Predators is a 2010 American science-fiction horror film directed by Nimród Antal, and starring Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Danny Trejo and Derek Mears as the "Classic Predator". The film is a sequel to Predator (1987) and Predator 2 (1990). Producer Robert Rodriguez stated that he named the film "Predators" in relation to how the second film in the Alien franchise was called Aliens. The title Predators is intended to have a double meaning, in that it refers to both the film's alien creatures, as well as the group of humans who are going against them.
In the near future, a mercenary named Royce awakens to find himself freefalling over a tropical jungle. As he nears the ground, a parachute on his back automatically opens, and he floats down to the ground. After landing in the jungle he is immediately confronted by several other heavily-armed individuals, including Mexican drug cartel enforcer Cuchillo, Russian Spetsnaz soldier Nikolai and IDF sniper Isabelle. They quickly encounter several more people dropped from the sky into the jungle, including RUF officer Mombasa, American death row inmate Stans, Yakuza assassin Hanzo and American doctor, Edwin. None of them have any clue where they are or how they got here, each having woken up in freefall. Only one thing is common between them: they are all cold-blooded killers (except Edwin). While trying to find high ground, the group inadvertently spring a series of booby traps. The creator is discovered to be another man who lies dead nearby, killed some time previously, seemingly by a high-powered energy weapon.
Continuing on, the group discovers that they are on an alien planet. While moving one, they are suddenly attacked by quadrupedal hound-like creatures, which they barely manage to fight off with gunfire until the creatures are called away by a high-pitched whistle. Cuchillo is captured and killed in the attack, where his corpse is used as bait to lure the survivors into a trap, but they avoid it and decide to leave. Royce deduces that they are in some kind of game preserve, and the creatures that attacked were being used in a manner similar to hunting dogs by whatever is hunting them. They follow the creatures' tracks to a nearby campsite, scattered with skinned corpses hung from trees as well as bones and skulls of previous victims. As the group wander around, they stumble across a captive Predator tied to a metallic totem-like pillar which they inadvertently awaken from his consciousness.
Moments later, the group is suddenly ambushed by three cloaked "Super Predators" known as the Tracker, the Berserker and the Falconer, who kill Mombasa and destroy Nikolai's Minigun. The group flee by falling over a cliffside and into a lake, thereby escaping their pursuers. Royce correctly deduces that Isabelle knows something about the Predators that she isn't revealing, forcing her to admit that she had read a report about an encounter with a lone Predator in Val Verde twenty-three years previously. The report also told her the creatures had active camouflage and infrared vision. Royce organizes the group to set a trap for the Predators, but before they can fully prepare, they are attacked by an insectoid creature known as a River Ghost, until it is shot dead by an unknown person. However, as the group investigates the body, Isabelle reveals that she "missed", and that she was not the origin of the fatal shot. At that moment, a figure wearing Predator equipment and an energy weapon uncloaks beside them and reveals himself to be a U.S. Army soldier named Noland.
Noland takes the group to his hideout inside a huge abandoned vehicle, where he explains the true nature of their situation: the Predators have been harvesting formidable fighters from Earth and other planets for several centuries, transporting them here to hunt them and thereby improve their skills. Noland himself has been stranded on the planet for years, scavenging to survive. He also informs the others that there is some kind of blood feud occurring between the Predators on the planet — the Super Predator tribe, who are now hunting Royce and the others, are openly hostile towards the "Classic" Predator, one which the group found tied up at the Predator campsite. Noland adds that the Predators have a spaceship near their camp, so Royce devises a plan hoping that if they can free the Classic Predator being held prisoner, it will take them home using the larger Predators' spaceship.
Later that night as the group rest, Noland attempts to murder them through smoke suffocation in order to steal their equipment. Trapped, Royce triggers an explosion that attracts the Super Predators' attention. Noland attempts to escape, but he is cornered and killed by the Tracker Predator, while the other two Predators release the remaining humans from the room they are locked in, seeking to prolong the hunt. As they flee, Nikolai is impaled by the Tracker, but sacrifices himself by detonating several mines attached to him, killing him and the Predator. Immediately after the survivors escape the drill, they are set upon by the Berserker Predator, which targets Royce. However, Stans distracts it by attacking it with his shiv and buys enough time for the others to escape, but is killed when the Berserker violently rips out his spine and skull. As the group flees, Hanzo stays behind and fights the Falconer Predator in combat with a katana that he found in Noland's hideout. After a fierce duel, Hanzo kills the Falconer but somehow dies from his wounds. As the final three remaining group members flee through the jungle, Edwin is caught in a trap.
