[Update: The film is also now adding Thomas Jane and Room breakout Jacob Tremblay to the ensemble. The latter casting is especially exciting, as Black has proven time and again that he has a knack for writing and directing young performers to hilarious and tremendous results (see: Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys). Tremblay will be playing the son of Boyd Holbrook’s character, an autistic young boy who is bullied in school, but who becomes key to the fight against the aliens due to his ability to learn languages.]
The Predator just keeps getting better and better. As if a Predator sequel directed by Shane Black wasn’t enough, Black co-wrote the script with Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad), has promised an R-rating, and asserts the film will be “scary, funny, and wondrous.” And now, as casting continues, the film has added a stellar talent to its ensemble in Trevante Rhodes. The actor is best known for being one of three actors to inhabit the role of Chiron in the stunning Moonlight, and now THR reports that he’s signing on to star in The Predator opposite Boyd Holbrook.
While specific details are being kept under wraps, Rhodes will play the best friend of Holbrook’s character, and both are playing ex-Marines who are spurred into action when they come into contact with the titular creature. Olivia Munn is also set to star, and while Benicio Del Toro dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, this thing is shaping up really nicely.
Rhodes previously starred on the TV series If Loving You Is Wrong and had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it turn in the Westworld pilot. Most recently, he signed on to star opposite Chris Hemsworth in Horse Soldiers, but The Predator will likely be first as filming is aiming to begin next month.
THR still asserts the film takes place in the suburbs, but Black told us directly that the film does not revolve around a suburban setting. Previously, the filmmaker told us that the film’s cast will somewhat resemble the ensemble dynamic of the original film:
“I think it’ll be interesting to get a group of credible guys—the hallmark of the first one is you have guys together that are kinda funny and self-referential and also very tough. I don’t know that we’re going to deviate over much from that, but there are at least a couple of factors that we’ve deliberately chosen to make it not just that group of buff, tough guys.”
Rhodes gave a jaw-dropping performance in Moonlight, so it’ll be exciting to see him stretch in a film like The Predator.
Update: The Predator has picked up another excellent castmember with the addition of Key and Peele star Keegan-Michael Key. Per THR, Key will play “Key will play a man who teams up with Holbrook and Rhodes to fight the creatures,” which is excellent news. This either means that Black just picked up an ace-in-the-hole comedic talent to deliver his trademark droll dialogue or we’re going to get to see Key stretch his type a bit and play a tough guy. Either way is exciting, and if we’re lucky, maybe we’ll get both.