We just can’t stop talking about Shane Black this week. But given that I’m a huge fan of Shane Black — the dude who gave us Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Iron Man 3 — I’m pretty okay with that. Yesterday we got to share the awesome news that Thor actor Chris Hemsworth may wind up playing the lead in Black’s long-in-the-works Doc Savage movie, which would make for one of the best casting choices since Peter Jackson replaced Stuart Townsend with Viggo Mortensen in Lord of the Rings. But even earlier in the week we found out that Black was going to be making a new Predator film, which at the time was reported to be a reboot. Well, now Black has set the record straight: it’s a sequel, not a reboot.
Frankly, Black is one of the few people on the planet who I’d be totally fine with rebooting the Predator franchise, both because he’s a wicked-talented writer and director, and because he’s got a connection to the original — he played Rick “First to Die” Hawkins, he of the “my girlfriend’s pussy” jokes.
Once the story broke, the blokes over at Collider contacted Black to clarify the Predator situation, and Black described the project not as a reboot, but as an “inventive sequel.” Inventive is good. “Why start over, when you’ve all this rich mythology yet to mine?” continued Black, adding that he was excited by “the idea of expanding and exploring the existing Predator mythology, rather than hitting the restart button.” He’ll be directing and writing the initial treatment for the new Predator project, with his Monster Squad co-writer Fred Dekker penning the actual screenplay. Yeah, that’s another tidbit of Black’s backstory you might not have known: he co-wrote the ’80s kids classic The Monster Squad with Dekker, thus giving us the unforgettable line, “Wolfman’s got nards!”
It’ll be interesting to see if Black and Dekker — wait a minute, Black and Dekker? That should totally be the name of their production company. They need to get on that. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what parts of the Predator mythology they’ll pull from. Given how much Arnold Scwarzenegger is revisiting his old franchises lately, maybe we’ll get a return from Dutch. Or Danny Glover’s Lt. Mike Harrigan, assuming he isn’t too old for this shit. Or Predators’ Adrian Brody, I guess, if the other two won’t return Black’s calls. Just as long as they steer clear of acknowledging the Alien vs. Predator movies, except maybe to mock them.
At any rate, Black’s involvement has got me excited about a new Predator movie in a way I didn’t expect possible. I actually enjoyed Predators, but it’s nowhere near as memorable an entry as the first two films, and I figured the next we’d likely hear from the franchise would be an inevitable reboot announcement. It’s nice to have your cynical assumptions proven wrong every now and then.