How To Make New ‘Alien’ And ‘Predator’ Films Badass: PART 2

Feb 17, 2015

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It was reported by the trades over the summer that Iron Man 3‘s Shane Black would be writing and directing a new Predator film for 20th Century Fox.

Black reached-out to Collider to clear things up about the original report, clarifying the film is actually a sequel not a reboot and that his Monster Squad co-writer Fred Dekker would be working with him on the screenplay.

While the initial report said that Black’s new Predator film would be a reboot, Black tells us that he and Dekker see the project as definitely not a reboot, “As far as Fred and I are concerned anyway,” Black said, adding “Why start over, when you’ve all this rich mythology yet to mine?” Black said he doesn’t like reboots generally, but can “really get behind inventive sequels”, noting that he likes “the idea of expanding and exploring the existing Predator mythology, rather than hitting the restart button.” He went on to say that Dekker, who’s writing the screenplay, is “perfect” for the project, adding the two had a blast writing the screenplay for The Monster Squad together.

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Shane has been involved with the franchise since the beginning. Originally, tasked to help producer Joel Silver review the film’s script but was eventually cast as the film’s comedic relief playing the character Hawkins.

Black is known for his major contributions to the action genre creating the Lethal Weapon series, along with writing scripts for standouts like The Last Boy Scout and The Long Kiss Goodnight. It wasn’t until Marvel Studios hired him to replace Jon Favreau on Iron Man 3 that he started getting attention for his directing, as the film would eventually earn over a billion dollars at the box office.

His recent commercial success shouldn’t overshadow the man’s skill to write witty banter and dialog, something that’s been lacking with the Predator franchise. The one-liners and his action sequences will at the very least feel a bit more fresh, unless Black decides on recycling some of his standards like setting the film during Christmas.

Fred Dekker is helping Black with the script and has some interesting credits of his own which include Monster Squad, Tales From The Crypt, Night of The Creeps, Star Trek: Enterprise and co-wrote Robocop 3 with Frank Miller. I think he’s the perfect guy to get the horror and sci-fi elements down, and Shane covering everything else.

Currently, Black is working on The Nice Guys with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as his leads, it’s unknown when production on the fourth Predator film is expected to begin but it could be next if Fox wants it bad enough and if the script is really strong which we expect it will be.

There are couple of things that could help beef-up whatever Shane and Fred are cooking-up, as there are some aspects from the mythology that haven’t been explored in the solo films. I’ve come up with a couple of ideas from previous scripts and the expanded universe that could be worth putting into this new installment.

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Expanding on the mythology might be a good reason to finally give fans a better look at the Predator homeworld which we’ve only had glimpses at. It was a huge let-down when AVP: Requiem decided on only briefly showing the planet which did look very cool, but ultimately was wasted in a film like that.

This made me regret that Fox never ended-up using Robert Rodriguez‘s spec-script. It was a direct sequel to the original film not unlike Black’s purposed project, and saw Dutch return as the lead hero.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger was wanted for the sequel but conflicts with productions of Total Recall and Terminator 2 Judgement Day were originally named the cause of the problems. That’s until franchise producer John Davis revealed to Collider that money was the real issue. The studio tried to keep the budget similar to the last film which led to both director John McTiernan and Schwarzenegger becoming too pricey for them.

Davis still seems hopeful that Arnold could return in the future.

Yes. I talked to Arnold about rebooting Predator and doing something in terms of that. I think in terms of right now, it needs to rest for a couple of years. I can’t see why if we can’t be clever we can’t reinvent it again.

The plot of Predator 2 underwent a few changes in its earliest stages. Gary Busey’s character, Keyes, was actually intended to be Dutch, Arnold’s character from the first film. Schwarzenegger was very outspoken against the sequel’s concept, feeling that taking it into the city was a bad idea, and declined the role.

According to Gary Busey in an interview, Keyes and the CIA had been setting up CIA commissioned missions in the jungles on the Predator, which Dutch had been involved in, after the events of Predator, but they had lost Dutch. Which explains why Dutch (Schwarzenegger) didn’t appear in the sequel. I have to assume that they kept the door open for Dutch return in future sequels.

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The writing on the antique flintlock pistol, which one of the Predators gives Harrigan (Danny Glover) in the end, says “Raphael Adolini 1715”. A later Dark Horse comic tells the story of this character, making him a pirate who disappeared along with his crew in the Bermuda Triangle in 1718. This was also the subject of a potential sequel script written in the mid-90s, which was likely from from Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Sin City, Planet Terror).

