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PREDATORS

Meet The (New) Predators
Having lined up an impressive cast, it fell to the filmmakers to make their other-worldly "stars” worthy of the legacy of the original film. "I believe what really made ‘Predator' great was that the human characters went hand-in-hand with the alien Predator, because they are the audience's entry point to the movie,” comments Rodriguez. "They have to identify with the human characters enough so that if the humans show fear then they would show fear against what they're seeing. So, we really had to nail the human characters in order to make the Predator character actually stronger. One without the other doesn't work. So, we really concentrated on not just having human characters that were great, but then making our Predators actually also have terrific and distinct personalities so that they weren't just the ‘others.' They are actually characters in their own right.”

While the human stars bonded during the early weeks of shooting in Hawaii, the cast of Predators and other creatures were prepared by an extensive team of artists and technicians for shooting in Austin. Longtime Rodriguez collaborators Greg Nicotero and his partner Howard Berger, partners in KNB Effects Group, Inc. - were charged with creating the alien creatures and the special make-up effects. "This is a really exciting show for us. We're actually creating the title characters of the film, and multiples of them,” comments Nicotero.

The surviving humans make the stunning discovery that the "original” Predator has fallen victim to this new "upgrade,” whom they realize is out to be the supreme hunter… and the ultimate Predator. So, in addition to bringing back the affectionately-called "Classic” Predator, KNB created three new Berserker Predators - Dog Handler, Falconer, and Mr. Black. These represent bigger, longer, leaner, and deadlier versions of the species that audiences remember from previous films. Other creatures that expand the Predators mythology - including the alien Ram Runner and the Predators' Hunting Dogs - were also devised.

Rodney J. Brunet, Chris Olivia, and Alex Toader of Troublemaker Digital (TMS Digital), plus conceptual artist Joe Pepe, began early drawings that were fine-tuned by the designers at KNB. A team of sixty-two people at KNB – designers, artists, sculptors, mold-makers, and painters - worked for approximately 13 weeks at their 25,000 square foot facility in Los Angeles.

"Every single one of those people were 100% dedicated to bringing the best possible creatures to life,” states Nicotero. "Shannon Shea, who was basically my lieutenant on this movie, had worked at Stan Winston's company on the original ‘Predator,' so he was really invested in this project.” (Shea and property master Tommy "Tom” Tomlinson were the two "legacy” crew members, who had also worked on the original film in 1987.)

"The time frame was pretty insane if you really think about the level of work,” explains Nicotero. "Every single piece of about sixteen total creatures (including doubles) had to be created from scratch. Every single dreadlock, piece of jewelry, mandible… every single element of these creatures had to designed and manufactured and fit together.”

The classic and new Predators are humanoid aliens who were created largely by practical state-of-the- art creature suits. "Being able to see the original Predator in our story had a nostalgia factor, because you hadn't really seen him like that since the first movie,” comments Rodriguez. "We just wanted it to feel like it evolved – to bring back the original, plus a new updated, nastier, meaner breed.”

"Robert and Nimrod were really specific about our Classic Predator being the ‘cassette tape' version and the new Predator being the iPod version, so [the latter] needed to be sleek and elegant and fierce,” comments Nicotero. "So instantly I had ideas of bringing the a

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