When you think of the most iconic sci-fi properties in Hollywood, three of the first candidates that come to mind are Alien, Predator and Terminator. While they share plenty of similarities and just as many differences, the Xenomorphs and the T-800 have one notable distinction over their contemporary.
Nobody is going to argue that John McTiernan’s 1987 original is the best Predator movie ever made, a rollicking ride of machismo, violence, action and iconic one-liners. Looking at the other two, though, arguments continue to rage to this day whether the first or second installments in the respective franchises can be deemed superior, with Aliens every bit the equal of Ridley Scott’s opener, while Judgement Day is like the first Terminator on steroids.
Even though we’ve seen Predator 2, Predators, a pair of Alien vs. Predator crossovers and The Predator, none of them can hold a candle to the adventures of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his crack military unit. Producer John Davis clearly knows this, and when talking about Dan Trachtenberg’s prequel that’s been officially titled Skull, he didn’t even try to hype it as the best installment ever, but did say it was as good as McTiernan’s contribution to the mythology.
“It’s going to be, I believe, the second best, or the first, or it may be equal to the first one. Right? I feel like the first one was a wonderful, interesting movie and I know what worked about it. I feel like we kind of never got back there again. We ended up in different places. I think this is a worthy complement to the first one. It’s going to be as good.”
Having been burned by the franchise several times before, although Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal’s Predators definitely deserved the sequel it never got, a period-set origin story for the intergalactic trophy hunters is about as novel a concept as we could hope to see. A stripped-down, back to basics approach might be exactly what Predator has been crying out for, offering a balancing act between fresh start, origin story and gripping survival thriller, all lashed with violent sci-fi trappings.