In a recent interview with IGN, writer-director Shane Black talked about the importance of maintaining a sense of mystery around the alien hunter in his Predator sequel, because that’s exactly what Alien did:
The worst thing you could hope for in one of these is a shot in bright sunlight of a field and the Predator just kind of walks on and “hello”—you want to do … I keep going back to Ridley Scott, the way he captured the alien in [Alien]. The sense of mystery and portent. If we could just cut into a little piece of that—that sort of vibe—and then I think there’s humor to be had too.
No one is likely surprised to learn that Black wants to add a dash of humor to The Predator, but his reference to Ridley Scott might confuse those who heard Black’s Predator co-writer, Fred Dekker, on the Movie Crypt Podcast using a different allegory pulled from the Alien franchise: “If you think of the first Predator as Alien, ours is much more Aliens. It’s not Ten Little Indians … It’s a lot of people doing a lot of things in a lot of locations.”
This hybrid of a horrifying, mysterious Predator and a much larger canvas sounds exciting, but it continues to be weird that no one working on this film is citing actual Predator movies for inspiration. You may be wondering: “Has Shane Black ever seen a Predator movie? Sure, he did uncredited script work and acted in the original, but is there any proof he went to the premiere? Did Shane Black once walk by a TV playing Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem, assume the two creatures are the same thing, and design his Predator according to that awful Predator-Alien hybrid? … Oh my God, must Shane Black be stopped?”
But wait—Black did finally acknowledge the existence of other Predator movies when IGN asked him exactly when in the franchise this new film will take place. He answered, “It’s a move that’s set in our present day, or maybe the day after tomorrow … if we set ours in 2018, which is when Predator 2 is set, then we can only be a prequel to [Predators, which is set in the future]. So, you could say, yes, Predators exists, but people won’t be discussing it really. [Our film is] in the midst of the mythology.”
The Predator is due for release February 9, 2018, provided that Black can pull himself away from his favorite Alien movies to start production this fall.