Royce attempts to convince Isabelle to leave Edwin behind, but she refuses to abandon him and Royce instead leaves. Alone, Royce eventually makes it to the campsite and after he meets the captive Predator, releases it from his restraints in exchange to return to Earth. Royce's plan works and the released creature, after gearing up his fallen equipment, activates the Predator ship using his wrist computer and sets a course for Earth under Royce's request. Meanwhile, Isabelle and Edwin are caught in a net that was set up by the Berserker and are captured before they are taken to the campsite where the Classic Predator was setting up the ship for Royce and thrown into a deep pit. However, Royce flees just before the ship leaves while the Berserker Predator and the Classic Predator rush at each other, starting a violent fight. The two Predators clash in combat, but the Classic Predator is no match for the Berserker as he is too strong and has the upper hand. After overpowering and decapitating his enemy when attempting to strike fear, the Berserker activates a remote explosive on board the departing spaceship and destroys it which apparently kills Royce inside before it can leave the atmosphere.
In the pit, Edwin paralyzes Isabelle with a neurotoxin that he collected from a poisonous plant and reveals to her that he is in fact a psychopathic serial killer, but not the outsider people had thought he was. Suddenly, Royce reappears, revealing that he was not on board the ship when it took off and rescues Edwin and a paralyzed Isabelle from the pit. Edwin attempts to attack Royce, but Royce stabs him with his own scalpel, paralyzing him before he booby-traps Edwin's body with grenades and leaves him to be killed by the Berserker. When the Berserker eventually finds Edwin and triggers the trap, a resulting explosion knocks the creature to the ground.
After the Berserker recovers, Royce traps him in a circle of fire to mask his body's heat signature and battles the Predator with a crude bone axe. However, the Berserker switches vision modes during the fight and eventually subdues Royce. Before he can finish him off intending to decapitate Royce, Isabelle recovers from her paralysis and shoots the creature with her sniper rifle, although she is wounded when the Berserker launches his wrist blade into her shoulder. Enraged, Royce repeatedly beats the Berserker with the bone axe before swiping off his mask which exposes his face, severs his left arm and finally decapitates the Predator, ending the hunt.
Afterwards, Royce walks over to Isabelle and they talk for a few moments, finally introducing each other their names. In the morning, Royce and Isabelle find more humans and aliens being dropped into the jungle. Royce reassures Isabelle that they will find a way to get off the planet and the two leave the campsite back towards the jungle while they decide to find another way to get back to Earth.
- Adrien Brody as Royce: An Amercan EX- Military soldier turned mercenary.
- Alice Braga as Isabelle: An Israeli Defence Force black ops sniper.
- Topher Grace as Edwin: A seemingly-normal physician who is, secretly, a serial killer.
- Danny Trejo as Cuchillo: A Mexican Los Zetas drug cartel enforcer.
- Mahershala Ali as Mombasa: a former Sierra Leone RUF death squad officer.
- Oleg Taktarov as Nikolai: A Russian VDV commando during the Second Chechen War.
- Walton Goggins as Stans: A notorious and deadly death-row inmate from San Quentin state prison.
- Louis Ozawa Changchien as Hanzo: A Yakuza assassin.
- Laurence Fishburne as Noland: A stranded U.S. Navy SEAL, driven insane from his time on the planet.
- Brian Steele as the Berserker Predator: The leader of the Super Predators and arch-nemesis of Royce and the Crucified Predator.
- Carey L. Jones as the Tracker Predator & the Falconer Predator: 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.
- Derek Mears as the Crucified or Classic Predator: A Predator captured by the Super Predators.
The film was produced by Robert Rodriguez, and written by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch. In 1994, Rodriguez wrote an early script for the film for 20th Century Fox while he was working on Desperado.[Rodriguez presented the script to the studio, but was denied when they realized that the budget would be too large. 15 years later, the studio decided to go with his script. "It's the story from that script I had written way back then. They had hired me to write a Predator story while I was waiting to do Desperado back in 1995. It was crazy, this thing I came up with. So then fast-forward to now and, like, six months ago, they found the script and called me up. 'Hey, we want to redo this franchise and we found your old script. This is where we should have gone with the series! We want to move forward.' And that's what we're doing." In 2009, 20th Century Fox studio executive, Alex Young, called Rodriguez to consider using his treatment to revive the individual Predator franchise. The film is being produced at Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios as opposed to 20th Century Fox so that Rodriguez has more creative control over the film. It was originally thought that Robert Rodriguez would direct, but on June 12, it was rumored that British director Neil Marshall was involved in directing the film. On July 1, 2009, Nimród Antal was officially signed on to take the director's chair.
