In the year 2010, a mercenary named Royce awakes in freefall over a tropical jungle. Upon landing, he is immediately confronted by several other heavily-armed individuals, including Russian Spetznaz soldier Nikolai, Mexican drug cartel enforcer Chuchillo and IDF sniper Isabelle. They quickly encounter several more people dropped from the sky into the jungle, including an RUF officer called Mombasa, American Death Row inmate Stans, silent Yakuza assassin Hanzo, and an American doctor, Edwin. Only one thing is common between the people stranded in the jungle - they are all cold-blooded killers (except, seemingly, for Edwin) and the last thing they can remember is a light, then waking up in freefall.
Trying to find high ground, they spring a series of booby traps, the original creator of which has been killed by a high-powered energy weapon. Continuing on, they discover, that they are on an alien planet, and are attacked by quadrupedall alien creatures, which they manage to fend off until the creatures are called away by a high-pitched whistle. Chuchillo is abducted, mortally wounded and left in a field as bait for a high-tech trap. The group abandons him and Isabelle executes him with her sniper rifle, not knowing he is already dead. Royce deduces that they are they are being hunted in a huge game reserve, and the quadrupedal creatures were being used in a manner similar to hunting dogs. They follow the creatures' tracks back to a campsite, where numerous skinned carcasses are hung and a captive Predator alien is bound to a metal monolith. They are then attacked by three cloaked Predators, who kill Mombasa, as the rest of the humans manage to escape into a river. Here Isabelle reveals that she has prior knowledge of the events from the first Predator movie.
Royce then organizes the group to set a trap for the Predators. They are attacked by an insectoid creature, which turns out to be another alien, that was also released onto the planet as game. The alien is killed by a human wearing scavenged Predator equipment, a U.S. Navy SEAL named Noland, who was brought to the planet ten years before as game, but has managed to survive by hiding from the Predators in the remains of a crashed alien space ship. Noland takes them to his hideout, where he explains the true nature of their situation: the Predators have been harvesting formidable fighters from Earth and other planets for several centuries, using them to improve their hunting skills. He also states that the Predators always come in groups of three and that there is a blood-feud occurring between two different tribes of Predator - the "black" tribe, which is larger and more aggressive, and the "classic" form of Predators seen in other films. He adds that the Predators have a spacecraft near their camp, which Royce resolves to commandeer in order to leave the planet. As the group rests, Noland attempts to murder them by smoke suffocation, in order to take their equipment. Royce, however, alerts the hunting Predators, who break into the ship, killing Noland. Nikolai is wounded helping Edwin escape and blows himself up with a Claymore mine, killing a Black Predator.
Immediately after the band escapes the ship, they are set upon by another Black Predator, which kills Stans. As the group flees, Hanzo stays behind and faces the Predator in a solo duel with a katana, which results in both his and the Predator's death. As the final three escape, Edwin is crippled by a Predator trap. Royce attempts to convince Isabelle to leave Edwin behind, but she refuses, and Royce continues on to the camp alone in order to free the captive "classic" Predator. He negotiates with it to allow him to return to Earth on its spaceship. In the meantime, Isabelle and Edwin are captured by the last remaining Black Predator and thrown into a pit, where Edwin paralyzes Isabelle with a nurotoxin and reveals to her that he is a psychopathic serial killer, who now wishes to work with the Predators to help them hunt humans. The Black Predator fights and decapitates the Classic Predator, then destroys the departing spaceship. Royce, however, never boarded the craft and returns to rescue Edwin and a paralyzed Isabelle from the pit. Edwin attempts to attack Royce but is disarmed and mortally wounded. Royce booby-traps his body with hand grenades to wound the Black Predator, then attacks it with a crude bone axe after covering his body in mud and lighting several fires to hide his heat signature from the Predators infrared vision. With Isabelle's help, he is able to kill the Black Predator, decapitating it after many blows.
Royce and Isabelle, both wounded, look into the sky to observe more humans and other alien creatures being dropped into the jungle. As the film ends, Royce vows to find a way off the planet.
- Adrien Brody as Royce: An Amercan EX- Military - Soldier turned Mercenary. Brody put on 25 pounds of muscle to prepare himself for the role, and has expressed interest reprising his role in possible sequels.
- Alice Braga as Isabelle: An Israeli Defence Force black ops sniper. Out of the group, she is the only one with previous knowledge of the Predators, after hearing reports and detailed descriptions that took place during the course of the first film.
- 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.
- Mahershalalhashbaz 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 Berserker Predator: A massive flusher predator with a jaw bone on his mask. Steele was nicknamed "Mr. Black" by the film crew.
- Carey L. Jones as Tracker Predator & Falconer Predator
- Derek Mears as Classic Predator
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. Mahershalalhashbaz Ali 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."
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.
On 9 June 2010, NECA released the Classic Predator, Falconer Predator and Berzerker Predator action figures.
It is Rated R for Strong Creature Violence and Gore, and Pervasive Language. By the MPAA
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
Nimrod Antal has talked about a sequel and said he would love to do one. In fact, he and Robert Rodriguez have already talked about a potential sequel.
Rodriguez has expressed that he has interest in a sequel because of the large number of potential ideas the Predator planet setting provides; "There are so many great ideas... Just following Laurence Fishburne's character (Noland) around in a prequel would be a great movie. Just the tales he tells in this movie alone, I want to see those experiences... That's why I wasn't precious even about the original script I had, because once you come up with the idea of a Predator Planet, that Predators use as their hunting grounds and humans are involved somehow, the story ideas that you can come up with are so numerous that you can come up with any approach. So we already have several ideas that we can go with for a sequel. They would all be good ideas but we would probably put them together to see which one rises to the top, if we made another one."