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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Despite the fact fans have a tendency to vilify remakes, reboots, and sequels — we live in an era of filmmaking that has them cascading into theaters in droves — many filmophiles are still looking forward to The Predator, the upcoming film from Shane Black that’s set to continue the Predator mythology that began back in the 1987.

In recent months, Black has given us sporadic updates, but nothing major. When last we heard, the film would be set in the present day, and while he wouldn’t confirm whether or not Schwarzenegger would make an appearance, he basically said that if he did, the character would be the same age as Schwarzenegger in real life — again, giving further credence to his claim that the film is set in the present day.

In an interview with Collider, Black gives perhaps his most extensive update on the project in a good while, starting with a shooting date.

“Right now we’re looking at probably beginning to mid February. I’m heading up to Vancouver in a week or two to go into a serious pre-production, so we’re on the cusp.”

Previous reports had stated that the film would have started production last month, but obviously things didn’t come together as quickly as they had hoped. The shoot had already been rumored to begin this coming February, but this comment from Black is the first real confirmation.

We should by no means take this to mean that the film’s quality will suffer. On the contrary, it’s comforting to know that they took the extra months to make sure the story is everything it needs to be. But what will the movie be?

It really isn’t as though this series has had a whole lot of consistently good films to find its voice. The first Predator was a bona fide classic, whereas the second was a disappointment. The Alien vs. Predator films were a stain on the brand, and while I enjoyed the more recent Predators, it’s fair to say that it didn’t hit the fandom as well as it could have. So what about this latest film? How will Black’s latest take on this alien measure up in theaters?

“I think the Predator movies have slightly veered from typical sci-fi in that there is a sort of thriller aspect to them. I think it should be scary, I think it should be funny, and I think ultimately it should be wondrous and about perceiving things that human beings very seldom get a chance to see… I don’t mean movie audiences I mean characters in the movie. I’m not saying the movie will be nothing anyone’s seen before (laughs).”

Regarding the main cast, Black was understandably mum. The film doesn’t start production for several months, so there’s no reason to start teasing audiences with specific details that will only fall through the cracks. However, Black did note that the dynamic that was in the original film was an important one, and one they’d likely stick to.

“I think it’ll be interesting to get a group of credible guys—the hallmark of the first one is you have guys together that are kinda funny and self-referential and also very tough. I don’t know that we’re going to deviate over much from that, but there are at least a couple of factors that we’ve deliberately chosen to make it not just that group of buff, tough guys.”

Coming into this latest Predator film, some fans may have been concerned that, given the franchise’s constant failure to have full-on success, the studio would shoot for a PG-13 rating in hopes that it would get more butts in seats. Black ensured the outlet that this would not be the case, and that 20th Century Fox has been incredibly supportive of their decision.

“Fox has been very cooperative. I mean part of it is the success they had with Deadpool, but I also made a case—and I think they agreed—that fans of the Predator generally, probably aren’t looking to go to see a PG-13-rated version of it. It would be more of a letdown if it was sort of tailored to a family friendly audience than if it were allowed to play out to the same scale and level that the first R-rated one did.”

What do you think? Are you excited to hear some of these comments straight from the horse’s mouth? Let us know your thoughts down below!

The Predator hits theaters on February 9, 2018.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.