The Predator: What We Know So Far

The Predator You'll never see him coming

The Predator franchise has been laying low since Nimrod Antal's Predators back in 2010, but the cinematic return of the legendary extraterrestrial killer is imminent. In the summer of 2014, 20th Century Fox announced that they were going to be bringing the series back, and now we find ourselves less than a year away from the finished product's release. But who is involved? What will it be about? Those are questions that we are here to directly address.

As we do here on CinemaBlend with all major upcoming films, we've constructed the guide below to provide you with all of the latest details and news about The Predator. We will regularly update this feature as more information comes in and we get closer to the release date, but for now, here's what we know so far:

What Have We Seen From The Predator?

Through early 2018, the answer to this question was: not much. But, on May 10, 2018 a teaser for the new film finally dropped, and it showed off some important aspects of what we can expect from The Predator, while subsequent trailers did an even better job of letting audiences know what's in store. Of upmost importance will be the fact that, while this creature will look much the same as the others we've seen on the big screen, apparently the race has begun co-opting bits of tech or biological factors that they find useful among the races they encounter on the planets they visit. Meaning, of course, that there will be some surprises afoot for audiences when our heroes begin to fight the alien this time around.

The Predator with his mask on

What Is The Predator Release Date?

Given that John McTiernan's original Predator was released in 1987, it would have been nice if the latest addition to the franchise was able to come out in 2017, celebrating the sci-fi/action classic's 30th anniversary. Sadly, this was a ball that was kind of dropped by 20th Century Fox, but the ultimate good news to take away is that fans will be seeing The Predator in theaters on September 14, 2018.

While September 2018 isn't a complete dead zone, the month isn't exactly packed with potential blockbusters, either, meaning that The Predator has a pretty good chance of finding and keeping an audience in that slot. The dark suspense film A Simple Favor, starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, and directed by Paul Feig, debuts the same day. Meanwhile, The House with a Clock In Its Walls, with Jack Black, Cate Blanchett and Kyle MacLachlan, will open a week later. The last weekend of the month will see the animated Smallfoot, starring the voices of Channing Tatum, Gina Rodriguez and Zendaya, and the comedy Night School, with Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, hit the big screen. Can any of these films take potential viewers away from The Predator? We'll have to wait and see.

The Predator victims hanging in a tree

What Is The Predator Rating?

When it comes to movies about the Predator, audiences have really only seen a slight fluctuation in the ratings department. With the exception of Alien vs. Predator, which was given a PG-13 pass by the MPAA, every other film in the continuity/series -- including Predator 2, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, and Predators -- has been rated R. This is thankfully a tradition that will continue with The Predator as well.

While official decisions about ratings typically aren't made until a film has put together a theatrical edit to show the MPAA, we already know about The Predator's rating because the blockbuster's director has been very open about it. As production on the movie was starting up in February 2017, writer/director Shane Black took to his personal Twitter account and wrote, "And, just to be clear... PG-13 is for pussies. Spines bleed... a lot" (a reference to the fact that the titular alien species collects spinal columns as trophies). Basically, this is a feature that is not being made with young kids in mind as the target audience.

The Predator You'll never see him coming

What Will The Predator Be About?

Writer/director Shane Black and screenwriter Fred Dekker haven't written a script together since 1987's The Monster Squad, but the duo is back in action writing the script for The Predator -- which most definitely fits within the continuity of Predator, Predator 2 and Predators and is absolutely not a reboot. The movie will be set in the present day -- which is to say the year 2018 -- and much like the original, it will primarily feature soldiers as its central protagonists.

Full details about The Predator plot haven't been revealed yet, but we do know that the story will center on Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), a former marine who discovers evidence that a Predator is on Earth. Unfortunately for him, nobody actually believes his claims, leading him to personally try and do something about it -- part of which is assembling a team that can help him out. And, from what actor Thomas Jane revealed about the plot a few months ago, it sounds like putting this team together won't be as cut and dry as it usually is in these types of films.

