Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and written by brothers Jim and John Thomas. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of an elite military rescue team on a mission to save hostages in guerrilla-held territory in an unspecified country in Central America.[notes 1] Kevin Peter Hall co-stars as the eponymous antagonist, a technologically advanced form of extra-terrestrial life secretly stalking and hunting the team. Predator was written in 1984, under the working title of Hunter. Filming ran from March-June 1986 and creature effects were devised by Stan Winston.
The film’s budget was around $15 million. 20th Century Fox released it in the United States on June 12, 1987, where it grossed $59,735,548. Initial critical reaction was mixed; criticism focused on the thin plot. In subsequent years, critics’ attitudes toward the film became positive, and it has appeared on a number of “best of” lists and is now considered one of the best action films of all time. It spawned three sequels, Predator 2 (1990), Predators (2010) and The Predator (2018). A crossover with the Alien franchise produced the Alien vs. Predator films, which includes Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).
Commitments by Schwarzenegger delayed the start of filming by several months. The delay gave Silver enough time to secure a minor rewrite from screenwriter David Peoples. Principal photography eventually began in the jungles of Palenque, Mexico, near Villahermosa, Tabasco, during the second week of March 1986, but most of the film was shot in Mismaloya, Mexico. Much of the material dealing with the unit’s deployment in the jungle was completed in a few short weeks and both Silver and Gordon were pleased by the dailies provided by McTiernan. On Friday, April 25, production halted so that Schwarzenegger could get to his wedding on time, flying to Hyannis Port in a Learjet chartered by Silver. Schwarzenegger was married on April 26, 1986, to Maria Shriver, and honeymooned for only three days while the second unit completed additional lensing. The production resumed filming on May 12 and ended in late June 1986.