While Black has revealed that the film will be set in the suburbs this time around, rather than the jungle or an urban city (the settings of Predator and Predator 2), news about the actual plot of the movie has been kept under wraps—until now.
Actor Thomas Jane, whose role in The Predator remains a mystery, joined the podcast Shadow Nation and spoke about his work on the film. While Jane didn’t reveal any major spoilers or the entire plot, he peeled back the curtain about the setup of the film, and how his character gets involved with Boyd Holbrook’s Quinn McKenna, the main protagonist.
“We play these veterans from like Afghanistan, Iraq War, or whatever,” Jane said. “But we’re all fucking crazy so we go to the VA hospital to get our meds. We’re all shellshocked, PTSD soldiers. We’re at the VA hospital and we’re in group therapy and, of course, somebody flips out—this is backstory, I don’t think we really see this—somebody flips out and we all get arrested and get thrown onto the bus to go down to the hospital, and they throw this other guy [Holbrook] on the bus too.”
The “bus” to which Jane’s referring is something that fans have already gotten a look at. When Black revealed Jane was in the cast, he did it with a photo on social media of Jane sitting with Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Keegan Michael-Key (Key and Peele), Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), Augusto Aguilera, and Holbrook in the back of a bus.
Stone killers with serious acting chops -- but which of them will be chopped... by THE PREDATOR? (See what I did there?) pic.twitter.com/H5lOw2K5vy
— Shane Black (@BonafideBlack) March 9, 2017
“He’s [Holbrook’s McKenna] a guy they’ve actually marked to kill because he’s seen a UFO,” Jane said on the podcast. “He’s seen the Predator ships come down so they lock him up and throw him in with us lunatics. They’re going to take that bus, drive it down to a ditch, and shoot us all just to get rid of this one guy. But, of course, we take the bus over and we’re all like, ‘Fuck that, man. Let’s go kill these fucking Predators ourselves!’ and we’re just crazy enough to believe that this guy really did see a UFO and there’s these aliens out there. So that’s kinda cool!”
While Jane doesn’t get too detailed about the plot, fans can fill in the blanks about how the story gets kicked off based on the bits of info and character descriptions that have already been released.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the info on the story and cast that’s out there about The Predator:
- Holbrook (Logan, Narcos) stars as Quinn McKenna, a former Marine who discovered the existence of the Predator aliens, but can’t get anyone to believe him. Eventually his autistic son (Jacob Tremblay) and his ex-wife (Yvonne Strahovski) are pulled into the action after McKenna tries to hunt down the Predators. Quinn’s son becomes a “key player” in the fight, because of “his preternatural ability to learn languages”.
- Rhodes stars as (the amazingly named) Nebraska Williams, a former Mariner and friend of McKenna, who joins the Predator-hunting team.
- Sterling K. Brown (This is Us) plays a government agent who at first jails McKenna, but later must enlist his help in battling the Predators.
- Alfie Allen stars as “an ex-Marine who teams with several other outsiders, including one played by Holbrook, to stop the human-hunting creatures,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
- Jake Busey joined the film as the son of Special Agent Peter Keyes, the character his actual father, Gary Busey, played in Predator 2.
- Olivia Munn (X-Men: Age of Apocalypse) stars as Casey Bracket, a scientist who works with McKenna and battles alongside him against the Predators. Munn spoke with Men’s Fitness about working on the film, saying that she’ll get to fight with the Predators: “Between us—wink-wink—it was awesome," Munn said. “I’ll say this, my character knows how to use a weapon. You always see in movies that the guys just automatically know how to use it and the girls, they have to kind of fumble through it. I didn’t want her to be a soldier, but there's no reason why she wouldn't know how. Shane and I were on the same page about that immediately."
- The film isn’t exactly a reboot or a sequel: “It's within the world of Predator but the movie is not a continuation of another one,” Munn told Men’s Fitness. “It has its own ensemble with some amazing actors.”
- It’s all about the ‘burbs: Producer Stacey Snider confirmed the suburban setting and described the film as a brand new take on the franchise: “We’ve got a Predator film coming out that is unexpected and utterly fresh,” Snider said to Variety. “I just imagined that...it would be interior jungle, exterior more jungle, and then fighting happens, but Emma [Watts] went out and recruited Shane Black. From the first page, it didn’t read like a Predator film. It’s set in suburbia. There’s a little boy and his dad at the center of the action.”
- He won’t be back: As of October 2017, Arnold Schwarzenegger is not slated to appear in the film in any capacity. While that could change by the time the film is released, don’t expect to see the legendary actor appear in The Predator.
The new Predator film marks the return of the franchise to the big screen for the first time since 2010’s Predators, which starred a jacked-up Adrien Brody in the main role. Black behind the camera is also a bit of a return: The director appeared as an actor in the original film alongside Schwarzenegger.
Black spoke about his excitement in returning to the franchise, saying he hopes to “event-ise the Predator again and make it more mysterious,” and at the same time returning the series to the "intimate" roots from the original film.
The Predator is set for release on Aug. 3, 2018.
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