Dark Horse, the independent comics publisher known for original properties like Hellboy and Sin City as well as comics based on popular franchises like Aliens, is adapting the original screenplay that became 1987’s Predator into a five-part mini series beginning this summer. Judging by the inaugural issue’s cover image, the adaptation is going with the titular alien’s original design as briefly portrayed by Jean Claude Van Damme, and this excites me to no end.
The comic, by Jeremy Barlow, Patrick Blaine, and Andy Owens, is based on the 1984 screenplay Hunter by Jim Thomas and John Thomas, who went on to write several action films like Predator 2, Executive Decision, and Wild Wild West. The original screenplay is substantially different in several areas, including the Predator’s physical appearance as a lizard-like chameleon rather than a high tech intergalactic hunter. The announcement of the mini series was initially reported by SyFy Wire.
Predator won’t be the first time Dark Horse has turned popular unproduced screenplays into graphic novels. This spring will see the release of Alien: The Original Screenplay, a mini series by Cristiano Seixas, Guilherme Balbi, and Candice Han based on Alien co-screenwriter Dan O’Bannon’s initial story, which is vastly different from Ridley Scott’s legendary sci-fi horror film. And in 2018, Dark Horse released William Gibson’s Alien 3, an adaptation by Johnnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillain based on Gibson’s much-loved original draft that saw the survivors of the Sulaco end up on a space station rather than mangled in an escape pod crash. (Audible released an audio dramatization of Gibson’s screenplay in 2019, with Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen reprising their roles from Aliens.) Issue #1 of Predator: The Original Screenplay will be available in stores and digitally June 10. Check out the excellent cover art below.