It's been 15 years in the making
This is no flash-in-the-pan remake, but a labour of love, more than 15 years in the making.
Robert Rodriguez apparently penned the script for a third Predator sequel way back in 1994, while he was waiting to shoot Desperado , and Fox have finally decided to make use of it.
Originally, Rodriguez had planned to revive the character of Dutch from the first film, and even met with Arnie himself to discuss a potential return.
Schwarzenneger turned it down and the script has since been revamped, but rumours persist about a possible cameo…will he be back? We wouldn’t rule it out…
The Predators will face the world's deadliest killers
The film will follow a motley crew of criminal-types, who have been abducted from earth and dumped on the Predator home-world to provide the locals with a bit of hunting practice.
As Adrien Brody's character says in the trailer, “this planet is a game preserve…we’re the game.”
It might sound like shooting fish in a barrel for the Predators, but these are no ordinary criminals. Rodriguez has assembled a Dusk til Dawn -esque rogues gallery of global hard-cases, including a French sniper, a Yakuza henchman and an uzi-toting Mexican drug dealer.
Should be a fairly good scrap then…
It has a brilliant cast
Happily, the film looks set to devote a fair bit of time to the human side of the story, with Rodriguez keen to create a set of characters we’ll actually care about.
“It was really important for me that each character felt like they could be the star of their own movie” he says, and with that in mind, he’s bagged himself a pretty heavyweight cast.
As mentioned earlier, Adrien Brody is one of the stars on show, and brilliantly, so is Laurence Fishburne.
Playing a grizzled survivor who has been living on the planet for years, he’ll be in full-on badass mode, and with one sci-fi juggernaut under his belt already, could be just the man to bring a touch of gravitas to proceedings.
Topher Grace and Alice Braga flesh out a talented bunch, whilst there’s even a role for Rodriguez regular Danny Trejo, presumably as the uzi-wielding nutjob.
Rodriguez will act as producer and fanboy-in-chief
Despite having written the script, and acting as the film’s head cheerleader, Rodriguez will only be acting as producer on Predators .
Directing duties will fall to the bizarrely monikered Nimrod Antal, best known for helming Luke Wilson frightener Vacancy .
That said, Rodriguez has been heavily involved (much of the film was shot at his Troublemaker studios), and realises the responsibility the pair have to look after a much loved franchise.
“People love that series,” he says. “You tell people there’s a new Predator movie and they come running. (But) you can’t compete with Arnold Schwarzennegger, so it’s much better to go in the other direction and do something the audience isn’t expecting.”
The Predators have evolved
It’s been over 20 years since the original movie was released, and it looks like the Predators have evolved!
Production art displayed at the South By Southwest film festival showed the luckless humans having to face a Predator dog and even Predator birds, in their attempts to hang on to their innards. As Antal points out, “we went out of our way to stay true to the fact that they are hunters.”
Rodriguez has also referred to a giant, specialised Predator known as “Mister Black”, who will be indicative of the new breed of Predators.
Specifics are still in short supply, but Rodriguez has promised his Predators will represent a general upgrade on the original model, describing them as, “an updated, nastier meaner breed.”
According to Laurence Fishburne, “it’s like the difference between dogs and wolves!” Remember to take a spare set of underwear…
It's a sequel, not a remake
The film will represent a direct follow-on from the original, with the script apparently name-checking events the audience will already be familiar with.
The whole story is based around the Predators’ need to sharpen up their hunting skills, which would presumably be a response to the pasting they received at the hands of Arnie and friends.
It has also been confirmed that the original Predator will make an appearance in some capacity, with Rodriguez referring to it as, “our old friend”. Whether it will appear in flashback or alongside the newer breed is unclear, but its’ a nice touch, and one that should convince the doubters that Rodriguez knows his stuff.
There will be plenty of splatter
Unsurprisingly, given Rodriguez’s previous output, Predators won’t pull any punches when it comes to the inevitable lashings of gore.
The film will almost certainly receive an R rating in the States, with Rodriguez joking about an original idea for the trailer to have the letters of the Predators title fall away, leaving just the R on-screen.
From the looks of the preview material, Predators will adopt the horror-movie tension of the original as opposed to the crash-bang-wallop action of the Alien vs Predator spin-offs.
Fox are apparently fully behind the more adult theme, with Rodriguez revealing the studio have even asked for a blood-spattered “unrated cut” for the DVD release. We're sure he'll be able to sort them out...
The Predators will look familiar
Creature effects will be headed up by Greg Nicotero, part of the team that designed the original Predator.
The emphasis will be on creating a look that reflects the distinct fighting styles of the new of Predators, thus creating a more believable, and therefore more terrifying brood of creatures.
From what we can tell however, a lot of the classic touches have been maintained. Dreadlocks, body-armour and fearsome gnashers are all present and correct, alongside the trademark laser pointers.
Crucially, the new Predators look a lot less cartoonish than recent incarnations, backing up the feeling that this will be a leaner, meaner sequel than its predecessors.
Rodriguez has gone back to basics
Although 3D was apparently discussed in production, Predators will not be taking the Avatar route, and will in fact be quite old-school in the way it’s filmed.
None of the Predators will be CGI, with actors suiting-up as eight-foot aliens for the shoot. Rodriguez, displaying his inner-geek, clearly got a kick out of knocking about with the creatures on-set, gushing that, “I loved seeing Predators in Austin!”
It sounds like CGI will be kept to a minimum throughout the film, which should keep the purists happy.
“There wasn’t a lot of green screen work”, says actor Walter Goggins. “That’s us in the scenes. There’s one shot that happened in real time, of a fall off a cliff down a waterfall, that no one — including me, if I hadn’t been there — will believe is real. It’s the most stunning shot I’ve ever seen.”
20th Century Fox want it to be cool...
According to Rodriguez, Fox told him that they wanted him to, "'make it a non-studio studio movie. Do it the way you do. Make it cool.' They just want a bitchin' movie. They really just want a great movie. That's all they want."
From what we've seen so far - Predator dog handlers! Massive chain guns! That bit where all the Predator triangles light up on Adrien Brody! - Robert has more than delivered on his promise.
It could be the start of a new franchise...
Robert is reportedly very keen on the idea of Predators sequels. And, apparently, so are Fox...
Rodriguez says they told him, "they didn't like the direction they went before, but they know it's a great franchise.
It's like Jaws, no matter how many bad Jaws movies there are, you're always going to remember the original Jaws, it still has its power. You still want to recapture that spirit."
With just four months to go until the film’s July release date (it'll hit the UK on August 11), we’ll soon be able to see whether he's managed it. But at the risk of jinxing it, we’ve got a good feeling about this one…