Oh, I see what you did there, Fox. Sneaky. I like it.
I'm not even remotely surprised that Fox is working to make a new “Predator” movie. I don't really care what they call it… reboot, remake, sequel, update… whatever. They'll never stop making “Predator” movies. They'll do it anytime they've got an idea that's even vaguely commercial, because it's an evergreen property for them. They don't have to license any rights. They're not playing with someone else's material. Like with the “Alien” series, they own “Predator” completely, and they've proven repeatedly that they're willing to bend those icons in a million different ways.
Attaching Shane Black to co-write and direct the film is, for anyone who knows the first film, an especially sly move. Black is in the original film, playing one of the soldiers, and he appeared in that film during the heyday of what are known as the Pad O' Guys days, where Black and several other friends all shared a place. Ryan Rowe, Ed Solomon, James Herzfeld, and Gregory Widen were all members of the Pad O' Guys, as was the guy who first pushed Black to become a screenwriter, Fred Dekker. Dekker and Black co-wrote “The Monster Squad,” which Dekker directed.
It's exciting to hear that Dekker and Black are going to collaborate again on this new “Predator” incarnation. I think those guys are both smart and fun genre geeks who are at their best when they're cutting loose on pure pulp. One of the reasons I think the “Predator” series is more interesting to return to than the “Alien” series is because they never got hung up on one human character as the overall lead of the series. I love Ripley… don't get me wrong. But I think making her the recurring thing that ties the “Alien” series together sort of tied the hands of the various filmmakers who have worked on those films over the years.
Black's a really good director. I dig “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” and he handled “Iron Man 3” with a nimble sense of wit. Him directing a new “Predator” movie sounds like it could be great fun. Fox has, with this decision, rekindled my interest in the film. These two guys working together on a quintessentially '80s project sounds like pretty much the ideal combination of elements, and here's hoping they knock it out of the park.
Now here's hoping Black and Dekker (yes, I know) don't feel the need to shoe-horn Arnold into the thing somewhere. Let that one go, fellas, because I'm sure you can come up with something way more fun than yet another strangled nod to nostalgia.