Shane Black is a busy man. Fresh off the release of his latest film The Nice Guys, he's in the early stages of fleshing out a Dwayne Johnson-led Doc Savage film and he's getting all his ducks in a row to begin production later this year on his Predator movie, titled The Predator. As is the case with any reboot/sequel (with Black having specifically referred to the movie as being an "inventive" sequel), questions abound as to whether or not fans can expect to see any original faces in the new version.
Earlier this year, Black did tease that Arnold Schwarzenegger making a return as Dutch from the original 1987 Predator movie was something they were "looking into," with Schwarzenegger having confirmed that he met with Black to discuss the film too. However, in a new interview, Black confirms that Dutch wouldn't be the protagonist of The Predator either way - as the film is focused more on "honoring the tradition" of the Predator franchise, above all else.
Black, speaking during an Empire -hosted podcast Q&A, name-dropped the name of The Predator's protagonist, saying “The name I’ve given the [lead] right now is Quinn Mackenna. And that may change.”
In speaking on the direction of the film, Black has mentioned that the Predator's design and technology will receive "upgrades" in order to produce something "organically different" from what's come in previous installments in the Predator film series. While actual film details are still scarce, Black also dropped hints about what he's trying to achieve with The Predator during his Empire podcast appearance:
“It’s an attempt to event-ize the ‘Predator’ and make it more mysterious. The [character of] Predator has been so overdone in a way —very low budget with a guaranteed return, every couple of years there’s a knock off churned out... I want people to say, '’The Predator’ is coming, I know it’s coming. We want to see it, it’s mysterious, interesting, it’s got the same sense of wonderment and newness that ‘Close Encounters’ had when that came out.’ That’s what we want. That’s very impossible to achieve, but we’re going to try.”
It seems like the goal is to go back to the less-is-more kind of filmmaking approach of the 1987 Predator movie with Black's film, where the less we see of the "monster" the more frightening and suspenseful the movie is. Despite the event-film aspect, Black also notes that there is a desire on his and co-screenwriter Fred Dekker's part to bring more depth to the Predator franchise with this installment, too:
"It's not important to have scale in the sense of... it doesn't have to be 50 Predators riding motorcycles. It just has to feel like a powerful story that's an event that has a lot of flavors and textures, and is not 90 minutes long."
The Predator opens in U.S. theaters on February 9th, 2018.