The part that I know about is the stuff that we did, and we play these veterans from like Afghanistan or whatever, the Iraq War. Whatever, you know? But we're all fucking crazy, right? So we go to the VA hospital to get our meds, and we're all shellshocked, PTSD soldiers. We're at the VA hospital and we all, in like group therapy, and of course, somebody flips out. This is backstory, I don't think we really see this, but somebody flips out and we all get arrested and thrown onto the bus to go down to the hospital, right? Then they throw this other guy on the bus, too, and he's a guy that they're actually marked to kill him. Because he's seen the UFO. He's seen The Predator ships come down. So they lock him up and they throw him in with us lunatics, and they're gonna take [the] bus and drive us down into a ditch and shoot us all, just to get rid of this one guy. But, of course, we take the bus over and we're all 'fuck that, man. Let's go kill these fucking Predators ourselves.' We're just crazy enough to believe that this guy really did see a UFO.

Actor Keegan-Michael Key also told us that reshoots on the film earlier this year actually rewrote about three-fourths of the final act, making it sound like something was amiss with the film's resolution. And, reports at the end of July indicated that even more reshoots were underway. While this doesn't sound good for a film that's due in theaters in just a few weeks, at least the team seems dedicated to getting it right. As you can see, though, the setup alone is pretty wild, which leads us to believe that The Predator will really be something special to behold.

Predator 1987 shane black hawkins

Who Is The Predator Director?

Shane Black made a huge splash in Hollywood as the young hot shot writer of Lethal Weapon, and after spending years establishing himself with consistently great action/noir scripts (like The Long Kiss Goodnight, and The Last Boy Scout) the turn of the century saw him make the transition into the director's chair. He made his debut in 2005 with the cult hit Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and has since followed it up with both Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys -- and now he's making his return to the blockbuster world with The Predator.

While Shane Black's talent should be enough to get anyone excited for the sci-fi feature, it's also funny to note that the project is a homecoming of sorts for the director. Back in the late 1980s, 20th Century Fox tried to get Black to work on rewrites for the original Predator -- and this eventually led them to offer the young filmmaker the part of Hawkins -- one of Black's very few performances as an actor. Given that Hawkins wound up suffering a rather awful death in the movie, we probably shouldn't expect him to reprise the role in The Predator.

The Predator boyd holbrook quinn mckenna

Boyd Holbrook

Boyd Holbrook's rise in the film industry has been slow, but certainly notable. He started by getting small roles in movies by talented directors, such as Gus Van Sant, Rob Reiner, Scott Frank and David Fincher, and then made a significant move in 2015 taking on a big role on the Netflix series Narcos. More recently, however, he's been starting to take on a bigger blockbuster presence, and after playing a critically-acclaimed villain in James Mangold's Logan, he will be playing hero Quinn McKenna in Shane Black's The Predator.

It's been widely reported that Boyd Holbrook was not the first choice for the lead role, as offers first went out to both James Franco and Benicio Del Toro -- but the young actor is certainly at a place in his career where it is time to test out his abilities as a leading man. Given what we've seen from him, we definitely have confidence in his skills, and it doesn't hurt that he's surrounded by a stellar supporting ensemble cast.

The Predator trevante rhodes Nebraska williams

Trevante Rhodes

Buddy characters have been a staple of Shane Black movies from the very beginning. After all, he is the man who introduced Riggs and Murtaugh to the world, and since then basically all of his films have been built around the two hander approach. We can't say for certain yet if this will be the case with The Predator, but it certainly looks like the movie is being set up to have Boyd Holbrook's Quinn McKenna have Trevante Rhodes' Nebraska Williams as his sounding board.

Rhodes broke out in 2016 thanks to his brilliant performance in the Best Picture-winning Moonlight, and The Predator will be his first experience working on a blockbuster. When we spoke to him in early 2017, he described Nebraska Williams as a "Special Forces cat" who winds up becoming best friends with Quinn McKenna. Thanks to his military background, we can definitely expect that he knows what he is doing around a gun, which means that he should be a significant ally in the battle against the eponymous alien threat.

The Predator Jacob Tremblay

Jacob Tremblay

Jacob Tremblay may only be 10 years old, but he has already managed to capture the attention of cinefiles the world over. After taking on a few smaller roles, the young actor blew critics and audiences away starring in the dark drama Room opposite Brie Larson (who won an Oscar for her performance). Since then, Tremblay has become one of the most in-demand young actors in the industry, but easily one of his biggest upcoming projects is The Predator.

