According to Nimród Antal and Robert Rodriguez on the commentary, in the script, the character Cuchillo was described as "a guy who looks like Danny Trejo." When Danny Trejo heard this, he called Robert Rodriguez and said, "hey, I heard there's a guy in the script for 'Predators' who looks just like Danny Trejo, and guess what, I look just like Danny Trejo!"
Louis Ozawa insisted his character Hanzo fight using Kendo, as he is a practitioner of the martial art, instead of using Kung Fu, as most Hollywood films do.
Hanzo is missing two fingers on his left hand. The reason that the Yakuza traditionally cut their fingers starting from the left pinkie, is that these fingers have a vital role in controlling a Japanese sword, and their loss would significantly impair a duelist. Hanzo must be a formidable swordsman to be able fight in close combat as he did, despite the loss of his fingers.
The alien creature that pursues Edwin (Topher Grace) through the jungle, during the ambush scene, is a slightly modified version of the original, abandoned Predator design from 1987.
The plant that Edwin (Topher Grace) identifies as "Archaefructus liaoningensis" has actually been extinct for several million years; its origin lies in the Cretaceous Period. Angiosperm fossils were found in China, that are believed to be about one hundred twenty-five million years old, making it the world's earliest known flowering plant. In an earlier draft of the script, Edwin highlights the plant's origins, citing it as yet another inexplicable oddity, before they finally realize where they are.
Hanzo's name is a reference to Hattori Hanzo, a legendary Japanese samurai of the Sengoku era (1467-1573 A.D.). Hattori Hanzo is also the name of Shin'ichi Chiba's character in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), which was written and directed by Robert Rodriguez's good friend Quentin Tarantino.
The original script contained cameo appearances by Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Michael Harrigan (Danny Glover), the protagonists of the previous Predator films. However, these appearances were ultimately cut out.
While filming a fight scene, Oleg Taktarov hit his face on a Steadicam camera, and started bleeding. He insisted that filming continue, to add effect to the scene.
The "hunting dogs" are based on one of the creature skulls seen in the trophy case on-board the Predator ship, near the end of Predator 2 (1990).
The classic Predator, from the original Predator (1987) is seen for the first time in over twenty years.
One of the mandates for the production team was that they only looked to the original Predator (1987) for reference points.
The original plan was to alter the 20th Century Fox logo, turning it into heat vision (as seen from the Predators' viewpoint) halfway through the fanfare. The studio nixed that particular idea.
The pool with the overhanging rock, where the group ends up after the jump from the cliff, was found in Texas, during location scouting. However, when the scene was shot a few months later, the temperature had dropped considerably, and water had started to flow from the rock. Not only did the actors have to be submerged in freezing cold water, the noise from the waterfall made the recording of usable dialogue impossible.
Nimród Antal specifically chose Adrien Brody for the main protagonist: "It was a challenge in finding a balance. When we cast Adrien, there were a lot of people going, What? But at the same time, if we cast a Vin Diesel in that role or anyone who is Arnold-esque, we would have been attacked for doing that. So we decided early on to go in a very different direction as far as the casting process, but it turned out fantastic." He also felt the soldiers should be portrayed as wiry tough guys, not burly men, like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The film's basic plot was conceived in 1994, when Robert Rodriguez was working on Desperado (1995). He presented a draft of the script to 20th Century Fox, but they turned it down, because the budget required was too large. Fifteen years later, the studio decided to follow through with his script; in the end, an updated version of his script.
One indication that the Predators have been using the hunting grounds for a very long time, is when they first come into the Predator camp (just before they see the classic Predator on the totem pole), there is a Neanderthal skull next to a human skull on the ground as a trophy. The Neanderthal subspecies became extinct forty thousand years ago.
(At around fifty minutes) The Insectoid Alien that appears is an allusion to the original design of the Predator from the first film, when it was played by Jean-Claude Van Damme. The creature was redesigned after Van Damme's departure, to the current design.
