have been a number of spin-offs in other media including a large number of crossovers within the Aliens fictional universe. These include:

Novels[edit]

As well as the novelizations based on the various films there are a number of novel series:

Comic books[edit]

Main article: Predator (comics)

Games[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Teletext Big Screen Vortex". Teletext.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  2. ^ "Prime Directive: An Exclusive Interview with Peter Cullen". dvdtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  3. ^ By (2008-07-20). "Robert Rodriguez wields 'Machete' - Entertainment News, Gotham, Media". Variety. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  4. ^ Harry Knowles (2009-04-24). "AICN Exclusive: Robert Rodriguez answers some questions about Predators!!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  5. ^ "Alex Litvak Penning Predators - /Film". Slash Film. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  6. ^ Nimrod Antal Chases Down "Predators", Hollywood Reporter, July 2, 2009
  7. ^ "Update #2: Major 'Predators' Casting Announcement Made!". 
  8. ^ "Derek Mears -- Predators Official!". DreadCentral. 
  9. ^ "New Predators Casting News!". DreadCentral. 
  10. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Robert Rodriguez Talks Predators Prequel, Sin City 2, Spy Kids 4 and Madman!". Movie Web. July 1, 2010. Retrieved July 3, 2010. 
  11. ^ "SDCC 10: Rodriguez Confirms Predators 2". IGN. News Corporation. July 22, 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2010. 
  12. ^ Joseph McCabe (July 1, 2010). "Robert Rodriguez and Adrien Brody on the Sequel to 'Predators'". 
  13. ^ Chitwood, Adam (June 25, 2014). "Exclusive: Shane Black Says His PREDATOR Film Is a Sequel, Not a Reboot". Collider. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Predator (1987)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  15. ^ "Predator 2 (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  16. ^ "Predator 2 (1990) - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  17. ^ "Predators (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  18. ^ "Predator". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  19. ^ "Predator Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  20. ^ "Predator 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  21. ^ "Predators". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  22. ^ "Predators Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 

Further reading[edit]