At this stage we don't really know how Jacob Tremblay will fit into the larger narrative of the blockbuster, but we do have a few character details. Specifically, we know that he will have a close relationship with Quinn McKenna, who is his father. Adding an extra twist to the part is that the young kid suffers from a form of autism -- an aspect of the role that we have full confidence in Tremblay to portray.

The Predator Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn

While small details have leaked out about a few of the main characters in The Predator, the role set to be played by Olivia Munn is being kept an interesting mystery. When the actress first signed on to the project, the only description of the part provided said that she is a scientist - though we have no idea what field she is working in. The good news is that there are many scientific areas of study that could be helpful in taking down a Predator.

Many will remember that Olivia Munn got her start as a host on the video game network G4, but she has spent the last few years building up her resume as an actor starring in movies like Magic Mike and Ride Along 2. In 2016 she landed her first superhero role playing Psylocke in Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse, but we're definitely hoping that The Predator has more for her to do than that film.

The Predator Keegan-Michael Key

Keegan-Michael Key

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have spent years tied at the hip in popular culture - starring in everything together from Key & Peele to Fargo to Keanu - but now their work is taking both of them in interesting separate directions. Peele recently made his incredibly successful directorial debut with the horror movie Get Out, and soon fans will be able to see Key on the big screen taking up arms against The Predator.

At this point, very little is actually know about the part that Keegan Michael-Key will be playing in Shane Black's upcoming blockbuster - but judging from the gun he's handling in the first look image, he is very likely another character with a military background ready to kick some serious ass. Given the tone of past Predator movies, the role could very well wind up being one of the most serious on the actor's filmography, but that doesn't mean we still don't expect him to crack one or two jokes within the movie's runtime.

The Predator Sterling K. Brown

Sterling K. Brown

When it comes to antagonists in The Predator, we fully expect that the titular creature will rank as the biggest threat in the movie - but that doesn't mean that the film is totally without humans trying to stand in the way of the heroes. Specifically, it's been reported that when Sterling K. Brown is first introduced in the movie, he won't be playing for the good guys, as he'll be a government agent who stands in Quinn McKenna's way. Fortunately, he winds up having a significant change of heart when he realizes the gravity of the situation the world finds itself in.

While Sterling K. Brown does have a fair share of movie roles on his resume, the actor has spent the bulk of his time on the small screen. Truth be told, the actor has actually gained a significant amount of popularity in recent years due to his work on television - namely on The People vs O.J. Simpson, and the on-going series This Is Us. That being said, Brown actually has two huge blockbusters in theaters in 2018, as he is not only a part of the Predator ensemble, but also the cast of the hugely successful Black Panther.

The Predator Trevante Rhodes Boyd Holbrook Alfie Allen Keegan Michael Key Tom Jane

The Rest Of The Cast

So far in this guide we've introduced you to the main ensemble featured at the center of The Predator - but the movie's cast extends even beyond all of those awesome names. We don't really have much information about the individual parts that they will be playing within the film's narrative, but it has been reported that the rest of the cast will include Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Augusto Aguilera (Chasing Life), Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner 2049) and Jake Busey (Starship Troopers).

Arnold Schwarzenegger Predator 1987

Will Arnold Schwarzenegger Be Back?

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch was the first cinematic hero to go toe-to-toe with a Predator and survive, and yet we really have no idea what happened to the character after his adventure in the jungle. Because of this, there has been some question as to whether or not The Predator will offer up some answers. Sadly, it doesn't sound like that will be the case.

Boyd Holbrook has gone on the record about the possibility of Arnold Schwarzenegger showing up in The Predator, and he made it sound pretty clear that a cameo won't be happening. In explaining this choice, he noted that having a cameo from the original Predator protagonist would be a "gimmick" that might undermine the seriousness of the horror/sci-fi/western that is being constructed.

Of course, the biggest hint we have that Dutch showing up in the new film will be a no-go is confirmation from Schwarzenegger himself, who said:

They asked me, and I read it, and I didn't like it --- whatever they offered. So I'm not going to do that, no. Except if there's a chance that they rewrite it, or make it a more significant role. But the way it is now, no, I won't do that.

So, unless something's changed in the months since Schwarzenegger revealed this info, it looks like The Predator will be an Ahnold-less affair.

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.