Predator Franchise


Predator is a science-fiction action anthology media franchise centred on the film series depicting mankind’s encounters with a race of extraterrestrial trophy hunters known as the “Predator”.

Produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the series began with Predator (1987), directed by John McTiernan, and was followed by three sequels, Predator 02 (1990), Predators (2010), and The Predator (2018), directed by Stephen Hopkins, Nimród Antal, and Shane Black, respectively.

The series has led to numerous novels, comics, and video game spin-offs such as Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005) and Predator: Hunting Grounds (2020).

The Alien vs. Predator franchise combines the continuities of the Alien franchise with the Predator franchise and consists of two films as well as varying series of comics, books, and video games.



The Predator franchise depicts a series of deadly encounters between humanity and a hostile, trophy hunting, extraterrestrial species known as the Predators.

Predominantly transpiring in the present day of the 20th and 21st century, the series comprises films that, while largely independent, portray human confrontations with Predators in different locations and time zones.

The franchise’s sole recurring plot detail has mercenaries and corporations, including the OWLF (The Other Worldly Life Forms Programme) headed by CIA agent Peter Keyes and its successor Project Stargazer, headed by his son Sean Keyes, tracking the Predators whenever they appear. Both groups pursue them for different reasons; the former to eliminate them because they are seen as terrible threats, and the latter to capture them for scientific and military purposes.


Predator was John McTiernan’s first studio film as director. The studio hired screenplay writer Shane Black to not only play a supporting role in the film, but to keep an eye on McTiernan due to the director’s inexperience. Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the film’s creature, the idea being that the physical action star would use his martial arts skills to make the creature an agile, ninja-esque hunter. When compared to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura, actors known for their bodybuilding regimes, it became apparent a more physically imposing man was needed to make the creature appear threatening. Eventually, Van Damme was removed from the film and replaced by the actor and mime artist Kevin Peter Hall. A Van Damme easter egg was eventually featured in The Predator.

The Predator creature’s design is credited to special effects artist Stan Winston. While flying to Japan with Aliens director James Cameron, Winston, who had been hired to design the Predator, was doing concept art on the flight. Cameron saw what he was drawing and said, “I always wanted to see something with mandibles”, and Winston subsequently included them in his designs. Schwarzenegger recommended Winston after his experience working on The Terminator.

The film’s creature was originally designed with a long neck, a dog-like head and a single eye. This design was abandoned when it became apparent that the jungle locations would make shooting the complex design too difficult. Originally, the studio contracted the makeup effects for the alien from Richard Edlund’s Boss Film Creature Shop. However, with problems filming the creature in Mexico and attempts to create a convincing monster of Van Damme, wearing a much different body suit, failing, makeup effects responsibilities were given to Winston and his studio, R/Greenberg Associates. According to former Boss Film Creature Shop makeup supervisor Steve Johnson, the makeup failed because of an impractical design by McTiernan that included 12-inch-length (300 mm) extensions that gave the creature a backward bent satyr-leg. The design did not work in the jungle locations. After six weeks of shooting in the jungles of Palenque, Mexico, the production had to shut down so that Winston could make the new creature. This took eight months and then filming resumed for five weeks.

The clicking sound of the creature was provided by Peter Cullen. Despite his resolution not to voice any more monsters following injuries to his throat sustained during the ADR of King Kong, his agent convinced him to audition. The clicking sound was inspired by a mixture of the visual of the creature and his recollection of a dying horseshoe crab.

R/Greenberg Associates created the film’s optical effects, including the creature’s ability to become invisible, its thermal vision point-of-view, its glowing blood, and the electric spark effects. The invisibility effect was achieved by having someone in a bright red suit (because it was the farthest opposite of the green of the jungle and the blue of the sky) the size of the creature. The take was then repeated without the actors using a 30% wider lens on the camera. When the two takes were combined optically, a vague outline of the alien could be seen with the background scenery bending around its shape. For the thermal vision, infrared film could not be used because it did not register in the range of body temperature wavelengths. The glowing blood was achieved by green liquid from chem-lite sticks used by campers. The electrical sparks were rotoscoped animation using white paper pin registered on portable light tables to black-and-white prints of the film frames. The drawings were composited by the optical crew for the finished effects.

