The Predator (also known as Yautja or Hish-Qu-Ten) is a fictional extraterrestrial species featured in the Predator science-fiction franchise, characterized by its trophy hunting of other species for sport. First introduced in 1987 as the main antagonist of the film Predator, the Predator creatures returned in the sequels Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010), the upcoming Shane Black installment The Predator (2018), and the crossover franchise Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).
The Predator has been the subject of numerous novels, video games, and comic books, both on their own and as part of the Alien vs. Predator crossover imprint. Although a definitive name for the species is not given in the films, the names Predators, Yautja (E-wat-ya), Hish-qu-Ten have been alternatively used in the expanded universe, suggesting that two unique "Predator-species" exist. Created by brothers Jim and John Thomas, the Predators are depicted as large, sapient and sentient humanoid creatures who possess advanced technology, such as active camouflage, directed-energy weapons, and interstellar travel.
The Predator design is credited to special effects artist Stan Winston. While flying to Japan with Aliens director James Cameron, Winston, who had been hired to design the Predator, was doing concept art on the flight. Cameron saw what he was drawing and said, "I always wanted to see something with mandibles." Winston then included them in his designs. Stan Winston's studio created all of the physical effects for Predator and Predator 2, creating the body suit for actor Kevin Peter Hall and the mechanical facial effects. The studio was hired after attempts to create a convincing monster (including Jean-Claude Van Damme wearing a much different body suit) had failed. Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended Winston after his experience working on The Terminator.
The Predator was originally designed with a long neck, a dog-like head and a single eye. This design was abandoned when it became apparent that the jungle locations would make shooting the complex design too difficult. Originally, the studio contracted the makeup effects for the alien from Richard Edlund's Boss Film Creature Shop. However, problems filming the alien in Mexico led the makeup effects responsibilities to be given to Stan Winston. According to former Boss Films make-up supervisor Steve Johnson, the makeup failed because of an impractical design by McTiernan that included 12-inch length extensions that gave the Predator a backward bent satyr-leg. The design did not work in the jungle locations. After six weeks of shooting in the jungles of Palenque, Mexico, the production had to shut down so that Winston could make a new Predator. This took eight months and then filming resumed for five weeks, ending in February 1987.
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