Predator franchise gets a quadrilogy earlier on

The Predator series has been a lot more scattershot than Alien has. The latter at least has two universally-acclaimed films, and the third one was at least ambitious and had memorable moments. However, the former only had two films in the '90s until some not good Alien vs. Predator installments in the '00s, then no movies until the '10s. From what I understand, both the third and fourth movies went from average to mediocre and I'm not sure if either really developed the Predator franchise creatively in the same way the Alien sequels did.

So how could the Predator franchise been more similar in terms of the success of Alien? That is, it gets more movies closer to the first two movies? With more creativity in the sequels, and better quality generally?

I think my change would have to involve making Predator 2 better. One way in which I'd do that is to bring Dutch back, at least as a side character. The thing about Alien is that it is also Ripley's saga. A dark, horror filled hero's journey into an H.R. Giger sci-fi hellscape. Predator is of course different, it's more of a macho warrior series. So while I think Predator 2 should keep Danny Glover and the LA urban war zone setting, you should try to bring in Dutch for continuity's sake, at least to establish a plot thread that could be further explored in a proper Predator 3. It even opens up the possibility of a team-up, and a buddy commando movie starring Glover and Ahnuld would surely be a way to keep the series alive in the '90s.

Schwarzenegger's absence in Predator 2 is a POD worth exploring already:


The original script for Predator 2 included Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch in a prominent role, leading a team out to capture the Predator hunting in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, while producers wanted Schwarzenegger to return, he wasn't interested. Schwarzenegger disliked the script for the sequel, especially the idea of moving the action out of the jungle and into the city, and also didn't like Dutch appearing in a reduced role and being positioned as something of a villain this time out. He also wasn't a fan of Predator 2 director Stephen Hopkins. Dutch's intended part in the story eventually wound up going to new character Peter Keyes, played by Gary Busey in the final film.

Furthermore, as revealed by Predator 2 producer John Davis decades after the fact, Schwarzenegger wasn't happy about his proposed salary for appearing in the film, which was about $250,000 less than the actor would've liked. The fact that pay talks actually occurred at all suggests that if Schwarzenegger had been offered enough money, he'd probably have set his misgivings aside and returned to play Dutch, which makes sense, as Hollywood is indeed a business at the end of the day. Interestingly, Schwarzenegger has never warmed up to Predator 2, or any of the sequels, saying in interviews just a few years back how disappointing he found them. Then again, many fans would gladly agree that none of the sequels have come close to the quality of the original Predator.

There you go, the article provides a convenient POD: the studio decides to pay him more, or he agrees for a lesser salary because he gets a Nick Fury-esque cameo at the end + top billing as a co-star in a possible Predator 3. Maybe we invent the post-credits sequel scene early here as well.
 
Another thing I was thinking- for all of the latter sequels’ issues, each film does have an interesting setup:

Alien: haunted house slasher film in space

Aliens: Vietnam War style action movie groundside on a base

Alien 3: slightly surreal prison “escape” film

Alien Resurrection: somewhat of a mishmash of the other three films, slasher escape film on a military ship with more gun action than two of the prior movies, as well as character exploration, and some totally bizarre moments and also the same troubled production history as the third.

so if we have

Predator: jungle hunter movie set in warzone

Predator 2: urban variant set in an urban crime war, also more of a mystery

Maybe Predator 3 can similarly have a different setup? Going off of my original idea, it can be a Glover/Schwarzengger buddy cop-commando movie about two very different men fighting and investigating the Predator. Got to set it in a different setting though. How about a rural for something that’s in-between LA and the Central American jungle? How about the Louisiana Bayou to presage True Detective? (Which wasn’t actually set in swamp country at all, but still.) Maybe call it Predators and include a hunting pack for the first time instead of a single enemy.
 
Had an idle idea today. So take the Glover/Schwarzengger buddy cop-commando concept as well as Predators to be about dealing with a group of Yautja. My idea is to set it in the Old World: in Germany's Black Forest, specifically. The original movie was set in the literal jungle, and the second one was set in the urban jungle. I toyed around having the third one be set in something like a desert, but that seems like something more for later on in the franchise when you're running out of ideas, so let's keep it in the woods. The Black Forest, with the Germanic tribal traditions of boar hunting and so forth, could be something cool to tap into, and a little more tasteful and more original than just doing another exotic (to Americans) locale like say a jungle in Africa or the Pacific. Also, and I know this is somewhat breaking Hollywood's kayfabe of having Arnold play good all-American heroes, tie it to Dutch's background somehow. Even if it doesn't portray him as an immigrant-turned-Vietnam vet, he could say his family was from southern Germany or something as a nod to his actual Austrian ancestry.

