'The Predator: The Hunt' |  Remember the classic 'The Predator' (1987) - which turns 35 in 2022

This Friday, August 5th, fans were honored and can finally check out the latest copy of the franchise The predatorentitled price in the original. This is the first time that a film in the franchise does not receive the title Predator in the original – since here in Brazil those responsible could not avoid it and took a Predator: The Hunt. And for the first time, the franchise will also bet on a more minimalist content, avoiding theaters and orchestrating its debut for streaming platforms. Yes, this is a brave new world, but the move by Disney (now the owner of 20th Century Studios) is more related to the underperformance of the latest intergalactic hunter films – in particular the 2018 film.

The new film, directed by Dan Trachtenberg, goes back 300 years, to show one of the first Predator “hunts” on Earth, facing here a Comanche tribe, known to be Native Americans with a lot of experience and talent for hunting. In particular, this is a story of growth and overcoming of the young Naru, character of the indigenous Amber Midthunder. In honor of the new feature by one of the most beloved villains in pop culture, the alien with rastafarian hair, who has already attracted all kinds of praise from the specialized press, we decided to go back in time too, but only 35 years in the past, to revisit the the creature’s first appearance on the big screen – which resulted in the success The predator (1987), action vehicle for the muscular Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Will you face it? The team of brucutus led by the greatest of them: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The predator (1987) is one of the most iconic films of the 80’s and definitely one of the most defining of the big guy’s career. Schwarzenegger. In the plot, the Austrian star is the leader of an elite military team, the type that performs the missions that no one else could or would be crazy to try. It is clear that in this team we will have all kinds of truculent brucutu, those that are scary just by looking at, figures like Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Sony Landham, Bill Duke, Shane Black and Richard Chavez. Their task is simple: rescue the crew of a helicopter that crashed behind enemy lines in a Central American country, and contained a high-ranking officer. Until then the plot remembers New York escape (1981).

When they arrive at the scene, they realize that the passengers of such a downed helicopter were killed in the most brutal and sadistic way possible, skinned alive and hanging upside down in the woods. They credit the savage act to enemy rebels, which they promptly put an end to – and then The predator gains contours of Rambo 2 – The Mission (1985). But not all is rosy for this tough-as-nails team, and as they take with them a survivor taken hostage by the guerrillas, they also come across a supernatural entity in the forest – whom the prisoner in her guile refers to as “the devil ”. the interesting thing about The predator it is the mystery it makes about the creature. Those who watch the film for the first time without knowing anything about it, can imagine several possibilities, but never really what the story will present.

Lost in the jungle. Arnold’s Crews face a supernatural threat in the forest.

The unknown about the true identity of the being that stalks them is one of the most electrifying elements of the film. Is it really the devil? Is it some folkloric entity from the jungles of Central America? Will it be an infiltrated enemy superspy? This mystery is completely eliminated in the sequels, as we already know exactly what to expect from the threat. Here in the original however, the creature is only actually revealed in the third act of the narrative. What happens is that, at first glance, the forest “comes to life” and eliminates the commands in action one by one, in the most violent ways possible. In the end, only the protagonist of Schwarzenegger and the young prisoner (role of Elpidia Carrillo). The hero then performs a melee with the creature, with neither resorting to weapons.

the script of The predator (1987) was written by the brothers jim and John Thomas. And the idea for the story was born out of a joke about the rival of Schwarzenegger on screens in the 80s, Sylvester Stallone and his most famous character of his career, Rocky. Someone would have jokingly said, “Who is Rocky missing? I think only ET – The Extraterrestrial”. Thus was born the concept of a man in a fight to the death with a creature from another planet. But other elements would be inspiring for this plot. The first one was success. Aliens – The Rescuereleased the previous year and cited by the writers themselves as one of their biggest influences to create The predator. The likeness is easy to pick up: a group of strong, brave, and armed to the teeth marines, facing an extraterrestrial creature (in the case of aliens, several) and being eliminated one by one. In Predator 2 – The Hunt Continues (1990), also written by the duo, they honor their creation by placing the skull of a xenomorph inside the Predator’s ship. It is clear, Alien vs. predator would be its own very successful franchise, spawning toys, games, comics and even eventually movies.

