The 2018 San Diego International Comic Con has come to a close but we still have TONS of news from the yearly event! This year, 20th Century Fox hosted a panel for the upcoming Shane Black film, The Predator, and we’ve got all the details.
Grae Drake hosted the panel which featured director Shane Black and cast members, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Sterling K. Brown, Jake Busey, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes and Augusto Aguilera. The footage revealed in the panel showcased one scene in a hotel room, where the group of veterans that are going up against the Predator, meet Olivia Munn’s character for the first time. It featured the exact type of funny, and quick dialogue you’d expect from a Shane Black film, and really showed the dynamic between the characters. The other big scene revealed was a fight between the regular Predator and the “Super Predator” seen briefly in the trailers for the film. In this extended scene we see the Super Predator tear off the head and spine of the other alien, while the human cast escapes, trying to figure out why the Predators are fighting each other.
The panel started with the cast and director Shane Black discussing who would win in a fight with the predator, with Grae Drake giving each panelist a different fictional character. It was a fun way to get things rolling, and helped bring a lighthearted tone to the panel right away. Black went on to explain that he viewed the original Predator film as something that was born out of the alien obsessed 80’s films, but was slightly winking at the idea of these big action films. With hulked out heroes using ridiculously huge guns against the Predator. Their version is kind of adjusting to that, taking a “dirty half-dozen” and putting them up against the Predator. He also noted that the characters are all misfits, and a sort of “modern equivalent” to the characters from the original film. Tough people who aren’t exactly perfect.
Drake asked Keegan-Michael Key what it was like in between scenes on set. He said that they worked really hard to create a good culture on set. That everyone would join together in his trailer and watch “black exploitation movies. We’d watch Dolemite movies, and The Room. And then we would do everything within our power to try to get some moments from those movies into our movie.” There were YouTube clips that they’d watch and try to get specific physical references to into the film. There were specific lines from things they’d attempt to sneak in from other films.
Jake Busey talked about being on set with his Dad Gary Busey for the second Predator film. That he remembered being on set and seeing all the futuristic tech and his dad saying “this is what they’re going to look like in ’97.” He tried for years to distance himself from his Dad’s career. But this came along and he had to decide if he was going to go for it and take this chance, and he decided “to go all in.” He also stated that he was the same age while making this that his Dad was when he made Predator 2.
Grae Drake asked Thomas Jane what he’s learned from roles like this and Punisher. He joked that the only thing he ever really learned was how to kill people with guns. Sterling K. Brown was asked if he prefers to “hurt people or make them cry” given his roles in action movies like this and Black Panther, and his more dramatic turn in the show This is Us. He said that he loves to go back and forth and play everything, but he also really loves to make people laugh.
Shane Black commented on how the Predator blood was a really iconic element of this, and they used plenty of it. He said that it would glow for about twenty minutes and then they’d have to get a new bucket of blood on set to replace it. Trevante Rhodes was asked how playing a soldier in 12 Strong, compared to the group of veterans that make up this cast. He stated that it was similar in that there was plenty of “comradery between the guys.” Augusto Aquilera said that he felt bad for Shane, because they were constantly trying to insert references to viral videos. “There were things that he must have had to edit me out of because I just kept doing it.”
When they moved to audience questions, the first question was again asking who would win, with the fan posing both Thanos and Deadpool against the Predator. The panel said that both Marvel characters would win, but Shane Black threw some shade at Thanos saying, “one moment he can like- a train coming at him and he can into a flock of birds, and the next it’s Spider-Man ‘oh my eye! It’s got webbing!’… I love the movie, it’s just the kid has to do something…” The next audience member asked if Killgrave from Iron Man 3, which was also directed by Black, would defeat Predator. Black stated that he honestly feels that none of the people they talked about throughout the panel would win against this Predator.
Kegan-Michael Key was asked if any of his Key and Peele roles helped prepare him for this. He said that in every role he plays there’s always a dash of Coach Hines from Mad TV and Mr. Garvey from the Substitute Teacher sketches on Key and Peele. “There’s always a little bit of indignation.” Another audience member asked how many takes it took to set up the comedic timing of some of the scenes. Shane Black stated that it usually took only one take, as they would often rehearse on weekends to help prepare before filming.
Shane Black was asked about the genetic manipulation brought up in the Alien Vs. Predator films, and if the Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise would be referenced. He stated that this film is a sequel to the franchise, but that there won’t be any references to the Xenomorphs. These Predators do work on some genetic manipulation to help create their assassination.
Overall this panel was one of the best of the entire 2018 SDCC, with a fun cast and the promise of a fun and entertaining film. If the film is half as entertaining and enjoyable as this panel, then we’re in for a real treat when the film hits theaters.
The Predator hits theaters on September 14th. Keep following Poor Man’s Spoiler for more updates on all the big news to come out of SDCC 2018!