The Predator will feature the return of the fearsome hunting dogs known as the Hell-Hounds – in addition to introducing some other creatures. The Predator is the first movie in the series in nearly a decade and is intended as a fresh start for the long-running franchise. Shane Black (Iron Man 3) co-wrote and directed the latest sequel and has some previous experience with the series too; he played ill-fated soldier Hawkins in the 1987 original.
The Predator will follow a misfit group of soldiers – led by Boyd Holbrook – who are being hunted by the titular creatures. The movie also reveals the hunters have been upgrading their abilities by combining their DNA with that of others species from the various planets they visit. The movie is also said to be funnier than past installments, but it will retain all the action and gore audiences have come to expect.
The Predator is said to contain some surprises for longtime fans too, including an explanation for why the hunters keep returning to Earth. In addition to upgraded versions of the Predators themselves, visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart revealed the Hell-Hounds from previous movie Predators will make a return, but with something of a redesign. Here's what he told us during our set visit:
We were trying to stay away from matching any previous design on them. So we try to keep it where at least we have some familiar aspects to the dogs that you can bring back to the Predators. Such as, they have some level of dreads to them. And their mouths are not the same as a Predator mouth, but they do have that kind of distended jaw a little bit. It doesn’t open sideways like that, but it still has some similarities, just to keep it in the same realm.
Without going into any specifics, Rothbart also revealed the film will feature 'other creatures to be named later,' hinting other alien species may pop up during the story. He could also be referring to new versions of the Predators themselves, with a monstrous 10-foot version said to make an appearance at some point.
A big budget, R-rated relaunch of the Predator series is reason enough to get excited about the new sequel, yet there have been some signs of difficulties behind the scenes. The movie recently went back to reshoot much of the third act, apparently as a result of test audiences being confused by the humorous tone. The film is also being post-converted to 3D, and the much-anticipated trailer ended up being something of a disappointment. That said, given Shane Black's experience with the action genre, there's every reason to believe the film will be worth the wait.
There are also reports the reshoots may have been to add Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch to the movie after the actor previously turned down a cameo. There's nothing solid to those rumors at the moment, so that's likely wishful thinking on the part of fans. That said, if the movie proves to be a hit, there's every chance the character could return for future entries.
- The Predator (2018) release date: Sep 14, 2018