When it comes to remakes and reboots, there’s typically going to be a lot at stake for the filmmakers – particularly when the remake or reboot in question is one that has a lengthy history or a dedicated fan base. Audiences don’t necessarily take kindly to certain changes, and altering the wrong aspect in a beloved franchise can spell disaster for any film that doesn’t first take this into consideration.
In the case of director Shane Black’s upcoming The Predator, there’s been very little to date for fans to either get excited about or concern themselves over. Black has been consistently tight-lipped regarding his reboot of the famed space alien/killing machine tale, though we do presently know that The Predator won’t be a total reboot and that filming is likely to begin by October 2017.
Sooner rather than later, however, no matter how closely guarded an upcoming film’s secrecy is, more news will arrive for public consumption. The latest news (courtesy of CBR) is Shane Black’s revelation that this time around, the Predator’s overall appearance will be different from what we’ve grown familiar with. According to Black, his interpretation of the Predator will be “organically different”. What exactly does that mean? Well, it’s probably best to let Black himself explain:
“It’s not to ‘improve,’ it’s make it fun, make it different, make it organically different. So what’s the extension of it that makes sense, that’s exciting? There have been a lot of changes to Stan’s design over the years. These different Predator movies have done different things. Ultimately it’s not about design to me, it’s about the story you want to tell. There are people who are always going to agonize over Iron Man, what color his suit is. Maybe this weapon does a new thing, but if the story is not good I don’t give a shit what color the suit is. In The Predator we’re doing a lot of upgrades to what you would consider to be the traditional Predator technology and look, but hopefully the story is what’s going to drag people in, not just the attention to the minutiae.”
This won’t be Black’s first time altering a well-known character – his decision to transform The Mandarin’s appearance in 2013’s Iron Man 3 met with a mixed response, to say the least. But his determination with The Predator to avoid the trappings of a standard Hollywood reboot and instead create an event film that he’s dubbed an “inventive sequel” speaks to a desire to transcend what has come before. Black has made it known that he wasn’t exactly blown away by previous aspects of the Predator franchise, thereby making his initial alterations to the mythology that much more understandable.
Still, the image of the Predator has arguably become more iconic than the film that spawned it. A full 31 years on since Predator first hit theaters and the one constant remains the film’s cruel, psychopathic villain. From cinema to comic books and video games, the Predator is a staple in the imaginations of sci-fi and horror fans everywhere. To tinker with it is a brave and fate-tempting move on Black’s part.
Of course, there’s every reason to believe that Black’s alterations to the traditional Predator formula can result in success. Taking over from Jon Favreau on the Iron Man series was no easy task and despite some controversy, his efforts paid off. If Black wants to give The Predator a fighting chance at something more, changes are bound to occur.
The Predator opens in US theaters on March 2nd, 2018.