Also, in an interview on Predator Special Edition, actor Carl Weathers said many of the actors would secretly wake up as early as 3 a.m. to work out before the day’s shooting, in order to look “pumped” during the scene. Weathers also stated that he would act as if his physique was naturally given to him, and would work out only after all the other actors were nowhere to be seen. It was reported that actor Sonny Landham was so unstable on the set that a bodyguard was hired; not to protect Landham, but to protect the other cast members from him.

According to Schwarzenegger, filming was physically demanding as he had to swim in very cold water and spent three weeks covered in mud for the climactic battle with the alien. In addition, cast and crew endured very cold temperatures in the Mexican jungle that required heat lamps to be on all of the time. Schwarzenegger also faced the challenge of working with Kevin Peter Hall who could not see in the creature’s suit. Hall could not see out of the mask and had to rehearse his scenes with it off and then memorise where everything was.

The film was particularly successful and subsequently inspired a number of comic books, video games and popular anecdotes within the media. Schwarzenegger was asked to reprise his role in a Predator sequel, but was already attached to Terminator 02: Judgement Day and could not accept the role. The character was rewritten from the developing sequel’s script, and the sequel to Predator, directed by Stephen Hopkins, was scheduled for 1990.

Due to excessive violence, Predator 02 was the first film to be given the newly instituted NC-17 rating in the United States. It was eventually rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America after being re-cut to its final theatrical length. The film cast Danny Glover in the lead role, and reprised Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator. Also, returning to the role of Anna in the sequel, Elpidia Carrillo was slated to be in two scenes but was cut back to a brief appearance on a video screen in the government agents’ surveillance trailer. Her character is showing damage to the Central American jungle caused by the explosion at the conclusion of the first film.

The Films

Predator (1987)

A spacecraft flies near Earth and releases an object which enters the atmosphere. Some time later, in a Central American jungle, Army Special Operations and Vietnam Veteran Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer and his elite rescue team – Mac, Billy, Blain, Poncho, and Hawkins – are tasked by Dutch’s former commanding officer, General Philips, with rescuing a foreign official and his aide held hostage by insurgents. CIA agent Dillon, a former commando and an old friend of Dutch from the Vietnam War, is assigned to supervise the team over Dutch’s objections.

The team discovers the wreckage of a helicopter and three skinned corpses, identified by Dutch as Green Berets out of Fort Bragg that he knew personally. Dutch’s team reaches the insurgent camp and kills the insurgents, including a Soviet intelligence officer searching through valuable documents. Confronted by Dutch, Dillon admits the mission was a setup to retrieve intelligence from captured operatives and that the dead military unit disappeared weeks earlier in a failed rescue.

After capturing Anna, a guerrilla, the team proceeds to its extraction point, unaware that it is being tracked with thermal imaging by an unseen observer. Anna escapes and is chased by Hawkins, but they are ambushed by the creature. It spares Anna but kills Hawkins and drags his body away. Dutch organizes a search for Hawkins’ body, during which Blain is killed by the creature’s plasma weapon. Enraged, Mac initiates a firefight in which the creature is wounded, revealing luminescent green blood. The unit regroups and realizes that something in the jungle is stalking them. Dillon believes more guerrillas are responsible, but Billy is adamant that the perpetrator is not human, an assertion that is met with skepticism. The team makes camp for the night, setting traps in all directions.

That night the traps are set off, and Mac kills a wild pig, mistaking it for the creature. In the confusion, the creature steals Blain’s body and Dutch realizes that their enemy uses the trees to travel, stalking them like a predator. A second attempt to capture the creature using traditional trapping techniques such as a net and pitfall actually succeeds but it escapes leaving Poncho injured. Mac and Dillon pursue the alien, but it outmanoeuvres and kills them. The creature catches up with the others, killing Billy and Poncho and wounding Dutch. Realising the creature does not target unarmed prey because there is “no sport” in it, Dutch sends Anna to the helicopter unarmed. The creature pursues Dutch into a river and its cloaking device malfunctions. The creature, now visible, goes within a few feet of a mud-covered Dutch. His thermal signature reduced, Dutch remains unseen by the creature and it moves on. Dutch realises he can use mud as camouflage.

