Just three months ago, Twentieth Century Fox announced a March 2, 2018 release for Shane Black's THE PREDATOR, an "inventive sequel" to the 1987 action classic PREDATOR, which Black co-starred in. That release date became a questionable one when Warner Bros. announced that they would be releasing their "Jason Statham vs. a giant shark" film MEG on March 2, 2018.
THE PREDATOR has now vacated that release date, with Fox shuffling their schedule to move the film to February 9, 2018. The new date puts it up against FIFTY SHADES OF GREY trilogy capper FIFTY SHADES FREED, giving couples going to the theatre for Valentine's Day two very different options to choose from. Fox will still be competing with MEG on March 2nd, as they have now scheduled a mystery Marvel project for release on that date.
THE PREDATOR is maintaining an air of secrecy as it nears a fall production start, but Shane Black has continued to discuss the project in interviews as he does the press rounds for his recently released action/comedy THE NICE GUYS. Talking to Empire, Black further explained his intentions to turn the latest PREDATOR film into an event picture, saying he's aiming to evoke
...the same sense of wonderment and newness that Close Encounters had when that came out. That's what we want. It's very impossible. But we're gonna try. ... It doesn't have to be 50 Predators riding motorcycles. It just has to feel like a powerful story that has a lot of flavours and textures."
One specific detail that Black was willing to give up to Empire is the hero's name: Quinn McKenna.
While talking to Adam Green on the latest episode of the Movie Crypt podcast, Black's THE PREDATOR co-writer Fred Dekker (with whom he also co-wrote THE MONSTER SQUAD thirty years ago) also discussed the project, saying that he and Black will be pulling back the curtain on the alien Predators a bit, delving into questions like "Why are they here? What are they doing? What's the bigger picture? Who knows if their agenda has changed?" These are questions he feels can be answered without taking away the effectiveness of the Predator itself.
He also mentioned that they were aiming high with their inspirations for the script, shooting for something on the level of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and Howard Hawks, wanting the film to have a blend of emotion and gravitas, and to feature characters that would be interesting and that the audience would care about even if the Predators didn't show up... And the Predators will show up.
Dekker said that, in terms of scope, THE PREDATOR is to PREDATOR as ALIENS was to ALIEN. And it won't just be about a group of people in one location getting knocked off one-by-one. This story involves a lot of characters doing a lot of things in a lot of different locations.
THE PREDATOR is getting more and more intriguing all the time.
Go see THE NICE GUYS!