The New 'Predator' Movie Can Completely Revolutionize the Franchise
Set to release in 2022, Prey is going to be the fifth installment of the Predator franchise depicting the thing-they-probably-make-hot-dogs-from-faced alien’s first visit to Earth 300 years ago and his battle with a Comanche warrior named Naru (Amber Midthunder). So it’s technically a prequel and a reboot since it retcons a few things about the canon Predator history (Predatory) like how the previous movies established that the hunters were loving to prey on humans (and maybe eating us? You don’t know) since Neanderthal times and even taught us how to build pyramids.
At the same time, a solitary badass making the Predator preda-sorry, he ever set foot on our backwater planet does sound a lot like the time Arnold Schwarzenegger played a jacked Bugs Bunny to the Space Elmer Fudd in the first movie, so Prey does kind of also sound like a remake?
And while “it’s a prequel and a reboot AND a remake” should be pronounced with the same tone of voice a doctor uses to inform patients that their cancer, flu, and gonorrhea have all Voltron’ed together into a brand-new super disease, there are a lot of reasons to be excited about Prey. For one, the last time we got a combination of three of the worst buzzwords in Hollywood, the result was Cobra Kai, the definite proof that God wants to work things out with us. More importantly, though, Prey will FINALLY take the Predator outside his comfort zone of a modern-day setting, which we have seen in every Predator movie so far (though I don’t blame Predator 2 for going that route since it was bound by the conditions of the Silver He-Man Curse.)
Watching the Predator go up against modern people with modern firearms is all fine and good, but we can do so much more with the character. The Predators hunt humans for sport, and they don’t want to make it too easy for themselves, so they more or less try to match their weaponry to their quarries, like how you wouldn’t take reconnaissance drones and motion-activated sentry guns for squirrel hunting. This means the Predator would work in any historical setting without the movie ending in five minutes with a mountain of bodies with laser holes in their foreheads.
We can’t say for sure what will happen in Prey, but we can kinda assume that Naru won’t have to worry about being shish-kebab-ed by a massive spike dropped from space by an orbiting hunting satellite or something. The Predator will want to make a sport of the hunt set hundreds of years in the past, and that will not only inject (and spill) a lot of fresh blood into a franchise that has gone a bit stale over the years, it may completely revolutionize how future Predator movies work. Because what’s stopping Hollywood from turning Predator into a bunch of standalone films where he hunts down badass warriors from human history? I guess a fear of money and cocaine could do that, but I don’t think we have to worry about Hollywood coming down with that affliction.
Admittedly, this would require the Predator franchise to drop the idea that the aliens first visited Earth in the 18th century, which should be an easy fix. After that, the movies would only be limited by their imagination. Predator vs. a legion of Ancient Roman soldiers, anyone? Hell, base it on the story of the “lost” Legio IX Hispana, and the script basically writes itself. Why did this real-life Roman legion suddenly disappear from historical records? Because it fought a bloody battle against a terrifying demon from outer space, ultimately taking it down with that famous Roman battlefield discipline but getting wiped out when the Predator rage-quit the hunt and blew them all up.
Do you want a story more focused on an individual warrior? Done. Predator vs. an old berserker Viking trying to leave the warrior life behind but being forced to shroom up and give the Predator Space PTSD in their ensuing battle. Want the absolute best of both worlds? Have a Predator journey to Warring States Period Japan (the mere sound of which would give him a Prederection) and fight the forces of warlord Oda Nobunaga. In the end, after going through his army of samurai, it would be just the two of them: a badass warrior and marksman vs. a space badass warrior and marksman, since the historical Nobunaga was great with both a sword and the arquebus.
And it doesn’t have to stop there. There are so many badass people/groups from history that could take on the Predator in new and original ways. Polish Hussars, Zulu warriors, Russian Night Witches. The possibilities are endless so, to borrow a real quote from Shia LaBeouf: “Mom’s, like, playing naked connect the dots or whatever.” And to borrow a slightly more relevant quote from Shia LaBeouf: “JUST DO IT!”
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Top Image: 20th Century Studios