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Benicio Del Toro has been a bit franchise-happy as of late. Specifically, in recent years we saw him put on a tremendously strange get-up to play The Collector in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Guardians of the Galaxy; soon he will be playing the new villain in Star Wars: Episode VIII; and he's even got a spin-off going for his character in Sicario. Those three would be enough for most actors, but it looks like Del Toro will soon be adding another series to his resume: The Predator.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned from inside sources that Benicio Del Toro is now in talks to play a key role in the upcoming The Predator, which is being directed and co-written by Shane Black. The trade report says that the film is being planned to have an ensemble cast (more people for the monster to kill, I guess), but they note that Del Toro will be "anchoring" the piece -- suggesting that he will be the one following in the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Glover, and Adrian Brody (and may be a guy named Quinn Mackenna). Sadly, there is no information about the personality of the character, or how he will fit into the plot we know nothing about.
What's interesting about this news is that apparently it's a development that has been in the works for a good amount of time now. According to the report, both 20th Century Fox and Benicio Del Toro have been discussing the idea of the actor being in The Predator for months. It's only because Del Toro's schedule has recently changed that things have been able to move forward, and now it looks as though he will be available for a shoot that is set to begin in the early months of 2017.
As mentioned earlier, basically nothing is known about the story being told in the new Predator, but we do know one thing: it's definitely not a reboot. When I spoke to Shane Black earlier this year for his amazing new movie The Nice Guys, he noted that moves are being made to actively solidify the continuity of the franchise, with elements in the narrative that tie back to the John McTiernan's original movie from 1987. Black wrote the treatment for the film, and Fred Dekker, who last teamed with Black writing the script for the 1987 cult hit The Monster Squad, is taking care of the screenplay.
With The Predator set to begin filming in February, with a release date set for February 9, 2018, you can expect that the next few months will be filled with sporadic reports about the blockbuster's development and casting. Given that it's a movie for which we're tremendously excited (even more so now thanks to the potential of Benicio Del Toro signing on), you can be sure that we'll have all of the updates for you here on Cinema Blend.