Hollywood just won't give up on the Predator franchise, a series that has yielded exactly one great film (Predator), one decent one (Predators), one dud (Predator 2), and two execrable Alien crossover spin-offs. Still, more than 30 years after the Schwarzenegger original, here we are again with The Predator, out in cinemas this year.
Iron Man 3 director Shane Black is calling the shots on this sequel that brings the action into American suburbia and hopes to prove that the universe's greatest hunters have more than one great film in them. Here's everything we know about The Predator so far.
When is The Predator release date?
Who's in the cast and crew?
There's an impressive cast attached to The Predator, which is one of the reasons we're optimistic about the film. First up we have the young Jacob Tremblay (Room) as a kid who accidentally triggers the aliens' return to earth. It looks like he'll spend a lot of the film together with Olivia Munn's Casey, who appears to be a scientist.
The action comes courtesy of a crew of former soldiers, including Boyd Holbrook, Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, and Sterling K. Brown, while Edward James Olmos (of Blade Runner and Battlestar Galactica fame) will appear as a senior military figure.
As we've already said, Shane Black will be the man behind the camera, coming off the back of the successes of both Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys. It's a funny case of things coming full circle for Black, who played Hawkins in the original movie - and was even asked to help rewrite the script, but refused.
Black has at least co-written this new script, along with his former co-writer (on The Monster Squad, also 1987) Fred Dekker. Henry Jackman is composing the score, while Larry Fong was the cinematographer.
Black has managed to spark a bit of controversy with the film though: he cast his friend Steven Wilder Striegel in a small role in the film, as a jogger who hits on Olivia Munn's character. That would be fine, except that Black neglected to tell Munn - or the studio - that Striegel is a registered sex offender, having pleaded guilty and served six months in jail related to online messages he sent to a 14-year-old relative.
Munn found out and told the studio, and Fox moved quickly to cut the scene from the film entirely, so we'll never see Striegel's performance. For his part though, Black defended the choice to hire him: “I personally chose to help a friend. I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly.”
What's the plot?
First up, here's the official synopsis, which gives us an idea of what to expect:
"From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. Now, the universe's most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race."
That hints at something revealed in the film's first full trailer: that this time around humanity needs to survive one of the regular alien hunters, but also a new, enhanced version - dubbed the 'ultimate predator' - which looks bigger, stronger, and plain nastier than the original.
Going by the trailers, the regular predator and the new ultimate version don't get along too well, so we'd bet that the humans and the alien are forced into an uncomfortable alliance. It also looks like that predator will end up captured and resident in a human lab of some sort - though we'd expect it to make a fairly violent escape.
Thanks to the film's official Funko Pop tie-in toys we have a couple other ideas about what to expect. First up, from the figure in the top-left it looks like Jacob Tremblay's character might actually put the Predator mask on at some point in the film - which makes sense as the first teaser shows him finding and playing with it. What we don't know is how wearing the mask might effect him - or if he can use it to his advantage.
Perhaps more interestingly, it looks like the film will also feature 'Predator Hounds'. These last appeared in Predators, though appear to have had a redesign to appear more visually similar to main species - part of those 'genetic upgrades' perhaps - and are apparently going to be used to help track humans in the new film.
Check out the posters and photos
Fox has released a few fantastic posters for the film so far, which you can check out right here:
There are also loads of official stills and photos from the film, which give a great look at the regular predator's new armour design, among other little details:
Finally, there are three main trailers to watch so far. The first is this teaser trailer, which focuses on Jacob Tremblay's accidental activation of some alien tech:
Then there's the first full trailer, which shows off a lot more action, some Shane Black wit, and the new big bad:
The latest trailer, released in late-August, shows off more of Black's comedic side, and is by a long way the best look at the film yet: