|Created by||Jim Thomas |
|Original work||Predator (1987)|
|Owner||20th Century Studios |
(The Walt Disney Company)
|Book(s)||List of books|
|Novel(s)||List of novels|
|Comics||List of comics|
|Films and television|
|Video game(s)||List of video games|
|Character(s)||List of characters|
Predator is a science fiction action horror anthology media franchise centered on the film series depicting humankind's encounters with a race of extraterrestrial trophy-seeking military personnel known as the "Predator". Produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the series began with Predator (1987), directed by John McTiernan, and was followed by three sequels, Predator 2 (1990), Predators (2010), and The Predator (2018), directed by Stephen Hopkins, Nimród Antal, and Shane Black, respectively, and an upcoming prequel Prey (2022), directed by Dan Trachtenberg. The series has led to numerous novels, comics, and video game spin-offs such as Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005) and Predator: Hunting Grounds (2020), both of which received generally mixed reviews. The Alien vs. Predator franchise combines the continuities of the Alien franchise with the Predator franchise and consists of two films as well as varying series of comics, books, and video games.
The Predator franchise depicts a series of deadly encounters between humanity and a hostile, trophy hunting, extraterrestrial species known as the Predators. Predominantly transpiring in the present day of the 20th and 21st century, the series comprises films that, while largely independent, portray human confrontations with Predators in different locations and time zones. The franchise's sole recurring plot detail has mercenaries and corporations, including the OWLF (The Other Worldly Life Forms Program) headed by CIA agent Peter Keyes and its successor Project Stargazer, headed by his son Sean Keyes, tracking the Predators whenever they appear. Both groups pursue them for different reasons; the former to eliminate them because they are seen as terrible threats, and the latter to capture them for scientific and military purposes.
Predator was John McTiernan's first studio film as director. The studio hired screenplay writer Shane Black to not only play a supporting role in the film, but to keep an eye on McTiernan due to the director's inexperience. Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the film's creature, the idea being that the physical action star would use his martial arts skills to make the creature an agile, ninja-esque hunter. When compared to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura, actors known for their bodybuilding regimes, it became apparent a more physically imposing man was needed to make the creature appear threatening. Eventually, Van Damme was removed from the film and replaced by the actor and mime artist Kevin Peter Hall. A Van Damme easter egg was eventually featured in The Predator.
The Predator creature's 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", and Winston subsequently included them in his designs. Schwarzenegger recommended Winston after his experience working on The Terminator.
The film's creature 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 creature from Richard Edlund's Boss Film Creature Shop. However, with problems filming the creature in Mexico and attempts to create a convincing monster of Van Damme, wearing a much different body suit, failing, makeup effects responsibilities were given to Winston and his studio, R/Greenberg Associates. According to former Boss Film Creature Shop makeup supervisor Steve Johnson, the makeup failed because of an impractical design by McTiernan that included 12-inch-length (300 mm) extensions that gave the creature 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 the new creature. This took eight months and then filming resumed for five weeks.
The clicking sound of the creature was provided by Peter Cullen. Despite his resolution not to voice any more monsters following injuries to his throat sustained during the ADR of King Kong, his agent convinced him to audition. The clicking sound was inspired by a mixture of the visual of the creature and his recollection of a dying horseshoe crab.
R/Greenberg Associates created the film's optical effects, including the creature's ability to become invisible, its thermal vision point-of-view, its glowing blood, and the electric spark effects. The invisibility effect was achieved by having someone in a bright red suit (because it was the farthest opposite of the green of the jungle and the blue of the sky) the size of the creature. The take was then repeated without the actors using a 30% wider lens on the camera. When the two takes were combined optically, a vague outline of the alien could be seen with the background scenery bending around its shape. For the thermal vision, infrared film could not be used because it did not register in the range of body temperature wavelengths. The glowing blood was achieved by green liquid from chem-lite sticks used by campers. The electrical sparks were rotoscoped animation using white paper pin registered on portable light tables to black-and-white prints of the film frames. The drawings were composited by the optical crew for the finished effects.
Also, in an interview on Predator Special Edition, actor Carl Weathers said many of the actors would secretly wake up as early as 3 a.m. to work out before the day's shooting, in order to look "pumped" during the scene. Weathers also stated that he would act as if his physique was naturally given to him, and would work out only after all the other actors were nowhere to be seen. It was reported that actor Sonny Landham was so unstable on the set that a bodyguard was hired; not to protect Landham, but to protect the other cast members from him.
According to Schwarzenegger, filming was physically demanding as he had to swim in very cold water and spent three weeks covered in mud for the climactic battle with the monster. In addition, cast and crew endured very cold temperatures in the Mexican jungle that required heat lamps to be on all of the time. Schwarzenegger also faced the challenge of working with Kevin Peter Hall who could not see in the creature's suit. Hall could not see out of the mask and had to rehearse his scenes with it off and then memorize where everything was.
The film was particularly successful and subsequently inspired a number of comic books, video games and popular anecdotes within the media. Schwarzenegger was asked to reprise his role in a Predator sequel, but was already attached to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and could not accept the role. The character was rewritten from the developing sequel's script, and the sequel to Predator, directed by Stephen Hopkins, was scheduled for 1990.
Due to excessive violence, Predator 2 was the first film to be given the newly instituted NC-17 rating in the United States. It was eventually rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America after being re-cut to its final theatrical length. The film cast Danny Glover in the lead role, and reprised Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator. Also, returning to the role of Anna in the sequel, Elpidia Carrillo was slated to be in two scenes but was cut back to a brief appearance on a video screen in the government agents' surveillance trailer. Her character is showing damage to the Central American jungle caused by the explosion at the conclusion of the first film.
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Screenwriter(s)||Producer(s)|
|Predator||June 12, 1987||John McTiernan||Jim Thomas and John Thomas||Lawrence Gordon, Joel Silver and John Davis|
|Predator 2||November 21, 1990||Stephen Hopkins|
|Predators||July 9, 2010||Nimród Antal||Alex Litvak and Michael Finch||John Davis, Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellán|
|The Predator||September 14, 2018||Shane Black||Fred Dekker and Shane Black||John Davis|
|Prey||2022||Dan Trachtenberg||Patrick Aison||John Davis and John Fox|
Main article: Predator (film)
A spacecraft flies near Earth and releases an object which enters the atmosphere. Some time later, in a Central American jungle,[notes 1] Army Special Operations and Vietnam Veteran Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer[notes 2] and his elite rescue team — Mac, Billy, Blain, Poncho, and Hawkins — are tasked by Dutch's former commanding officer, General Philips, with rescuing a foreign official and his aide held hostage by insurgents. CIA agent Dillon, a former commando and an old friend of Dutch from Vietnam War, is assigned to supervise the team over Dutch's objections.
The team discovers the wreckage of a helicopter and three skinned corpses, identified by Dutch as Green Berets out of Fort Bragg that he knew personally. Dutch's team reaches the insurgent camp and kills the insurgents, including a Soviet intelligence officer searching through valuable documents. Confronted by Dutch, Dillon admits the mission was a setup to retrieve intelligence from captured operatives and that the dead military unit disappeared weeks earlier in a failed rescue.
After capturing Anna, a guerrilla, the team proceeds to its extraction point, unaware that it is being tracked with thermal imaging by an unseen observer. Anna escapes and is chased by Hawkins, but they are ambushed by the creature. It spares Anna but kills Hawkins and drags his body away. Dutch organizes a search for Hawkins' body, during which Blain is killed by the creature's plasma weapon. Enraged, Mac initiates a firefight in which the creature is wounded, revealing luminescent green blood. The unit regroups and realizes that something in the jungle is stalking them. Dillon believes more guerrillas are responsible, but Billy is adamant that the perpetrator is not human, an assertion that is met with skepticism. The team makes camp for the night, setting traps in all directions.
That night the traps are set off, and Mac kills a wild boar, mistaking it for the creature. In the confusion, the creature steals Blain's body and Dutch realizes that their enemy uses the trees to travel, stalking them like a predator. A second attempt to capture the creature using traditional trapping techniques such as a net and pitfall actually succeeds but it escapes leaving Poncho injured. Mac and Dillon pursue the alien, but it outmaneuvers and kills them. The creature catches up with the others, killing Billy and Poncho and wounding Dutch. Realizing the creature does not target unarmed prey because there is "no sport" in it, Dutch sends Anna to the helicopter unarmed. The creature pursues Dutch into a river and its cloaking device malfunctions. The creature, now visible, goes within a few feet of a mud-covered Dutch. His thermal signature reduced, Dutch remains unseen by the creature and it moves on. Dutch realizes he can use mud as camouflage.
While the creature collects trophies from the bodies, Dutch crafts traps and weapons and lures the creature out with a war cry and fire. Dutch disables the creature's cloaking device and inflicts minor injuries but falls into a river, losing his mud cover, and is pinned by the creature. Acknowledging Dutch as a worthy foe and wishing to fight him in equal terms because of the policies of his civilization, the creature discards its mask and plasma caster and engages him in hand-to-hand combat. Dutch is almost beaten, but manages to crush the creature under a trap's counterweight. As the creature lies dying, it activates a self-destruct device while laughing maniacally in Billy's voice. Dutch takes cover just before the device explodes. He is picked up by Philips and Anna in the helicopter.
Main article: Predator 2
In the record hot summer of 1997, a different Predator arrives in Los Angeles and hunts violent gang members, drawing the attention of the local police force and specifically Lieutenant Harrigan, who pursues the creature as it rampages throughout the city. The creature itself is in turn being hunted by the secretive government task-force OWLF, led by CIA agent Peter Keyes, which wishes to capture it for study.
Main article: Predators (film)
A group of notorious mercenaries and murderers find themselves kidnapped and transported to an alien game preserve jungle planet, where they have to learn to work together in order to fight off a band of Super Predators and other alien creatures stalking them and find a way off this world.
Main article: The Predator (film)
Following the crash of a Predator spaceship on Earth, U.S. Army Ranger Quinn McKenna and a team of PTSD-afflicted soldiers must band together to take down a pair of Predators, including a new genetically enhanced Predator, and prevent an invasion of the planet.
Main article: Prey (2022 film)
Producer John Davis said that The Predator would set up two sequels that he hoped Shane Black would return to direct. Concerning this, Black stated that "I would love to say we've been planning a trilogy, but I take one day at a time, in motion-picture terms that's one movie at a time." With the sale of 21st Century Fox's assets, including 20th Century Fox studios, to The Walt Disney Company the future of the series was called into question, though Bob Iger confirmed that certain properties would remain R-rated.
In December 2019, Dan Trachtenberg was announced to be developing a film under the working title of Skulls, with a script from Patrick Aison, set during the American Civil War and following "a Comanche woman who goes against gender norms and traditions to become a warrior". In November 2020, it was revealed that the project will actually be a fifth film in the Predator franchise. Trachtenberg indicated that he had been working on the film since 2016, while the original intention was to market the project without any references to Predator. The Walt Disney Company will produce the project through their 20th Century Studios banner.
In May 2021, Amber Midthunder had been cast in the lead role of Naru in the film, set to begin filming in June. Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. is set to provide the creature make up effects for this installment. Jeff Cutter is appointed for the film's cinematography. In late July 2021, the official title of the film was revealed to be Skull, with filming nearing completion. In November 2021, it was officially confirmed that the film would be called Prey, and would release on Hulu in summer 2022.
Main article: Alien vs. Predator
Inspired by the Dark Horse Comics series, the filmmakers of Predator 2 (1990) incorporated an easter egg in which an Alien skull was seen in a Predator trophy case. Expansions upon this shared universe between the Alien and Predator franchises followed through comics and video games, leading up to the launch of a film franchise with the release of Alien vs. Predator in 2004, followed by Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem in 2007. The franchise has spawned various comics, novels, video games, and other merchandise based upon or inspired by the films. A third film has been variously rumored since the production of Requiem. In mid-2018, Shane Black, the director of The Predator, expressed his belief that a third Alien vs. Predator could still happen, indicating the studio's interest in both franchises.
Main article: Alien vs. Predator (film)
In 2004, a Predator mothership 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 giving off a "heat bloom" attracts a group of explorers led by billionaire and self-taught engineer Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), the original founder and CEO of Weyland Industries, who unknowingly activates an Alien egg production line as a hibernating Alien Queen is awakened within the pyramid. Three Predators descend unto the planet and enters the structure, killing all humans in their way with the intention of hunting the newly formed Aliens, while the scattered explorers are captured alive by Aliens and implanted with embryos. Two Predators die in the ensuing battle with an Alien, while the third allies itself with the lone surviving human, Alexa "Lex" Woods (Sanaa Lathan), while making their way out of the pyramid as it is destroyed by the Predator's wrist bomb and eventually does battle with the escaped Alien Queen on the surface. The Queen is defeated by being dragged down by a water tower into the dark depths of the frozen sea, but not before she fatally wounds the last Predator. The orbiting Predator mothership uncloaks and the crew retrieves the fallen Predator. A Predator elder gives Lex a spear as a sign of respect, and then departs. Once in orbit it is revealed that an Alien Chestburster was present within the corpse, thus a Predalien hybrid is born.
