Probably just about nobody believed that 2010's Predators would be the last time that we'd see the eponymous extraterrestrial hunters on the big screen, but yesterday brought the unexpected news that Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Iron Man 3) has been recruited to direct a Predator reboot. Whether you were excited by the prospect of Black putting his unique spin on the 1980s property or infuriated by the idea of the original cherished 1987 film (an action/sci-fi/horror hybrid) getting re-imagined and/or remade, we have an update on the situation that you ought to take note of.
The original reports specifically stated that Black and screenwriter Fred Dekker (who previously collaborated on Monster Squad) are working on a Predator reboot together, which everyone took to mean that the sci-fi/action franchise will be starting completely over, with this new installment. Not so, though, as Black has informed Collider that his currently-untitled Predator movie is, in fact, a sequel - an "inventive sequel" at that - which shall not simply discard the pre-established Predator mythos.
Here's the quote that Black gave to Collider, regarding his and Dekker's Predator film:
“[It's not a reboot] as far as Fred and I are concerned anyway. Why start over, when you’ve all this rich mythology yet to mine? [However, I can] really get behind inventive sequels [and] the idea of expanding and exploring the existing Predator mythology, rather than hitting the restart button.”
Question is, what exactly do Black and Dekker count as part of the "existing Predator mythology"? It could be that the plan is to be selective and draw inspiration from certain key elements in previous Predator movies - be they the first two straight-forward installments, the Alien vs. Predator franchise crossovers, and/or the Predators film - without creating blatant story contradictions. If so, then Black's Predators movie may be comparable to the upcoming Jurassic World, which doesn't break continuity with previous Jurassic Park installments - yet, has been pitched as something of an "inventive sequel" itself.
Black and Dekker got their start in Hollywood in the 1980s and '90s (Black wrote the original Lethal Weapon, Dekker scripted RoboCop 3, and so forth) - something that sets them apart from the folk who're developing other "inventive sequels" to decades-old series (see: Jurassic World and next year's Terminator "re-imagining"). In his recent films, Black has tended to recycle the tropes that he often relied upon during the early stages of his career (see: buddy duos, snappy dialogue, etc.), in combination with elements more common-place in modern films.
Using that same approach may allow his Predator film to stand out better, in a crowd of reheated leftovers and/or track remixes. Matter of fact, we've even drawn up 5 suggestions for Black, with regard to how he can achieve that goal with his Predator movie. We'll just have to wait and see if he winds up traveling in the same direction that we might prefer him to take.
We'll keep you updated on development of Shane Black's Predator movie.