Exclusive: Jake Busey Explains How He Ties Shane Black's 'The Predator' to 'Predator 2'

Gary Busey's gunslinger performance in 1990's Predator 2 resulted in his splattered guts painting the meat locker walls. Now, his son Jake Busey has joined franchise veteran Shane Black's new upgrade, The Predator, connecting the family tree and the classic series.

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(Photo: Dana Patrick)

Gary played Peter Keyes in Predator 2 and the younger Busey plays Peter's son in the new movie.

In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Jake said he thought was cast in the movie because Black "felt that it would be a nice tie-in, and something to add some depth and connectivity between the two films, sort of tying the franchise together in a tighter knot having the characters more closely bound."

Jake said the new film is set after the second one. Predator 2 was released in 1990, but took place in a 1997 Los Angeles ravaged by gang violence. The third movie, 2010's Predators, took place on another world and wasn't set in a specific year. So, The Predator will take place between those two movies.

"I remember visiting my dad on the set [of Predator 2] and him showing me his suit and his haircut," Jake recalled. "It definitely looked different than what people were wearing at the time. I remember thinking, 'Wow, yeah. He definitely looks futuristic.' "

The franchise kicked off in 1987 with Predator, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers. It was a low-budget action movie set in a sweaty jungle. The film didn't explain much of anything about the Predator, but it did show off its unique technology.

jake busey 2
(Photo: Dana Patrick)

"This one definitely falls in line with the original franchise in that it does focus on the technology that the Predators have," Jake said of the new film. "It focuses on what the goal of the Predators is, and what their modus operandi, and why they come to the planet, and that type of thing. It's definitely in line with the original franchise."

Outside of The Predator, Jake's resumé is peppered with genre movies and TV shows. He's starred in Hulu's Freakish, which has been described as a cross between The Walking Dead and The Breakfast Club. He also recently made Dead Ant, a movie that features a giant ant monster. The movie earned the Best Horror Comedy Award at Screamfest, but doesn't have distribution yet.

Jake has also moved easily between movies and television, but it's hard to pick one over the other. They both have their strengths. TV has the edge because of the job security though if you get on a good show, Jake said.

"One of the great things about it is you know it's going to be there the next day," Jake said. "For an actor, that is actually really, really revered, highly revered and valued, the fact that you can get up and go to work and then when you're done you know that it's going to repeat itself again the next day for a year. I like that aspect of television, really the job security is the best. There's benefit to both of them and they definitely have their strong suits and their weaknesses."

Music is also really important for the Busey family. Jake's father earned an Oscar nomination for playing music legend Buddy Holly, and Jake is a musician himself. His 5-year-old daughter, Autumn, is already playing drums and can sing beautifully.

"Music is the international language. Music is the language that all humans can speak. I'll tell you what, music transcends culture and political views," the actor said. "Music is really just from the heart and something that truly does exist on an emotional plane."

When asked which music legend he'd love to play in a movie, Jake picked John Bonham, the late Led Zeppelin drummer.

The Predator hits theaters on Aug. 3, 2018. Aside from Jake, the film also stars Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key and Sterling K. Brown.

Photo credit: Dana Patrick