Shane Black has pitted Mel Gibson against Gary Busey in “Lethal Weapon” and Ryan Gosling’s wit against the brute force of Russell Crowe in The Nice Guys, and now he is poised to pit a group of disgruntled mercenaries against the deadliest hunters in the galaxy—Predators. The Predator is Black’s reinvention of the wayward franchise as he brings the hunt to the suburbs of Anywhere, America.
The trailer opens with Sterling K. Brown’s character saying, “I am in acquisitions. I look up and I catch what falls out of the sky.” Well, next thing you know, a Predator’s ship falls out of the sky and smashes through some trees, and Brown’s character gets to work acquiring. Turns out that acquiring a downed Predator vessel is easier said than done—people scream, people die, bullets are fired and the mission becomes all but completely compromised. No sooner is Boyd Holbrook’s character introduced, stating, “I get it, something went down in Mexico. Nobody wants any witnesses,” than the rest of the mercenaries make their entrances, with attempted humor and machismo in equal measure. The trailer then ramps up into a montage of gruesome violence, ominous shots of science lab(s) and the titular Predator meeting its most dangerous foe yet in the parking lot of a middle school: an evolved Predator. This new breed of Predators, genetically upgraded with DNA from other species of beings they’ve encountered in their endless hunt, are bigger, faster, stronger and uglier than the usual Predator. From there, it’s up to a shady group of mercenaries, a disgruntled science teacher and a little boy to save Earth from becoming the Predators’ next hunting ground.
Black is no stranger to action or comedy and the trailer has a very Shane Black feel, for better or for worse. It is yet to be seen if his take on The Predator will tap into the deep fear and “bump in the night” dread that the idea of a galactic hunter evokes, though the movie, as shown in the trailer, does seem to understand the importance and necessity of violence in a movie involving Predators. The cinematography on display in the trailer is equal parts clean and sterile whilst also being grimy and unrestrained. The juxtaposition between the sterility of science labs and the horrific, blood-soaked and sinew-riddled set pieces makes for a sense of discomfort and tension that is effectively jarring.
Black directs The Predator from a script that he co-wrote with Fred Dekker (based on the original characters created by Jim and John Thomas). John Davis is producing the sci-fi franchise reboot and the cast is stacked with a core set of characters played by Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Brown, Alfie Allen, Thomas Jane, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey and Yvonne Strahovski. The Predator is set to slice its way into theaters on Sept. 14 via 20th Century Fox.
Check out the new trailer and poster for The Predator below, and revisit the film’s initial teaser here.