In 1987, Arnold Schwarzenegger famously battled a technologically advanced extraterrestrial with glowing blood and a penchant for camouflage in Predator – a movie that would go on to spawn a number of sequels. In 2018 the dreadlocked creature will return, but it’s not a reboot, according to the writer/director Shane Black (Iron Man 3).
It took a lot of persuasion to get Black to sign up to resurrect the Predator franchise, but it’s a challenge the iconic filmmaker relishes. “I remember the first movie having a weird energy about it,” he explains. “It was a new idea, but it seemed like an old idea – and people really liked it. However, the magic had lost its lustre. Fox was putting out these movies every couple of years, and they would make a certain amount of money at the box office, but there was no sense that they were striving ambitiously to reinvent the franchise or do something great with it. They were just cheapening the brand.”
Black has strong plans to turn around the iconic franchise: “We want people to say, ‘Oh my God… There’s a new Predator movie out this summer. It’s three months away, but let’s get our tickets now! We want to line up and be the first
to see it.’ That was our idea. But how do you make it an event again? How do you see the Predator again with the same sense of mystery, suspense, wonderment and surprise?
“Audiences are so familiar with these make-ups now. You don’t want the movie with, ‘John, there’s an alien in the barn.’ And then, ‘God dammit… the Predator’s at the pigs again!’ There’s that sense of having seen and done it with these movies, but I want to change that. I want to make it a powerful mystery story that has a sense of Close Encounters about it. We’re going to peel the onion and find out what’s going on, so I really look forward to it.
“I’m getting more excited about it every day,” Black continues. “At first they had to talk me into it, but now I think we’re good.”
When it comes to the plot, Black has a few nuggets of wisdom to share: “It’s a sequel set in the present day of 2018, which is when the movie comes out. I don’t want to go to another planet right now. I want to stay on Earth, so that’s where we’ll be.”
The Predator will be released in cinemas on 2 March 2018. For all the latest movie news, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.