The Predator
Unmasked Predator

Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator as seen in Predator.

Classification Alien lifeform
First appearance Predator


The Predator
Created by Jim Thomas

John Thomas

Portrayed by Predator & Predator 2:

Kevin Peter Hall

AvP & AvP:R:

Ian Whyte


Brian Steele, Derek Mears, Carey Jones

The Predator:

Brian A. Prince 

The Predator is a fictional extraterrestrial species featured in the Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchises, characterised by its trophy hunting of other dangerous species for sport, including humans and Xenomorphs.

First introduced in 1987 as the main antagonist of the film Predator, the Predators returned in the sequels Predator 2 (1990), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), Predators (2010) and The Predator (2018). While a definitive name for the species is not given in the films, the names Yautja and Hish have been alternatively used in the expanded universe.

The Predators are depicted as large, sapient and sentient humanoid creatures who possess advanced technology, such as active camouflage and energy weapons, and are capable of interstellar travel.

Concept and creationEdit


Early Predator design concepts by Stan Winston. The Predator design is credited to special effects artist Stan Winston. While flying to Japan with Aliens director James Cameron, Winston, who had been hired to design the Predator, was doing concept art on the flight. Cameron saw what he was drawing and said, "I always wanted to see something with mandibles". Winston then included them in his designs. Stan Winston's studio created all of the physical effects for Predator and Predator 2, creating the body suit for actor Kevin Peter Hall and the mechanical facial effects. They were hired after attempts to create a convincing monster (including Jean-Claude Van Damme wearing a much different body suit) had failed. Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended Winston after his experience working on The Terminator.

The Predator was originally designed with a long neck, a dog-like head and a single eye. This design was abandoned when it became apparent that the jungle locations would make shooting the complex design too difficult. Originally, the studio contracted the makeup effects for the alien from Richard Edlund's Boss Film Creature Shop. However, problems filming the alien in Mexico resulted in the makeup effects responsibilities being given to Stan Winston. According to former Boss Films make-up supervisor Steve Johnson, the makeup failed because of an impractical design by McTiernan that included 12-inch length extensions that gave the Predator a backward bent satyr-leg. The design did not work in the jungle locations. After six weeks of shooting in the jungles of Palenque, Mexico, the production had to shut down so that Winston could make a new Predator. This took eight months and then filming resumed for five weeks, ending in February 1987.

Film portrayalsEdit

Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the Predator, the idea being that the physical action star would use his martial arts skills to make the Predator an agile, ninja-esque hunter. When compared to Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura, actors known for their bodybuilding regimens, it became apparent a more physically-imposing man was needed to make the creature appear threatening. Ventura's autobiography also alleges that Van Damme intentionally injured a stunt man. Eventually, Van Damme was removed from the film and replaced by actor and mime artist Kevin Peter Hall. Hall, standing at an imposing 7 foot 2, had just finished work as a sasquatch in Harry and the Hendersons.

Hall played the Predator in the first and second movies, having been in many suits before, including Harry and the Hendersons. He was trained in the art of mime and used many tribal dance moves in his performance, such as during the fight between Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Predator at the end of the first movie. In Predator 2, according to a "making of" featurette, Danny Glover suggested the Los Angeles Lakers to be the other Predators because Glover himself was a big fan. Hall persuaded some of the Lakers to play background Predators because they couldn't find anyone on short notice. Hall died not long after Predator 2 was released in theaters.

In Alien vs. Predator, Welsh actor Ian Whyte, a fan of the Predator comics and movies, took over as the man in the Predator suit, portraying the Predator dubbed "Scar" for most of the movie, and also the "Celtic" Predator during Celtic's fight with an Alien warrior. Whyte returned to portray the "Wolf" Predator in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem.

In Predators, actors Brian Steele and Carey Jones both portrayed a new breed of Predator known as the "Black Super Predators", who have been dropping humans on their planet for many years to play a survival game against them. In a nod to the first film, Derek Mears played the Predator as the creature appeared in the original, dubbed the "Classic Predator".

In The Predator (2018), stuntman and parkour athlete Brian A. Prince, standing 6’10”, portrays the title character, as a "standard" Predator that scapes to earth after stealing a weapon called "Predator Killer", and that is being hunted down by a larger genetically enhanced Predator. The enhanced Predator is mostly CGI, however 6’9” Canadian actor Kyle Strauts and also Brian Prince served as stand-in for the character on set.

