The film was originally conceived as a reboot of the "Predator" film franchise, until Shane Black came aboard and confirmed he would be making a sequel instead, as he wanted to continue to explore the "Predator" mythology.
The film was directed and co-written by Shane Black, as a sequel to Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010). Shane Black had played Hawkins in the original film.
Shane Black had gone on record stating he wanted this movie to be true to the spirit of the franchise, and for it to be R-rated, saying, "It's an odd thing. Whether Deadpool (2016) helped is an open question, but I suspect it did. I made a condition of my participation with 'Predator,' that it be the same rating as the first movie, and the first movie was rated R. In other words, I don't want to cut away every time the Predator does something violent. I was watching the American version of The Grudge (2004), which was PG-13, and I remember being so frustrated by the fact that everything that was scary in the Japanese version, they had to cut away from in the PG-13 American version."
After the success of Iron Man 3 (2013), Shane Black was approached by 20th Century Fox with an Iron Man 3 (2013)-sized budget to direct a new "Predator" movie, and he could not resist.
Shane Black was cast in the original film, with the intention that he would re-write the script during production. However, he chose not to do so and the script was not rewritten.
Shane Black confirmed via twitter that the film will be rated R. He tweeted that "And, just to be clear... PG-13 is for pussies. Spines bleed... a lot." Black also tweeted "I am standing on set next to a 7-foot tall gentleman in a Predator suit - so no, it is not all CGI." This tweet confirmed that this movie will stay true to the original by having the Predator be played by a guy in a suit instead of CGI.
Jake Busey plays the son of Peter Keyes, the government official from Predator 2 (1990) who died during the hunt for the Predator. Peter Keyes was played by Gary Busey, who is Jake's father in real life as well.
Benicio Del Toro was originally supposed to star, but he was replaced by Boyd Holbrook due to scheduling conflicts.
This film marked the sixth time the Predator appeared in a theatrical release, after Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) and Predators (2010).
Shane Black and Fred Dekker previously worked together on writing cult horror film The Monster Squad (1987), and one more unproduced script titled Shadow Company. Black wrote the first version of this script in 1984, and it was also the first script he ever wrote. Although it was never made into a film, people loved the way Black wrote action, dialogue, and characters in the script, which is why he got more writing job offers, and this was what helped him to write his first draft of Lethal Weapon (1987). Shadow Company script was written to be an action zombie horror movie, about a group of dead U.S. Special Forces soldiers, who died during the Vietnam War, and years later after their bodies are brought back, the soldiers, who were members of some secret army experiments, return to life as rotting, unstoppable zombies, who raid the armory from the Army base near the town where they were buried, and then proceed to attack the town during Christmas night, killing everybody in it, and wiping it off the map. Around 1988 or 1989, after the final draft of the Shadow Company script was finished by Black and Dekker, it was gonna be turned into action horror film produced by Universal studio and directed by John Carpenter, with Kurt Russell in the main role as former member of the Shadow Company who comes to town to stop them, and with Black and Walter Hill as producers (Hill also did some uncredited co-writing on the script). However, due to some problems in pre-production, the movie was never made. The original script by Black and Dekker did, however, gain a cult following from theirs and Carpenter's fans. Interestingly enough, some of the names of characters from The Predator (2018) are taken from names of characters from Shadow Company script, and in Black's first version of the script from 1984 the story took place during Halloween, just like big part of this film.
Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane, Olivia Munn and Boyd Holbrook all starred in a Marvel movie. Brown was in Black Panther (2018), Jane was in The Punisher (2004), Munn was in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), and Holbrook was in Logan (2017).
The poster of this film had the slogan, "You'll never see him coming." This was a quote similar to one said by the character The Mandarin in Iron Man 3 (2013), "And you'll never see me coming." Both The Predator (2018) and Iron Man 3 (2013) were written and directed by Shane Black.