Benicio Del Toro, the star of such classics as The Usual Suspects, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and last years Sicario, has just been announced to be in early talks to star in Shane Black’s upcoming Predator reboot from 20th Century Fox, due for release in 2018.
Black, who has previously helmed the cult film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the Marvel superhero film Iron Man Three, signed on to direct the newest Predator film in 2014, and has promised that the newest installment wouldn’t act as a reboot or retool of the original and wouldn’t forget about what had come before it, but it would instead act as a continuation of the previous films mythology. Think more Mad Max: Fury Road than RoboCop.
Discussing his philosophy on the project with Collider, Black has said that, “As far as [co-writer Fred Dekker] and I are concerned, anyway, why start over when you’ve all this rich mythology yet to mine?” Going further, the filmmaker added that what he is interested in is the idea of “inventive sequels” and the “the idea of expanding and exploring the existing Predator mythology, rather than hitting the restart button.” Who Del Toro could be playing in the film is being kept closely under wraps, but Black revealed earlier in the Summer that the film would focus on a hero called Quinn McKenna, but whether this would be the role Del Toro is undertaking is unknown at this stage.
The fact that Black is so adamant to continue the Predator mythology has lead to much fan speculation as to whether Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back to reprise his role as fan favourite Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer, after being noticeably absent from Predator 2 and Predators, as well as the subsequent Alien vs. Predator franchise. In 2015 Schwarzenegger returned to the Terminator franchise with Terminator Genisys, and so it isn’t completely out of the realms of possibility that the Austrian action star wouldn’t accept the call to defeat the predators once more.
With Del Toro now in talks for a leading role, this could mean that Black is taking the film away from the originals a little and forming his own story with a new cast of characters. The director also famously co-starred in the original Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle alongside Carl Weathers and Jesse Ventura, playing Rick Hawkins, a member of Arnold’s special forces team and the first to die at the hands of the Predator. Producer John Davis has said that the script is “entertaining,” recreating the “famous franchise in a different, interesting way; looking at it from a different light.”
Del Toro is also set to star in the upcoming film Soldado, the sequel to the American Crime-Thriller Sicario, which is set to be part of a standalone trilogy that shows the brutality of the Mexican drug cartels and the FBI agents charged with bringing them down. Del Toro will be reprising his role as Alejandro Gillick, a mysterious man with dubious intents and a shady past. Alongside this, the actor is set for a supporting role as a yet unnamed villain in Star Wars Episode VIII.
Predator is due for release in 2018.