The first trailer for The Predator (opens in new tab) has arrived, and it looks like Earth is going to have its hands full when everyone's favorite intergalactic hunter crash lands and decides to start collecting skulls (you know, again). But is there more going on here than meets the eye? First, take a look for yourself and see what you think before we get into the weeds.
The first Predator introduced us to the concept of an alien who hunts for sport, Predator 2 moved the setting from a South American jungle to downtown Los Angeles, Predators gave us a new breed and set multiple hunters loose on our protagonists. So, what's the gimmick or twist this time? It would seem that, along with a location change to the Georgia suburbs, this Predator has been genetically engineering itself to become a more efficient killer. Or, as Olivia Munn's character puts it:
"I think they're attempting hybridization."
But what if we're interpreting that line all wrong? What if Munn isn't referring to the Predator attempting to make itself into a hybrid, but is talking about us making our own hybrid Predators?
Sounds silly, but there's one big clue that suggests this to be the case (or at least that we're not getting the full picture from this tease). At 1:14 in the trailer, we see a military vehicle blow up and begin tumbling down the road. At first this seems like a quick action shot to assure viewers there will be exciting things to see in the full movie. But look really closely in the bottom-right corner and...
It's definitely hard to make out, but that looks like a Predator helmet. You can just barely make out the ridges along the side, the heavy brow, the eye grooves, and the 'nose' that covers those mandibles we all know and love. And wouldn't you know it, we saw Predators standing on top of what looks to be the same vehicle in a set pic from May 2017:
Notice in the set pic that those Predators aren't wearing their typical alien armor - it's more chunky and human-looking, with camouflage patterns painted on. Kinda sounds like what you'd dress a Predator-human hybrid in, don't you think?
And The Predator is clearly aiming to connect the dots of the Predator mythos - in this movie, Jake Busey plays the son of Gary Busey's character from Predator 2, a man who wanted to capture and study the extraterrestrial. Meanwhile, Predators revealed that Arnold Schwarzenegger's report about what really happened in '87 is known to some outside of himself and his superiors.
Now, you might be thinking that Munn's very next words from the trailer wouldn't fit this theory. "They're upgrading on every planet they visit," she says ominously. But there's a significant pause between lines, and we know trailers can and are often edited in such a way as to trick us (see: pretty much any Star Wars trailer of the past three years).
And besides, this doesn't make what she's saying necessarily untrue, just possibly taken out of context. Maybe these are two entirely separate conversations, and the "upgrading" has nothing to do with genetic modification.
Or maybe I'm wrong and Munn is referring to the new Predator as the hybrid, and the Predators seen in the set pic are purebloods who are simply stripped of their gear and team up with humans to stop what they see as an abomination. That would fit with both director Shane Black's penchant for mismatched buddy movies and play on the idea that Predators are ruthless and deadly, but also noble and honor-driven.
We may not know the whole truth just yet, but it's clear there's more going on here than the initial trailer suggests. I look forward to finding out more come September 14.
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