Predator (franchise)

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Predator logo.jpg
The current logo of the franchise.
Created by Jim Thomas
John Thomas
Original work Predator (1987)
Print publications
Novel(s) List of novels
Comics List of comics
Films and television

Main series

Crossover series

Video game(s) List of video games

The Predator film series is a science fiction horror film franchise based on a race of fictional extraterrestrials created by Jim Thomas and John Thomas. 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 is the Alien vs. Predator, which combine the titular Predator with the creatures from the Alien film series.


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 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.

Main series[edit]

Predator (1987)[edit]

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]

In 1997, a different Predator arrives in Los Angeles and begins hunting violent gang members, drawing the attention of the local police force. The creature itself is in turn being hunted by a secretive government task-force seeking to capture it for study.

Predators (2010)[edit]

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 a 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.

The Predator (2018)[edit]

In June 2014, Fox announced a sequel which Shane Black will direct and co-write with Fred Dekker, and John Davis will produce.[10] Davis has said of the film that he thinks it is fresh and reimagines the franchise in a "different, interesting way".[11] In February 2016, Black confirmed the title of the new sequel would be The Predator.[12] It is slated for a March 2, 2018, release date.[13] Schwarzenegger revealed to in an interview that he is discussing returning to the film as his character.[14] Shane Black has referred to the project as an event film which aims to elevate the Predator series: "It’s an attempt to ‘event-ise’ the Predator again... [An attempt to] make it more mysterious."[15][16] Black also expressed that the film would mark a return to the "intimate" scale of the original film and that the film-makers hoped to achieve “the same sense of wonderment and newness that Close Encounters had when that came out.”[16] Rapper 50 Cent has spoken of the possibility of being involved in the film.[17] Shane Black has confirmed that the film is set in the present day and the titular character will have an upgraded set of armor.[18][19][20] Black has also indicated that the film will not be a complete reboot as it will acknowledge the events of Predator and Predator 2.[21] Filming is expected to commence in Vancouver in September 2016,[22] with a projected release date of February 9, 2018.[16][23][24][25] By September 2016, Benicio del Toro had signed on to star in the film.[26] The following month, Boyd Holbrook was in negotiations to replace del Toro, who departed due to scheduling issues.[27] Filming has since been delayed to February 20, 2017.[28] On November 3, 2016, The Hollywood Reporter had reported that Olivia Munn was in talks to play a role.[29] On November 21, 2016, Larry Fong was announced as the cinematographer for the film.[30] In January 2017, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key and Jacob Tremblay had joined the cast while Sterling K. Brown and Thomas Jane are in talks to join as well.[31][32][33][34][35] Black announced on his Twitter that filming began on February 20, 2017.[36]

Crossover series[edit]

Following an easter egg in the film Predator 2 in which an Alien skull was seen in a Predator trophy case, attempts to create a shared universe between the Alien and Predator franchises followed, initially through comics and video games, until a film franchise was launched with the release of Alien vs. Predator in 2004, and a sequel in 2007. The future of the film franchise remains uncertain due to a largely negative critical response. A 2014 Dark Horse Comics series called Fire and Stone further merged the AVP series with the Prometheus franchise.

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; the remaining humans are captured alive by Aliens and implanted with embryos. 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 prior film, the Predalien hybrid aboard the Predator scout ship, which just separated from the mothership of the prior film, has grown to full adult size and sets about killing the Predators aboard 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 on the Predator homeworld, 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 air force drops a tactical nuclear bomb on the town, incinerating both combatants, the Predalien's warriors and hive, as well as the few remaining humans in the city. The salvaged plasma pistol is then taken to Ms. Yutani.

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Predator Predator 2 Predators The Predator
1987 1990 2010 2018
Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer Arnold Schwarzenegger
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 L. Phillips R. G. Armstrong
Various Predators Kevin Peter Hall
Peter Cullen
Kevin Peter Hall
Hal Rayle
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
Anthony "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
Walter Stans Walton Goggins
Nikolai Mikhalovich Fedorov Oleg Taktarov
Hanzo Louis Ozawa Changchien
Mombasa Mahershala Ali
Cuchillo Danny Trejo
Ronald Noland Laurence Fishburne

Crew members[edit]

Role Films
Predator 2
The Predator
Director(s) John McTiernan Stephen Hopkins Nimród Antal Shane Black
Producer(s) John Davis
Lawrence Gordon
Joel Silver
John Davis
Robert Rodriguez
Elizabeth Avellan
John Davis
Lawrence Gordon
Joel Silver
Writer(s) Jim Thomas
John Thomas
Alex Litvak
Michael Finch
Shane Black
Fred Dekker
Composer(s) Alan Silvestri John Debney TBA
Cinematography Donald McAlpine Peter Levy Gyula Pados Larry Fong
Editor(s) Mark Helfrich
John F. Link
Mark Goldblatt
Bert Lovitt
Dan Zimmerman Harry B. Miller III
Production companies Davis Entertainment
Lawrence Gordon Productions
Silver Pictures
Davis Entertainment
Dune Entertainment
Troublemaker Studios
Ingenious Media
Davis Entertainment
Lawrence Gordon Productions
Silver Pictures
TSG Entertainment
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Duration 107 minutes 108 minutes 107 minutes TBA
Release date June 12, 1987 November 21, 1990 July 9, 2010 August 3, 2018


