The Predator comes out in theatres soon, and it’s a franchise with a long history. Although all the movies can technically be watched on their own, it always helps to know what’s happened before. Here’s all you need to know about the other Predator movies before watching The Predator on the big screen:
The first Predator film that launched the franchise was a full-on 80s action film and starred one of the top action stars of the time – Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film followed an elite military team in Central American jungles on a mission who come to realize that they’re being hunted by the Predator – an alien creature that was technologically advanced. It used thermal imaging to hunt humans for sport and kept trophies from its kills. It had a simple plot, but the Predator captured the imagination of many fans. The film was a massive hit at the box office and has become a favorite of Hollywood action movie fans over the years.
Predator 2 (1990)
Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t be a part of the sequel due to conflicts with the filming of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Predators 2 got a whole new ensemble cast which included Danny Glover, Ruben Blades, Gary Busey, María Conchita Alonso, and Bill Paxton. The only character from the first film was Anna Gonsalves played by Elpidia Carrillo and she only makes a cameo appearance. Kevin Peter Hall played the Predator once again, although this was a different creature than the one found in the Central American jungles. Predators 2 follows a new creature that lands in L.A. and begins hunting gang members while being hunted by a secret government task force who wants to capture and study it.
Predators continued the tradition of having a new cast which this time included Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, and Laurence Fishburne. The film follows a group of skilled warriors who wake up in the middle of parachuting down to a jungle. They soon realize that they’re on an unfamiliar planet that’s a game reserve for aliens where they’re being hunted and have to team up to survive. It didn’t have any references to the earlier movies, but it did go back to the action-fueled rampage of the first Predator film and was praised for being true to its roots.
The Predator (2018)
The latest Predator film is being directed by Shane Black who is going to put some new energy into the franchise. He’s the director behind The Nice Guys and Iron Man 3, has written films like Lethal Weapon and Last Action Hero, and he even played a minor role in the first Predator film. Black has co-written the script for The Predator and this time the creature has evolved and is a better hunter than ever. Read more about the film here.
Besides the three Predator films, there were also two crossover films with the Alien franchise. There was an easter egg in Predators 2 which referenced Alien and the crossover eventually happened with Alien vs. Predator in 2004, in which an expedition near the Antarctic leads a group of humans to be caught between the battle of the two alien species. Its sequel, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, released in 2007 – which featured the Predator-Alien hybrid, Predalien. The crossovers form their own franchise, but due to the poor reviews of the sequel, there might not be another one.