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Why Tom Hardy was the Best Choice for ‘Predators’

Some critics say they were surprised by the decision to have Venom actor Tom Hardy narrate the wildlife documentary series Predators, arguing that he was too mumbly in past roles, but the show’s executive producer Wendy Darke explained that was really not an issue.

The stories in the new Netflix series are told through the eyes of the animals themselves. The show highlights how apex predators around the world survive amid changing seasons and climate. So to tell the story, Darke said she needed a voice with a full range of “emotional sensibility.” 

“I wanted somebody who could become that animal . . . I wanted a voice that had the full range of empathetic sensibilities from the hard-edged predators to the endearing lightness of touch and gentle sensation,” Darke said in an interview with Outdoors.com

Darke explained that she came across Hardy’s voice sample from a short list of A-list actors they were considering to narrate the series. “It had everything that I was looking for as a filmmaker,” she said. “The likeness of touch, the delicateness, the sort of endearingness, as well as an edge.”

She pitched including Hardy in the project to Netflix executives and they told her, “Good luck. If you can get him, we’re on. Because he’s a very busy man doing The Bikeriders and everything else.”

When she reached out to Hardy’s agent, though, she discovered that he absolutely loves wild dogs. “It’s almost his spirit animal,” she said. He’s seen them in Africa and he’s associated with the animal shelter UK Battersea Home. “So dogs are something that he has a real connection to.”

In past interviews, Hardy explained the reasons why he loved dogs so much. “Because they don’t lie. They’re just all heart and they don’t ask for anything,” he said and added except “maybe treats.”

And because Hardy doesn’t have to do a show like Predators, Darke thinks it’s his “natural empathy” for the animals that drew him to the project. “So you can imagine the wild dogs was a passion episode for him because of his personal love of dogs,” she said. 

“He was somebody who not only had the ability to get into character, somebody who could feel the emotional range and deliver it and make you feel something, I would say he has natural empathy that allows you to connect with (the animal’s) world and that’s his absolute talent,” she said. 

You can stream all five episodes of Predators on Netflix. 

Correction: We originally spelled Darke’s name “Drake.” We regret the error. Article updated Sept. 13, 2023.

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