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 [37]
Predator 2 November 21, 1990 $30,669,413 $26,450,905 $57,120,318 #2,126 $35,000,000 [38][39]
Predators July 9, 2010 $52,000,688 $75,232,420 $127,233,108 #1,252 $40,000,000 [40]
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

Critical and public reaction[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Predator 78% (41 reviews)[41] 36 (11 reviews)[42] B+[43]
Predator 2 25% (24 reviews)[44] N/A B+[43]
Predators 64% (187 reviews)[45] 51 (30 reviews)[46] C+[43]
Average 56% 44 B


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


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

Comic books[edit]

Non-canonical comics as the Crossovers[edit]

Canonical comics[edit]

  • Predator: Concrete Jungle
  • Predator 2: Movie Adaption
  • Predators (2010 prequel comic)
  • Fire and Stone


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Teletext Big Screen Vortex". Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  2. ^ "Prime Directive: An Exclusive Interview with Peter Cullen". Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  3. ^ "Robert Rodriguez wields 'Machete' - Entertainment News, Gotham, Media". Variety. 2008-07-20. 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. ^ Chitwood, Adam (June 25, 2014). "Exclusive: Shane Black Says His Predator Film Is a Sequel, Not a Reboot". Collider. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  11. ^ Chitwood, Adam (2016-08-13). "Shane Black’s 'Predator' Sequel Will 'Reinvent the Franchise', Says Producer John Davis." Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  12. ^ Chitwood, Adam (2016-02-16). "Shane Black’s ‘Predator’ Sequel Is Called ‘The Predator’; First Poster Revealed." Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  13. ^ Romano, Nick (February 28, 2016). "Predator sequel lands March 2018 release date". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  14. ^ The Gillinator (March 6, 2016). "Exclusive: Arnold to Discuss "The Predator" with Director Shane Black!". The Arnold Fans. 
  15. ^ Patches, Matt (2016-03-22). 'Nice Guys' Director Shane Black on Trailer, 'Doc Savage,' 'Predator' Reboot." Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  16. ^ a b c Nugent, John (May 19, 2016). Shane Black Reveals Leader Character in The Predator." Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  17. ^ WEDR 99 JAMZ (27 March 2016). "99Jamz UnCensored 50 Cent". Retrieved 28 January 2017 – via YouTube. 
  18. ^ Goldberg, Matt (2016-04-13). "Exclusive: Shane Black Reveals When ‘The Predator’ Will Take Place." Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  19. ^ Evry, Max (May 12, 2016). "Exclusive: Predator Costume Will Get Upgraded for Sequel". Coming 
  20. ^ Guidry, Ken (May 21, 2016). "Shane Black Talks More 'Predator' Details, Defending Mel Gibson, 'Lethal Weapon 5' & More". The Playlist. 
  21. ^ "Here's everything we know about 'The Predator' movie". Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  22. ^ "Production List » Directors Guild of Canada". Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  23. ^ Auty, Dan (May 11, 2016). "Predator Reboot to Begin Production by October, Director Confirms." Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  24. ^ Chitwood, Adam (May 28, 2016). "Fox Dates 'Alita: Battle Angel'; Shifts 'The Predator' and Two Marvel Movies". Collider. 
  25. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (May 27, 2016). "'Maze Runner: The Death Cure' Release Moved To 2018 As Dylan O’Brien Recovers." Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  26. ^ "Benicio Del Toro in Talks to Star in Shane Black's 'Predator' Reboot". Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  27. ^ McNary, Dave (October 11, 2016). "Boyd Holbrook to Replace Benicio del Toro in Fox's 'The Predator' Reboot". Variety. 
  28. ^ Chitwood, Adam (October 24, 2016). "Shane Black Says 'The Predator' Will Be Scary, Funny, and Wondrous". Collider. 
  29. ^ Kit, Borys (November 3, 2016). "Olivia Munn Joining Boyd Holbrook in Shane Black's 'Predator' Reboot (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  30. ^ Kit, Borys (November 21, 2016). "Larry Fong to Shoot Shane Black's 'The Predator'". /Film. 
  31. ^ Kit, Borys (January 5, 2017). "'Moonlight' Star Trevante Rhodes Joins Shane Black's 'The Predator' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  32. ^ Kit, Borys (January 6, 2017). "Keegan-Michael Key Joining Shane Black's 'The Predator' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  33. ^ Kit, Borys (January 19, 2017). "'People v. O.J. Simpson' Star Sterling K. Brown in Talks to Join Shane Black's 'Predator' Reboot (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  34. ^ Kit, Borys (January 23, 2017). "Thomas Jane in Talks to Join Shane Black's 'Predator' Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  35. ^ Kit, Borys (January 25, 2017). "Jacob Tremblay to Star in Shane Black's 'Predator' Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  36. ^ "Shane Black on Twitter". 
  37. ^ "Predator (1987)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  38. ^ "Predator 2 (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  39. ^ "Predator 2 (1990) - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  40. ^ "Predators (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  41. ^ "Predator". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  42. ^ "Predator Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  43. ^ a b c "CinemaScore". Retrieved March 7, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Predator 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  45. ^ "Predators". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  46. ^ "Predators Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 

Further reading[edit]