There hasn’t been a new installment in the Predator franchise since director Nimród Antal’s Predators was released back in 2010, but that changes in 2018 when The Predator arrives. The latter is a soft reboot or semi-continuation of Predator films past (in the vein of Jurassic World, Creed, and so on) that co-writer/director Shane Black is prepping to start production later this year. Black co-penned the Predator screenplay with his writing partner, Fred Dekker, and has thus far managed to keep his cards close to his chest where it concerns the movie’s storyline, beyond confirming that it takes place in the present-day (or 2018, at the time of the movie’s release).
There’s a possibly that Arnold Schwarzenegger will reprise his role as Dutch from the original Predator (1987) in Black’s film, but the only other major casting rumor for The Predator so far involves a potential role for Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. However, proper casting updates for the movie will be arriving sooner than later, now that The Predator is seemingly locked in to begin principal photography in September of this year.
The Directors Guild of Canada (hat tip to AvPGalaxy) has revealed that Black is set to begin production on The Predator in Vancouver on September 26th, 2016 and will wrap up filming there a few months later, on December 20th. Keep in mind, this doesn’t rule out the possibility that The Predator will film in locations outside of Vancouver (and the city’s sound stages therein), but it’s safe to assume the majority of production is taking place there. Either way, this report lines up with Black’s previous claim that he expects to start rolling camera on his latest project by September or October of this year.
Both 20th Century Fox’s Predator series and Alien franchise – sci-fi action/horror properties that crossed over during the 2000s with the Alien vs. Predator films – aim to rejuvenate interest in their brands with their latest movie releases, arriving in 2018 and 2017, in turn. Where Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant is a sequel to Prometheus (the Alien prequel that was also directed by Scott) that hopes to unify Alien fans more than its predecessor managed, Black’s intention is for The Predator to offer the sort of “event” movie experience that no Predator film since the original installment has.
Black, as it were, has developed a loyal cult following over the past decade with his original (or, rather, non-franchise based) writing/directing efforts Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and this year’s The Nice Guys, years after he was an in-demand Hollywood screenwriter in the 1980s and ’90s thanks to his scripts like Lethal Weapon. Although the previous “event” film directed by Black, Iron Man 3, divided hardcore Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, it was a critical/commercial hit, as far as success with mainstream audiences are concerned. Moreover, it’s quite unlikely that whatever tweaks Black and Dekker make to the larger Predator mythos with their movie will prove anywhere near as controversial as the infamous Iron Man 3 Mandarin twist.
The Predator opens in U.S. theaters on February 9th, 2018.
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