Special and make-up effectsEdit

The Predator's blood was made from a combination of the liquid from glow sticks mixed with K-Y Jelly. The mixture dries up quickly, so new batches had to be quickly made between takes. The technique was used in all five films featuring the Predator.

The camouflage effect was designed by R/Greenberg Associates, under the direction of Joel Hynek. The idea for the effect came in a dream, one of the Thomas brothers (who wrote the film) had, in which there was a chrome man who was inside a reflective sphere. The man blended in, perfectly camouflaged, reflecting from all directions and only visible when in motion. It took quite a while before they figured out how to do it, which was basically an image repeated in a pattern of ripples in the shape of the Predator's body. It proved very effective and was a new way of presenting an "invisible man." Before there was digital rendering technology all of the camouflage was done optically using photo-chemical means, so that one would never get the same result twice from combining the same pieces of film.

After the original movies, Amalgamated Dynamics took over from Stan Winston Studio in creating the props for the Predators in the Alien vs. Predator movie and a number of effects houses worked on the various other effects.

Film AppearancesEdit

Predator (1987)Edit

Main article: Predator (1987)

First appearing in the 1987 film, Predator, the titular character lands on Val Verde via starship. It begins hunting down a United States Army Special Forces group, stationed there to rescue presidential cabinet ministers kidnapped by guerrilla forces. The Predator dispatches the soldiers one by one with a vast array of weaponry until Major Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the last one alive. Dutch eventually confronts the creature, covering himself in mud to hide his heat signature from the Predator's thermal imaging, and setting up numerous booby traps. Though he manages to disable the Predator's cloaking ability, it manages to capture him, and then, in a display of chivalry, discards its mask and electronic weaponry before challenging Dutch to a final duel. Physically outmatched, Dutch eventually sets off one of his traps, which crushes and mortally wounds the creature. After being asked what it is by Dutch, the Predator simply mimics his question and sets off its self-destruct device before laughing maniacally, though Dutch manages to escape the explosion.

Predator 2 (1990)Edit

Main article: Predator 2

Set in 1997, 10 years after the events of the first film, the 1990 sequel follows a new Predator who sets its sights on Los Angeles due to its summer heat and drug wars between Jamaican and Colombian drug lords, as well as the L.A.P.D. attempting to fight both gangs. After eliminating the leaders of both gangs, the Predator begins actively targeting the L.A.P.D. officers attempting to investigate its handiwork, specifically Lieutenant Michael Harrigan (Danny Glover) and his three partners (Ruben Blades, Maria Conchita Alonso and Bill Paxton). The Predator is ultimately confronted by Harrigan in its own ship and killed when Harrigan uses its own weapons against it. The Predator's clan-mates carry away the dead Predator's body and give Harrigan a flintlock dating from 1715 as a sign of respect. The film also makes a reference to the Alien films, as shown in the Predators trophy room, which has an Alien skull.

Predators (2010) Edit

Main article: Predators (2010)

Released in 2010, Predators, directed by Nimród Antal, follows a mercenary named Royce who is released onto an alien planet—which acts as a game reserve—along with seven other humans, all cold-blooded killers consisting of mercenaries and convicts. Royce reluctantly leads the group of elite warriors as they come to realize they have been brought together to this planet as prey for a new breed of Predators. While battling to survive against these creatures, they come across an American soldier known as Noland who was brought to the planet years ago as game, but has managed to survive by hiding from the Predators in an abandoned alien drilling station. Noland reveals that the Predators have been hunting humans by dropping them on this planet for many years. According to Antal, Predators takes its cues from Predator and Predator 2 and will not reference the two Alien vs. Predator films, as he felt that aesthetically they took the franchise in too outlandish a direction: "it was based on the designs, they kept on getting bigger and bigger and longer and longer swords and blades and the weapons became slightly cartoonish by the end there so we wanted to just bring it back and I think science fiction, the best science fiction is grounded science fiction, it's science fiction you can believe and you buy into and so far as design and everything else that's what kept us grounded as well."

Predators in the movie Edit

  • Berserker Predator (Brian Steele): He is the leader of the Super Predators and arch-nemesis of Royce and the Crucified Predator.
  • The Tracker Predator & the Falconer Predator (Carey L. Jones): Two Super Predators and brothers of the Berserker Predator. Falconer notably used a bird-like device to track prey from above while Tracker used dog-like aliens to flush his prey out of hiding.
  • Crucified or Classic Predator (Derek Mears): Predator captured by the Super Predators.

