One of the most curious things about Shane Black‘s upcoming fourth Predator film titled The Predator, it’s being toted as a sequel to the original film rather than a reboot or continuation of Predators.
It remains to be seen if we’ll see Arnold Schwarzenegger return as nobody has been announced or linked.
However, there’s been delays in the production of the two Terminator sequels due to poor reception to Terminator: Genisys. Legend of Conan aka Conan the Conquer might not even start shooting even though they have a script finished, according to Arnold they still need to find a director.
“Yes, Chris Morgan and I are meeting with directors at this moment. Interest is high, many are fans of Conan but we are not rushing. We have a great script and now we need the right director for the job.”
This could mean Arnold might have an opening to be apart of the film, if they want him to.
Shane Black and Arnold have worked together in the past, which could help things a lot. Black had been asked to rewrite/write his own version of the Predator script for producer Joel Silver, and then was asked to join the main cast instead playing Hawkins. He also wrote the fourth-wall breaking action film The Last Action Hero, which just happened to be directed by Predator‘s John McTiernan.
I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if Shane does leave room for Dutch’s return and we already have a couple of existing ideas of how that could happen via unused Predator sequel scripts that were once commissioned by Fox. The studio actively attempted to have Arnold return in Predator 2, purposed Predator 3 movies, and even a small role in Predators.
This leads us to believe they could pursue him again for The Predator.
The role of Gary Busey’s Special Agent Keyes in Predator 2 was originally intended for Arnold’s Dutch, but because of scheduling conflict and a money issue he had to turn it down. Instead, it’s sort of left up in the air if his character was active or not. It’s possible Arnold could still be apart of this covert government group that Keyes leads in the film.
Three reported scripts for a third Predator movie were in development at different times and they all seemingly included Arnold in a main role.
One by Sam Park called Predator 3: The Deadlier of the Species, that included the setting of a blizzard and snow-covered New York City as a predator is hunting down Dutch. The snowy local eventually helped inspire the Alien vs. Predator‘s Antarctic location.
Another one written by Robert Rodriguez pre-Desperado in 1994, focused on Arnold and group of human soldiers with predator technology/weapons. It had humans working with/for predators, and Dutch captaining a 17th century Spanish galleon ship. You can read a bit about that script here.
Robert would instead eventually help create and producer Predators instead.
The 17th century ship in Robert’s script was possibly a nod to the final scene of Predator 2, where Danny Glover is handed the Spanish Raphael Adolini 1715 pistol. The backstory to Adolini would be later be expanded in a Dark Horse Comic book tied to the film.
Raphael Adolini was a pirate Captain of a ship. As he and his crew were sailing the Guinea coast, Africa they encountered a Yautja which they referred to as the “Golden Angel”. It is known that Adolini went missing in the Bermuda triangle in 1718.
Robert had hoped that Arnold would be able to shoot a cameo for Predators, but was still busy as Governor of California at the time. The part ended up being rewritten as Nomad, and Laurence Fishbure took over the role of a human scavenger that has survived for years on the hunting preserve planet.
It wouldn’t be terribly shocking to see Arnold with predator technology, or even inducted into a predator clan. In the comics, a Japanese woman named Machiko Noguchi is eventually adopted into a predator clan. This idea was sort of teased in both Predator 2 and AVP.
The third script called The Zoo was set on the predator homeworld, which has never been shown in the main franchise. It had Dutch and Danny Glover’s Harrigan pitted against other deadly aliens in a gladiator ring for the amusement of the population. If Black really wanted to expand upon the mythology, this could be a really neat way to go. Instead of returning to another generic jungle environment and rehashing the original film yet again.
A full-scale predator war within the clans with humans in the crossfire could be an interesting angle as well.
It’s possible that Shane Black could be working with a completely brand new script, the old one he was going to do back in the 80’s, or some sort of hodgepodge of these abandoned Dutch sequels. I think it’s a real possibility that we’ll be seeing Schwarzenegger one more time in this film, but we kind of need to know a bit more where Black is going with his “inventive sequel”.
“The idea of expanding and exploring the existing Predator mythology, rather than hitting the restart button.”
The film has the official release date of March 2nd, 2018 and likely wouldn’t need to start shooting until later this year or early 2017.