Back in March, Dark Horse Comics announced plans to publish a trio of "Predators" comics that would provide a prequel, adaptation and sequel to the upcoming film directed by Robert Rodriguez. While the news came as no surprise to comic fans given the publisher's long and celebrated history with the "Predator" license, the assertion that Rodriguez would be directly involved in the comics seemed to indicate that they wouldn't be your run-of-the-mill movie tie-ins.
Speaking exclusively with MTV News about the comics, Rodriguez offered up some thoughts on the origins of the project, his involvement, and why the Predator aliens are so interesting to him.
"I love comics, and I've known Dark Horse and [Dark Horse publisher] Mike Richardson since my 'Desperado' days, when we had an office next to each other," said Rodriguez of how the "Predators" comics came about. "I just knew there was room to expand on these characters, and I appreciate their history with the films and the comics."
"Dark Horse has kept Predators out there for a long time, so I thought their part in the movie should be more significant than just copying the screenplay, and they didn't disappoint," he added.
According to Rodriguez, the screenplay for "Predators" was finished before the ink was dry on the comics deal, so everything "happened pretty fast" with the various titles. He handed over the story notes and character bios, and the wheels began turning... quickly.
"That brought them up to speed pretty fast, and then I laid out what I'd like to see story-wise in a phone call," he explained. "After that, I just corresponded with [Dark Horse editor] Scott Allie by email when changes were being made, and when he needed help on something, like the monster design in the sequel."
And it's those monsters, said Rodriguez, that make for "really good, colorful, tense adventures." Calling them "nice, ugly designs," the filmmaker said it's their enigmatic nature that makes them such a fascinating element of the previous "Predator" films as well as his upcoming contribution to their history.
"These aliens are a great foil for bringing out the ferocity of humans," he told MTV News. "When you fight something stronger than you are, you get to see exactly how strong you are — you push your strength to the limit. When you face something that's just pure ferocity, a pure predator, your own ferocity can let loose, and that's interesting to see in a lot of the characters that have been pitted against Predators over the years."
As for the Dark Horse comics, Rodriguez offered some specific details about what the various "Predators" stories will add to the movie and overall story.
"[They'll provide] more story, and a lot more insight into Isabelle and Royce," he revealed. "You wind up with a 160-page graphic novel, only about 60 pages of which is the movie. So it's a lot more story."
"Predators" #1 (the prequel miniseries) hit shelves this week, with issue #2 arriving June 16.
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