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Casting The (Human) Predators
In the story, a man plummets through the void at terminal velocity, his parachute deploying only seconds before certain death. Oscar® winner Adrien Brody was cast as ex-military man Royce, the reluctant leader of the humans, who begins the movie with no idea of where he is or the circumstances that brought him there. "In my movies, I always try to ‘cast up' and just get the best actors possible,” explains Rodriguez. "When I was doing ‘Sin City,' a comic book movie, I got Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro and Mickey Rourke. It just elevates the material to a point that it can't be ignored or dismissed as ‘that's just a comic book movie.' It has much more gravitas. So with this, we have an Oscar-winning actor, Adrien, wanting to be in an action movie and give everything that he's got to pull off the performance and make the world believable. That's a fresh choice. You don't want to constantly be reminded that you're watching a movie. You need actors that ground the film in a reality, because our story is so fantastical. The difference is monumental. You suddenly believe everything everyone is saying and doing.”

Inevitable comparisons to Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Dutch” role in "Predator” surfaced almost the moment Brody was cast as the black-ops mercenary Royce. "We had no intentions of replicating Arnold's character [in PREDATORS],” says Antal. "I think we would have been doing the film and the audience a disservice. Royce is an impressive role for Adrien. I think people are going to be very happy with his work in the film.”

"You can't compete with Arnold Schwarzenegger, so why are you going to go that direction? It's much better to do something the audience isn't expecting,” adds Rodriguez. "Our strategy was to cast the best actors. There wasn't any arm-twisting. You tell people they're going to be in a ‘Predator' movie that is going to be something new and different and bold, and they come running.”

Physically and emotionally, the actors had to be believable. "Early on, we all knew the most important thing is to have great actors,” adds Antal. "When you're making any film, you just have to have someone who brings a certain caliber of performance. I can make anybody look tough. I cannot teach them how to act. Robert and I were just really excited about Adrien because he's a phenomenal actor. He understands the actor's job is to become whatever you need them to become.”

"Today's soldiers look like me,” comments Brody. "Movies today have changed a bit and are more rooted in reality. Soldiers are not super-human. I think that's part of what attracted me to this. I wanted to create a very flawed and tragic hero for the film. Royce is essentially a loner. In a sense, that's his great strength as a killer and his great weakness as a human being. In this piece, he is effectively asked to make a choice to lead people and care about those people -- things he has convinced himself will get him killed or, at the very least he will be constitutionally incapable of doing. So, we essentially liked the idea of creating a character who had to make a choice that ran counter to his basic and inherent character.”

Another celebrated actor, Laurence Fishburne, portrays Noland, a recluse human found surviving on the planet. His hidden cave contains numerous artifacts and weapons. Noland's very existence on the alien planet provides hints of a rich off-world history of the Predators. "Once you've set up this planet, there's a lot that can happen there, and once you've seen characters like Noland, you know there's a lot of potential stories to tell,” says Rodriguez.

Screenwriter Michael Finch adds, "Noland is a guy who can give us a whole bit of the history and can perform a very specific function and that function is this: demonstrate to these guys that dying on this planet may not be the worst thing that can happen to<

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