While the creature collects trophies from the bodies, Dutch crafts traps and weapons and lures the creature out with a war cry and fire. Dutch disables the creature’s cloaking device and inflicts minor injuries but falls into a river, losing his mud cover, and is pinned by the creature. Acknowledging Dutch as a worthy foe and wishing to fight him in equal terms because of the policies of his civilisation, the creature discards its mask and plasma caster and engages him in hand-to-hand combat. Dutch is almost beaten, but manages to crush the creature under a trap’s counterweight. As the creature lies dying, it activates a self-destruct device while laughing maniacally in Billy’s voice. Dutch takes cover just before the device explodes. He is picked up by Philips and Anna in the helicopter.

Predator 02 (1990)

In the record hot summer of 1997, a different Predator arrives in Los Angeles and hunts violent gang members, drawing the attention of the local police force and specifically Lieutenant Harrigan, who pursues the creature as it rampages throughout the city. The creature itself is in turn being hunted by the secretive government task-force OWLF, led by CIA agent Peter Keyes, which wishes to capture it for study.

Predators (2010)

A group of notorious mercenaries and murderers find themselves kidnapped and transported to an alien game preserve jungle planet, where they have to learn to work together in order to fight off a band of Super Predators and other alien creatures stalking them and find a way off this world.

The Predator (2018)

Following the crash of a Predator spaceship on Earth, US Army Ranger Quinn McKenna and a team of PTSD-afflicted soldiers must band together to take down a pair of Predators, including a new genetically enhanced Predator, and prevent an invasion of the planet.

Short Films

On 19 October 2010, Predators was released on home video and included the three prequel short films The Chosen, Moments of Extraction, and Crucified.

The 2015 short fan film, Predator: Dark Ages, follows a group of war-torn Templar knights who are put to the test against a strange beast that stalks the lands of England.

On 25 February 2016, Loot Crate (commonly known for producing and distributing various officially licensed merchandise based on the Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus brands) released a VR 360° short film titled Predator vs. Colonial Marines directed by Julian Higgins and written by Peter Weidman in which a troop of Colonial Marines storm a Weyland-Yutani warehouse and encounter the deadly alien hunter.

The Predator was released on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD formats on 18 December 2018 in America, alongside the short film The Predator Holiday Special, in which Santa Claus and his elves and reindeer encounter the Predators at the North Pole.


In 1994, Robert Rodriguez wrote an early script of the third Predator film for 20th Century Fox while he was working on Desperado. Rodriguez presented the script to the studio, but was denied when they realised that the budget would be too large. Fifteen years later, the studio decided to go with his script. Nimród Antal had talked about a direct sequel to Predators and said he would love to do one. Rodriguez has said that he has interest in a sequel because of the large number of potential ideas the Predator planet setting provides. In 2010, Rodriguez confirmed that there would eventually be a Predators sequel. Adrien Brody expressed interest in reprising his role.

Producer John Davis said that The Predator will set up two sequels that he hoped Shane Black will return to direct. Concerning this, Black stated that “I would love to say we’ve been planning a trilogy, but I take one day at a time, in motion-picture terms that’s one movie at a time.” With the sale of 21st Century Fox’s assets, including 20th Century Fox studios, to The Walt Disney Company the future of the series has been called into question, however Bob Iger has confirmed that certain properties will remain R-rated.