When asked where he drew his inspiration for how to make a "Predator" film, Robert Rodriguez responded he was inspired what to do from Predator (1987), and what not to do by Predator 2 (1990), Alien vs. Predator (2004), and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007). Furthermore, he added he drew no inspiration whatsoever from the "Predator" comics.
According to Robert Rodriguez, the title of "Predators" serves as a double-entendre, describing the alien hunters as well as the ensemble human characters they target: "They could very well kill each other off, even if there were no Predators!"
Robert Rodriguez intended this film to be part of the "Predator" franchise, and not the "Alien Vs. Predator" franchise.
The song that plays over the credits is Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally", which was listened to by the main characters of Predator (1987) on the helicopter before they're dropped into the jungle for their mission.
Although all the main locations were filmed in Hawaii, sixty percent of the movie was shot in Texas, in order to be eligible for a tax benefit.
Alice Braga read a sniper manual in preparation for her role, and carried a fourteen pound sniper rifle around with her during shooting.
According to Robert Rodriguez on the DVD commentary, Walton Goggins had been cast in the role of Stans, but Rodriguez felt the character was written far too much like the character Hudson in Aliens (1986). So Rodriguez had the part re-written, and asked Director Nimród Antal to re-cast the role. But Antal insisted that Goggins could still do the role, and scheduled a meeting between Goggins, Rodriguez, and him. Within a very short period of time, Rodriguez was convinced that Walton was right for the part.
At the point Noland (Lawrence Fishburne) is introduced, you hear the lines "Over Here" and "Turn Around". These lines are spoken by Bill Duke to Carl Weathers in the first Predator movie. The lines are either a nod to the original movie, or represent the Predator's ability to record and transfer sounds and data between themselves in real time, as the first Predator didn't survive, to do this himself.
Noland claims to have been on the planet between seven to ten seasons. In Earth time, he's been there at most a little over two years.
The average height of the actors who play the Predators in this film is 6'6½", while the actors in the previous films, Kevin Peter Hall and Ian Whyte, were 7'2½" and 7'1" tall, respectively.
Stans' prison jumpsuit identifies him as an inmate of California's San Quentin State Prison, which has the largest prison death row population in the United States.
Royce, Isabelle, Nikolai, and Noland are the only people to say their names in the film. Stans, Mombasa, Cuchillo, Edwin, and Hanzo's names are never revealed (although Stans identifies himself in a deleted scene). The DVD captions identify all characters.
The man whose parachute fails to open is wearing pixel-gray Army Combat Uniform fatigues, meaning he was most likely a soldier in the United States Army. The same goes for the unidentified man found later with his chest ripped open: Nikolai reads from the man's notebook that he was supposed to be stationed in Afghanistan.
It was decided that the film would be produced at Robert Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios, instead of 20th Century Fox, so that Rodriguez would have creative control over the project.
Noland says that he was "Air Cav", and proceeds to hum "Ride of the Valkyries". Lawrence Fishburne was in Apocalypse Now (1979), which prominently features both.
Robert Rodriguez was originally thought to be attached as Director, however within a few days of this rumor coming out, he confirmed he would only write and produce the film.
The unusual weapon used by Royce, is an AA-12 fully automatic twelve gauge shotgun. Judging by the explosive effects produced by the shells, it is most likely loaded with Frag-12 explosive rounds.
This movie wasn't called Predator 3. Instead it added an "S" to the end to make it plural, in tribute to how Alien (1979)'s sequel was called Aliens (1986).
Nikolai was originally supposed to be armed with a Russian GShG-7.62 four-barreled rotary machine gun, as it would be more fitting for a Russian Spetsnaz Operator. The production crew was unable to obtain one, so they used an American M134 minigun instead.
The River Ghost's role was reduced in the final film, compared to earlier drafts: it was originally supposed to play a more substantial part in the film, stalking the characters for longer and leading them to believe it was the one responsible for their being on the planet. In another draft of the script, the creature was originally to have been found near a river and was barely seen, behaving almost like a ghost or apparition (it was from this draft that the creature earned its moniker). The River Ghost was initially conceived as a means to display the original, unused Predator design created for Predator by Boss Film Studios, although it was later decided to make the creature a completely original design. Despite this change of direction, the creature still bears some similarities to the original Predator design, most notably in the appearance of its head and its digitigrade legs.
