When you think of hunters, many images come to mind depending on your frames of reference. For me as soon as I hear the word hunter I am instantly transported to a far off jungle where a gang of commandos are fighting for their lives against an intergalactic foe. That’s right I’m thinking about the Predator.
Seems I am not the only one thinking about the character as the dread-locked, voice mimicking “ugly son of a bitch” has never really been away from popular culture. In comic books he has positively thrived, with numerous titles shedding light on the species’ exploits, while fan films like Predator: Dark Ages take the Predator mythos into historical time zones.
So it’s a shame that the Predator’s cinematic adventures have not been as promising. The original 1987 movie was a huge hit and a whole heap of fun, while Predator 2 (1990) could never really give us the kicks we needed when the jungle got swapped out with the big city, and Arnie was traded in for Danny Glover. Though Predator 2 did give us our first taste of a crossover that would be realized in Alien vs Predator (2004).
Both AVP, and the sequel that followed are a mixed bag, and depending on who you ask are either incredible or terrible. Most people it would seem, consider AVP 2: Requim (2007) disastrous! But I, along with my [esteemed] editor Brian Kronner, would argue that R-Rated AVP: Requim better captures the nature of the two franchises, and while not great, at least delivers on their promise of alien combat. Something that the PG-13 rated 2004 flick didn’t do.
Pretty mixed feelings for most about Predators (2010) as well. Nimród Antal attempts to bring the film franchise back to its roots with a group of killers fighting against a group of Predators. This movie gave us a solid sword fight in a field, and a rather entertaining Walton Goggins convict character, but mostly felt like a weak retread of the original.
But this spell of bad luck may soon be over as a new script has now been officially finished and slammed down ready for production. Way back in June 2014, writer/director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Last Boy Scout, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) was working on a treatment for a new Predator movie. As well as being a skilled director, Shane Black has an incredible Predator based factoid about him. He played Hawkins in the original movie! So we have a character from the Predator franchise actually working on a sequel! Amazing! But I digress. He would eventually pass this treatment on to former writing partner Fred Dekker. Now Fred’s name may not ring a bell at first, but he was behind one of the greatest monster team up movies of all time when he and Black co-wrote the 1987 epic The Monster Squad!
So you can assume the script is in good hands. Whiz forward to November 2015 and we find out that Fred and Shane have finished the script which will be a sequel, and not a reboot, reason to be joyful there for Predator fans. There is very little information about this project other than Shane will be in the director’s chair, and it is meant to be an “Inventive sequel”. Inventive is a pretty strong word, and would imply that they are trying to think out of the box. But with the major cities, tropical jungles, frozen tundra, and outer space covered – where is there to go? Guess we will have to wait and see to know for sure. What we do know though is that Schwarzenegger has not been approached about the movie. But in this day and age of movie secrecy you can never rule anything out completely. Hopefully the new script will do more justice to a creation which surely needs some more screen time.
Why not look at some of the Predators most outrageous advantages while we wait for the new movie? you can read about Templar vs Predator action in the great short Predator: Dark Ages, how the Predator met up with Archie and finally see how it fared against Mega-City 1 law enforcer Judge Dredd.
Images: 20th Century Fox, TriStar Pictures.