Here’s a Breakdown of The Predator at SDCC

This new Predator film is a bold statement and could divide the fanbase.

By Jay Gervais

We’re less than two months away from Shane Black’s highly-anticipated The Predator releasing in theaters and we've got some new teasers at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), where a couple of new clips were shown at its Hall H panel yesterday. Below is a breakdown of the highlights of what was shown, courtesy of Collider. The following could be spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.

The first scene we see comes from early in the film, when the so-call Loonies (the team of ex-soldiers who wind up on an outmatched hunt for the Predator) meet [Olivia] Munn’s biologist Casey Brackett. She’s lying passed out on the bed and the Loonies are scattering trinkets and vending machine treats around her. “We’re trying to make her feel comfortable,” they explain when Holbrook asks them what the fuck they’re doing. These are weird guys.

We come to learn here that the group of ex-soldiers featured in the film go by the name of the "Loonies." If you’ve been following our coverage of The Predator, you’d of course remember that this is referring to our main group of men in the movie. Among them is Quinn McKenna, the film’s main character, who is played by actor Boyd Holbrook. The remainder includes Nebraska Williams (Trevante Rhodes), Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key), Lynch (Alfie Allen), Baxley (Thomas Jane), and Nettles (Augusto Aguilera). Olivia Munn also plays a biologist named Casey Brackett.

Next up, we have a glimpse of the film’s witty and appropriate dark humor, as the scene above continues.

When she wakes up, the Loonies try to act natural, shuffling and adjusting in front of her, attempting to strike a casual pose. “Morning sunshine,” Holbrook says like the classic cinematic tough guy. “I really wish people would stop calling me that,” she retorts. Then immediately, she lunges for the shotgun on the side of the bed and cocks, aim steady. The Loonies hoot and holler in appreciation. “I told you she’d grab it,” Key shouts enthusiastically. “Ten bucks, pay up!” Boyd walks up to her and tries to take the gun off her, but she’s not giving it up. They have a bit of a struggle, tugging back and forth, and she pulls the trigger. The Loonies gasp in unison, a greek chorus of goofballs. “Shit, I told you she’d pull the trigger,” Key enthuses, “Shoulda bet on that.” Holbrook snaps her on the nose and calls her a “ding dong,” taking the gun away as the Loonies sound off in unison, “I like her!”

She makes a move to the door and Holbrook tells her that the government was going to put a bullet in her head. She stops turning the door knob. That’s when Jane, who plays a PTSD vet with Tourette’s, shouts out “Eat your pussy!” A look of shock and disgust crosses her face as a classic bit of Black’s overlapping dialogue plays out while the Loonies try to explain what happened. “He didn’t mean your pussy,” etc. etc. This is probably going to offend a lot of people, but I’m going to wait to see it in the full context of the film to make any judgments. For her part, Munn is insistent this is one of the strongest roles she’s had the opportunity to play.

She gets back to business, but first snaps back at Jane, “Stay the fuck away from me.” Why was the government going to kill her? Holbrook holds up a mystery vial — something she invented or discovered maybe, we don’t know yet.  She looks on the bed and finds a unicorn made of foil [lying] among the trinkets. “What is this?” Aguilera looks dopey and sad, “I made you a unicorn. Sorry it’s a piece of shit.” The acting newcomer gets a huge laugh from the audience.

After that we mostly get exposition, but delivered in Black’s amusing dialogue. Munn is a biologist and they have her on call in case there’s…. contact. “What did I tell you?” shouts Jane. Aguilera talks about fire and brimstone and Key snaps, “If you don’t stop talking about this bible shit, I’m going to set you on fire.” We learn that Holbrook’s character was a patsy for some of the Predator’s violent misdeeds in Mexico. Munn gives them the details, “It’s called a Predator and it hunts people for sport.” Rhodes chimes in, “Technically, that’s not a Predator.” Munn finally finds someone she sees eye to eye with. “Thank you!” she says, “I said that earlier!” Finally, we learn one last key detail — Holbrook stole the Predator’s gear. End scene.

While this doesn’t explain too much about what’s going on, the back-and-forth exchanges seems to be very much in the style of what we are accustomed to expect from director Shane Black. It does feel somewhat reminiscent of the helicopter scene from the first Predator film, when Dutch’s group jokingly exchanges comments to purposely rile each other up.

In terms of story details, we learn here that Holbrook was blamed for a Predator incident that took place somewhere in Mexico. In addition, he seems to have stolen some of the alien technology. We’ll have to wait for the film to see what this is all about.

This film may also calling our alien fiends "Predators" this time around, seemingly disregarding the canon “Yautja” name for the species, which is perfectly fine. Needless to say, there appears to be plenty of character development occurring in this scene alone, which is of course a vital ingredient to a successful film. One other clip was shown for the film, which is described below.

Next, we get to see that mutated Predator in action. A shorter, more action-heavy clip is cued up and we find the Loonies in a school, where it looks like Holbrook is collecting his son, played by Jacob Tremblay. They’re in the school hallway when they hear slow, pounding footsteps coming down the hall, the shadow of a giant Predator looms through the windows on their side and in an instant, a Predator pops up behind Holbrook and grabs him by the throat. Munn pushes Tremblay behind her in a protective stance and she’s thrown to the ground. ]Suddenly] an even bigger, more terrifying Predator pops up in the window and grabs the other Predator by the throat. He hurls the little guy out the window. Now we’re getting some Predator vs. Predator shit. The ultimate Predator-Vs.

The Loonies are outside waiting. They level their guns and back away toward their bus. We get some Predator vision as the small guy fires a missile at the big beast. He’s throwing ‘bows at the giant while the Loonies escape on the bus, shouting “We gotta [move], come on!” The smaller Predator gets absolutely thrashed, beaten to a pulp and laid out on top of a car. The big guy rips [off] his mask, smashes his face in, and then rips off his whole damn head, leaving green, gooey blood spilling everywhere. End scene.

This more or less describes what we’ve seen from the trailers for The Predator to date, although extended further for SDCC. Audiences were treated to more of the Super Predator, which brutally decimates a fellow Predator.

Following the panel presentation, the official social media accounts for the film revealed a new poster, which was given away to those who attended the show. You can try your luck in grabbing one by entering through the film's official fan app, as indicated in the social media blurb below.

The film stars Boyd Holbrook (Logan) as Quinn McKenna, Trevante Rhodes (Westworld) as Williams, Jacob Tremblay as Rory McKenna, Keegan-Michael Key (Keanu) as Coyle, Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse) as Casey Bracket, Sterling K. Brown (Black Panther), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) as Lynch, Thomas Jane (The Expanse) as Baxley, Augusto Aguilera as Nettles, Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter, Mass Effect 2) as Emily, and Jake Busey (Starship Troopers) as the son of Keyes.

The Predator is landing in theaters on September 14th and will also be coming out in 3D. While the film wasn’t originally intended to be in the format, it was later converted to 3D in post-production. The film is directed by Shane Black (Iron Man 3).

Are you looking forward to The Predator? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below and on social media!

About the Author

Jay Gervais

From small town to big city and back again, Jay was born and raised in Canada and has lived his whole life there. He’s always ready to cut down any misconceptions his American friends have of life in the great white north. He’s also no stranger to this kind of community, and has plenty of experience under his bed. He enjoys all kinds of horror entertainment, as long as it’s got the heart and soul to it. When he’s not doing something here, he can be found at his post at the night’s watch, or knee deep into his school studies.

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