Predator’s Perfect Crossover Has Been Obvious For Decades, Why Hasn’t It Happened?

By Michileen Martin | Updated

predator dog

Perhaps more than any other genre icon, the hunters of the Predator franchise seem to beg for crossovers. Along with clashing with Ridley Scott’s xenomorphs in the Alien Vs. Predator films, the crab-faced villains have gone head-to-head with countless fictional heroes in the comics–including Judge Dredd, Batman, Superman, Archie (no, really), Tarzan, and most recently Marvel heroes Wolverine and Black Panther. But the perfect rival of the Predator hunters is still waiting to lock horns with them–the sword-wielding Immortals of Highlander.

Predators Have Been Visiting Earth For Centuries

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Predators, like the Immortals introduced in 1986’s Highlander, have been among us for a long time. Even before 2022’s Prey–set in the early 18th century–the films dropped clues about how long the aliens had been using our world as their own hunting grounds.

There was the old pistol given to Danny Glover’s Lt. Mike Harrigan in 1990’s Predator 2 (which shows up again in Prey), and the old sword found by Hanzo (Louis Ozawa) in 2010’s Predators.

But it was reading Marvel’s Predator: The Original Years Omnibus that sparked the idea of a crossover with Highlander. I’m only about halfway through it and yet, along with enjoying the aliens’ gory hunts set in more contemporary times, I’ve come across stories set in ancient Africa, Medieval Japan, and the deadly trenches of World War I.

Immortals Have Been With Us For Millennia

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Like with the Predators, one of the fun parts of the Highlander franchise is getting to watch the heroes and villains clash all across time. While we first meet Christopher Lambert’s Connor MacLeod at a pro wrestling match in 1985, for example, we soon learn that he first discovered his strange origin all the way back in the 16th century.

We later get to see him get stabbed more times than a pincushion during a 1783 duel on Boston Common and–in a scene deleted in the theatrical version–gun down a Nazi in World War II.

Not to mention that we know MacLeod is not even close to being the oldest Immortal. His mentor Ramirez (Sean Connery) makes reference to both ancient Egypt and medieval Japan. In Highlander: The Series, we meet Methos–the oldest known Immortal clocking in at around 5,000 years old.

Immortals Would Be Challenging Prey, Regardless Of The Time

While the aliens of Predator seem to possess a sense of honor, their advanced tech obviously presents a huge advantage. Sure, there’s that scene in Prey when the hunter sets aside his projectile because he’s facing enemies without projectiles of their own, but the hand-to-hand weapon he uses instead was made by the same dudes who know how to make personal cloaking devices.

I’m going to take a wild guess that the Comanche warriors’ axes have a slightly earlier expiration date than the Predator’s.

But the Predator’s tech isn’t going to offer as much of an advantage against the Highlander Immortals, if for no other reason than because nothing short of decapitation will kill the Immortals, and the hunters are going to start off ignorant of their prey’s immortality.

Even after the Predators learn about the Highlander Immortals’ one weakness, how much good will it do them on a larger scale? In other words, sure, one Predator can let the rest know, “hey, there are some humans who are almost impossible to kill,” but how will future visitors to Earth be able to identify the Immortals?

The only way we’ve been told that an Immortal can be identified is through the Quickening, which itself can only be felt by other Immortals.

Predators Could Add An Interesting Twist To Highlander

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The Predators could add an interesting twist to the larger Highlander story by speeding up the time of The Gathering. In Highlander we learn it’s only when there are a few Immortals left that The Gathering will be triggered–summoning the survivors to a final battle–and with the alien hunters in the mix, the numbers might just get whittled down to The Gathering size a hundred years or so earlier.

The Predators could actually be used by a Highlander villain to manipulate things. If someone like The Kurgan, for example, could figure out a way to aim the hunters at other Immortals, he certainly would have no qualms about doing so to speed up what he sees as his inevitable victory.

Just to be clear–I’m not arguing Highlander’s actual canon be altered to include Predators. Crossovers like this–like the Alien Vs. Predator flicks–tend to be non-canonical. Otherwise after Archie Vs. Predator there would have been a lot fewer Archie comics, believe me.

Predator/Highlander Would Allow Highlander To Go Sci-Fi Without Getting Dumb

The 1991 sequel Highlander II: The Quickening has been intentionally ignored by everyone to make a Highlander project since, and rightly so. Among other things, this poorly conceived waste of time introduces the idea not only that all of the Immortals were actually aliens, but implies that all of the Immortal characters in the first film knew they were aliens at the time, but for some reason never mentioned it.

And yet somehow, even though the mythos briefly pivots to “oh they’re not mystical, they’re aliens,” the Immortals still can’t fight on holy ground. Go figure.

Crossing over Predator into Highlander would give the Immortals the chance to branch out into sci-fi without getting as stupid as Highlander II. The Immortals could conceive of ways to get to space–not to figure out how to ruin their own franchise–but to hunt the brutal Predators. Then maybe they could forge multi-franchise crossovers, with the Immortals locking arms with spacefarers like Superman, the Jedi, or maybe even the Ewoks.