Shane Black’s The Predator will hit cinemas in 2018. A poster has been released and there are already various casting rumour flying around in anticipation of the next “proper” film of the franchise.
Black’s Predator credentials are also pretty strong, having appeared in the original 1987 film Predator as Rick Hawkins. Aside from the fact that he’s returning to the franchise almost thirty years later as a co-writer and director, Black also helmed the recent Iron Man 3 flick, which, as of mid 2016, is ranking at the tenth highest grossing film of all time. Not bad, Mr. Black. Not bad at all.
The Predator franchise therefore should be in excellent hands. We’ve every faith that Black will bring about a return to form with characters that we want to engage in, a script that’s satisfying and well-rounded and a Predator that will deliver the same thrills as the original.
Here are the 15 Things We Want To See In The Predator Sequel.
15 More Arnie!
Arnold Schwarzenegger epitomized the action genre in the '80s and The Predator is undoubtedly synonymous with The Governator.
Because The Predator is not a reboot, it’s highly possible we could see the return of Arnie in the upcoming movie. Director Shane Black has noted that the movie will slot into the foundations laid by the first two movies.
Benicia Del Toro (Sicario) is already heavily rumoured to be taking a lead in Black’s movie, but there have also been whispers that Schwarzenegger could return to head up the cast as well. Black has mentioned he’s “in talks” with him but nothing has been confirmed yet.
As far as fans are aware, Schwarzenegger’s Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer was the first human to take on a Predator and come out (just barely!) alive. The first film ends with Dutch beaten, broken but not defeated as he’s whisked away over the jungle back to safety. He’d be a little past the prime age now to be swinging around the jungle hunting Predators, but because he’s been up close and personal with them, perhaps an “advisor” role would be more realistic at this stage.
14 Bring Back Danny Glover
When Predator 2 was released back in 1990, it wasn’t as well received as the first. It also hadn’t made nearly as much money as the original and the reviews were mostly negative. However, one aspect of the film that was praised was Danny Glover as Lieutenant Michael "Mike" R. Harrigan.
Harrigan is an LAPD officer investigating rival Jamaican and Colombian drug cartels when he stumbles upon the Predator. Predator 2 has since become a cult classic and taking the setting from a South American jungle to the urban jungle of Los Angeles was pretty genius. Plus he’s possibly the sweatiest action hero of any '80s film ever.
Although this wasn’t a hit twenty plus years ago, Predator fans do love the sequel and we got some interesting glimpses into the Predators at the end with the trophy room and hints that there may be some sort of “moral code” when the Predator chooses not to kill LAPD officer Detective Leona Cantrell (María Conceit Alonso) because she’s pregnant.
If Black could somehow get both Schwarzenegger and Glover written into The Predator, even as a cameo, we’re sure fans wouldn’t be complaining.
13 Avoid The Jungle (Urban Or Otherwise)
In Predator, we had a team of commandos navigate their way through the fictional jungle of Val Verde, while in the sequel it was Danny Glover sweating his way through the urban jungle of Los Angeles. 2010’s Predators brought fans back to the jungle again with a group of specialist “killers” dropped onto an alien game preserve planet, fighting for survival.
As enjoyable as all three of these films were, the concept of any sort of “jungle” with a group of people or one person fighting for survival has been done to death. However, we have every faith that director Shane Black, who is also co-writing the film with Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps, RoboCop 3), will be able to flesh out a more intelligent follow-up. The Predator could be the film where fans finally are able to see events in a different light, away from the cat and mouse story of the aforementioned films of the franchise.
12 Show Us Where The Predators Are From
In Predators, the idea that the predators kill for sport, which was suggested in Predator 2 with the trophy room, was expanded upon. Here, the Predators drop groups of people onto a game preserve planet, where they are hunted as game.
This is the closest we’ve been to seeing the Predators (and the humans) on a different planet, but we’ve never actually seen where the Predators are from.
The most intriguing aspect of Predators was the fact that the film introduced fans to a new “species” of Predator and it was suggested that there were two warring tribes - a larger species of Predator, which uses large quadrupedal beasts to flush out prey, and the smaller Predators we have been used to seeing.
Are these two “tribes” from the same planet or different planets? How has this bigger species evolved? There are so many unknowns still that Black and Dekker could touch upon in The Predator.
11 Give Us A Predator’s Perspective
The only glimpses fans get of the Predator’s perspective are through the heat vision sequences and hunting sequences in the film but very little is known about the psyche of the Predator itself.
