Shane Black's The Predator suburbs setting

Slipped into last week’s report about Olivia Munn joining Shane Black‘s The Predator was word that the film would be venturing into the wild world of suburbia. The news caught a lot of fans’ attention, since that’s not really where one would expect to find this franchise — and generated some excitement, because if anyone can make that combination work it’s probably Shane Black.

But it turns out he’s not planning to go that route after all. The writer and director has since spoken up to clarify that his Predator movie will not take place in the suburbs. Which means we’re back to square one in terms of trying to figure out Predator plot details. 

To back up a bit, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news last week that Black’s Predator “plunks the alien hunter — whom audiences have seen fight in jungles, concrete jungles, frozen wastelands and alien planets — in the harsh environment of … suburbia.” It sounded surprising, but not totally implausible given that Black likes to go for the unexpected. However, Black himself has now reached out to Collider to deny those reports and say that The Predator is not about the suburbs.

Plot-wise, we still know very little about The Predator. We know the main character is not Dutch (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original 1987 film, which happened to co-star Black). And that whoever he is, he’ll be played by Boyd Holbrook, who stepped in after Benicio del Toro dropped out. We know to expect a “strong” supporting cast that includes Munn.

Black has been very clear that though his movie is positioned as a soft reboot, it’s most definitely a sequel. “I think it has to stand on its own two feet, but our goal is to make sure it acknowledges that, yeah, it is 30 years later in the continuity of the story,” he said last month. “In other words, Dutch Schaefer’s patrol, which was attacked and largely slaughtered, happened 30 years ago in the context of the story. It’s referenced, it’s part of the mythology. In that way, it’s more of a sequel than a reboot.”

Tonally, he seems to be going for something that’ll frighten you and make you laugh. “I think the Predator movies have slightly veered from typical sci-fi in that there is a sort of thriller aspect to them,” he said. “I think it should be scary, I think it should be funny, and I think ultimately it should be wondrous and about perceiving things that human beings very seldom get a chance to see.” And it’ll most definitely be rated R, as he thinks a PG-13 version that pulls its punches would be “a letdown.”

Sure, none of that info really counts as concrete plot detail, but all in all, it adds up to a movie that sounds fun no matter where it takes place. Besides, with The Predator expected to start shooting in February, it surely won’t be long before we start getting some more information. The Predator stalks into movie theaters on February 9, 2018.

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