'The Predator' Features the Return of Predator Dogs and Debuts New Aliens

The Predator marks the return of a deadly intergalactic hunter to terrorize a small suburban town, though this isn't the only creature returning for the latest chapter in the popular sci-fi franchise. In addition to the titular terror, fans will see the return of the Hell-Hounds, which are canine-looking creatures introduced in Predators that helps the alien track down its prey.

"We were trying to stay away from matching any previous design on them," visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart explained to Collider. "So we try to keep it where at least we have some familiar aspects to the dogs that you can bring back to the Predators. Such as, they have some level of dreads to them. And their mouths are not the same as a Predator mouth, but they do have that kind of distended jaw a little bit. It doesn't open sideways like that, but it still has some similarities, just to keep it in the same realm. The skin tones have some similarities as well."

In hopes of creating a believable and effective creature, the design team turned to a breed that has a divisive image of being both immensely powerful yet incredibly adorable. Ultimately, the visual effects artists were inspired by pit bulls.

"They have to play sometimes a very angry mean role and sometimes a little of a nicer role," Rothbart noted. "So we looked at dogs that could kind of fit that both scary and friendly feeling and matched them up with that in our initial designs."

Rothbart also teased that, in addition to the Predator and the Hell-Hounds, his team developed "other creatures to be named later."

The film's official synopsis has already teased a new and more "upgraded" form of the Predator, which reads, "From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black's explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe's most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race."

Fans have yet to learn what DNA was used to update their already deadly abilities, so it's possible this new film will deliver multiple new species.

The Predator hits theaters on September 14th.

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[H/T Collider]