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The second influence admitted by the writers is another film of stallonethe aforementioned Rambo 2 – The Mission (1985), where a guerrilla survives in the forest facing all kinds of enemies. In fact, one of the first ideas for the script would bring the character of Schwarzenegger equally alone in his rescue mission, encountering the creature and then having to face it. The idea was discarded because it was necessary to demonstrate how lethal this opponent could be, and the best way was to eliminate one by one several “Rambos”, until the strongest of them remained. This idea, by the way, had already become the first treatment of the script, rejected by Arnold and rewritten by the brothers. Thomas.

Another of the ideas discarded in previous treatments of the script was the existence of several Predators to face the commands. As if just one wasn’t bad enough. Again, this plan was scrapped in favor of presenting a massive threat from just one Predator. The concept, however, would remain in the minds of Thomas and see the light of day in predator 2 (nineteen ninety). After that, the other films always brought more than one intergalactic hunter into their plots. The third discarded idea was to have a Native American (or indigenous) character as the protagonist. This idea would eventually be adapted to the character Billy (Sony Landham), one of the supporting characters in the feature. And now, as we know, the new The Predator: The Hunt brings an entire cast of this lineage.

This crazy idea of ​​a script that started out merely as speculative went door to door to the biggest studios in Hollywood, always sold as “Alien – The Eighth Passenger (1979) set in the wild”. Eventually, the text would fall into the hands of 20th Century Fox and become one of their hottest properties. The next step was to find a production commander. Although Geoff Murphy (Freejack – The Immortals) was the first choice, and has been linked to the project for a while, The predator ended up in the hands of the then rookie John McTiernanwho only had cult horror on his resume Mortal Delusions (1986) at that time. The predator was his second film, and McTiernan did such a good job that he would soon become Fox’s golden boy, being cast the following year to direct Hard to kill (1988), another action classic. The filmmaker would go on to other great titles such as The Hunt for Red October (nineteen ninety), The Last Great Hero (1993) and Die Hard – Revenge (1995).

Although the idea sold to McTiernan Although “Rocky (or Rambo) meets Alien”, the director liked to think of his film as the classic King Kong (1933). According to the filmmaker, he would describe The predator as follows: “A band of men arrive at an island and go deeper and deeper, and there, they come across what they were chasing, which turns out to be much bigger than they thought, making them have to turn around. and run away”.

For the starring role of Dutch, the death squad leader, the Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger immediately entered the scene. The big ex-mister universe came from significant works in his career, such as the two conan, Terminator and command to kill. The action actor, who had been rising to star status, accepted the project because he envisioned it as a version of a classic he loved and always thought of doing something similar: the western. Seven Men and a Fate (1960). According to Arnold, “It’s a film with a group of guys who have to work together.” A curiosity is that while filming The predator, Schwarzenegger had another project along the same lines in development, the film adaptation of the DC comics Sergeant Rock. The character is a war hero, leader of a platoon. The character’s comic book even appears in The predator (1987), being read by Hawkins (Shane Black). The comic book character’s movie would not succeed.

With a budget of approximately US$15 million, The predator would become the second-biggest opening weekend on its 1987 debut, recouping virtually all of its value—$12 million in cash. The predator was only behind Heavy Duty Cop 2which had debuted nearly a month earlier and scored $26.3 million in a single weekend. The predator ended his career on the world’s big screen with $98. 2 million, ensuring its absolute success. The film would still be nominated for an Oscar for special effects – but it would lose the award to Unusual tripproduction of Steven Spielberg. Other than that, it was included in the American Film Institute’s 2001 list of the 100 most electrifying American films. Today, 35 years after its launch, its legacy continues to bear fruit with the most recent and praised chapter of the saga, while The predator (1987), the original film, remains a modern classic still much loved and talked about. The test of time is the true prize for art.

ps: Both The Predator: The Hunt and The predator (1987) are available in the Star+ collection.

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