While it’s certainly true that not every horror, sci-fi, or action film needs an R-rating to be good, there are definitely particular stories that cry out for the creative freedom only an R allows. Additionally, one would assume that sequels and prequels to R-rated films would most appropriately be suited by going R also, so as to best serve the tastes of those who made their predecessors a hit in the first place. Sadly, that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from trying to turn traditionally R-rated franchises PG-13, in the hopes of attracting a wider audience to theaters.
Some recent examples of this phenomenon have included PG-13 sequels Live Free or Die Hard, Terminator: Salvation, and Robocop 3. Also not immune to this watering down effect was the Predator franchise. The original 1987 Predator film is absolutely full of harsh language and gory violence. 1990’s Predator 2 doesn’t disappoint either. Sadly, then came 2004’s widely panned mashup Alien vs. Predator, which went the PG-13 route, to the chagrin of longtime fans of both titular franchises.
2007 sequel AVP: Requiem attempted to correct things by going back to R, but the movie itself had bigger problems. Thankfully, 2010’s Predators righted the ship to a degree, earning mostly positive reviews and giving fans another hard-R gore-fest. Naturally, when Shane Black’s upcoming reboot — entitled simply The Predator — was first announced, many were concerned that the series’ R-rating would once again be jettisoned. Black took it upon himself to quickly quell those fears, making it known that his movie would be targeting an R-rating. In a recent tweet, the outspoken director once again drove home his feelings in regard to The Predator’s rating.
And, just to be clear... PG-13 is for pussies. Spines bleed... a lot.— Shane Black (@BonafideBlack) February 18, 2017
While one could call the language Black uses a bit blunt, it certainly would be right at home coming out of the mouths of just about any member of Arnold’s team in the original Predator, one of which was of course played by Black himself in one of his rare acting roles. The above tweet directly followed one confirming when The Predator would begin filming. This is slightly sooner than the February 24 date previously mentioned by star Boyd Holbrook, but it’s still in the same ballpark.
In an interesting addendum to the aforementioned history of divisive PG-13 sequels to R-rated films, The Predator’s screenplay was written by Fred Dekker, who — while best known for helming 80s cult classics The Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps — also directed Robocop 3. It’s funny how things work out sometimes.