So the duo hear about mysterious murders in the area and deploy there. Maybe even under the command of a special government force investigating the Predator menace. They have a lot of buddy cop chemistry- though I wonder if this might be somewhat limiting Glover, given that he already does this in Lethal Weapon!- and then uncover there's a group of Predators stalking the area. Arnold gets to do some ass-kicking and spooky chases through the forest. Maybe having defeated a Predator, the pack are reluctant to kill him right away, or they try to capture him after he gets too good at killing their group. Either way the two get separated at some point and the last act takes place in a looming gothic castle full of traps. At the very end Glover figures out the mystery and Arnold kills the head Predator leader with a traditional Germanic boar hunting spear.

I was thinking of including a rival team of high-tech Predator hunters working on behalf of a shadowy Japanese megacorporation (early '90s, yo), but that might clash with the setting a little too much. Also a little too reminiscent of Robocop 3. However, I think having a rival team of doomed prey would be cool, maybe they're European mercenaries led by a shadowy old-school English megacorp (for the other half of the Aliens/20th Century Fox dyad), with references to the Japanese. Then the fourth movie will take place in Japan, with both scenes in Tokyo (urban jungle) and the actual jungle being perhaps Japan's infamous Aokigahara suicide forest! Also it will have an augmented team of Japanese cyber-ninjas. The focus will be about two groups of Predators warring on Earth and thus be called Predator 4: Clan Wars.
 
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And another idea: what if the Alien franchise had the same disappointing trajectory as Predator? I'll have to think how Alien, Alien 2, Aliens, and The Alien might play out.

Might also have to consider something similar for Terminator.
 
Had an idle idea today. So take the Glover/Schwarzengger buddy cop-commando concept as well as Predators to be about dealing with a group of Yautja. My idea is to set it in the Old World: in Germany's Black Forest, specifically. The original movie was set in the literal jungle, and the second one was set in the urban jungle. I toyed around having the third one be set in something like a desert, but that seems like something more for later on in the franchise when you're running out of ideas, so let's keep it in the woods. The Black Forest, with the Germanic tribal traditions of boar hunting and so forth, could be something cool to tap into, and a little more tasteful and more original than just doing another exotic (to Americans) locale like say a jungle in Africa or the Pacific. Also, and I know this is somewhat breaking Hollywood's kayfabe of having Arnold play good all-American heroes, tie it to Dutch's background somehow. Even if it doesn't portray him as an immigrant-turned-Vietnam vet, he could say his family was from southern Germany or something as a nod to his actual Austrian ancestry.

So the duo hear about mysterious murders in the area and deploy there. Maybe even under the command of a special government force investigating the Predator menace. They have a lot of buddy cop chemistry- though I wonder if this might be somewhat limiting Glover, given that he already does this in Lethal Weapon!- and then uncover there's a group of Predators stalking the area. Arnold gets to do some ass-kicking and spooky chases through the forest. Maybe having defeated a Predator, the pack are reluctant to kill him right away, or they try to capture him after he gets too good at killing their group. Either way the two get separated at some point and the last act takes place in a looming gothic castle full of traps. At the very end Glover figures out the mystery and Arnold kills the head Predator leader with a traditional Germanic boar hunting spear.

I was thinking of including a rival team of high-tech Predator hunters working on behalf of a shadowy Japanese megacorporation (early '90s, yo), but that might clash with the setting a little too much. Also a little too reminiscent of Robocop 3. However, I think having a rival team of doomed prey would be cool, maybe they're European mercenaries led by a shadowy old-school English megacorp (for the other half of the Aliens/20th Century Fox dyad), with references to the Japanese. Then the fourth movie will take place in Japan, with both scenes in Tokyo (urban jungle) and the actual jungle being perhaps Japan's infamous Aokigahara suicide forest! Also it will have an augmented team of Japanese cyber-ninjas. The focus will be about two groups of Predators warring on Earth and thus be called Predator 4: Clan Wars.
Larry Correia actually wrote a short story set in ancient Japan about a Predator hunting in the Aokigahara Forest for the recent Predator fiction anthology which came out a couple years ago; in the story, the encounter with the Yautja eventually becomes the inspiration for the ninjas.

