While we do sincerely hope that Shane Black's The Predator is as good as he is promising, what little details we know about the premise of the movie has many fans worried. Although Black has promised the movie will be an “event” movie and will expand upon the mythology of the alien hunter race known as the "Predators", the reported light-hearted tone of the movie together with it's recycling of elements used in previous installments is only fuelling the fires of doubt in Black's ability to deliver a sequel worthy of the 1987 cult classic that birthed the franchise. A movie of which Black starred in (as Private Hawkins) and co-wrote with Predator creators Jim and John Thomas. Reportedly the forthcoming sequel, The Predator, is to be set in US suburbia (recycled from AvP: Requiem) with a team of Predators teaming up with human combatants (AvP) as they face off against another, more powerful Predator (Predators), that is reportedly a genetic hybrid (Predator: Concrete Jungle). The Predator is also set to show humans using Predator technology (also AvP: Requiem).
Recently I looked into how extensive the mythology of the Predator has been expanded upon within the movie franchise since the release of the original cult classic. Ignoring the crossovers due to their removal from canon due to 2012's Prometheus, the two sequels (1990's Predator 2 and 2010's Predators) have introduced a plethora of concepts to the series. Predator 2 introduced us to a Predator from a new clan/tribe known as the City Hunter or “Pussyface”, who had an arsenal of advanced weaponry and frequented its clan/tribe ship which was hidden in Los Angeles underground. 2010's Predators introduced us to another new clan/tribe similar to the murderous “Bad-Bloods” from the Dark Horse comics Predator series, who similar to AvP's "Young-Bloods" hunted in parties of three. These “Super-Predators” were shown to be less honorable than previous clans/tribes and abducted their human (and other) prey, hunting them on a game reserve planet rather than on Earth like previously seen clans/tribes. Predator 2 also introduced us to clan/tribe elders, while Predators showed inter-clan/tribe conflict with its Super-Predators torturing and then later fighting a “Classic-Predator” from the same clan/tribe of the "Anytime" alien hunter from the original movie.
Throughout the franchise we have also seen other characteristics and traditions practiced by the Predators, such as the rules of the hunt disallowing the hunt of the young, infirm or unarmed, and that their trophies must come from having faced their prey in honorable and equal combat. We have also seen evidence that Predators skin prey unworthy of being trophies, hanging them from their ankles. This practice is believed to be territorial, symbolizing the hunter's presence, but with a little expansion, it could be shown to highlight a more macabre side of the Predators hunting of human prey, which in turn could deepen the mythology of the series into new, unforeseen narrative possibilities.
Primarily there are three reasons to hunt; to attain trophies, for the sport, and for the cultivation of food and skins. While we have seen flayed skins in Predators (at the Super-Predators camp) the possibility of the Predators hunting for food has never been fully explored, though it was inferred in Predator 2. What if the Predators hunt Human prey not just for the dangerous challenge we represent, but also because we taste nice? What if Predators flay some of their prey in preparation to be consumed at a later time? What if humans are not just prey but also cattle to the Predators?
Initially, this may seem like a curve-ball proposition until you think back to the first movie. The classic “Anytime” Predator reclaimed the bodies of both Hawkins (Black) and Blaine (Jesse Ventura), yet is only seen claiming a trophy after killing Billy (the late Sonny Landham) in honorable, if short, combat. What purpose did the Predator have for the bodies of Hawkins and Blaine, if not to be consumed as food? Furthermore, The Predator only reveals himself after killing the two aforementioned members of Dutch's (Arnold Schwarzenegger) team. Could the Predator have flayed the remains of either Hawkins or Blaine, using their treated skin for the loincloth we see it earing later in the movie?
Article art courtesy of EDS Fox!
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