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The Predator: Keegan-Michael Key says fans will find film to be a 'very pleasant surprise'

‘It’s not a sequel,’ he adds of the upcoming movie. ‘It certainly lives in the universe of the five films that were made.’

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Everett Collection; Desiree Navarro/WireImage

Keegan-Michael Key is about to become prey — or is he?

The actor and comedian currently starring on Netflix’s Friends From College is part of the latest ensemble to face the Predator, the human-hunting extraterrestrial, in 2018’s The Predator. But Key says there’s more to the story than a carbon copy of the original.

Predator was a real privilege to do, and if people think they’re going to see a remake of the original movie, they’re in for a surprise,” he says. “A very pleasant surprise.”

More importantly, he says, the film is neither standalone or sequel to the movies that have come before. “It’s not a sequel,” he explains, adding that the film has “lots of elements of humor” evoking director Shane Black’s style. “It certainly lives in the universe of the five films that were made. I think that’s probably the best way to say it and the only way I can say it right now.”

RELATED VIDEO: Shane Black Wants His New Predator Film to Revive the ‘Freshness’ of the Original

Good thing Black’s been able to reveal a little more: The director released a pair of first looks earlier this year during filming, including this one of the film’s main cast (excluding the creature itself) armed and ready for action. The director, who appeared in the original 1987 Predator opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers, co-wrote the installment with filmmaker Fred Dekker (Monster Squad) and previously told EW he wanted to give the film an “event feel.”

“Fox has been in the habit of making one of these Predator movies every couple years, and they put them out for a limited budget that kind of guaranteed return, but they’re not really something that’s an event,” he said in a Town Hall on SiriusXM Entertainment Weekly Radio (ch. 105). “I want to try to get back to that. Because there was a freshness, I think, to the first one… It was special then, and I want to get back to trying to reinvent it in the sort of way that it acquires that event feel that makes people want to treat it like a big movie.”

The Predator, which also stars Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, and Olivia Munn, hits theaters August 2018.