Also, the Predator novel series and comics have a lot of interesting premises which might make for a good move.

Predator: Big Game(both a novel and comic) set in New Mexico and covers a young Navajo man in the US Army taking on a Predator out in the desert. It’s got a lot of references to Navajo mythology, some really good fight scenes between the US Army troops sent to hunt it down and the Predator(the Predator manages to take out an Apache attack helicopter at one point) and one of the best endings out of all the comics.

Predator: The Bloody Sands of Time could probably be incorporated pretty neatly as backstory or expanding on the history of the Yautja; basically a lawyer is tasked with defending a US Special Forces operative accused of committing war crimes; a Contra training camp in Nicaragua has gotten wiped out in typically bloody fashion, and his lawyer has to try to defend him. A mysterious package on the lawyer‘s doorstep shows up with documents detailing a similar massacre in South Vietnam in 1968, as well of reports of Yautja hunting French and German soldiers at Verdun during World War One. I really enjoyed this one because it gives an even wider look into the sort of history of the hunts.

Predator: Bad Blood was a really good comic; a psychotic Predator fleeing from its own kind lands in the New Jersey Pine Barrens and goes on a rampage, slaughtering anyone it encounters. A former CIA black ops team gets pulled into the mess when their former employers show up with a small army of agents and try to hunt both them and the Predator down while a second Yautja arrives to try and “clean up the mess” so to speak. It’s an absolutely massive free for all, and one I’d love to see in movie format.

Predator: Hell Come A Walkin is another one of my favorites; it’s set in Civil War era Missouri and sees a Yautja hunting both a group of Confederate guerrillas(including Jesse James!) and Union soldiers stationed in the area. It’s got a pretty diverse cast, including a Native AMerida. Confederate guerrilla and a USCT soldier amongst the Union troops. I definitely enjoyed the story.

Predator: Prey to the Heavens is a more recent comic; it’s set in an unnamed East African country during a civil war. A team of private military contractors is deployed to the region to protect American interests, only for a pair of warring tribes of Yautja to show up and start going at it with both each other and the human soldiers.

As far as the other novels go, the two I really liked were Predator: Turnabout( a park ranger and former Marine working up in Alaska has to protect himself and the sister of a man who’d died in the park and was looking for answers from both a group of Yautja who’d arrived to hunt grizzly bears and a group of heavily armed poachers intent on doing the same thing) and Predator: South China Sea(a big game resort run by an army of former Khmer Rouge fighters gets paid a visit by a marauding Yautja; this one has some stuff which doesn’t quite fit into the “canon” of how Yautja are portrayed by most of the films/comics/ etc, but I still really enjoyed it).
 
As far as the other novels go, the two I really liked were Predator: Turnabout( a park ranger and former Marine working up in Alaska has to protect himself and the sister of a man who’d died in the park and was looking for answers from both a group of Yautja who’d arrived to hunt grizzly bears and a group of heavily armed poachers intent on doing the same thing) and Predator: South China Sea(a big game resort run by an army of former Khmer Rouge fighters gets paid a visit by a marauding Yautja; this one has some stuff which doesn’t quite fit into the “canon” of how Yautja are portrayed by most of the films/comics/ etc, but I still really enjoyed it).
The only two novels that I have read in the series .
I enjoyed both.
Since I had not paid much attention to the other books and comics, I did not know about what is 'canon' so it did not bother me.
 
The only two novels that I have read in the series .
I enjoyed both.
Since I had not paid much attention to the other books and comics, I did not know about what is 'canon' so it did not bother me.

It was more or less just a few little things here or there, like the ring weapon the Predator uses in South China Sea. Nothing that really hurts the novel, just.... a little different.

The author of Turnabout wrote a “sequel” short story as well for the Predator anthology which came out a couple years ago.
 
