The current logo of the franchise.
Jim Thomas |
|Owner||20th Century Fox|
|Novel(s)||List of novels|
|Comics||List of comics|
|Films and television|
|Video game(s)||List of video games|
The Predator film series is a science fiction action 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 eponymous Predator with the creatures from the Alien film series.
- 1 Background
- 2 List of films
- 3 Cast and characters
- 4 Additional crew & production details
- 5 Reception
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
Predator was John McTiernan's first 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, 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.
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
List of films
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Screenwriter(s)||Story by||Producer(s)|
|Predator||June 12, 1987||John McTiernan||Jim Thomas & John Thomas||Lawrence Gordon, Joel Silver and John Davis|
|Predator 2||November 21, 1990||Stephen Hopkins|
|Predators||July 9, 2010||Nimród Antal||Alex Litvak & Michael Finch||John Davis, Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellán|
|The Predator||September 14, 2018||Shane Black||Shane Black & Fred Dekker||John Davis|
An elite paramilitary rescue team, led by Major "Dutch" is on a covert operation in Central America when they encounter an alien who hunts them for sport.
Predator 2 (1990)
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.
In 2009, it was announced that Robert Rodriguez would relaunch the franchise. 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. Writer Alex Litvak was hired to write the screenplay. Nimród Antal was signed on to direct the film. The film follows an ensemble cast of characters including Royce (Adrien Brody), a mercenary who appears along with murderers and otherwise undesirable people in a Predator game preserve jungle planet . The film stars Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Danny Trejo, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Topher Grace, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Louis Ozawa Changchien and Laurence Fishburne.
The Predator (2018)
In June 2014, Fox announced a sequel which Shane Black will direct and co-write with Fred Dekker, and John Davis will produce. Davis has said of the film that he thinks it is fresh and reimagines the franchise in a "different, interesting way". In February 2016, Black confirmed the title of the new sequel would be The Predator. It is slated for a March 2, 2018, release date. Schwarzenegger revealed to TheArnoldFans.com in an interview that he is discussing returning to the film as his character. 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." 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.” Rapper 50 Cent has spoken of the possibility of being involved in the film.
Shane Black has confirmed that the film is set in the present day and the eponymous character will have an upgraded set of armor. Black has also indicated that the film will not be a complete reboot as it will acknowledge the events of Predator and Predator 2. Filming is expected to commence in Vancouver in September 2016, with a projected release date of February 9, 2018. By September 2016, Benicio del Toro had signed on to star in the film. The following month, Boyd Holbrook was in negotiations to replace del Toro, who departed due to scheduling issues. Filming has since been delayed to February 20, 2017. On November 3, 2016, The Hollywood Reporter had reported that Olivia Munn was in talks to play a role. On November 21, 2016, Larry Fong was announced as the cinematographer for the film. 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. Black announced on his Twitter account that filming began on February 20, 2017 and wrapped up on June 2. Additional re-shoots in Vancouver started on March 12.
The producer, John Davis, says that The Predator will set up two sequels that he hopes Shane Black will return to direct. About this, Black said: "I would love to say we've been planning a trilogy, but I take one day at a time, in motion-picture terms that's one movie at a time."
Inspired by the Dark Horse Comics series, the filmmakers of Predator 2 (1990) incorporated an easter egg in which an Alien skull was seen in a Predator trophy case. Expansions upon this shared universe between the Alien and Predator franchises followed, through comics and video games, until a film franchise was launched with the release of Alien vs. Predator in 2004, followed by the sequel Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem in 2007, which spawned various new comics, novels, video games, and other merchandise based upon or inspired by the films.
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
In 2004, a Predator mothership 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 giving off a "heat bloom" attracts a group of explorers led by Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), the original founder and CEO of Weyland Industries, who unknowingly activates an Alien egg production line as a hibernating Alien Queen is awakened within the pyramid. Three Predators descend unto the planet and enters the structure, killing all humans in their way with the intention of hunting the newly formed Aliens, while the scattered explorers are captured alive by Aliens and implanted with embryos. Two Predators die in the ensuing battle with an Alien. The third Predator allies itself with the lone surviving human, Alexa "Lex" Woods (Sanaa Lathan), while in their way out of the pyramid as it is destroyed by the Predator's wrist bomb and eventually battles with the escaped Alien Queen on the surface. The Queen is defeated by being dragged down by a water tower into the dark depths of the frozen sea, but not before she fatally wounds the last Predator. The orbiting Predator mothership uncloaks and the crew retrieves the fallen Predator. A Predator elder gives Lex a spear as a sign of respect, and then departs. Once in orbit it is revealed that an Alien Chestburster was present within the corpse, thus a Predalien hybrid is born.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Set immediately after the events of the previous film, the Predalien hybrid aboard the Predator scout ship, having just separated from the mothership shown in the previous film, has grown to full adult size and sets about killing the Predators aboard the ship, causing it to crash in the small town of Gunnison, Colorado. The last surviving Predator activates a distress beacon containing a video recording 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 the town. He removes evidence of their presence as he moves along using a corrosive blue liquid and 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 along with the Predalien's warriors and hive, as well as the few remaining humans in the town. The salvaged plasma pistol is then taken to a Ms. Yutani of the Yutani Corporation, foreshadowing an advancement in technology leading to the future events of previous Alien films.
