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Relentless action amps thrilling hunt in ‘The Predator’

From veteran action director Shane Black and producer John Davis (who also produced the original and subsequent Predator films), man’s most formidable adversary once again reaches Earth in “The Predator”.

In the latest movie, Predators have been coming to Earth and hunting humans for some time now, and it’s no longer quite the secret it was. The government has established a defense agency dedicated solely to protecting humans from a Predator incursion. Project Stargazer was initially conceived of as a high-tech, top-secret government lab in which captured Predators could be studied. Scribe Fred Dekker says, “But in the back-story, the government needed some kind of plausible deniability, so they put it in the hands of the CIA.” But when Traeger, played by Sterling K. Brown, takes over operations, he privatizes Stargazer to profit from Predator technology.

Davis recalls what first drew him to the Predator, more than 30 years ago: “It was the idea of the hunter. It was the idea of this creature from another planet that hunted the greatest game and would go from planet-to-planet for that sport, and the American Commando and group of guys in the jungle that represented that. And in the end, he was outsmarted and defeated, so even though the Predator had great brawn and weaponry, there was an ingenuity and a desire to survive in man that made it a fair fight.”

Olivia Munn, left, and Boyd Holbrook star in Twentieth Century Fox’ “The Predator.”

In addition to writing a slate of sensational movies, including Lethal Weapon, and directing films such as Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, director Shane Black is also an actor, perhaps best known for the role of Hawkins in Predator, the 1987 classic directed by John McTiernan. But, says Black, “The Predator in this film is the deadliest and scariest one yet.”

The director brings forth Boyd Holbrook as Quinn McKenna, a retired Special Forces army ranger turned mercenary in the thick of relentless thrilling action. He says, “The original Predator was legendary, so it’s an honor and a privilege to get to come back with Shane after 30 years and reinvent this thing.”

Because of the training he’d begun to shoot his previous film, Holbrook was in great shape. He recalls that while working on “Logan,” he met a stunt man. “He was an ex-sniper out of SEALs. McKenna is Special Forces Army Ranger, but you’re splitting hairs at that point. I was fortunate enough to hang out with the guy and he got me on the beach at 5 AM, in the water, running, and training. I did that for a couple months. What I truly believe is that the preparation is all about the conditioning of that person. There’s a gauntlet of things that make up these people. I thought it was really important to get that sensibility of how these guys have this morbid sense of humor. These guys are really a fascinating group of men.”

“The Predator” is now showing in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox.

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