Now that Prey is out, I wonder how it compares. Now I’m imagining that what if the Alien franchise had mirrored Predator, and what its equivalent to Prey would be (Native?) It would be cool to have xenomorphs in a historical setting prequel rather than Ridley Scott tripping over and retconning his own legacy with Prometheus and Alien Covenant.
 
Many moons ago, when I were but a youth, I remember when an Aliens comic was first published (early 90s).

It had a mix of Aliens and Predator stories, and introduced the Aliens vs Predator concept. Weirdly, it also had an episodic Vietnam war story too, but I digress.

Anyway, this was pre-Predator 2. And it ran a Predator sequel story in some way similar at the start to how the second movie turned out, but halfway through the story, Dutch re-appeared and it moved from the city to the jungle.

There were also running stories that were sequels to Aliens (again, pre Alien 3 being made), and an Aliens vs Predator story or three.

The thing I most remember, is that the comic book stories were fairly good (and interesting). Sadly, the movie sequels after Aliens were shite - as much as I love Alien 3, it is obvious that the people making Alien 3 buggered it up something awful and it could have been so much better, and the later films were worse.

The Aliens vs Predator movies, on the other hand, are a great big steaming pile of shite. How they could ruin such a perfect concept is beyond me - especially when the comics did it so well.

So, to improve things, you need the studios not to make a bollocks of Alien 3, and persuade someone to read the comic book Predator stories to inspire them to up their game. Better stories all round may well make things more successful.
 
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Garrison

Donor
I assume this thread was inspired by Prey arriving on Disney+? Because by all accounts, haven't sat down to watch it yet myself it is the sequel they should have done years ago, going back to an earlier point in time and having the Predator going up against a less high tech enemy, Native Americans in this case. The movie Cowboys & Aliens might have worked if it was a Predator film and you can imagine Predator versus Vikings/Ninjas/Knights Templar could easily work and create a stronger franchise.
 
I assume this thread was inspired by Prey arriving on Disney+? Because by all accounts, haven't sat down to watch it yet myself it is the sequel they should have done years ago, going back to an earlier point in time and having the Predator going up against a less high tech enemy, Native Americans in this case. The movie Cowboys & Aliens might have worked if it was a Predator film and you can imagine Predator versus Vikings/Ninjas/Knights Templar could easily work and create a stronger franchise.
I've been thinking about writing a horror thing-y related to the Third Anglo-Ashanti War of 1873–74, but now that I saw this I thought it would be an interesting setting to drop a Predator in. Or, well, a fictional version of it in a film, most likely.
 
Anyway, this was pre-Predator 2. And it ran a Predator sequel story in some way similar at the start to how the second movie turned out, but halfway through the story, Dutch re-appeared and it moved from the city to the jungle.

I have to wonder if that story might have been based on early drafts of Predator 2. As per my OP, Dutch was supposed to return.

I assume this thread was inspired by Prey arriving on Disney+?

Me bumping this thread I made several years ago was, yes. And to see if anyone is interested in my Black Forest-set buddy commando movie where Arnold and Danny Glover have to fight Predators using ancient Germanic boar hunting traditions and solve a mystery.
 
You also need to keep a good director and cast - Alien as a franchise went into freefall when James Cameron and Michael Biehn left.
For all of the franchise's decline, Alien was always helmed by auteurs. The original Predator was directed by John McTiernan who is a solid action director but the sequel was by Stephen Hopkins, who doesn't seem to be as good, and even said of the film - "It’s so over the top. I just sort of went for it and made the biggest, boldest, loudest movie I could make. I was only 29 years old – I was like a rampant child, running around Los Angeles, blowing the shit out of everything and making things as bloody as possible."

I think it's fine for the franchise to be much more action and a lot less horror than Alien, and without the lofty sci-fi ideas or the creative direction of that series. But they still need better action directors at the top to keep it engaging, and at least some vision to keep it distinctive, iconic, and evolving.
 
I think it's fine for the franchise to be much more action and a lot less horror than Alien, and without the lofty sci-fi ideas or the creative direction of that series. But they still need better action directors at the top to keep it engaging, and at least some vision to keep it distinctive, iconic, and evolving.
Mutually-incompatible goals, methinks... it's a very rare kind of director that likes creative worldbuilding and cheap summer action.

