C'mon Hollywood: Give us another Predator!
One of the coolest modern movie monsters is undoubtedly the PREDATOR. Created by screenwriters Jim and John Thomas and designed by FX guru Stan Winston, the first iteration of the famed alien creature in 1987ís PREDATOR, directed by John McTeirnan, became an instant classic, forever embedding the creature in pop culture everywhere. Since that time, the franchise has seen two sequels of its own and two sequels shared with the ALIEN franchise, based on the H.R. Giger designed xenomorphs, made most famous by Ridley Scott and James Cameron, respectively. The last time we saw the dreadlock-wearing beasts was in 2010ís PREDATORS, which served as both an homage to the first film and a return to form after the embarrassing schlock that is the AVP films.
Although not a huge smash, PREDATORS did decent domestic box office, ultimately bringing in $127 million worldwide (from a $40 million budget). Thatís not bad at all and considering the popularity of the brand, Iím genuinely curious why itís been all quiet on the PREDATOR front since. The film was a damn fine entry in the franchise and put it back on track to make even better follow-ups, yet weíve heard almost nothing from Fox. Robert Rodriguez, who produced PREDATORS, teased sequel details a while back, but has been wrapped up in his MACHETE and SIN CITY sequels, leaving our mandible-wielding aliens blowing in the breeze.
The movie monster genre, as a whole, has been in a sad state for a long time. Mostly, we get SyFy original movies of giant spiders and hybrid creatures with cheesy effects, leaving anything refined or cool gathering dust. And, itís a damn shame. Now, we all know what the bottom line is (money), so weíll leave that as a foregone conclusion. We know the studio wants guaranteed cash for anything they make. But, thatís their problem. For everyone else, we just want to see another movie featuring a blade-wielding, laser-blasting, skull-collecting, bad ass PREDATOR.
Of course, not everyone loved PREDATORS and thatís okay, but I think most can agree that it was a step in the right direction for the franchise, which had become kind of a joke after the atrocities of AVP and AVP: REQUIEM, which made the creatures more like cartoons than something you would actually fear. PREDATORS, at the very least, brought back some of that fear and made these creatures formidable again.
So, how do we continue the PREDATOR franchise? Thatís the beautiful thing. You could go anywhere with it. We finally got off Earth, so the universe is the limit. New characters have been established (Adrien Brodyís Royce and Alice Bragaís Isabelle) who can be used or tossed, depending on the direction of the film. Youíve also got a former Governor back to acting, who would best be served in returning to his established franchises, including the role which spawned quotes that are more oft-repeated than those of former Presidents. Thatís right: bring back Schwarzeneggerís Dutch.
Weíve speculated on that in the past, but now it certainly could be a reality, as the Governator is no longer bound by his political duty. Certainly, itís getting a little tiring hearing about Arnold jumping back into all his old roles, but shit, weíve seen him as THE TERMINATOR three times, twice as CONAN, and only once as Dutch. Why not dabble in a franchise that he hasnít exhausted already? As the sole survivor of the first film and all around BAMF, the character of Dutch has a lot of offer. I mean, the dude survived a literal scrap with a PREDATOR and an atomic bomb. Thatís the guy I want on my team.
By taking the franchise to the PREDATORS ďhunting groundĒ planet, the story is an open road. Name your direction and itís good to go. Personally, Iíd like to see the sequel open with Royce and Isabelle surviving on the game planet, probably with a few new members (much like Laurence Fishburneís crazed character), trying to figure out a way off the rock. Then, a new batch of ďgameĒ are dropped in, with one of them being none other than Dutch, who is there by choice, not capture. Give him some back story that has him working on top secret alien shit for the past few decades, complete with advanced weaponry, etc and a shit-ton of knowledge that makes him a veritable force to be reckoned with.
From there, you could continue the fight on the game planet, but I think it would be better if Dutch up Royce and Isabelle, and hijacks a ship to the PREDATOR home planet, which is so vibrantly described in the expanded universe novels as a clan-based, pack mentality race of beings. Throw in some bad-ass human warriors into the mix and there are a ton of directions to go. Perhaps end the film with Dutch, Royce, and Isabelle having to prove themselves in a big hunt, possibly on a planet populated by, you guessed it; xenomorphs. With the current ďcrossoverĒ appeal working so well for comics, why not make it work with monster movies?
Bottom line, itís time to jump back into the monster genre and I think PREDATORS deserves another entry (as do the ALIENS for that matter). The doors have been opened and there are plenty of talented folks who could field another chapter, right down to Rodriguez himself. If nothing else, itís just a cool, fun, and kick ass franchise that hasnít yet reached its full potential. I, for one, would like to see it get there.
Time to get back on the bike, Fox
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|Extra Tidbit:||What do YOU think would be a good way to continue the franchise?|