Shane Black is heading back to the Predator franchise. You may remember that the actor took a rare acting turn in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger action classic, appearing as one of the group of soldiers killed by the titular alien hunter. This time, though, he’s going to be a bit more in charge as the Hollywood Reporter is stating that Black has been signed to write the story treatment for and direct a reboot of the franchise for 20th Century Fox.
Black will be joined on the project by his Monster Squad writing collaborator Fred Dekker, with Dekker handling the main scriptwriting detail working from Black’s treatment.
The Predator franchise has been a troubled one for Fox. While the original was a big hit for the studio, the 1990 sequel was a bit of a dud at the box office. Outside of some licensed comic books, the property gathered dust at the studio until 2004 when the studio crossed the franchise over with its equally moribund Alien franchise for Aliens Vs Predator. Both that film, and its 2007 sequel, met with critic disdain and mostly fan disinterest. An attempt by Robert Rodriguez to reboot the franchise in 2010 landed with a thud as well.
Perhaps it his own roots in the `80s action genre as the creator of the Lethal Weapon series, but I think Black has a pretty good chance of being able to revive the Predator franchise and his work in last year’s Iron Man 3 shows that he can still work in that milieu well.
It is not certain when Black will start shooting the film, but it will probably be a ways off. Black has been working on an adaptation of the pulp hero Doc Savage for a while now. He has also been developing a 1970s crime film called The Nice Guys which Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have been circling.