As one of the more intriguing concepts among a spate of '80s-era remakes, reboots, and reimaginings, Shane Black’s The Predator looks to revive the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring classic. The rebooted film recently added Monster Squad director Fred Dekker as a co-writer. In addition, the alien stalker flick will start shooting this October, in order to comply with its new earlier release date in February 2018.
Speaking of dates, many fans of the series might be wondering where Black (check out our interview) will set his "event" film in relation to the original movies. For that matter, how does his Predator reboot fit into the overall mythos of the franchise?
Black (The Nice Guys) recently sat down with IGN to discuss his intentions for The Predator and its roots. In the interview, he explored the power and legend building of Ridley Scott and his Alien influences. The director and co-writer also discussed his desire to maintain the darker tone of the franchise, as well as the enigmatic nature of the titular alien beast. Black said:
“The worst thing you could hope for in one of these is a shot in bright sunlight of a field and the Predator just kind of walks on and 'hello' - you want to do... I keep going back to Ridley Scott, the way he captured the alien in that first movie. The sense of mystery and portent. If we could just cut into a little piece of that - that sort of vibe - and then I think there's humour to be had too. And tonal shifting.”
As an actor and uncredited co-writer on the original Predator, Black clearly understands the power of keeping the alien hunter steeped in mystery. The less audiences know about the creature, the more chilling its actions were (much like the xenomorphs in Alien). The real question on the minds of fans of the series is how does this film relate to the previous sequel? Black examines the timeline:
“Well it seems to me if we set ours in 2018 which is when the film [Predator 2] is set, then we can only be a prequel to that one, so you could say yes it exists, but people won't be discussing it really…it’s in the midst of the mythology. It's a movie that's set in our present-day. Or maybe the day after tomorrow.”
Black was also asked whether Dwayne Johnson, with whom the director is working on the upcoming Doc Savage film, could join the cast of The Predator. To which the director replied:
“Um, well look, I'm meeting with him in a couple of weeks…anything can happen in this crazy genre world.”
It looks as though Black may offer some new twists on the classic alien hunter. Fortunately, his experience with the previous film and his knowledge of the Predator series should keep his sequel of sorts in line with the franchise. Black and Dekker’s take on the film also sounds interesting, not as stalk-and-kill-oriented than its predecessors. However, exploring “the bigger picture” behind the saga can be challenging while attempting to retain the aura of dread and foreboding behind the character.
Also, although unlikely, it would be amazing if Black could work out a team-up between action heroes from the past and present for his reboot. Fans would likely have fun watching Schwarzenegger and The Rock go toe-to-toe with the gnarly extraterrestrial (or extraterrestrials). Of course, there’s no guarantee that any of the potential Predator foes/bait currently teased will wind up in the reboot. But we can hope, can't we.
The Predator opens in U.S. theaters on February 9th, 2018.