  • Predator (Character):
    • Kevin Peter Hall (Predator and Predator 02).
    • Peter Cullen (Voice) (Predator).
    • Hal Rayle (Voice) (Predator 02).
    • Derek Mears (Classic Predator) (Predators).
    • Brian Steele (Falconer and Berserker) (Predators).
    • Carey L. Jones (Tracker) (Predators).
    • Brian A. Prince (Fugitive) (The Predator).
    • Brian A. Prince and Kyle Strauts (Ultimate Predator) (The Predator).
  • Predator:
    • Alan ‘Dutch’ Schaefer … Arnold Schwarzenegger.
    • Anna Gonsalves … Elpidia Carrillo.
    • Sean Hayes … Jake Busey.
    • George Dillon … Carl Weathers.
    • Jorge ‘Poncho’ Ramirez … Richard Chaves.
    • Mac Eliot … Bill Duke.
    • Blain Cooper … Jesse Ventura.
    • Billy Sole … Sonny Landham.
    • Rick Hawkins … Shane Black.
    • Homer L. Phillips … R.G. Armstrong.
  • Predator 02:
    • Anna Gonsalves … Elpidia Carrillo.
    • Michael ‘Mike’ R. Harrigan … Danny Glover.
    • Peter Jacob Keyes … Gary Busey.
    • Danny ‘Danny Boy’ Archuleta … Ruben Blades.
    • Leona Cantrell … Maria Conchita Alonso.
    • Garber … Adam Baldwin.
    • Jerry Lambert … Bill Paxton.
    • King Willie … Calvin Lockhart.
    • Anthony ‘Tony’ Pope … Morton Downey Jr..
    • Phil Heinemann … Robert Davi.
    • Captain B. Pilgrim … Kent McCord.
  • Predators:
    • Royce … Adrien Brody.
    • Isabelle … Alice Braga.
    • Edwin … Topher Grace.
    • Walter Stans … Walton Goggins.
    • Nikolai Mikhalovich Fedorov … Oleg Taktarov.
    • Hanzo … Louis Ozawa Changchien.
    • Mombasa … Mahershala Ali.
    • Chuchilo … Danny Trejo.
    • Ronald Noland … Laurence Fishburne.
  • The Predator:
    • Cullen … Francoise Yip.
    • Quinn McKenna … Boyd Holbrook.
    • Casey Bracket … Olivia Munn.
    • Gaylord ‘Nebraska’ Williams … Trevante Rhodes.
    • Rory McKenna … Jacob Tremblay.
    • William ‘Will’ Traeger … Sterling K. Brown.
    • Coyle … Keegan-Michael Key.
    • Lynch … Alfie Allen.
    • Nettles … Augusto Aguilera.
    • Baxley … Thomas Jane.
    • Emma McKenna … Yvonne Strahovski.
    • Ellen Louise Riply and Rebecca ‘Newt’ Jorden … Breanna Watkins (Alternative Ending).

Home Media

  • Predator: Special Edition Collection:
    • A DVD released on 18 April 2005 containing Predator and Predator 02.
  • Predator: The Ultimate DVD Collection:
    • A DVD released on 17 November 2006 containing Predator, Predator 02, and Alien vs. Predator.
  • Predator Collection:
    • A DVD/Blu-ray released on 19 October 2010 containing Predator and Predator 02.
  • Predator Trilogy – Mask Edition:
    • A Blu-ray released on 29 December 2010 containing Predator, Predator 02, and Predators.
  • Predator Trilogy:
    • A DVD released on 04 March 2011 containing Predator, Predator 02, and Predators.
  • Predator Triple Feature:
    • A Blu-ray/4K UHD Blu-ray released on 07 October 2014 containing Predator, Predator 02, and Predators.
  • Predator: 3-Movie Collection:
    • A Blu-ray/4K UHD Blu-ray released on 07 August 2018 containing Predator, Predator 02, and Predators.
  • Predator: 4-Movie Collection:
    • A Blu-ray/4K UHD Blu-ray released on 18 December 2018 containing Predator, Predator 02, Predators, and The Predator.

Other Media

There are a variety spin-offs in other media, including a large number of crossovers with the Alien franchise.


  • Movie Novelisations:
    • Predator by Paul Monette.
    • Predator 02 by Simon Hawke.
    • The Predator: Hunters and Hunted by James A. Moore.
    • The Predator by Christopher Golden & Mark Morris.
  • Original Novels:
    • Predator: Concrete Jungle by Nathan Archer.
    • Predator: Cold War by Nathan Archer.
    • Predator: Big Game by Sandy Schofield.
    • Predator: Forever Midnight by John Shirley.
    • Predator: Flesh and Blood by Michael Jan Friedman.
    • Predator: Turnabout by Steve Perry.
    • Predator: South China Sea by Jeff VanderMeer.
    • Predator: Prey to the Heavens by John Arcudi and Javier Saltares.
    • The Predator: Hunters and Hunted by James A. Moore.
    • Predator: Stalking Shadows by James A. Moore.
  • Comic Books:
    • Dark Horse Comics published various lines based on the franchise.
    • The Fire and Stone (2014–2015) and Life and Death (2016–2017) series further explored what happened in the Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus universe following the events of the 2012 film Prometheus.
  • Other Books:
    • Other books expanding this fictional universe has been released through the years, and also such that depict the background to the films, including works by special effects company Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated (ADI) which has worked with the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator films.
      • Predator The Official Movie Special (2018).
      • The Predator: The Art and Making of the Film (2018).

