Things are coming full circle for Shane Black, the famed action screenwriter who made his on screen debut shortly after his first scripted movie (Lethal Weapon) opened in theaters. His first credited role was in Predator as Hawkins, the bespectacled, comic book-reading radio operator who was a member of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s special forces team. He was also the first man to die. Now he’s been resurrected within the franchise off screen, as The Hollywood Reporter tells us that he’s signed on to write a treatment for a new Predator reboot, which he’ll also direct. Black’s Monster Squad collaborator Fred Dekker is on board to handle the actual screenplay for the new installment.
A few things come quickly to mind with this news. One is that 20th Century Fox and original producer John Davis have finally, after 28 years, got Black to pen some material for the franchise they’d attempted to have him work on in the form of a script polish in 1986. Another is that he should make this a sequel where he again appears, this time as Hawkins’s twin brother looking for revenge, and he again dies first. Finally, the most immediate association anyone should have with something Black is involved in: this Predator will have to be set during the Christmas season. The funny thing is, there was already an image of the Predator made up like Santa Claus existing on the web just waiting for this all to happen.
Okay, so there are a few more things that have popped into my head now. One is that if this somehow end up Black’s next directorial effort that it’d be a shame if he can’t get Robert Downey Jr. involved somehow, as the actor has starred in the other two movies he helmed. But that idea has me imagining this as a mash-up where the Predator has to fight a certain metal-clad hero. No, I’m not referring to Iron Man. The dreadlocked alien was once going to battle RoboCop in a Dark Horse comic book, but the proposal never went as far as the page (there’s a fan film instead). Appropriate for the idea of it coming to life on the big screen is the fact that Dekker also wrote and directed RoboCop 3, his last official collaboration with Black, who made a cameo appearance in the sequel.
Hopefully all this brainstorming can be of help to Black and Dekker. Just to summarize, Predator Part 6 will star Robert Downey Jr. and Shane Black as two detectives on the trail of a chameleonic alien, the latter seeking closure for his twin brother’s murder in the ’80s, on Christmas Eve. But they die and then it’s all Predator vs. RoboCop. And yes, there are already images of RoboCop as Santa Claus online, too.