But surely Ryan Coogler will turn this into something special, right? A thoughtful commentary on the ridiculous 1985 film? Ah, see, that's the problem. Coogler isn't involved this time, neither as writer nor as director. You know who is helping write it? Sylvester Stallone. You really don't know what you're going to get here. Stallone oversaw a series that started as a character study of a down-to-earth boxer forced to grapple with his own inadequacies, then transformed into being about an oiled-up superhuman doing battle with a series of flamboyant Super Punch-Out!! characters.
That's why the franchise was a punchline for two whole decades until the more grounded Rocky Balboa came out. I would hate to be talking about Creed 3 in 2025, and be forced to utter the sentence "Creed was great, but the series really went downhill when Creed fought that android that had been programmed to beat him."
The New Predator Is Getting A Ton Of Reshoots
Imagine the dream team to take on a modern Predator movie. Did you imagine Shane Black (director of The Nice Guys, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Iron Man 3) directing and co-writing a script with Fred Dekker (writer of Night Of The Creeps, The Monster Squad, and the unmade '80s 3D Godzilla movie)? Because I sure did. And the best part about our wishes is that they're actually coming true. A Shane Black / Fred Dekker Predator movie is coming out later this year! We get to live in a universe where this is happening. Us! Stupid, unworthy us!
Oh, and the last third of the movie apparently got reshot, so don't mind that.
Reshoots are nothing new in Hollywood. People have been reshooting movies for as long as they've been shooting them, and nowadays, reshoots are built into a blockbuster's production schedule. If the goal is to create the ultimate crowd-pleasing moneymaker, you're prepared to drop entire characters and storylines -- and shoot entirely new ones -- after the first round of test screenings. It's not like there's some clear creative vision anyone is adhering to.
But ... this isn't the 20th Marvel movie or a Star Wars spinoff hoping to propel another calendar year of merchandise sales. The whole point here is that you're getting a unique piece of work from artists with a distinct voice. Black in particular is all about subverting genre tropes in clever ways, often winding up in the last place an audience expects (probably one reason The Nice Guys bombed). Call me cynical, but I have trouble believing that the instructions for reshooting the entire third act of their Predator reboot were, "Make it weirder, Shane! We're in the business of blowing minds, not giving in to damned focus groups!"
The New Mutants Has Repeatedly Switched Writers, And Genres, In The Course Of Production
When it comes to X-Men movies, we are now freshly in the Post-Jackman Era. We can no longer rely on Wolverine's intensely charming world-weariness to steer our mutant vessels to shore, so it's time to take some chances. One of those chances seemed to be The New Mutants. Featuring characters who hadn't been spotlighted in X-Men films before, the first trailer (released near Halloween 2017) made it look like a straight supernatural horror movie that happened to have laser beam people in it.
But the movie that trailer was teasing was only half horror. According to some outlets, the other half was like a John Hughes young adult thing. Don't get me wrong, I want an X-Men horror flick, but an X-Men-based Pretty In Pink sounds deeeeelightful. Anyway, from the studio's reaction to the reaction to the trailer (itself possibly cashing in on the IT remake smashing box office records), it seems like half horror wasn't horror-y enough. As Stephen King once said on the issue, "If you wanna be horror, better be the horror-est / I must confess, that's why they call me horror's best." He legit said that.
Anyway, 20th Century Fox decided that it wanted to implement reshoots and double down on the spooky stuff, while also adding more characters. This goes way beyond the typical superhero franchise reshoots mentioned earlier. The release date has now been delayed all the way to August 2, 2019, and it was revealed that the studio wanted over half of the film to be reshot in order to further change the tone of the movie.
To make it worse, all of this is just circling back around to the director's "original vision" for the film, an original vision that was only valid to the studios after a different, non-X-Men movie was successful, and after the original writers were replaced and brought back (there are rumors that up to a dozen writers were involved in the script at various points). And hey, maybe the end product will be fine. Some things do iterate their way to success.
If so, let that be a lesson to all aspiring directors: You will get to make your dream projects one day, as long as it's similar to someone else's very successful dream project.
Daniel Dockery has a truly lovable Twitter.
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