Video Games

  • Predator (1987).
  • Predator 02 (1990).
  • Predator 02 (1992).
  • Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005).
  • Predator: Hunting Grounds (2020).
  • The Predator also was a downloadable character in Mortal Kombat X (2015).


The Predators have appeared in two virtual pinball tables.

  • The first one is a pinball adaptation of the first two Predator films, one of four pinball tables in the 1999 computer game Sci-Fi Pinball, with the other three tables being based on Aliens, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Fly, three other Fox horror films.
  • The second one is a loose pinball adaptation of Alien vs. Predator, developed by Zen Studios and available as an add-on pack for Zen Pinball 2, Pinball FX 2 and Pinball FX 3 on 26 April 2016.
  • Based on the premise and setting (though not the plot) of that film, this table is played entirely from the perspective of a Predator ascending the ranks to become a seasoned warrior and Alien hunter, with two of the film’s human leads being the table’s announcers.
  • In the early 2010s, pinball manufacturer SKIT-B attempted to create an unauthorised physical pinball adaptation of the Predator franchise, without securing licensing rights from franchise owner 20th Century Fox.
  • After suffering from legal problems, the pinball table was cancelled on 24 March 2015, and thus, no physical pinball table about Predators exists to this day.

Board Games

Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game (2015).

Action Figures

During the 1980s and 1990s, Halcyon Models released seventeen Alien model kits, beginning in 1987, as well as a Predator 02 model kit in 1994.

In 1994, Kenner released a collection of action figures known as Predator, following the Aliens line in 1992. This line was initially intended to promote the now cancelled animated series Operation: Aliens and in later lines also included Predator and Aliens vs. Predator. Four series were released until production ceased in 1995.

In 1996, Galoob released the Micro Machines Aliens and Predator lines of scale miniature toys with production having ceased in 1997.

In 1998, Kay Bee Toys released the Kenner produced Aliens: Hive Wars line featuring Aliens, Marines, and Predators. More figures, including a female Predator and an Alien/Predator/Smash Mason 3-pack, were designed for this series but never released as part of the line.

Since their foundation in 2000, Hot Toys have carried the right to produce various Alien, Predator, and Alien vs. Predator figures.

NECA has produced various lines of Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus figures for several years.

In 2013, a line of ReAction Figures Alien and Predator toys were produced.

Originally having produced figures based on the 2013 video game Aliens: Colonial Marines, Hiya Toys has also released figures based on Predator, Predator 02, and Alien: Covenant.

Funko Pop! Vinyl currently produces ongoing lines of Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus figures.

Minimates produces ongoing lines of Aliens, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus figures.

Loot Crate and Titans Vinyl Figures have collaborated in producing several figures and other merchandise based on characters and creatures from the Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus universe.

Eaglemoss Collections currently produces the ongoing Alien & Predator line of figures based on characters and creatures from all twelve films in the Alien, Predator, Alien vs. Predator, and Prometheus universe.

Alien vs. Predator Franchise

Inspired by the Dark Horse Comics series, the filmmakers of Predator 02 (1990) incorporated an easter egg in which an Alien skull was seen in a Predator trophy case.

Expansions upon this shared universe between the Alien and Predator franchises followed through comics and video games, leading up to the launch of a film franchise with the release of Alien vs. Predator in 2004, followed by Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem in 2007.

The franchise has spawned various comics, novels, video games, and other merchandise based upon or inspired by the films

A third film has been variously rumored since the production of Requiem. In mid-2018, Shane Black, the director of The Predator, expressed his belief that a third Alien vs. Predator could still happen, indicating the studio’s interest in both franchises.


  • Predatoroonops is a genus of spider named in honour of the Predator from the eponymous 1987 film, as the researchers found the spiders’ chelicerae similar to the creature’s unmasked face, with all the specific names of the genus referencing the film’s cast, crew or fictional elements.


The Alien vs. Predator franchise combines the continuities of the Alien franchise with the Predator franchise and consists of two films as well as various series of comics, books, and video games.

Predator Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 1987 to 2018.
  • Running Time: 107-108 minutes.
  • Rating: R and 15.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link


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