In 1990, a novelization of Predator 2, written by Simon Hawke, the author delved a little bit more into the story-- not just from the human angle, but from the Predator’s as well. Hawke wrote more about the reason behind not killing Detective Cantrell because she was pregnant (it is against the Predators’ ethics to kill pregnant females) and the humiliation of having its mask removed by Harrigan. In fact, the mask itself was referred to as a Bio-Mask, which keeps a record of events. There is also the sense of a mutual respect in the novel, which does come across in the film a little near the end when Harrigan is handed a trophy by one of the Predators, a flintlock with the year 1715 engraved on it.
There may be much untapped lore to be drawn from the various comics and the novelization of Predator 2 that could work in The Predator.
10 Get The Government Involved
After the events of 1987’s Predator, it’s a no-brainer that a government of some sort, somewhere, would get involved, and in Predator 2, Special Agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey) has his sights on the Predator from the start.
Keyes is posing as a DEA agent leading a special task force investigating the drug cartels but this is merely a cover up for his real mission - to attempt to capture the Predator. After a completely feeble attempt to capture the creature at a slaughter house, which his team has set up as a trap for the Predator, it’s of course Harrigan (Danny Glover) who saves the day. However, there is literally no other government involvement hinted at throughout the first film or Predators.
Therefore, it would be reasonably realistic to get the government involved in some capacity in The Predator. After all, a massive explosion in the jungle and a bunch of crack commandos, all dying, bar one, during a routine mission is something you should investigate. And, let’s face it, it’s not like Glover or the Predator in Predator 2 were keeping their shenanigans under wraps as they bumbled and crashed about Los Angeles.
9 Give Us A Predator Origin Story
Not many fans of the films will actually know that Predators, as a species, have a name - the Yautja. We know so much about the Predators from the films - that they are a humanoid alien species, that they can survive in Earth’s atmosphere, that they hunt humans for sport, and that they are technologically way more advanced than human beings. But there did they come from? Why do they hunt and how does this fit into their societal traditions?
The various comics and novelizations that have been released over the years have revealed much more about the Predators’ origins that the previous films had time for. There is much lore to be explored, including more information on the larger and more powerful female Predator counterparts and the hierarchy of their society.
Exploring the Predators’ origin story a little more in depth would be a welcome change from what we’ve seen in previous films.
8 Avoid All Aliens!
2004’s Alien vs. Predator (or AVP) was the film Alien and Predator geeks were waiting for, finally realized on screen. Well, not quite… what fans were left with was a pretty dire amalgamation of two iconic films, cynically squashed together by 20th Century Fox a the bid to cash in on both franchises.
This wasn’t the first time the Xenomorphs and the Yautja had clashed - the concept of a crossover had originated in a late '80s Dark Horse comic book. As fun as the comic was though, what AVP offered up was something that looked like a substandard video game movie. The cast was shallow and the plot was paper thin - it was a joyless exercise in how to kill a franchise.
Instead of muddying the waters with any concept of a crossover, it would probably be best to avoid the Xenomorphs entirely. We already have Ridley Scott delving back into that world with Prometheus (2012) and the forthcoming Alien: Covenant, so let’s leave that to Mr. Scott for now.
7 Pretend Alien vs. Predator Never Happened
Right, let’s get back to how abysmal AVP (2004) and Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007) were. AVP: R focussed more on the crossover of both species but this time a hybrid of both had emerged - "the Predalien". This was a more powerful species born from a facehugger impregnating a Predator at the end of AVP.
The sequel to AVP received mostly negative reviews (of course) and it felt like the franchise had crescendoed into ridiculous territory. These two films - AVP and AVP: R - treaded into bloated CGI land with a plot and cast that appealed to teens and fair-weather fans.
Fans’ reviews were split down the middle, though, with some enjoying the crossover and effects but others commenting on the poor dialogue and lack of depth.
Shane Black seems to be concocting a film very much based on the originals and not these crossover spin-off attempts so thankfully we can forget these films ever happened… for now.
6 Make It A Spectacle
The great thing about the first Predator movie is that, although it took place in the jungle setting of Val Verde, it was a true spectacle. Action sequences in the '80s and '90s were bombastic, over the top, and pure entertainment.
The Predator should have a similar feel, like conducting an orchestra, as events are built up towards the finale. And about that finale… it has to mean something. Instead of the meaningless explosion extravaganzas that directors like Michael Bay and Zack Snyder fling endlessly on screen, these action set pieces should have meaning.
When Dutch and the Predator finally face off at the end of Predator, there’s a set up, there’s the feeling of anticipation and mutual respect between the pair and each trap set up is a treat. There’s more at stake when there are fewer players facing off against each other (a perfect example is the recent Captain America/Iron Man face-off in Civil War). You don’t need a million explosions and an array of characters for a spectacle, just a well-written script and a great effects team.