Shortly after being hired as the director, Nimród Antal was informed that the movie will be scrapped because the script wasn't deemed good enough. Antal was then given two screenwriters and ten days to write a new story outline from scratch in their basement. According to Antal, by the end the place was such a mess and smelled so bad that the Predators' camp in the movie was heaven in comparison.
Isabelle uses a Blaser R93 sniper rifle, fitted with an Elcan DigitalHunter scope. The official sniper rifle for active-duty Israeli Defense Forces personnel, is actually the H-S Precision HTR, and it achieved that designation in May 2010, only a month before this movie was released.
Nikolai is a member of the Spetsnaz, who were ironically minor antagonists in Predator.
Danny Trejo's character is named Cuchillo. "Cuchillo" is Spanish for "knife". Many of Trejo's characters in Robert Rodriguez movies have been named after knives or sharp instruments: Machete in Spy Kids (2001), Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002), and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003); Razor Charlie and Razor Eddie in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999), and From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (1999), Navajas (Spanish for "blades") in Desperado (1995), and he also plays another character called Machete in Machete (2010) and its sequels.
Producer Robert Rodriguez has expressed an interest in a prequel movie about Noland.
Early in the film Royce asks Isabelle if she's IDF. The letters stand for Israel Defence Force. She neither denies nor confirms.
In the script, Mr. Black (the Berserker) has spikes all over his armor and even on his dreadlocks. As with many ideas in the script, this was removed from the final film.
In Decloaking the Invisible: Alien Terrain (2010), it can plainly be seen that stunt performers were used for the cliff fall scene, in most of the shots, if not all of them, that were actually used in the movie. This is especially true for Edwin's fall. This was done by a professional, and he still accidentally landed mostly on his head.
According to the making of Predators, the tusks on Tracker's mask are actually from Predator hounds.
Robert Rodriguez and Nimród Antal referred to the original design of the Predator (1987) as the "cassette tape version", and the new 2010 creature design, as the "iPod version".
Nimród Antal did over one hundred pages of storyboards, in preparation for directing.
Alan Silvestri, who composed the score for Predator (1987), was asked to write this score to this film. He could not, due to scheduling conflicts with The A-Team (2010). John Debney, with whom Robert Rodriguez had worked previously on Sin City (2005) and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005), received the assignment. Debney was quoted as saying that his score will be influenced by Silvestri's original score for the 1987 film.
In the prequel motion comic, the Crucified Predator is seen being hunted at the waterfall by Falconer and Berserker. The Yautja attempts to fight and escape but gets captured by the more numerous Super Predators and is strung up onto the totem structure.
Mombasa is very similar to Billy in Predator (1987) since they both were portrayed as having a strong jungle sense and knew when the Predator(s) were hunting/stalking them.
Milo Ventimiglia, Freddy Rodríguez, and Josh Brolin were considered for the role of Royce.
Neil Marshall, M.J. Bassett, Bill Duke, Marcus Nispel, Peter Berg, and Darren Lynn Bousman were considered to direct the film. In the end, Nimród Antal was hired, because Robert Rodriguez enjoyed Antal's earlier films, Kontroll (2003) and Vacancy (2007).
Stans is a death row inmate in California's San Quentin Correctional Facility. All death row inmates can receive a pardon, or stay of execution by the state's Governor. At the time this film was made (and presumably the time the movie takes place), California's Governor was Arnold Schwarzenegger, the star of Predator (1987).
While often addressed as the Tracker Predator, he is also sometimes addressed as the Flusher Predator after his role in the film to "flush out" the humans with the creatures he controls: the Predator hounds or hunting dogs.
