It seems like this year’s Comic-Con decided to begin with a bang, as Hall H hosted the return of one of Fox’s classic franchises last Thursday morning: Predator. It seems like director Shane Black wants to have his take on the franchise, which had a super creepy poster that had a Predator mask made out of skulls.


The panel not only featured Black, but cast members Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes, Jake Busey, Thomas Jane, and Augusto Aguilera. The panel opened up first with a series of “Predator vs. ___ matchups” that pit the fearsome alien against various other pop culture figures, with audience participation. Black then went into what attracted him to the franchise, saying that he feels is a great mix of the Alien and Rambo crazes of the 80’s, and that he feels, “It’s a perfect fusion – a piece of pop art.”

Black also affirmed that The Predator will not be a reboot, and will build upon established Predator lore and that it also takes place in the Alien universe. Surprisingly, Black said there will be no callouts to the Alien franchise, so it looks like we’re not getting any shared universe building just yet – though Black did mention during the panel that an Aliens vs. Predator movie was not off the table.

“This time around,” said Black, “the Predators have been genetically modified with DNA from other alien species to create The Ultimate Predator. This thing is seriously scary too.” The movie will be, once again, Predators hunting humans, but Black had a new vision for the franchise; he figures that there has to be a faction of Predators that are tired of being beaten by humans, so they’re not above “’roiding up” to give themselves a competitive edge. Black assures us that The Ultimate Predators aren’t huge hulking beasts, however; they’re still very much the fast, quick, brutal Predators we know and love…just ten times more deadly and dangerous.

Attendees were treated to some clips, as well. Near the beginning of the panel, absent cast member Boyd Holbrook introduced the first clip in the presentation, which showed off some of Black’s signature dark comedy. Casey (Munn’s character) was in a hotel with some ex-soldier characters. Some of the soldiers make some jokes and comments at Casey’s expense, and then she goes for a shotgun – the other soldiers laugh, with some getting $20, as some had bet she would go for the shotgun. The soldiers eventually calm her down, and bring her up to speed with this creature they’ve been up against – which they rightly surmise is some kind of hunter – and try to get Casey’s help, as she’s a geneticist. Eventually, Casey ends up helping out these soldiers. Black claims that this squad is supposed to be akin to the squad from the first Predator movie. I wonder if they’ll have a scene where they fire a bunch of guns into the forest, too?

There was a second clip later introduced by Black himself that gave attendees more of the gore and violence they came here for – definitely earning that Hard R rating. In one scene, two characters are trying to help a child hide from a Predator…when suddenly, another, more larger one appears. It swats the smaller one out a window, rips off its mask, and pummels its face into a mess of green blood before ripping its head off. “What, are they hunting each other now?” asks one of the characters. Then we got a reel of various clips of violence, such as Predator killings, explosions, firefights in the forests, trucks flipping, ships crashing and of course, things blowing up.

There was some additional talk during the panel as well, such Busey talking about coming to terms with his father Gary Busey’s legacy, who acted in Predator 2, and stepping up to act in The Predator; Busey’s character is even related to the older Busey’s character. Aguilera also got some great praise for the work he’s done so far, as this is his debut film. And then there were some questions about the glowing green Predator blood which is not CG – though Black wouldn’t say if it was the goop in glowsticks or not. Only that it takes about 20 minutes for the glow to die out and get cleaned up.

If you’re looking for some neat visual fare, IGN’s got an awesome Red Band Trailer for The Predator that you can check out here.

It sure sounds like The Predator is going to be a winner this September. Hopefully, Black and his cast knock it out the park and get a little life going in this franchise. Personally, I’ve always been more of a fan of The Predators than the Aliens; in fact, I remember going straight to the Predators when first playing Aliens vs. Predator 2 all those years ago. So let the hunt commence! And with some luck, these Ultimate Predators bleed too…because if it bleeds, we can kill it.