4 Stephen King-Created Killers Who Could Square Off With The Predator After The Author Pitches The Children Of The Corn

Isaac in Children of the Corn
(Image credit: New World Pictures)

Stephen King, an avid Twitter user, has been known to give away franchise ideas for free on social media. For example, he has a vision for the future of the Friday The 13th movies, and it’s with a sequel titled I, Jason. More recently, the author/filmmaker pointed his attention toward the world of the Predator. Following the successful and critically acclaimed launch of Prey on Hulu, King suggested that the next chapter of the sci-fi series see the alien go toe-to-toe with some of his own creations – namely the Children of the Corn.

Reading this Tweet got my Constant Reader brain whirring. If Children of the Corn is an interesting match-up for the Predator, what other Stephen King-created killers could fill that role as well? That musing has coalesced in the form of this feature, and an analysis of King characters who could make an interesting rival for one of pop culture’s most battle-hungry monsters.

Dead police officer in Children of the Corn

(Image credit: New World Pictures)

The Children Of The Corn From “Children Of The Corn”

It makes sense to start with Stephen King’s actual pitch, right? Because in addition to being the inspiration for this feature, it’s also a pretty fun and screwed up idea. The children of Gatlin, Nebraska kill anyone over the age of 18 who makes the mistake of coming into their territory, and their sacrifice is offered to the mystical He Who Walks Behind The Rows to ensure a healthy harvest of corn.

What makes the Children of the Corn a fascinating foe for the Predator is the question of how they might fit into whatever moral code the aliens’ possess. We know that they won’t kill an opponent that is unarmed, but do they have an issue killing a child? And if they don’t have an issue with one child, what about an entire village of them? It would be a strange thing to see this movie made with the young religious zealots as protagonists, but I would most definitely watch.

Michael Greyeyes as Rainbird in Firestarter

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

John Rainbird From Firestarter

John Rainbird is the principal antagonist in Firestarter, and has some standout qualities – one that immediately stands out being that he is a psychopath. He is introduced in the story as a mercenary who operates as a hired gun for a division of the government known as The Shop, and he becomes obsessed with the girl he is tasked with hunting down: Charlie McGee, a powerful young girl with pyrokinesis. He demonstrates a fascination with the supernatural right up until his fiery death in the book, and perhaps that can be tied to an experience with an extraterrestrial earlier in his life?

We don’t learn a whole lot about John Rainbird’s history in Firestarter, but one thing we do know is that he is a Vietnam veteran, and that would make for an excellent background for a Predator hunt. The jungle setting would present a challenge for filmmakers attempting to differentiate the story from past Predator movies, but it’s a tale that could add new perspective in regards to why Rainbird is who he is in Stephen King’s novel, and the battle could be used as a jumping off point to craft commentary about the international conflict.

Pennywise the Clown in IT

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Pennywise From IT

When you look at the Predator franchise from a certain angle, the eponymous aliens very much seem like bullies. They a biologically bigger than humans and possess weaponry that is far more advanced, and yet they’re constantly depicted as coming to Earth to hunt us. Looking at the Stephen King canon of killers, it feels only fair that the extraterrestrial get paired with at least one villain that isn’t native to the planet – and Pennywise The Dancing Clown would present a fantastic challenge.

Pennywise from IT is an extraterrestrial entity that feeds on fear and spends generations making a haven for itself in Derry, Maine and consuming members of the populace. It lures its prey using its shapeshifting ability, and frequently transforms into said prey’s greatest terror before introducing its true form: the Deadlights. It may seem kind of dumb on its surface, but a Predator vs. Pennywise film would be fascinating for a few reasons – including the fact that it would probably demand the Predator be a protagonist, and also because the movie would surely end up depicting what a Predator is afraid of… and that’s surely something that any fan of the franchise would want to see.

Cynthia Erivo on The Outsider

(Image credit: HBO)

Chet Ondowsky From “If It Bleeds”

Unlike all of the other Stephen King-created killers on this list, Chet Ondowsky is the only one who has not yet been featured in film or television… but give it time. He is the principal antagonist in the novella “If It Bleeds,” a sequel to The Outsider, and he is similar to Pennywise in that he is not human – even though he appears to be. Despite this connection, I felt he is an appropriate character to pitch anyway, as his relationship with a Predator would be completely different than IT.

Chet Ondowsky (which, of course, isn’t his real name, but a guise) is another one of Stephen King’s emotional vampires (for lack of a better identifier), and what he feeds on is the pain that comes from loss. All of the Predator movies that have been made thus far have been about the aliens hunting the protagonists, but Chet is a monster that could flip that script and stalk the Predator, feeding on the hurt that is left in the wake of the alien’s kills. It also happens to be pretty funny that "If It Bleeds" is reminiscent of an iconic line from 1987's Predator – albeit there is no relationship in their actual usage (the novella title is a reference on the phrase "If it bleeds, it leads," not "If it bleeds, we can kill it.")

While we wait to see if any of these pop culture face offs ever actually come to fruition (spoiler alert: none of them will), fans can enjoy the latest adventure with the Predator, Prey, by picking up a Hulu subscription. For more about Stephen King, you can learn about all of the film and TV projects in the works with our Upcoming Stephen King guide, see our ranking of the Best Stephen King movies, and learn about the long history of adaptations with my weekly Adapting Stephen King column.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.