New Predator Movie Expands The Franchise's Universe And Canon

Aliens Vs. Predator is safe... for now.


With a fourth Predator movie--sixth if you count the two Alien crossovers--coming out this September, fans of the franchise are wondering if it will in fact reboot the series. According to one of the stars of The Predator, it is a standalone film that doesn't undo anything within the Predator Universe.

Keegan-Michael Key, who plays ex-Marine Coyle in The Predator, recently discussed the plot and how the movie fits in to the rest of the franchise's universe. Many have been under the assumption that the film is a reboot of the entire franchise, wiping away previous installments, but this is not the case.

"What we're doing is a chapter of a larger story that we could call The Predator Universe," Key told CNET. "There are five movies in the Predator canon, and this will be the sixth. You could watch them in any order you want because they all exist in their own right."

Every Predator film brings something new to the table, reinventing itself for a new audience, so it doesn't necessarily need a reboot. Each story is about the hunter and the hunted, and that can be told numerous ways. Unlike the original film, The Predator will not take place in the jungle. As you can see in the trailer above, it seems to take place in North America; however, there are still people hiding from the Predator in the forest.

Not only will this movie stand on its own, but the two AvP movies, according to Key, exist within this canon. The first Predator movie was released in 1987 and followed a team of commandos in Central America who were being hunted by an alien. Since then, it has spawned numerous sequels, a toy line, and a few video games, including the 1994 arcade game Alien Vs. Predator.

Additionally, Key stated that in the movie he and Thomas Jane play ex-Marines who team up with a scientist--played by Olivia Munn--and she's developing technology to find alien life. "We become a kind of dirty half dozen of burned-out soldiers suffering from PTSD," explained Key. "[Director] Shane Black sent us a memo that was quite poetically written prior to shooting, and the gist of the memo was, 'I want a bunch of knights--a bunch of knights who were rejects from the Round Table--knocking the rust off their armor and going back into battle.' It's not about a bunch of heroes that are at the top of the game. It's about people who have been through life and are at the end of their careers. And for them to pick up their mantle again is part of the excitement of the film."

This isn't director Shane Black's first time dealing with this alien race; he appeared as Hawkins in the original Predator in '87. Black spoke to SlashFilm about expanding the franchise through the new movie: "[W]e just tried to take the existing mythology and take it a step further," explained Black. "Ask some questions about why? Why Predators do what they do? What would be the next step for them? How do we up the stakes so that there’s not just a single Predator hunting a group of soldiers?"

The Predator comes to theaters on September 14.

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