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io9 had a bit of a comparison to Robert’s original draft from 1994 and the script for Predators. There are a bunch of major differences between the two scripts and enough of it was scrapped that could be salvaged for new movie with Arnold.

It opens with Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer (Schwarzenegger) captaining an intergalactic Spanish galleon ship (linked to Raphael Adolini and the Bermuda Triangle?) on an alien planet and is being attacked by a cloaked gang which reveal themselves to be human soldiers using predator armor and technology. They capture Dutch extracting him to the prison planet Arkus 6.

The hardened space marines mention that Dutch is a deserter and on their way to the prison they are ambushed by a predator, Dutch using his mud trick to evade capture. Surviving marines are dragged-off to Predator arena/camp where teen predators are taught to fight and hunt humans. The teens kill a couple of marines but then start pitting them against other aliens in a gladiator fashion.

It’s revealed that Dutch’s hated superior is working in tandem with the predators to obtain more predator weapons selling-off his marines and more specifically Dutch who they have a personal vendetta with. During his recon of the human prison Dutch discovers this and that predators are undergoing  genetic experiments.

There are more arena battles and with the help a wounded predator (survived in the Predators script) Dutch killed the King Predator, leaving Arkus 6 and a looming Predator invasion of Earth is foreshadowed.

Robert’s script it pretty damn cheesy but I’d love to see a couple of things pulled from it. Mainly, humans with access to predator gear and possibly even ships. This could allow for off-world clashes and maybe even some sort of plot that includes the predator homeworld.

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Predators have welcomed humans into certain clans after they’ve proven themselves worthy and this could lead to the advancement in human technology in that cinematic universe. I could see a group of rag-tag soldiers led by Dutch become an envoy to a Predator clan which eventually leads to some deadly clashes with other clans.

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The Predators have many different clans and the bad blood between them has caused skirmishes and even all out war. This was sort of teased in Predators and I’d love to see this further explored. Their hunter/warrior culture also needs to be further explained a bit more and why the rituals are so important to them. We could end-up seeing a clan of Predators that welcomes humans into their fold while other clans want the union to be severed.

I think one of the biggest hindrances with the Predator franchise has been the lack of technology and advancement of the humans. It’s less likely to have the humans thrown into a jungle for a third time or having present day cityscapes as the setting. Having Predator technology might be a way to extend the human life cycle, or they might have rituals to extend their lives. This could allow them to push slightly forward into the future with or without Dutch and more importantly away from Earth.

Some of the interesting comic book mythology has some cool human/predator interaction on off-world colonies. Not to say that the comics have amazing stories to pull-from but there are a couple aspects from the expanded universe that would defiantly help with the cinematic mythology and amping-up the science fiction aspect of the franchise.

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One character from the comics that never made it into the films was a badass Japanese character named Machiko Noguchi. She worked for Chigusa Corp. which is one of the smaller competitors of Weyland-Yutani. Machiko get’s entangled with a Predator hunt on one of company’s off-world colonies which ends with her becoming accepted as a human predator and given the name Da’dtou-di. She could end-up apart of Dutch’s crew or a human clan of predators.

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Another interesting female character that comes from the expanded universe is Lt. Linn Kurosawa. A cyborg space marine that worked alongside a future ancestor of Dutch in Capcom’s AVP arcade game.

We’ve never really explored cyborgs in the Predator franchise so that would be something new to add to it. Even in the Alien saga cyborgs aren’t used for combat, perhaps this could be a cyborg provided by another robotics company. Giving us a more of a combat ready replicant from Blade Runner more than a helpful synthetic from Aliens. This is another reason to possibly push the franchise more into a futuristic setting.

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We need a bit more of a female presence in the Predator franchise and having a secondary lead like Machiko could be badass to see on screen. I wouldn’t mind seeing Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim, Brothers Bloom, Babel, 47 Ronin, Kumiko) play Machiko and Rila Fukushima (The Wolverine) take the role the role of Linn.

PREDATOR-4_ROYCE_ISABELLE_ I could take or leave the return of Royce (Adrian Brody) and Isabelle (Alice Braga) from Predators but since they’ve survived a predator hunt they could convincingly join Dutch’s unit of badasses.

I have few doubts that Black’s take on the franchise will be both faithful and entertaining but I figured I’d include some aspects I’ve been wanting to see included since the 90’s.

What do you think should be included in a new Predator movie?

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