Cast and characters
|Predator||Predator 2||Predators||The Predator|
|Predators||Kevin Peter Hall
|Kevin Peter Hall
|Brian A. Prince|
|Alan "Dutch" Schaefer||Arnold Schwarzenegger||(mentioned)|
|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|
|Homer L. Phillips||R. G. Armstrong|
|Michael "Mike" R. Harrigan||Danny Glover|
|Peter J. Keyes||Gary Busey|
|Danny "Danny Boy" Archuleta||Rubén Blades|
|Leona Cantrell||María Conchita Alonso|
|Jerry Lambert||Bill Paxton|
|King Willie||Calvin Lockhart|
|Anthony "Tony" Pope||Morton Downey Jr.|
|Phil Heinemann||Robert Davi|
|Captain B. Pilgrim||Kent McCord|
|Walter Stans||Walton Goggins|
|Nikolai Mikhalovich Fedorov||Oleg Taktarov|
|Hanzo||Louis Ozawa Changchien|
|Ronald Noland||Laurence Fishburne|
|Quinn McKenna||Boyd Holbrook|
|Casey Bracket||Olivia Munn|
|Gaylord "Nebraska" Williams||Trevante Rhodes|
|Rory McKenna||Jacob Tremblay|
|Will Traeger||Sterling K. Brown|
|Emma McKenna||Yvonne Strahovski|
|Sean Keyes||Jake Busey|
Additional crew & production details
|Predator||Predator 2||Predators||The Predator|
|Composer(s)||Alan Silvestri||John Debney||Henry Jackman|
|Cinematography||Donald McAlpine||Peter Levy||Gyula Pados||Larry Fong|
John F. Link
|Dan Zimmerman||Harry B. Miller III|
|Production companies||Davis Entertainment|
|Lawrence Gordon Productions
|20th Century Fox |
Lawrence Gordon Productions
|Distributing company||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||1 hr 47 min||1 hr 48 min||1 hr 47 min||1 hr 47 min|
(all time domestic)
|Predator||June 12, 1987||$59,735,548||$38,532,010||$98,267,558||#1,350||$15 million|||
|Predator 2||November 21, 1990||$30,669,413||$26,450,905||$57,120,318||#2,605||$35 million|||
|Predators||July 9, 2010||$52,000,688||$75,232,420||$127,233,108||#1,584||$40 million|||
|The Predator||September 14, 2018||$24,000,000||$30,727,235||$54,727,235||#3,051||$88 million|||
|Total||$ 166,405,649||$ 170,942,570||$ 337,348,219||N/A||$178 million||N/A|
Please note that the figures in this table are not inflation adjusted
Critical and public reaction
|Predator||80% (44 reviews)||42 (13 reviews)||B+|
|Predator 2||28% (25 reviews)||46 (18 reviews)||B+|
|Predators||65% (192 reviews)||51 (30 reviews)||C+|
|The Predator||35% (173 reviews)||49 (47 reviews)||C+|
As well as the novelizations based on the various films there are a number of novel series:
- Predator by Paul Monette
- Predator 2 by Simon Hawke
- Predator: Concrete Jungle by Nathan Archer
- Predator: Cold War by Nathan Archer
- Predator: Big Game by Sandy Schofield
- Predator: Forever Midnight by John Shirley
- Predator: Flesh and Blood by Michael Jan Friedman
- Predator: Turnabout by Steve Perry
- Predator: South China Sea by Jeff VanderMeer
- Predator: Prey to the Heavens by John Arcudi and Javier Saltares
- Aliens vs. Predator
- Aliens vs. Predator: Prey by Steve Perry
- Aliens vs. Predator: Hunter's Planet by Dave Bischoff
- Aliens vs. Predator: War by S.D. Perry
- Alien vs. Predator: The Movie Novelization by Marc Cerasini
- Aliens versus Predator versus The Terminator
- Aliens/Predator/Witchblade/The Darkness: Mindhunter
- Archie vs. Predator
- Batman versus Predator
- JLA vs. Predator
- Predator vs. Judge Dredd
- Predator vs. Magnus, Robot Fighter
- Superman and Batman versus Aliens and Predator
- Superman vs. Predator
- Tarzan vs. Predator at the Earth's Core
- Aliens vs Predator (1990)
- Predator: Concrete Jungle
- Aliens/Predator: Deadliest of the Species
- Predator 2: Movie Adaption
- Predators (2010 prequel comic)
- Predators (2010 sequel comic)
- Fire and Stone
- Life and Death
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