While 1987’s Predator is still considered to be a gem in the action genre, its numerous sequels and spin-offs could never match the original’s legacy. Now, with a new Predator prequel in works, this dry spell might break.
With Disney gaining control over the franchise’s rights, this upcoming project (tentatively titled Skull) is set to be an origin story for the first-ever Predator that visited Earth. Produced by Davis Entertainment’s John Davis and John Fox, the new direction that Skull offers might prove to be a worthy follow-up to its source material. Till then, fans can only keep their fingers crossed.
8 The Prequel Approach
Neither the Predator or the Alien vs Predator series have ever included a prequel before. An origin story for the titular extra-terrestrial creature is definitely a new step that needs to be experimented upon.
Kong: Skull Island is a good example in this regard that served as the prequel movie for a blockbuster like Godzilla vs. Kong. The younger adventures of the giant ape Kong established the movie monster’s image in a new light. Similarly, a prequel in the Predator universe can be the perfect vehicle to give much-needed backstory to the creature.
7 Going Back To Themes Of Survival
As one of the best survival movies of all time, Predator has a long-lasting legacy. Sadly, its sequels haven’t fared quite as well. On one hand, Predator 2 tried to incorporate procedural thriller tropes while The Predator raised the stakes pitting a group of Predators against PTSD-afflicted soldiers. In a conversation with Collider, producers Davis and Fox revealed how Skull might go back to the basics like the survival theme.
As Davis puts it, « It’s the ingenuity of a human being who won’t give up, who’s able to observe and interpret, basically being able to beat a stronger, more powerful, well-armed force. » This is most likely to imply that the protagonist would also rely on her brain and brawn to take down the alien, much like Arnold Schwarzenneger’s Dutch.
6 More Context On The Predator
The actual period of Skull is unclear at the moment, but there are chances that it might be set way before the first film. In most of the films relating to the evil and nefarious Predators, viewers only get a glimpse of their powers and weaknesses rather than deeper insights into their history and civilization.
Predator: Skull might provide more context to fans as it focuses on the arrival of the first Predator. Whether the intention of such a Predator is to just survive or take over humanity, the film is bound to clear such doubts.
5 A Fresh Protagonist
Dutch has been an iconic protagonist and is cherished even today as one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best characters. As for sequels like Predator 2 and Predators, not even talented actors like Danny Glover and Adrien Brody could leave a lasting impact on the audience.
Even though the producers have mostly stayed mum regarding the casting, Amber Midthunder is expected to star as a Comanche warrior called Kee. Rumors suggest that this character will fight the gender norms of her tribe while fighting off the other-worldly antagonist. Not only has Midthunder proven her dramatic prowess with regular roles in sci-fi shows like Legion and Roswell, New Mexico but her role might also set the film apart from the testosterone-fueled machismo of the first one.
4 Influenced By The Revenant
Not only does Skull take inspiration from the first Predator but John Fox also suggested that The Revenant serves as a heavy influence. In fact, he went on to add that « it actually has more akin to The Revenant than it does any film in the Predator canon. »
The Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer is arguably one of the best survival films movies based on true stories. So, while it’s unclear if The Revenant‘s historical period or metaphorical themes would be evoked in Skull, it seems to be quite amusing that a blockbuster franchise’s installment seeks inspiration from an artistic Oscar-winning drama.
3 The First Predator Film By Disney
Predator as a property was under the ownership of 20th Century Fox Studios, which recently got acquired by The Walt Disney Company. This would mean that Predator: Skull would be the first Disney film in the series. When it comes to the highest-grossing Disney blockbusters, the studio has largely had an unbeaten record, even though most of such productions are not rated R by the MPAA.
Since most of the Predator films oriented towards mature viewers, these hyper-violent actioners are mostly R-rated. While John Davis does say that Skull was conceived as an R-rated film, it might even be a PG-13, depending upon the editing process. Regardless of the rating, the Disney influence might reshape the currently oversaturated franchise.
2 Potential For A New Franchise
Predator as a franchise is loosely connected with almost every film functioning as a standalone chapter. While Shane Black’s The Predator was supposed to kick off a trilogy, the disappointing commercial performance of the film brought an end to those plans.
Even though the future of Predator: Skull is uncertain, the film’s hype and success can suggest its potential for a new franchise of its own. Like the aforementioned Kong: Skull Island, there’s also the potential to connect period prequels with modern sequels.
1 Dan Trachtenberg’s Direction
A lot of expectations are riding on Predator: Skull, not just because of the franchise but also because it will mark Dan Trachtenberg’s sophomore feature film as a director. The 40-year-old filmmaker broke out with 10 Cloverfield Lane, a sequel to the iconic found-footage horror movie Cloverfield. While Cloverfield has its fair share of fans, Trachtenberg’s sequel subverted all expectations in favor of a more dialogue-driven and minimalistic approach.
Since then, he has directed the pilot of Prime Video’s The Boys and the Black Mirror episode titled Playtest. With Skull, his audiences can only hope that he would reinvent a Predator film in the same way as he did with the Cloverfield series.
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