Over the past few years, numerous classic Hollywood franchises have returned to the big screen with fresh installments, and while not all of these have been successful (see: Terminator: Genisys), most of them have been able to reignite interests and passions in some legendary properties. 20th Century Fox is hoping The Predator, written and directed by Shane Black, can join the ranks of Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it’s released in February 2018. The project has assembled a star-studded ensemble cast, and Black’s involvement is also encouraging for many viewers.

Black and company have been gearing up to start principal photography, and now – a few days ahead of the reported start date – the team has come together for the commencement of filming. The director shared the first official cast photo to mark the beginning of production.

Taking to Twitter, Black posted an image of himself with what he calls the “partial cast.” Many of the actors seem to be in some kind of military/combat attire, implying that they will be going toe-to-toe with the Predator in the new movie. You can check the picture out for yourself below:

Pictured along with Black (from left to right) are Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, and Keegan-Michael Key. Details about the plot and characters are few and far between, but fans have learned some aspects during the pre-production process. For instance, Rhodes and Holbrook allegedly play ex-Marines who are best friends, Munn is a scientist on the team, and Brown is a government agent. It’s also been said Tremblay portrays the son of Holbrook’s protagonist and has a sizable role in the conflict due to his preternatural ability to learn languages. It will be interesting to see who else comes on board, but it appears this is the main group audiences will be following through the story.

Though The Predator is reportedly “not a sequel” to the earlier films in the series (meaning an Arnold Schwarzenegger cameo is unlikely), there are still plenty of reasons to be excited about this new take on the world. Black’s skills as a filmmaker are top-notch, as he’s frequently shown an ability to subvert tropes and expectations to make something that feels wholly original. What’s even more exciting is that this film is going to embrace the franchise’s R-rated roots (complete with bleeding spines), so longtime fans can rest assured this will be as hard-hitting and violent as the 1987 original that started it all. It’s also worth remembering that Black played Hawkins in the first Predator, so he knows better than most what works well in this universe.

Source: Shane Black

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