Rodriguez and Antal have expressed that they wanted this film to be a sequel only to the original Predator and Predator 2 as the film is trying to distance itself from the Alien vs Predator films. Antal stated the reasoning behind the decision to dismiss the Alien vs Predator films was that he wanted the film to be closer in tone to the original Predator film, as the AVP films had made the Predators too "cartoonish".
The film will contain subtle nods towards the first Predator film. A cameo appearance was also written in the script for Arnold Schwarzenegger as his character Dutch from the first Predator film, though ultimately he ended up not being involved. Danny Glover has also confirmed he will not reprise his role from Predator 2.
In his interview with MTV, Robert Rodriguez stated that the most important thing a Predator film needed was, "great characters so that the audience feels they’re going on this journey with them", and that the plural title is intended to have a double meaning; it refers to both the film's alien creatures, as well as the group of humans that are going against them, who could very well kill each other off even if there were no Predators. Rodriguez and Antal wanted each human character on the planet to feel like they could be a character in their own solo story. Cast information was released only a few weeks before shooting began. The cast consists of Adrien Brody who plays a mercenary that ends up inheriting the mantle of leader. Topher Grace plays a disgraced doctor whose unassuming facade masks a dangerous serial killer. Alice Braga plays a tough, ex-Israeli Special Forces sniper. MahershalaAli portrays a former Sierra Leone Death Squad officer, whose past crimes have left him not afraid to die. Walton Goggins presents a loose cannon of the group as a convicted Death Row inmate. Oleg Taktarov is a former Russian special ops agent. Danny Trejo plays a hardened Mexican drug cartel warrior with twin MP5Ks. Rodriguez stated that he would like to get Arnold Schwarzenegger in for a cameo role as an aged Dutch. On November 30, Antal defended his decision in choosing Brody for the lead role in an interview to promote his upcoming film, Armored, saying,"It was a challenge in finding a balance. I think when we cast Adrian, there were a lot of people going, ‘What?’ but at the same time, if we cast a Vin Diesel in that role or if we cast anyone who is Arnold-esque, we would have been attacked for doing that. So we decided early on to go in a very different direction as far as the casting process, but it turned out fantastic." He also states a point that average soldiers are wiry tough guys, not burly men like Arnold.
On December 18, 2009, Laurence Fishburne was reportedly cast for a role in Predators. On January 13, 2010, information on Fishburne's character, Noland, a man who survived for ten years on the alien planet by living in a cave, was revealed in an interview with Louis Ozawa Changchien, stating,"It's a really interesting role, quite different from Morpheus (from The Matrix).... a bit shady, crazy, surviving on his own, kind of a ratty character. I didn't know anything about his role, and we all went to see the rehearsal. It was quite a surprise." Changchien, who plays "Hanzo", also stated about his own character, "I guess he used to be a guy who can murder someone without a qualm, but by the time he arrives to the Hunting Camp, he'll no longer be that kind of person...Those things aren't explained in the script, but you'll get it when you see the movie."
Actors Brian Steele, Derek Mears, and Carey Jones portrayed the Predator creatures in the film.
The film was shot in 2D on a 53 day schedule. Exterior filming location was mostly set in Kolekole, Hawaii. Filming started on September 28, 2009. The film wrapped up its 22 day shoot on the Hawaii location on November 1, 2009. The film shot its interior set scenes at Robert Rodriguez’s studio in Austin, Texas. 60% of the film was shot in Texas in order to be eligible for a tax benefit. The film shot more exterior footage at Canyon Lake George in Comal County, indicating that the film will not rely mostly on CGI backgrounds.
On January 15, 2010, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, who plays "Mombasa," stated in an interview that filming on Predators has completed and that a trailer for the film was being developed while they were still filming. "It was a blast. It was an amazing experience. We were in the tropical rainforests of Hawaii stomping through the mud and getting rained on all day and then we ended up finishing in Austin, Texas. I really think this movie is going to be good. They had cut together a trailer while we were still working and it looked amazing. It's a great cast and along with the action elements and the sci-fi elements, and with Robert Rodriguez being involved, I think it's going to push it to another level."
