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Nimrod Antal chases down 'Predators'

Fox horror film produced by Robert Rodriguez

Nimrod Antal, the director of the horror film "Vacancy," has been hired to direct "Predators" for Fox and producer Robert Rodriguez.

Alex Litvak & Michael Finch have written the script, which the studio is hoping will revive the alien-hunter franchise in a solo outing for the first time since 1990. The dreadlocked menace, who first appeared in a Central American jungle stalking Arnold Schwarzenegger and friends in 1987, has had two solo features and a pair of matchups with the double-jawed badasses of the "Alien" franchise.

Box office for the last combined feature, "AVP: Requiem," dipped to just $121 million worldwide after the previous installment's $169 million. The studio and the filmmakers aim to return to the franchise's roots as a character-driven action movie.

In this version, a group of humans will find themselves stranded on a planet home to Predators and must survive the horrors they encounter. James Cameron pulled a similar move with his advancement of the "Alien" franchise in his "Aliens."

The new iteration, which Rodriguez ("Planet Terror") has been hoping to make since 1994, when he was hired to write a screenplay for a second sequel, is scheduled for a July 7, 2010 release. According to an interview he did with Ain't It Cool News, Rodriguez will oversee production at his Troublemaker Studios in Texas to take advantage of the state's tax breaks and the opportunity for more creative control.

The CAA-repped Antal co-wrote and directed "Kontroll" in 2003 and has the heist movie "Armored" coming out through Screen Gems in December.

The Endeavor-repped Litvak and Finch also have "Medieval" in development with New Regency, and Finch has the "Freedom Formula" comic-book adaptation set up there with Bryan Singer.