The Predator (2018) Edit

Main article: The Predator (2018)

Released in 2018, The Predator opens with a 'standard' Predator landing on Earth and being captured by a government research division known as 'Operation Stargazer', only for this Predator to escape to find missing parts of its armor that were taken by army sniper Captain Quinn McKenna, who discovered the Predator's escape pod and was able to mail the items to himself before he was captured. When the armor is discovered by Quinn's autistic son Rory, Rory is able to translate the Predator language, just as McKenna discovers that the Predator has escaped and is now hunting his son. Joining forces with Doctor Casey Bracket- an evolutionary biologist brought in to study the Predator- and a group of soldiers suffering from various PTSD symptoms that he was being escorted with, McKenna is able to rescue his son, only to discover that the first Predator is being hunted by a larger alien of its own kind. The subsequent fighting results in the death of the first Predator, most of the Stargazer staff and the other soldiers in McKenna's makeshift unit, but McKenna, Rory and Casey are able to kill the giant Predator and retrieve the original alien's ship. Based on analysis of the ship, they determine that the Predators are adapting themselves with human DNA and intend to take Earth once humanity dies out through climate change, and the first Predator was a traitor who came to Earth with a cybernetic suit that would allow humanity to more easily stand up to the Predators.

Crossovers Edit

Alien vs. Predator (2004)Edit

Main article: Alien vs. Predator

In 2004, a Predator ship arrives in Earth orbit to draw humans to an ancient Predator training ground on Bouvetøya, an island about one thousand miles north of Antarctica. A buried pyramid which gives off a "heat bloom" attracts humans led by Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), who unknowingly activates an Alien egg production line. Three Predator hunter initiates (also called "youngbloods") enter the structure, killing all humans in their way with the intention of hunting the newly formed alien warriors. Two Predators die in the ensuing battle, while the third allies itself with the lone surviving human, Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) in order to battle the escaped Queen Alien. The Queen is defeated, but not before she fatally wounds the last Predator. The Predator ship hovering above the battleground uncloaks and the crew retrieve the fallen Predator. A Predator elder gives Alexa a spear as a sign of respect, and then departs. Once in orbit it is revealed that a chestburster was in the corpse, though this specimen has Predator mandibles.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)Edit

Main article: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

Set immediately after the previous film, the Predalien hybrid on board the Predator scout ship, which just separated from the mothership from the previous film, has grown to full adult size and sets about killing the Predators on board the ship, causing it to crash in Gunnison, Colorado. The last survivor activates a distress beacon with a video of the Predalien, which is received by a veteran Predator, who sets off towards Earth to "clean up" the infestation. When it arrives, the Predator tracks the Aliens into a section of the sewer below town. He removes evidence of their presence as he goes by using a corrosive blue liquid. It uses a laser net to try to contain the creatures, but the Aliens still manage to escape into the town above. The Predator fashions a plasma pistol from its remaining plasma caster and hunts Aliens all across town (accidentally cutting the power to the town in the process). During a confrontation with human survivors, the Predator loses its plasma pistol. The Predator then fights the Predalien singlehandedly, and the two mortally wound one another just as the US military drops a tactical nuclear bomb on the town, incinerating both combatants as well as the few remaining humans in the city. The salvaged plasma pistol is then taken by the United States Army to Ms. Yutani.



Broad concept's the same. The difference is, this is a different individual. A different individual of the same species. As is a snake is a snake, but different snakes are different. Their colorings are different, different parts of their characteristics, their facial structures, subtle differences.
― Stan Winston describing the Predator in Predator 2 and explaining the reason for the varying designs and looks of the Predators.
Predators are physically distinguished from humans by their greater height, insect-like mandibles and long, hair-like dreadlocks on their heads that are set into their skulls. Their bodies are resilient to damage, capable of recovering from multiple gunshot wounds and radiation doses which would be fatal to humans. They are much stronger than humans and Xenomorphs, having been portrayed as being easily capable of outmatching a conditioned adult human and shattering solid concrete with their bare hands. They are also skilled climbers, and will readily move through trees or across rooftops in pursuit of prey. Though capable of surviving exposure in Antarctic temperatures for an extended period of time, it is implied that Predators have a preference for hot equatorial climates. Their blood is luminescent phosphor green in color. Their vision operates mainly in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; they can easily detect heat differentials in their surroundings but are unable to easily distinguish among objects of the same relative temperature. A Predator's hunting helmet increases its ability to see in a variety of spectrums, ranging from the low infrared to the high ultraviolet, and also filters the ambient heat from the area, allowing them to see things with greater clarity and detail. While they are capable of breathing Earth's atmosphere, the creature in Predator 2 is seen using a breathing mask after losing his helmet. Their dietary habits are also mentioned in Predator 2, where it is revealed that the creature regularly visits a slaughterhouse every two days to feed on the stored meat there.