Main article: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Set immediately after the events of the previous film, the Predalien hybrid aboard the Predator scout ship, having just separated from the mothership shown in the previous film, has grown to full adult size and sets about killing the Predators aboard the ship, causing it to crash in the small town of Gunnison, Colorado. The last surviving Predator activates a distress beacon containing a video recording of the Predalien, which is received by a veteran Predator on the Predator homeworld, 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 the town. He removes evidence of their presence as he moves along using a corrosive blue liquid and 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 air force drops a tactical nuclear bomb on the town, incinerating both combatants along with the Predalien's warriors and hive, as well as the few remaining humans in the town. The salvaged plasma pistol is then taken to a Ms. Yutani of the Yutani Corporation, foreshadowing an advancement in technology leading to the future events of the Alien films.
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Screenwriter(s)|
|Moments of Extraction||October 19, 2010||N/A||Javier Soto|
|Crucified||October 19, 2010||N/A||Javier Soto|
|Predator vs. Colonial Marines||February 25, 2016||Julian Higgins||Peter Weidman|
|The Predator Holiday Special||December 18, 2018||David H. Brooks and Alex Kamer||Matt Motschenbacher and Matthew Senreich|
On October 19, 2010, Predators was released on home video and included the two prequel short films Moments of Extraction and Crucified. On February 25, 2016, Loot Crate (commonly known for producing and distributing various officially licensed merchandise based on the Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus brands) released a VR 360° short film titled Predator vs. Colonial Marines directed by Julian Higgins and written by Peter Weidman in which a troop of Colonial Marines storm a Weyland-Yutani warehouse and encounter the deadly alien hunter. The Predator was released on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD formats on December 18, 2018, in America, alongside the short film The Predator Holiday Special, in which Santa Claus and his elves and reindeer encounter the Predators at the North Pole.
Main article: List of Predator characters
- A V indicates the actor or actress lent only his or her voice for his or her film character.
- A C indicates a cameo appearance.
- An A indicates an appearance through archival footage.
- A dark gray cell indicates the character was not in the film.
|Predator||Predator 2||Predators||The Predator||Prey||Predator:
Recurring cast and characters
|Predators||Kevin Peter Hall||Derek Mears
|Brian A. Prince
|TBA||Aimée LeighV||Antonio AlvarezV|
|Peter CullenV||Hal RayleV||Brian Steele
(Falconer and Berserker)
|Brian A. Prince
|Carey L. Jones |
|Alan "Dutch" Schaefer||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Mentioned||Arnold SchwarzeneggerV|
|Anna Gonsalves||Elpidia Carrillo||Elpidia CarrilloC|
|Isabelle||Alice Braga||Alice BragaV|
|Sean H. Keyes||Jake Busey||Jake BuseyV|
Introduced in Predator
|Al Dillon||Carl Weathers||Mentioned|
|Jorge "Poncho" Ramirez||Richard Chaves|
|Mac Eliot||Bill Duke|
|Blain Cooper||Jesse Ventura|
|Billy Sole||Sonny Landham|
|Rick Hawkins||Shane Black|
|Homer L. Phillips||R. G. Armstrong|
Introduced in Predator 2
|Michael "Mike" R. Harrigan||Danny Glover||Mentioned|
|Peter Jacob Keyes||Gary Busey|
|Danny "Danny Boy" Archuleta||Rubén Blades|
|Leona Cantrell||María Conchita Alonso|
|Jerry Lambert||Bill Paxton|
|King Willie||Calvin Lockhart|
|Anthony "Tony" Pope||Morton Downey Jr.|
|Phil Heinemann||Robert Davi|
|Captain B. Pilgrim||Kent McCord|
Introduced in Predators
|Walter Stans||Walton Goggins|
|Nikolai Mikhalovich Fedorov||Oleg Taktarov|
|Hanzo||Louis Ozawa Changchien|
|Ronald Noland||Laurence Fishburne|
Introduced in The Predator
|Cullen Yutani||Françoise Yip||Mentioned|
|Quinn McKenna||Boyd Holbrook|
|Casey Bracket||Olivia Munn|
|Gaylord "Nebraska" Williams||Trevante Rhodes|
|Rory McKenna||Jacob Tremblay|
|Will Traeger||Sterling K. Brown||Mentioned|
|Emma McKenna||Yvonne Strahovski|
|Ellen Louise Ripley||Breanna Watkins
|Rebecca "Newt" Jorden|
Introduced in Prey
Introduced in Predator: Concrete Jungle
|Lucretia Borgia||Giselle LorenV|
|Bruno Borgia||Fred TatascioreV|
|El Hongo||Armando Valdes-KennedyV|
|Hunter Borgia||David SobolovV|
Introduced in Predator: Hunting Grounds
|Predator||Predator 2||Predators||The Predator||Prey|
