While the original Predator may have its share of cheesy one-liners, it’s regarded by most as a modern action classic. It’s a movie that many consider Arnold Schwarzenneger’s strongest effort, a movie that would most likely be called John McTiernan’s finest hour if it wasn’t for a little film called Die Hard.
Still, even more surprising than the fact that Hollywood would touch the sacred cow of Predator is the news that none other than Shane Black will be directing the film. Before he made headlines for writing and directing Iron Man 3, Black was a talented writer who rose to fame on the strength of scripts like Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout.
Alongside his meteoric rise as a screenwriter in the late Eighties, Black actually had a small supporting role in the original Predator as the character Hawkins; this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it part was apparently a way for the producers to try and coax Black into polishing the script for Predator, a task which he repeatedly refused. All these years later, the Predator story appears to be coming full circle, as Black has co-written – along with Fred Dekker (Iron Man 3) – the treatment for the new Predator, which he will also direct.
Black has confirmed that the new Predator film, titled The Predator, is actually an “inventive sequel” and not a reboot. Now we’re left to speculate if the film will treat the events of Predator 2 (let alone 2010’s Predators) as canon or ignore everything except the ’87 original. Producer John Davis says that The Predator will “reinvent a franchise.” A “genius” draft of the script is complete and was written by Black and his writing partner, Fred Dekker (Iron Man 3).
The real question is: what modern actor could possibly step into the combat boots made famous by Arnold Schwarzenneger – let alone the other musclebound roles ably filled by Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, and Sonny Landham? Considering that most of today’s stars are cast to be pretty rather than buff, it’s most likely that this new Predator will look and feel radically different than the original.
As of February 2017, Predator has officially started shooting. So far, here’s what we know: The film stars Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl) as a special forces commando and Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse), who’ll be playing a scientist. Also along for the ride are Sterling K. Brown (The People vs. O.J. Simpson), Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), Jacob Tremblay (Room) and Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele).
Despite reports suggesting that the new Predator film would be set in suburbia, Black has since denied those claims, leaving us in speculation.
Updates: There was some talk about Schwarzenegger reprising his role as Dutch for a possible cameo, but Holbrook replied back in February: “Shane Black has made something totally new, somehow keeping within the realm of Predator [while also being] absolutely new in terms of the story that we’re talking about today, and rooted in something real. It’s real fresh. I don’t think you’re going to see Schwarzenegger. It would kind of make it a gimmick. It’s horror, science-fiction and a western.” But according to a recent interview, Schwarzenegger actually turned down the film (via Yahoo): “They asked me, and I read it, and I didn’t like it — whatever they offered. So I’m not going to do that, no. Except if there’s a chance that they rewrite it, or make it a more significant role. But the way it is now, no, I won’t do that.”
Predator hits theaters on February 9, 2018. We’ll keep you updated on its progress as we hear more. Until then, check out the first cast photo below (via Twitter):