What do you get when you take famed director Robert Rodriguez and a bunch of Predators, then throw them all into Texas? You get a film idea that is so awesome, it is likely to make your head explode from awesome over-load. You’d also get a movie, a “re-boot” if you will, called Predators. At a press conference at Rodriguez’s Troublemaker studios, it was suggested that this idea could soon become a movie. Rodriguez, when discussing his upcoming slate of projects (specifically, the ones he wants to shoot in Texas), let slip that he was indeed planning on doing a Predator film.
“I’m going to be able to shoot my upcoming Machete here, a sci-fi action film called Nervewrackers, a re-boot of the Predator series called Predators, and a couple of smaller movies called Sin City 2 and The Jetsons.”
You may remember that a while back it was rumored that 20th Century Fox was going forward on plans to do a straight up sequel to the Predator films, thankfully without pitting them against those pesky Aliens. The story just didn’t feel real. All of the potential story ideas that were thrown out on various web sites were so ridiculous that the story just didn’t warrant reporting at that time. Now it appears as though one of the ideas is exactly what Rodriguez wants to do with the reboot. Predators is expected to follow a team of commandos who must face a mysterious race of vicious monsters. As a big fan of the previous Predator films, even the much maligned sequel, I can tell you exactly why I hate this story idea.
The Predator movies were wicked cool, in my opinion, because the Predators were big time bad-asses. Even though it was a given that there were many more Predators at various places throughout the universe, the films always focused on just one Predator. One single ass kicker. And it worked! It was so cool to see the Predator systematically pick off the humans one by one, establishing it’s dominance over the potential prey pool. So by the end of the film, when there was only one person left to face the Predator that single handedly took out a large group of humans, the drama was heightened. One hero facing impossible odds, going tough guy vs tough alien to decide who shall live and who must die. It was great. Imagine a whole group of Predators against one group of commandos. Even the best commandos the world has ever seen, wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of defeating a group of Predators if another group of commandos could barely handle one Predator.
What about the Predator sense of honor? Aren’t they supposed to be an honorable group of hunters who fight fair and believe in respecting their prey? So why would a group of Predators go after a team of human soldiers? I understand that this is a reboot/remake/re-imagining, but changing the best parts of Predator lore is a terrible idea. Even though the Predators have usually been portrayed as villains, they’ve always shown a healthy dose of respect and honor, which always made them more intriguing characters. They were villains, but they were somewhat like-able villains.
On the positive side, what better place to shoot a new Predator film than Texas? Remember, everything is bigger in Texas! Okay, so I’ve never been to Texas before, so it’d be hard for me to speculate on what any location in the state would mean for the film. I do know that the state is not what many non-Texans would expect in regards to topography. It’s diverse, from mountains and forests to prairies and deserts. So there are different ways for Rodriguez to go about filming things. It would be hard to guess what locales he has in mind for the film. I just hope they don’t shoot it in the praries and desert areas of Texas. I don’t like the idea of the Predator being restricted to traveling on foot on the ground or across the few rooftops of smaller towns in the middle of the desert. I love the first film, as the Predator had all kinds of different places to hide, different ways to travel when on the hunt, and so many potential tactical advantages being able to be high up in any tree at any given moment. It helped make that movie cool.
I’m all for Robert Rodriguez working on a new Predator project. I think he’s a fantastic director, and I absolutely believe that he is the right man for the job. He is very good at combining effects and story into one film that doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. I think it would be great to see him take on the task of recreating the way the Predators look on screen, and bringing the characters to a whole new level. So I’m very excited about the potential here. I love the fact that the studio is seemingly giving up on the whole failed Alien vs Predator idea. Those movies were interesting, sure. I watched them, and got enjoyment out of both of them. But they just failed on so many levels, when it could’vebeen a really great movie. The potential was always there, but both films missed the mark. The first one suffered from a lame story and poor acting. The “sequel” suffered from a lack of character development and… poor acting. I can only hope that Rodriguez’s project won’t suffer the same fate. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope that the studio learned from mistakes past.
There are serious questions as to when, if ever, we will see this project. Currently, Rodriguez is pretty busy over the next couple of years. Nervewrackers is slated for release in 2010, and the studio hopes for a 2012 release date for The Jetsons. You have to throw Sin City 2 in there somewhere. So where would Predators fit? It’s possible that we might not see this film until 2013, which would be a very long wait. Any number of things could happen between now and then, and we could very well see this get stuck in development hell, or possibly even being scrapped entirely. Right now, all we can do is speculate. So, let the speculation begin!