|Composer(s)||Alan Silvestri||John Debney||Henry Jackman||TBA|
|Cinematography||Donald McAlpine||Peter Levy||Gyula Pados||Larry Fong||Jeff Cutter|
|Editor(s)||John F. Link
|Dan Zimmerman||Billy Weber
Harry B. Miller III
|Production companies||Silver Pictures
Lawrence Gordon Productions
|Distributing company||20th Century Studios|
Note that the figures in this table are not inflation adjusted
(all time domestic)
|Predator||June 12, 1987||$59,735,548||$38,532,910||$98,268,458||#1,350||$15 million|||
|Predator 2||November 21, 1990||$30,669,413||$26,450,905||$57,120,318||#2,605||$35 million|||
|Predators||July 9, 2010||$52,000,688||$75,232,420||$127,233,108||#1,584||$40 million|||
|The Predator||September 14, 2018||$51,024,708||$109,517,426||$160,542,134||#3,051||$88 million|||
|Predator||82% (49 reviews)||45 (15 reviews)||B+|
|Predator 2||30% (30 reviews)||46 (18 reviews)||B+|
|Predators||64% (204 reviews)||51 (30 reviews)||C+|
|The Predator||33% (290 reviews)||48 (49 reviews)||C+|
|Title||U.S. release date||Length||Composer(s)||Label|
|Predator: Original Motion Picture Score||1987||69:08||Alan Silvestri||TBA|
|Predator 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack||December 13, 1990||45:14||Varèse Sarabande|
|Predators: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack||July 5, 2010||68:25||John Debney||La-La Land Records|
|The Predator: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack||September 28, 2018||54:00||Henry Jackman||Lakeshore Records|
|Predator: Special Edition Collection||DVD||April 18, 2005||Predator, Predator 2|||
|Predator: The Ultimate DVD Collection||DVD||November 17, 2006||Predator, Predator 2, Alien vs. Predator|||
|Predator Collection||DVD/Blu-ray formats||October 19, 2010||Predator, Predator 2|||
|Predator Trilogy - Mask Edition||Blu-ray||December 29, 2010||Predator, Predator 2, Predators|||
|Predator Trilogy||DVD||March 4, 2011||Predator, Predator 2, Predators|||
|Predator Triple Feature||Blu-ray
4K UHD Blu-Ray
|October 7, 2014||Predator, Predator 2, Predators|||
|Predator: 3-Movie Collection||August 7, 2018||Predator, Predator 2, Predators|||
|Predator: 4-Movie Collection||December 18, 2018||Predator, Predator 2, Predators, The Predator|||
There exists a great number of spin-offs in other media, including a large number of crossovers with the Alien franchise.
Main article: List of Predator (franchise) novels
Several novelizations based upon the movies have been released.
Main article: List of Predator (franchise) comics
Dark Horse Comics published various lines based on the franchise. The Fire and Stone (2014–2015) and Life and Death (2016–2017) series further explored what happened in the Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus universe following the events of the 2012 film Prometheus. In July 2020, Marvel Comics announced that it had acquired the comic book rights to the Predator franchise, in addition to the rights to the Alien and Alien vs. Predator franchises.
Other books expanding this fictional universe has been released through the years, and also such that depict the background to the films, including works by special effects company Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated (ADI) which has worked with the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator films.
Main article: List of Alien, Predator, and Alien vs. Predator games
The Predators have appeared in two virtual pinball tables. The first one is a pinball adaptation of the first two Predator films, one of four pinball tables in the 1999 computer game Sci-Fi Pinball, with the other three tables being based on Aliens, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Fly, three other Fox horror films. The second one is a loose pinball adaptation of Alien vs. Predator, developed by Zen Studios and available as an add-on pack for Zen Pinball 2, Pinball FX 2 and Pinball FX 3 on April 26, 2016. Based on the premise and setting (though not the plot) of that film, this table is played entirely from the perspective of a Predator ascending the ranks to become a seasoned warrior and Alien hunter, with two of the film's human leads being the table's announcers.
In the early 2010s, pinball manufacturer SKIT-B attempted to create an unauthorized physical pinball adaptation of the Predator franchise, without securing licensing rights from franchise owner 20th Century Fox. After suffering from legal problems, the pinball table was cancelled on March 24, 2015, and thus, only an few prototypes of the pinball table exists to this day.