Throughout their film appearances, Predators have undergone numerous design variations. In Predator 2, the main Predator was designed to look more urban and hip than its predecessor. Design changes included tribal ornamentation on the forehead, which was made steeper and shallower, brighter skin coloration and a greater number of fangs. In Alien vs. Predator, the appearance of the Predators was redesigned to make them seem more heroic. Redesigns included a reduction in head and waist size, broader shoulders, a more muscular physique, piranha-like teeth on the upper jaw and dryer, less clammy skin to further differentiate them from the Aliens. In Aliens vs Predator: Requiem, the Predator was returned to the sleeker design concept prior to Alien vs. Predator.

Culture and historyEdit

The Predator society builds sophisticated spaceships, yet they should not look as sleek and hi-tech as a Star Wars stormtrooper. They are a tribal culture, yet their look should not be as primitive as the orcs from Lord of the Rings. They are also a warrior culture, so the ornate cannot conflict with the practical.
― Alec Gillis on Predator designs.
Predator culture revolves around the hunting and stalking of dangerous lifeforms. After making a kill, Predators typically skin or decapitate the carcass, converting it into a trophy. Failure in a hunt results in the Predator involved committing an honorable suicide. It is often alluded to that the reason Predators hunt is not for sustenance or elimination of threats, but as entertainment, as they will only attack life forms that have the ability to provide them with a challenge.

Predators made contact with early human civilizations such as the Ancient Egyptians, the Khmer Empire, and Aztecs, as well as a fictitious culture inhabiting what is now modern day Bouvetøya. Upon arriving on Earth, the Predators were worshipped as gods by humans, and they taught many of the civilizations how to build pyramids (an explanation as to why many of these different ancient societies had distinctly similar cultures and architecture), but in return expected sacrifices of humans for use as hosts for huntable Xenomorphs. The Predators returned to Bouvetøya every century to consummate the bargain, until at one point in the ritual, the Aliens spread out of control, resulting in the Predators detonating a bomb that obliterated the entire civilization. Relations with humans and the Predators deteriorated from that time on; the Predators then viewed humans as little more than another quarry to hunt.

Predators feature prominently in the folklore of certain cultures; some Latin American people refer to the species as, "El Demonio que hace trofeos de los hombres" (Spanish for "The Demon who makes trophies of men"), while Jamaica in superstition identifies Predators as demons from the spirit world. When hunting humans, Predators normally avoid certain individuals such as children and some adults if they are unarmed, though they will spare armed ones if they happen to be pregnant or sickly. A human who has managed to kill a Predator in single combat or has fought alongside one is usually spared by the deceased hunter's comrades and given a gift (often a rare or exotic weapon) as a sign of respect.

A learner's first successful Alien hunt is completed with the marking of his forehead with the acidic blood of his kill. Predators apparently keep Alien Queens in captivity in order to maintain a supply of eggs. It is shown in a brief scene in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem that Predators have had prior contact with the Space Jockeys.


The script of the Predators is expressed in the films and other media through written patterns of dashes. These written symbols appear on the creatures' gauntlet displays, their helmets, architecture, and many other surfaces. The most common vocalizations of the Predators consists of a series of clicks, purrs, roars, snarls, howls and growls. Predators will mimic human language on occasion, and have been stated or shown to be able to understand and speak human languages.


Predator technology is distinctive in many respects, not the least of which is its ornate, tribal appearance masking deadly, sophisticated weaponry. It is shown in Predator 2 that at least one Predator weapon uses a metal that does not correspond to any element on the periodic table, and some weapons have been shown to be completely resistant to the effects of acidic blood belonging to Aliens. In addition, several of these tools make use of thermal imaging to track prey. The Predator's mask also houses a viewing system that allows the creature to see primarily in infrared. The Predator also makes use of a light-bending cloaking device. A flashback sequence in Alien versus Predator indicates that some aspects of their technology have been in use for millennia.

Gallery Edit

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