If you go back in time a bit, there was a moment when the influence of Robert Rodriguez was meant to revitalize the Predator franchise and bring it back to basics in Predators. It wasn’t a horrible attempt, but it seemed to fall short of the original (which isn’t a surprise considering the bad ass nature of the original movie). Now we’re a few years removed from Predators and a new sequel is in the works thanks to Shane Black and Fred Dekker, one that was apparently connected to the previous film.
That might not be the case now following a talk with producer John Davis at TCA, revealing that Black’s sequel to the Schwarzenegger original will “reinvent the franchise.” Collider noted that Black had an “inventive” idea for a sequel and wasn’t attempting to reboot the series, and Davis’ words seems to adhere to that:
“Shane shot a movie and he’s doing a pilot now, but I’ve read a lot of his script and I think it’s genius. I think it’s genius and I think it’s entertaining, and what it did is recreate a famous franchise in a different, interesting way; looking at it from a different light. He’s just an amazing writer-director. He’s got a way of looking at this that makes you excited again. I love this franchise. It was the first movie I ever did. I remember in being in the jungle with Arnold [Schwarzenegger] as a 28-year-old and going, ‘This is a fun business!’…Shane’s amazing. He’s an amazing storyteller.”
Now when you read about Predator sequels in the press, it would seem that everything is terrible following the first one. That’s not truly the case when you step back because there really hasn’t been a Predator film that wasn’t entertaining (we’re not counting anything featuring Aliens in it). Adrien Brody actually seemed bad ass thanks to a Predator film and that’s probably a hard task to complete. The series doesn’t really need some reinvention.
Then again, Shane Black is awesome. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of the best movies in the past twenty years, he has a string of monster hits in the action genre since its heydey, and Iron Man 3 wasn’t terrible (opinions will vary on that final point). If anybody was going to take the Predator franchise in a new direction, Shane Black is a guy I would feel confident with. Plus, you can be pretty sure it isn’t going to shy away from the violence and gore that the series lost in the AVP films.
The wheels are in motion, so hopefully we’ll get more and more news soon enough. Until then, go pop in the original and have a good time. There’s never a bad moment for Predator.