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While the first Predator movie is largely considered a 1980s action classic, the franchise itself has been hit or miss, with the most recent entry, 2010's Predators, earning mixed reviews. 20th Century Fox is aiming to have more success with Shane Black's The Predator next year. But according to Keegan-Michael Key, one of the new movie's stars, The Predator shouldn't be considered a traditional sequel, even though it takes place within the same continuity as its predecessors. From Key's perspective:
It's not a sequel. [It has] lots of elements of humor [evoking director Shane Black's style]. It certainly lives in the universe of the five films that were made. I think that's probably the best way to say it and the only way I can say it right now.
Although The Predator was initially considered to be a reboot when it was announced, Shane Black later debunked that idea, as he's crafting a tale that can exist within the established Predator world. However, Keegan-Michael Key's comments suggest that one shouldn't look at The Predator as a continuation, but rather a standalone tale. Of course, the same could be said for 1990's Predator 2, because aside from having another Predator causing trouble, the sequel featured all-new characters in an all-new setting. Nevertheless, aside from the monster and perhaps a few references/Easter eggs, it doesn't appear like we should expect too many explicit ties between The Predator and the 1987 blockbuster that started it all.
Keegan-Michael Key also assured fans during his interview with EW that The Predator won't copy everything from the original Predator movie, slyly suggesting that moviegoers should expect a different experience. He said:
Predator was a real privilege to do, and if people think they're going to see a remake of the original movie, they're in for a surprise. A very pleasant surprise.
It sounds like The Predator should be looked at as an refreshment/relaunching of the entire Predator franchise, building in the basic, rooted concepts, but also standing on its own. For comparison, look at this December's Jumaniji: Welcome to the Jungle. Rather than remake the 1995 Jumaniji movie, the sequel exists in the same world, but folks who haven't seen the original movie will still be able to enjoy Welcome to the Jungle on its own thanks to its new characters and contemporary, video game premise. Of course, where The Predator is concerned, you can bet that if that movie is successful, Fox will put a direct sequel into development to keep the momentum going.