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Get to da choppa! Dark Horse adapting original 'Predator' screenplay into comic

By Josh Weiss
Predator 1987

We ain't got time to bleed! SYFY WIRE can exclusively announce that Dark Horse is adapting an unused screenplay for 1987's Predator into a five-issue comic book miniseries. The re-imagining (similar to what the publisher is doing for 1979's Alien) hails from writer Jeremy Barlow (Alien vs. Predator: Thicker Than Blood) and artist  Patrick Blaine (Star Wars: Empire). Andy Owens (Tomb Raider, Ghost) is on ink duty.

The creative duo will be working from the 1984 script written by James E. Thomas and John C. Thomas. At that time, the project was titled "Hunters" and before you ask, the answer is no — it had nothing to do with weeding out Nazis in 1970s America. It actually centered on a group of military specialists on a classified rescue mission. So far so familiar, right? As time goes on, "the team soon uncovers a trail of lies and deceit," reads the official synopsis. "Something is observing them — tracking their every move. The hunt has begun!"

"There’s excitement in seeing what might have been," Barlow said in an exclusive statement to SYFY WIRE. "The bones of Predator are there, but the original idea was so different and in some ways, much deeper than what the movie became — and we lean hard into those differences. Turn all of that over to a pair of dynamic artists like Patrick Blaine and Andy Owens, and the results are spectacular. Predator fans are going to lose their minds!"

Check out the exclusive cover art for the debut issue (out this summer) below:

Predator The Original Screenplay cover art

Obviously, the bug-eyed beast on the cover above is a far cry from the iconic and mandibled design of the Predator alien cooked up by the late great Stan Winston. Nevertheless, it'll be super cool to see what the writers envisioned the otherworldy hunstman be prior to Winston's involvement.

"The first Predator movie is such an iconic, cultural classic," added Blaine in a statement of his own. "To be involved with Dark Horse, re-imagining it from the original script, is an artist's dream come true! Jeremy Barlow's script adaptation has been a pure joy to work from, and I think fans of the genre will enjoy this wild new ride through a familiar old tale!"

The version of Predator that made it to theaters in the summer of '87 — the one we all know and love — was still penned by the Brothers Thomas. Helmed by John McTiernan (Die Hard), the film follows a group of hardened commandos who are hunted by a brutal alien sportsman in the jungles of Central America. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers, the sci-fi action-thriller exploded into a major pop culture touchstone, spawning an entire franchise, which included a Dark Horse comic book crossover with the Alien series.

Writer/director Shane Black, who starred in the original movie as one of the commandos, was responsible for the most recent cinematic entry in the franchise: 2018's The Predator.

Predator: The Original Screenplay #1 goes on sale everywhere Wednesday, June 10.