A fifth Predator film, set before the other instalments in the sci-fi action franchise, is currently three-quarters of the way through production, its producers have confirmed.
The prequel — titled Skull — is being directed by Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane, Black Mirror, The Boys) and will show the Predator's first journey to Earth. In a series first, it will feature a female lead — rumoured to be played by Legion's Amber Midthunder — and is reported to be set in Civil War-era North America.
Talking to Collider while promoting their new film Jungle Cruise, producers John Davis and John Fox compared the film to Alejandro González Iñárritu's award-winning revisionist Western The Revenant.
Read more: Is Predator 2 a misunderstand masterpiece?
"It goes back to what made the original Predator movie work," said Davis, referring to the 1987 film that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. "It's the ingenuity of a human being who won't give up, who's able to observe and interpret, basically being able to beat a stronger, more powerful, well-armed force."
"It actually has more akin to The Revenant than it does any film in the Predator canon. You'll know what I mean once you see it," adds Fox.
2015's The Revenant saw Leonardo DiCaprio's fur trapper Hugh Glass embarking on an epic journey of revenge after being left for dead when he's mauled by a grizzly bear.
The producers of Skull revealed that Trachtenberg had been developing the film since 2017, and it was conceived while the previous instalment — 2018's critically maligned The Predator — was in production.
Read more: Arnie's planned The Predator cameo revealed
Davis promised the new film would go one better than all of the series' previous sequels (and the Alien v Predator spin-offs) had failed, by living up to the 1987 original.
"I feel like the first one was a wonderful, interesting movie and I know what worked about it... I think this is a worthy complement to the first one. It's going to be as good," the producer said.
Read more: A brief history of Predator
Skull was originally developed by Trachtenberg in secret with no links to the Predator series revealed in early plot details. According to fansite AVP Galaxy, the film will follow the story of Kee: “a Comanche woman who goes against gender norms and traditions to become a warrior... When danger threatens them all – Kee sets out to prove that she is as capable as any young warrior.”
Skull has yet to be officially announced by 20th Century Studios, but is likely to be released in 2022.
Watch a trailer for 2018's The Predator below.