“The Predator” invaded San Diego Comic-Con 2018 to give fans in Hall H a new look at the upcoming movie, with director Shane Black and the cast giving a sense of how the latest movie in Fox’s franchise will up the stakes.
The “Predator” series, dating back to the 1987 original, is always about an alien hunter showing up on Earth to kill some humans for sport. In the original movie, it took down a powerful group of commandos led by a soldier named Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), before it was finally beaten. In “Predator 2,” an alien showed up in Los Angeles to take on gang members, before a detective played by Danny Glover took it down.
Black (who played one of the first characters killed in the original 1987 film), explained during the Comic-Con panel that this new movie expands on the story of the Predator. On the home planet of the aliens, there’s a faction that’s none too happy about their hunters getting killed by humans — not once, but twice. (It seems the “Alien vs. Predator” movies aren’t factoring in here, which makes sense.) Those angry Predators want revenge, and they’re headed back to Earth to get it.
Meanwhile, the heroes seem to know something about the Predator situation as well, and they’re gearing up to fight back. But as the footage showed at Comic-Con suggested, neither side is ready for a new type of Predator that’s showing up on the scene, and doesn’t seem to be loyal to anybody.
The first of two clips shown in Hall H gave a sense of the humor Director Shane Black and Fred Dekker’s script will bring to the movie. It featured a group of soldiers — including those played by Boyd Holbrook, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes, Thomas Jane and Augusto Aguilera — breaking into a hotel room where Olivia Munn’s character, Casey Bracket, is sleeping.
The group stages a situation by placing various objects around the room, then wakes up Casey to see how she’ll react to them. Key’s character, Coyle, is excited to note that he was right when Casey grabs a shotgun they left in the room and turns it on Holbrook’s character, Quinn. The shotgun isn’t loaded — which we learn when she tries to shoot Quinn, which Coyle also predicted — but Casey’s response tells the group they want her on their mission.
What is that mission? To hunt down a Predator, which they tell Casey “hunts humans for sport.” When one of them points out that actual predators don’t hunt for sport, Casey jumps in — “That’s what I said!”
A second scene later showed the soldiers with Rory, played by Jacob Tremblay, being hunted by a Predator — only for the other, giant Super Predator who isn’t wearing any of the normal high tech Predator gear, to show up and attack his own kind. The Super Predator beats down the regular predator, body slamming him on top of a car. Then the Super Predator rips the other Predator’s mask off, punches him to death, and tears off his head as the humans escape the scene.
“They’re hunting each other now?” Bracket asks as the scene ended.
They wrapped up the footage with a new short trailer, featuring more of that previously unseen predator-on-predator action.
All that lore and expanded story could suggest a new direction for the “Predator” franchise in general. Producer John Davis told Variety this week that “The Predator” could open the door for a new “Predator” trilogy, and that he wants Black to return for both those movies should they come to fruition.
“The Predator” hits theaters on Sept. 14 and stars Holbrook, Tremblay, Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Key, Thomas Jane, Yvonne Strahovski and Sterling K. Brown.