San Diego Comic-Con 2018 got off to a monster start on Thursday morning as the convention center's Hall H launched a weekend of film and TV presentations with Fox's The Predator.
The panel opened with a brief behind-the-scenes clip in which the film's cast — including Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, and Sterling K. Brown — discussed the various genre icons they'd like to see taken on the title creature, from Munn's Psylocke to Jane's Punisher to Star Wars' Yoda. Then, moderator Grae Drake brought out the film's stars — including Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Munn, Jane, Augusto Aguilera, and Jake Busey — alongside writer/director Shane Black (Iron Man 3) to discuss the film's approach to the classic franchise and the dawn of the "Ultimate Predator."
Black then showcased the first of two clips from the film, and this one was all about the ensemble humor at play. In it, Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) and his crew of Predator-hunting soldiers wake up Casey Bracket (Munn) in a barricaded house. She wants to leave, and she's willing to hurt people to do it, but McKenna is insistent that something is out there, and implies that it will kill her if she dares venture outside. It's clear that Black's signature mix of tension and jokes is intact in this flick.
While discussing the dynamic of the team of soldiers in the film, which he dubbed the "Dirty Half Dozen," Black explained the importance of letting his actors work and play off each other. As with the original film (featuring Black himself as a member of a team of soldiers), a natural chemistry was present, and he wasn't about to interrupt that.
"You have the best character actors in the world, it's my job to throw 'em in a room and get out of their f**king way," he said.
Then another clip was unveiled, this time featuring the title creatures battling not the humans, but each other. When McKenna, Bracket, and McKenna's son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) are attacked by a standard sized Predator in the corridors of a middle school, they're unexpectedly saved when the Ultimate Predator forces its way through a window and grabs its smaller cousin. As our heroes fled the scene in an RV driven by Holbrook's squad, they watched as the Ultimate Predator bashed in the face of the smaller Predator and then ripped its head clean off. Whether you love or hate the Ultimate Predator idea, Black and company are out to prove that this thing is not to be trifled with. Add in the confusion, particularly from Bracket, over exactly why the creatures are fighting each other, and it's an intriguing moment to say the least, and one that got a big response from the Hall H crowd.
Sadly, the panel did not yield a new formal trailer for the film for everyone to check out, and neither of the clips has been released publicly...yet, but Fox brought a solid mix of gore and laughs from The Predator, and we can't wait to see what they unveil next.
The Predator arrives in theaters September 14.
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