The Predator franchise has been quiet for a while. 2010’s Predators was modestly successful in terms of box office and reception, but it wasn’t quite enough to totally reinvigorate the series. That is (hopefully) about to change as director Shane Black gears up to shoot the latest in the series, simply titled The Predator. As the movie races toward production, the cast is starting to take shape and the latest addition comes in the form of comedian Keegan-Michael Key.
The Hollywood Reporter is claiming that the Key half of the sketch comedy duo Key and Peele is in final negotiations for a role in The Predator. Keegan-Michael Key may seem like an unlikely, if very welcome addition to the ensemble cast, which is starting to take shape. It was just announced that Moonlight star Trevante Rhodes will also be joining the cast, alongside Olivia Munn and Logan star Boyd Holbrook. Originally, Fox had their sights set on Benicio Del Toro, but scheduling got in the way of that happening, so the role went to Holbrook instead.
As for Keegan-Michael Key, he has been making some headway in terms of breaking into the world of movies ever since Comedy Central decided to bring Key and Peele to a close. He, along with his comedy partner Jordan Peele, wrote and starred in the comedy Keanu last year, which unfortunately didn’t do all that well at the box office. For whatever it’s worth, the movie did feature a good amount of action, which might have helped prove that he could handle something like The Predator. That is good, because according to THR he will be one of the chosen few who has to fight the legendary monster this time around. Keegan-Michael Key has also had supporting roles in Tomorrowland and Vacation in addition to starring in Fox’s recent comedy Why Him? It also probably didn’t hurt that he starred in the indie Don’t Think Twice, which was one of the better-reviewed movies of 2016.
The original Predator remains a true action classic and has yet to really top that initial entry, despite quite a few attempts. Predator 2 has found an audience in the years since its release, but it tanked at the box office and was not what one would call a critical darling. Then came the Alien Vs. Predator movies, which despite having a seemingly bullet-proof concept, really didn’t work all that well. Especially in the case of Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem, which currently has a measly 12 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. 2010’s Predators was something of a middle-of-the-road affair, so that didn’t quite give Predator fans what they have been waiting for, even if it was enjoyable to some degree.
Shane Black starred in the original Predator, so he has some personal ties to the franchise. Having him direct and co-write the movie is no doubt a credit to its potential. Outside of the new additions to the cast and who is directing it, we still don’t know much about The Predator. A teaser poster was revealed early last year and Fox has announced that the movie will be released in IMAX but beyond that, we don’t know much else, but it has been said by Shane Black that it will be “scary” and R-rated, which is good. There was a report that claimed the movie would be taking place in the suburbs, but Shane Black debunked that fairly quickly. The Predator is set for release on February 9, 2018.