Despite the fact that Stans has some psychopathic tendencies, he doesn't appear to be an actual psychopath. As he claims he just killed his victims for no reason and not for revenge or out of insanity, though this was in a deleted scene. Behavior wise, he was able to work well with the others, only fighting before meeting the group and when wanting a weapon better than a shiv, believing he needed a gun to increase his chances of survival.
Mombasa Mahershala Ali is a Muslim, as revealed early in the film when he performs the Salat (daily prayer) while the group takes a break in the scene where Royce notes that the sun has not moved since arrival. In real life, Ali is a Muslim himself.
The Falconer Bio-Mask bears some resemblance to a real-life falcon; whether this is partly the reason he is named as his is, or merely a reflection of his name, is unknown.
The Berserker is the only Predator in the film, who claims a trophy from someone they kill during the course of the movie.
Hanzos name could also be a reference to a highly skilled ninja from feudal Japan, Hattori Hanzo.
It is odd as to why Stans took the protective vest from Noland's stockpile, but never bothered to get a weapon, it's likely he thought that Noland's armor would help him more in the long run.
Laurence Fishburne accepted the role after enjoying Nimród Antal's directing on the set of Armored.
Any serious Sci-Fi fan will recognize the 'lights' in Nolan's hideout in the mining vehicle. They are the power gauges from the Krell laboratory in the 1956 movie 'Forbidden Planet'.
The film stars two Academy Award winners and one nominee: Adrien Brody won Best Actor for The Pianist (2002), Mahershala Ali won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Moonlight (2016) and Green Book (2018), and Laurence Fishburne was nominated for Best Actor for What's Love Got to Do with It (1993).
In concept art, the Falconer was shown with Freddy Krueger-like claws on his left hand. He would have likely used these to skin his victims.
Director Nimród Antal wasn't on the original list of proposed directors, but he was eventually chosen due to his experience with handling a large cast of characters in his former films.
Nikolai's M134 mini gun requires an electrical power source for the gun to operate.
Roy's combat knife featured prominently in the movie is manufactured by Tops Knives, model Steel Eagle 107C.
The Hell-Hounds bear a striking resemblance to the Kurn from Alien vs. Predator: Extinction. They also share certain similarities to Skags from the Borderlands and Borderlands 2 video games.
Alice Braga (who plays an Israeli soldier) is the third brunette actress who appears in the Predator franchise, following Elpidia Carrillo in Predator (1987), and Maria Conchita Alonso in Predator 2 (1990), while Sanaa Lathan played the female leader in Alien vs. Predator (2004), following Sigourney Weaver, who played the female lead role in the Alien franchise.
Noland (Laurence Fishburne) tells the others that he's from the Air Calvary. After Royce confirms he too was dropped in by parachute, Noland laughs and hums the tune of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries". In "Apocalypse Now", the Air Calvary attacks a Vietcong base while playing the same song- Laurence Fishburne starred in "Apocalypse Now".
After Adrian Brody cuts the Predator down and the ship starts to take off, you see the ground and either Mack's skull from Predator (1987), or one identical. Anna did say in the 1987 movie that the Predators go there a lot. Maybe one found and took Mack's skull.
Stans shares his first name with Walter Golic from Alien3. Additionally, both men are convicted murderers, and both are somewhat mentally unstable.
Since no specific year is mentioned in the film, some fans theorized that it takes place in the near-future, when the Predators may no longer come to Earth to hunt, instead bringing their prey to one of their own planets instead. However, it is implied that the movie takes place before 2010 (in which it was released) when Nikolai mentions that the last thing he remembers is fighting in Chechnya; the second Chechen war lasted until 2009. Later, the group finds a recently deceased US Special Forces soldier who was deployed in Afghanistan. Most of the fighting by US Special Forces troops in the Afghanistan war occurred between 2001 and 2011; by 2014, most combat troops had been withdrawn.
According to the Predators video game, the Crucified Predator was the leader of a clan. The player has to rescue their clan leader on mission 30.
This, at the time of the film's release, is Walton Goggins' Second role as a criminal. He has had a recurring role as Boyd Crowder on Justified (2010-2015)