In a new interview with Collider timed to this week’s release of Disney‘s Jungle Cruise, producers John Davis and John Fox revealed that Dan Trachtenberg‘s upcoming Predator movie will be titled Skull, will be an origin story about the Predator’s first journey to this planet, and it’s almost done filming.
The film will boast a female hero, “which I always think is interesting,” said Davis, who revealed what Skull has in common with the first film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“It goes back to what made the original Predator movie work. It’s the ingenuity of a human being who won’t give up, who’s able to observe and interpret, basically being able to beat a stronger, more powerful, well-armed force,” he explained.
“It actually has more akin to The Revenant than it does any film in the Predator canon. You’ll know what I mean once you see it,” promised Fox, though Davis declined to reveal the specific time period. “You can use your imagination. It is… early.”
Both producers were pumped about the script by Patrick Aison, but Davis reserved special praise for the film’s “brilliant director” Trachtenberg.
“Watching dailies, you just understand how his vision is completely unique. He’s got his own language and it’s fresh and it’s cool, and it’s interesting.”
As far as the tone of the film goes, Davis said it “it all depends on how you end up cutting it, right? It was conceived as an R-rated movie. It could easily end up PG-13. I guess I’m going to find out what it has to be or what it is when it’s all cut together.”
It’s unclear when we’ll get our first look at any images or footage from Skull, as a release date has yet to be determined, but Davis said that Trachtenberg is “probably three-quarters of the way through” production — a surprise given how little is currently known about the film, including its cast.
“Here is the interesting thing. We started conceiving this movie while we were shooting the last Predator movie. Dan came to me with a writer and an idea while we were shooting the movie. Emma Watts was really instrumental here. She said, ‘you know what, let’s go put this into development now and let’s push on this now. Let’s go for this now.’ We couldn’t be shooting one movie and prepping another, especially when one was the current-day end of the franchise and the other was the period beginning of the franchise. So it was always done with a lot of secrecy. It just continued to be something that’s going to be out there to surprise you.”
Davis was wise enough to acknowledge how perfect the original Predator movie is, as he even said “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.”
Those are fighting words, indeed, but I’m inclined to give this latest Predator project the benefit of the doubt with Trachtenberg at the helm, having been impressed by his directorial debut 10 Cloverfield Lane. There may not be any choppas to get to in this period film, but if it’s even half as intense as The Revenant, we could very well be in for a big surprise in 2022.