Fans of director John McTiernan’s original 1987 hit sci-fi action/thriller Predator are no doubt looking forward to seeing The Predator, the upcoming installment in the franchise that is being written and directed by Iron Man 3 filmmaker Shane Black (whose next film, The Nice Guys, opens in May). Thus far, we’ve learned that there is a possibility that Arnold Schwarzenegger will return as Dutch from the original film in Black’s Predator movie – a project that Black committed to after 20th Century Fox agreed to make it as an event-style film; which is to say, a proper big-budget tentpole a la Iron Man 3.
Even as the official casting decisions have yet to be made, with the potential likes of rapper/actor Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson among those in the running to play a role, things appear to be shaping up for Black’s film to be the revitalization of the larger Predator franchise that Predators sorely missed the bar of being in 2010. In that light, the latest word from Black has it that the script for The Predator takes place in a time more than a little eerily familiar to our own.
In an interview with Collider, Black spoke at length in regards to his plans in developing The Predator, a project that has taken immediate precedence over all of the other projects that he is currently involved with (see his slow-developing Doc Savage film adaptation, for example), meaning that the new movie will be the next project that he will direct. On the process of developing said script with co-writer Fred Dekker (RoboCop 3), Black stated:
“I’m working on the script, and barring an act of God, a safe from the sky, there’s nothing that suggests it won’t be the next thing, and I’m getting more and more excited day by day. I mean, there’s great Predator movies, but to actually play with the idea of making it an event, not necessarily in scale, it doesn’t have to be huge, but it just has to feel like a Predator movie you want to see in the summer and line up for it. And that’s what we’re going for. Let’s get back to the excitement and innovation of that original movie where it felt fresh. I just want to find a way to make it feel fresh and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Black went to state that The Predator will take place in present-day, meaning that his film will feature events set to occur exactly thirty-one years after McTiernan’s original from 1987. Unfortunately Black was unable to comment on Schwarzenegger’s level of involvement for the time being, though he did reiterate that he has high hopes for crafting a film that strives to, “Honor the tradition of what is really a remarkable first movie and even parts of the rest of them as well.”
With all of that information formally put on the table, Black’s other noted production of the superhero adventure property Doc Savage has been shelved for the time being. But while fans of the formerly mentioned original 1930s and 1940s American pulp magazine serial are out of luck for now, fans of the late 1980s action franchise can begin anticipating a modern day update in Black’s The Predator come March 2018.
Predators will open in U.S. theaters on March 2nd, 2018.