Those of us who have followed the progress of Shane Black’s The Predator are simultaneously excited to see it and nervous about the final product. If horror journalism isn’t your bread and butter, you probably don’t know that, once upon a time, the reboot of 1987’s Predator had a 2017 release date. It’s since been rescheduled not once, not twice, but 4 time total (although to be fair, they once pushed the release date forward a month before knocking it back an additional 9).
When you’re dealing with a property like Predator and a company like 20th Century Fox, there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen; while there are benefits to collaborative creativity, the situation is also a recipe for hot messes. From the get-go, Black and the film’s primary writer, Fred Dekker, have made clear their intentions of giving The Predator a unique spin, one that will set it apart from its franchise peers and, indications are, a big part of that differentiation is comedy. The first test-screening for The Predator happened over a year ago and attendees (though no-doubt throttled by standard nondisclosure agreements) groused loudly. This led to at least one of the film’s postponements, and it was later announced that the entire production had gone back to Canada for “retooling” (a somewhat understated term, considering Black and company reshot the entire 3rd act of The Predator).
So, what gives? Unlike Blumhouse and Universal’s push to deliver a rebooted Halloween in time to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of John Carpenter’s seminal slasher, there’s no significant tie-in date for The Predator. This means the producers can punt back the release date as many times as they want; indeed, it’s something they should do if the film isn’t up to snuff. Still, the number of postponements, along with the amount of leaked chatter, have hardcore fans (and obsessive genre reporters) rightly on edge. And did I mention The Predator is on its way back to Vancouver for another couple days of reshoots?
“From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. The universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.”
Before performing the mother of all face-plants, it’s important to flush out a potential silver lining. The first draft of The Predator leaked before filming even commenced and it contained a tasty cameo for the star of 1987’s Predator: Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dutch. Though the former bodybuilder and California governor unceremoniously turned it down (despite the fact that it would have been a reunion of sorts, as Black had a supporting role in 1987’s Predator as well), today’s announcement regarding additional filming has some people holding out hope that… He’ll be back! I’ve seen the leaked script and, if it comes to fruition, it will be totally epic. Let’s keep our collective fingers crossed. So far, the announcement of additional filming hasn’t coincided with another postponement, and we’re hoping it stays that way; we’re currently expecting The Predator to invade US Theaters beginning September 14th. This news came our way via Screen Rant.