With the release of Shane Black's The Predator next month, one of the leads has revealed how he was cast in the film and how it finally pays respect to a previously maligned entry in the franchise. Jake Busey is playing Sean Keyes in the film, a name that directly links to the character of Peter Keyes in Predator 2, who was portrayed by his real-life father Gary Busey.

Predator 2 is not usually perceived to be a high-point in the enduring extraterrestrial franchise, although it’s certainly held in a much higher regard than others, like Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Set in a then-futuristic 1997, the 1990 film followed rogue cop Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) as he pursued the alien hunter. Peter Keyes was a pivotal character, a shady official that proved the US government were aware of the creature(s) and wanted to capture one for study. Meeting a predictably gruesome end, his existence at least provided some interesting groundwork for later films to build upon. And now, some of that just might pay off.

While The Predator has been in lengthy production, Busey’s full identity in the plot has been an open secret since the beginning. Speaking to Bloody Disgusting, the actor – who will also be seen in season 3 of Stranger Things – revealed how Black contacted him directly to offer him the role and what it meant to him:

“He explained a bit about Predator 2 and my father. Of course, I was on the set when they filmed that movie. I was a kid. I was 17 maybe. I said sure, I’d love to do that. He thought it would be a good idea to make a call-back to Predator 2 and add that element. We are friends on a social level so he knew about me whereas I don’t think any of the people at the studio did or would’ve thought of that. I owe lots of gratitude to him for creating the character and the harkening back to Predator 2.”

There have been plenty of delays and extensive reshoots due to various issues, but Busey states that he had the best of times during filming, saying; "I’m completely satisfied and elated about my participation in the film." Additionally he confirms that Black engaged in his trademark sessions of improv with actors. He also divulges that he does face-off against a Predator himself, but he doesn’t share any scenes with Jacob Tremblay. Apparently, his character is mostly confined to an “evil lair” and remains in an underground facility of some sort.

Originally, the Predator 2 link was the only indication that The Predator is directly connected to the previous films. But the placing of the plot in the franchise timeline is now generally known, and recent reshoots have inserted additional Easter eggs and links to the prequels. Busey’s comments about the facility suggest that he is following in his father’s footsteps, and is probably heavily involved in more covert government study and/or the genetic manipulation that is known to exist in the narrative. Either way, at least Busey is assured substantial screen time, unlike Edward James Olmos, whose character was cut from the film. Hopefully, his presence and all the messy post-production work has resulted in a fun ride and a reinvigoration of the franchise.

Release Date:

. The Predator (2018) release date: Sep 14, 2018