5 Bring Back Isabelle And Royce (from Predators)
Predators (2010) featured a group of people dropped into the middle of a strange jungle and it becomes clear that they all have one skill in common - killing.
Adrien Brody was Royce, an ex-military U.S. Army Special Forces soldier turned mercenary badass, whilst Alice Braga was the Israeli Defence Force sniper Isabelle.
Working out that the group are on a game preserve planet, Royce and Isabelle manage to survive the larger Predators against all odds and Isabelle even throws out the fact that she had heard of the Predators before, from a report by the only survivor (Dutch) of a Special Forces team back in 1987.
The film ends with both characters hobbling, injured, back into the jungle as a new hunting cycle begins. It left things pretty open for a sequel with producer Robert Rodriguez, director Nimród Antal, and Brody all mentioning they were up for it. Isabelle and Royce were great characters and it would be a shame to leave their story unfinished.
4 Explain The ‘Game Preserve’ Planet In Predators
Right, let’s get back to the idea of the game preserve planet in Predators. There’s actually a lot of untapped titbits here, which could be used in 2018’s The Predator.
Some interesting information is divulged in Predators about the planet itself. The length of a day is longer on this planet and the nights are shorter. Also, it may not be a planet at all, but rather a moon.
There is a shot of the group looking out into the horizon and up into the sky, where other, larger planets can be seen, perhaps this planet is orbiting one of these.
Stumbling upon a survivor, Noland (Lawrence Fishburne), notes that he has been on the planet for ten hunting “seasons” . In Earth years this equates to 30 years since his Vietnam War days.
The creatures that inhabit the planet are interesting as well. There are Hell-Hounds, used in a similar fashion to flushing dogs, to flush out their prey. The sentient species on the game preserve planet are the Yautja, Humans, River Ghosts, and finally, Super Predators, who seem to be top of the food chain on this planet.
It’s probably unlikely (and unnecessary) to revisit this planet in any forthcoming instalments but including the use of the planet somehow in the Predators’ history would be interesting.
3 Different ‘Tribes’ Of Predators
In Predators, it’s clear that there are different species of Predator. It is not explained whether the Super Predators are a subspecies, but they certainly seem the more powerful of the two.
In the film, four Predators are portrayed - the “Classic Predator”, “Tracker Predator”, “Falconer Predator”, and “Beserker Predator”. The Classic Predator is the one we’re all used to seeing, but it was interesting getting a little look into the world of the Super Predators and the hierarchy of how they hunt.
If there are already two tribes of Predators, there could be more. Perhaps there are some tribes that co-ordinate, some who don’t hunt, and imagine: a tribe of all female Predators who are bigger and stronger (like their comic book counterparts).
Opening up the world of Predators could mean moving away from the old “human versus Predator” struggle we’ve already seen time and time again - it’s time to give their world a little more depth.
2 Full-On R-Rated Action
The first Predator movie was rated R - it would have felt like a very different movie if it had been rated PG-13. The “R-rated movie chat” has been ongoing online and elsewhere since Deadpool's success, proving that some films need to be no holds barred. Imagine cutting away every time the Predator was doing something, er… Predator like. Like, y’know, skinning people and polishing-off their skulls. It would have been a very staid affair.
Black has said that one of his conditions for coming on board was to make The Predator the same rating as the first, which means he will have more freedom to do what he needs creatively with the script and direction for this movie.
Although Predator and Predator 2 are bulging with entertaining action sequences and the odd memorable quip, both films have an element of horror to them which the sequel certainly cannot ignore.
1 Some Kind of Alliance Between Predators And Humans
Predator, Predator 2, and Predators all feature that final showdown between man and beast. However, as mentioned earlier, the stakes are high, with both human and Predator displaying an uneasy respect for each other.
In Predator, Dutch realizes the intelligence and skill of his opponent as he sets up a series of elaborate traps in ritualistic fashion, mirroring the hunter. Predator 2 ends with Harrigan being spared by a group of Predators and being rewarded a trophy for his “kill”. Finally, Predators sees Royce and Isabelle working with the Classic Predator against the Super Predator at the end.
Predators are sentient beings and they’ve clearly been watching and hunting human beings for a long time, so it would make sense there is some sort of affinity with the human race-- or an uneasy respect at least. Exploring the relationship between human and Predator would be a worth while exercise for The Predator, helping it to stand apart and save it from being another mindless gore-fest.
The Predator opens in U.S. theaters on February 9th, 2018.