On March 12, 2010, a behind the scenes footage was released on the official movie website. It was also revealed that a trailer would be released on March 18, 2010.
Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis, head of special effects studio Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc, also known as "ADI", who previously worked on 2004's Alien vs Predator and 2007's Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem are stated not to be in charge of the creature design for the film, as well as Stan Winston Studios. KNB EFX’s Howard Berger and Greg Nicolero have taken over building the creature suits. Berger, who worked with Winston on the original Predator, stated that the studio is reprising the original Stan Winston design of the Predator in the film, saying "We wanted to have the Predator look as it did in the original film. We went back and looked at the original...everyone’s going to be very happy that we’ve been very faithful to the Stan Winston designs." In addition to the original Predator designs, the film will also feature many new creatures never before seen in a previous Predator film, such as a new breed of Predators that belong to another Predator tribe, alien creatures that have been domesticated by the Predators for use in hunting, and other alien creatures that have been brought to the planet by the Predators to be used as prey.
It was thought since the film began production that original Predator composer Alan Silvestri would return to do the score, but on February 26, 2010, it was announced that John Debney, who worked with Rodriguez on such movies as Spy Kids and Sin City, would compose the original score for the film.
On March 22, 2010, Rodriguez shared his thoughts on how the score should play out in an interview he did with Antal with Cinematical.com, saying " I think we're going to go for something that fits the tone of the movie really well. That original score went great with the movie, but the notes and the music do really evoke a quality – you know, when he (Debney) showed me his rough cut, or some scenes, every once in a while at the right moment I started hearing strings from the score – because we had a temp score, and it really works.... So we'll probably incorporate some of that. At the right time, because you don't want to overuse it. but it's like the James Bond theme – you can't use it all of the time, but when you do, you can get the audience really, really pumped."
According to Dead Central.com, Debney was honored to be part of the Predators franchise, saying, “When I first learned that Robert Rodriguez and Fox studios were planning a re-boot of one of my favorite films of all time, ‘Predator,’ I was thrilled. Having worked with Robert on four films previously, I knew that if anyone could do justice to a remake such as this, it would be Robert. Learning that Nimrod Antal was going to be the director, I was doubly thrilled and knew I had to be a part of this one." He recorded many custom sounds and instruments, including Tibetan long horns to create squeals and screams and also manipulating metal scrapes and ethnic percussion to highlight the advanced yet brutal primitive quality of the Predators and their world. Debney also put up a sneak-peek of one of the Predators scoring sessions.
La-La Land Records will release the original score for the film on July 20.
It was announced on March 3, 2010, that Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antai would reveal a "first look" at Predators at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas on March 12, at 10:15pm. Rodriguez expressed his excitement about the event, saying, “My director Nimród Antal and I are excited to bring this first look at Predators to Austin’s SXSW Film Festival, an event that’s become vital to the filmmaking scene. Austin is my home and I’m proud that Predators was conceived and filmed here.”
A four issue tie-in Predators comic book by Dark Horse Comics will be released on June 9 to promote the release of the film. The comic series will serve as a prequel, adaptation adn sequel to the events depicted in the film. The comics will show more back story on the characters Royce and Isabelle than what is depicted in the film. One such comic follows a team of Navy SEALs in the midst of a firefight when suddenly they awaken to find themselves in a new and more deadly environment being stalked by a strange enemy. One by one these special-ops officers are killed by the unseen threat, until only one man - presumably Noland - remains.
Downloadable games publisher Chillingo has secured a licensing agreement with Fox Digital Entertainment to publish the official Predators video game for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad through Apple´s App Store. The game was developed by independent game developer Angry Mob Games and will be available in time for the film’s theatrical release.
The film has received generally positive reviews. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 71% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 66 reviews, with an average score of 5.9/10. The critical consensus is: After a string of subpar sequels, this bloody, action-packed reboot takes the Predator franchise back to its testosterone-fueled roots.
Many critics hail Predators for doing away with the trends set by the poorly received Alien vs Predator and its sequel, and for getting back to the simpler plot established by the original Predator movie. The primary complaint leveled against the film is the failure of the cast to capture, as film critic Roger Ebert described, the "quiet suspense" of the original Predator film.
- Scream 2010
- Nominated: Best Science Fiction Film