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The Predator took the hunt to Hall H, where the cast proved they have plenty of chemistry.
Director Shane Black participated in a panel on Thursday, along with stars Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes, Jake Busey, Thomas Jane and Augusto Aguiliera. Early on, there was a clip of the cast debating who would win in a fight, with Key asking Jane if the Predator could beat the Punisher (whom Jane played in 2004).
Black praised his cast, saying the scenes that capture the easygoing camaraderie among the characters were done in very few takes. “Unlike casts from many other films, these guys were willing to come in and rehearse on the weekend,” he said.
The filmmaker, who appeared in the first Predator with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987, noted that while that film was drawing upon the alien and Rambo crazes of the ’80s, this one took a leaner and meaner approach.
“They are these misfits that comes together,” Black said of the group of characters who must battle a predator in the suburbs. “It’s important that they are good at what they do, and also that they’ve forgot that … it’s the modern equivalent to me as the group in the first movie.”
He promised there will be one-liners that fans may recognize from the original film. Then he did his best Jesse Ventura impression: “I ain’t got time to bleed.”
Absent star Boyd Holbrook sent a video message introducing the first clip from the film, which showed the gang holed up in a hotel room. Munn’s character awakens to see the team of military guys staring at her, and she grabs a rifle. One of them laughs and notes he bet $10 she’d do that. Eventually she pulls the trigger on Holbrook’s character, and it clicks (the gun is unloaded). One of the guys notes he bet another $10 she’d pull the trigger. Jane’s character has Tourette Syndrome and utters an obscenity toward Munn’s character (he’s apologetic, and she tells him to stay away from her). All the while, there’s the underlying knowledge that there’s something out there hunting them, and that they need to come together and make a plan. The scene is played both for laughs and for tension; the team are such misfits that it’s humorous to see them try to come together as one unit.
Munn, whose character is a biologist, noted it was important that her character knew how to handle a gun in a realistic manner.
“Whenever you see movies, a guy can pick up a gun and he automatically knows how to do it,” said Munn. “Girls are always like, ‘I don’t know.’ I thought, ‘I don’t want her to be proficient, because she’s not a soldier, but I want her to know how.'”
As previous trailers have shown, this movie features a new type of Predator that has taken on characteristics of those it has killed.
“We assume there is a faction on the Predator home world that has been bested not once, but twice by Earthlings,” said Black, introducing a clip that shows off a more powerful Predator. “They send their champions to Earth and they don’t come home. They don’t like that. So we figured they want to punch back. There’s an element too of a potentially a contentious faction on Predator world that might not be above roiding, so to speak.”
The clip showed a standard Predator attacking our heroes, when it is suddenly snatched by a bigger Predator. The fight doesn’t end well for the first Predator, whose head gets ripped off.
Black promised that scene wasn’t quite finished; there would be more blood in the final product.
The Predator opens Sept. 14.
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