It’s official, Keegan-Michael Key ain’t got time to bleed. It was recently announced that he’ll join the fight in 2018’s The Predator.

Directed and written by Shane Black (The Nice Guys) with co-writer Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad), The Predator will be a sequel to the 1987 original. I guess that means we’ll be ignoring the 1990 sequel, Predator 2 (with the bizarre cast of Danny Glover and Gary Busey) as well as the other features in the franchise.

Honestly, that’s probably a wise choice considering the low ratings for the rest of the films (and yes, I’m including Alien Vs. Predator and AVP: Requiem because they somehow still count). It will be important to put some distance there.

Thankfully, the project seems to be in good hands. Black has close ties to Predator; he played the character of Hawkins in the original, so we can hope that his familiarity with the material (and perhaps his nostalgia) will result in an excellent end product. We can respect that this sequel is not trying to “re-write” the original that we all know and love.

The announced ensemble for The Predator has already gained some notice. The cast currently includes Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight) as an ex-marine, Boyd Holbrook (Narcos) as a Special Forces Commando and Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse) as a scientist. We’re not sure if one of them will be a goddamn sexual tyrannosaurus, but, that mantle is already taken anyways. Thanks Jesse Ventura.

Trevante Rhodes in Moonlight [Image credit: Collider]
Boyd Holbrook in Narcos [Image credit: Dario De Navarra]
Olivia Munn in X-Men: Apocalypse [Image credit: ET Online]
Black seems committed to the tonal range that we saw in the original Predator, which was difficult to fit into one genre.

It’s kind of a sci-fi battlefield action horror thriller with moments of comedy, I guess. Again, I emphasize that this is a sequel and not a reboot. This means that there should be a lot of room to play here.

Keegan-Michael Key in Keanu [Image credit: Arts Technica]
Key’s stellar comedic timing and dramatic reach are a welcome addition to the project. I’m excited to see him stretch his legs in an action/horror movie.

We can hope there’s some room for improv, because you just know he will amp up every scene. Key is perhaps most well-known as half of the comedy duo Key and Peele, where they’ve demonstrated their knowledge of horror and their skill with blending different genres in to sketch comedy.

Jordan Peele has also ventured further into the horror realm with his upcoming directorial debut; the racially-charged thriller Get Out (read more about it here).

Overall, this casting news certainly has turned a lot of heads. They had our interest, but now they have our attention.

The Predator is set for a release date of February 2018

[Featured image credit: Hollywood Reporter]