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While there certainly is a timeline to follow in the Predator franchise, continuity has never exactly been the series’ thing. All of the movies have centered around completely different human and alien characters, and as a result nothing really binds them together beyond all having the same badass looking creature. That’s something that Shane Black’s upcoming The Predator will look to fix, as the filmmakers behind the project are actively looking for connections that can strengthen the continuity.
I recently had the pleasure of talking with Shane Black over the phone about his brand new film The Nice Guys, and it was at the very end of the chat that we discussed his work on the next chapter of the Predator franchise. Discussing the fact that the previous movies have been all over the map in terms of world-building, but confirmed that it will be a story set in the year its released – 2018 – and will have tie backs to John McTiernan’s original movie from 1987. Said Black,
The trick is to go back in time and look at the other earlier films and say, for instance, in the first movie, what is there? Is there a scene in here that suggests something that we can almost in retrospect say, ‘See, it was set up in the first one!’? How do we find that little niche?
When you think about how modern franchises work, this is most definitely a great approach. The reason why cinematic universes have become popular is because fans have grown to respect efforts to create complex and smart continuities with recurring characters, themes and ideas. This is something that’s never really been a part of the Predator legacy, but it certainly makes sense to introduce it with The Predator.
As fans know, Shane Black has a funny history with the Predator franchise, as he was actually an actor in the original movie. Back in 1986, 20th Century Fox pursued him about doing a pre-production rewrite of the film, which was an offer that he turned down. The studio came back to him with an offer to actually play a part in the feature – the role of ‘Hawkins’ – which he accepted . When he touched down on the set, however, Fox once again pressed for him to work on the script – but he still said no.
In case you couldn’t tell, The Predator is still currently in its scripting stage, as filming isn’t set to pick up until the back portion of this year. Once things get rolling, however, it’s probably going to be a sizable production, all heading towards the movie’s scheduled release date on March 2, 2018. We couldn’t be more excited, but to get a taste of Shane Black’s particular magic much sooner than that, be sure to go see The Nice Guys in theaters this Friday, May 20th!