Hot take, but Predator 2 was the one I liked the most - interesting new setting, and of course the matchlock at the end. Everything that came after it was just the same old slasher movie but IN SPACE.
 
Mutually-incompatible goals, methinks... it's a very rare kind of director that likes creative worldbuilding and cheap summer action.
It's rare, but such franchises exist- you've got your Mad Max, John Wick, etc. But I guess to achieve that with Predator, you also need continuity of the franchise around a strong core character who can pull off summer action and stylish or smart world-building. You'd really need to get Schwarzenegger to commit and hold the series together like he did to Terminator or Sigourney Weaver did to Alien.

On the flip-side, it'd be cool if the series had a new marquee hero with each installment, following how Glover was the face of Predator 2. Sadly that'd invalidate my Predators concept. What if you sub in Jean-Claude Van Damme or Dolph Lundgren instead as the buddy-commando to Glover's buddy-cop? Kinda loses the "two surviving veterans against Predators team up against them" aspect though.
 
On the flip-side, it'd be cool if the series had a new marquee hero with each installment, following how Glover was the face of Predator 2. Sadly that'd invalidate my Predators concept. What if you sub in Jean-Claude Van Damme or Dolph Lundgren instead as the buddy-commando to Glover's buddy-cop? Kinda loses the "two surviving veterans against Predators team up against them" aspect though.
Or we can have the grizzly veteran with the rookie sceptic, what the predator should have been
 
Or we can have the grizzly veteran with the rookie sceptic, what the predator should have been
Combining my research about how Schwarzenegger lost interest in the franchise after the original, and my "Predator franchise accidentally invents MCU post-credits scenes" idea from up-thread, maybe Dutch turns into the "cigar-chomping man" who shows up at the end of each installment, recruiting new badasses who can take on the fiendish ultimate warriors from outer space.

So have Lundgren or Van Damme (who are both at least a decade younger than Arnold) or some other similar action star paired with Danny Glover in my Predators: Old World concept, and have each successive sequel be another modern day warrior from more and more disparate and diverse backgrounds join Dutch's anti-Predator operation. I'll let someone else come up with the squad's name and acronym. Each installment adds a new action star, until they have enough full-fleshed out characters to do a better version of OTL's Predators (2010), with the entire squad thrown into the Predator hunting grounds planet. Maybe for that one the studio pays Schwarzenegger enough to finally come back into action. Actually, think less Avengers-style build up and more like The Expendables except not a half-ironic nostalgia fest made after the action movie wave is over.

Too bad this kind of crossover thinking didn't exist in the '90s. Imagine The Expendables with the stars in their prime.
 
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Combining my research about how Schwarzenegger lost interest in the franchise after the original, and my "Predator franchise accidentally invents MCU post-credits scenes" idea from up-thread, maybe Dutch turns into the "cigar-chomping man" who shows up at the end of each installment, recruiting new badasses who can take on the fiendish ultimate warriors from outer space.

So have Lundgren or Van Damme (who are both at least a decade younger than Arnold) or some other similar action star paired with Danny Glover in my Predators: Old World concept, and have each successive sequel be another modern day warrior from more and more disparate and diverse backgrounds join Dutch's anti-Predator operation. I'll let someone else come up with the squad's name and acronym. Each installment adds a new action star, until they have enough full-fleshed out characters to do a better version of OTL's Predators (2010), with the entire squad thrown into the Predator hunting grounds planet. Maybe for that one the studio pays Schwarzenegger enough to finally come back into action. Actually, think less Avengers-style build up and more like The Expendables except not a half-ironic nostalgia fest made after the action movie wave is over.

Too bad this kind of crossover thinking didn't exist in the '90s. Imagine The Expendables with the stars in their prime.
That could work very well, that could be a way to keep going the predator ball going. as you say the idea of a desert...that could work very well for the fourth movie..
 
I think the above concept also clearly establishes the franchise's identity as being about the world's best fighters against the ultimate warriors from beyond the stars. Like Alien is about escaping from the ultimate killing machine (ironically, the true ultimate predator) from beyond the stars. So each sequel needs to establish more interesting ways for the Predators to kill and be killed by a new kind of badass. But that doesn't require super creative world building, just skilled action setpiece design and fight choreography.
That could work very well, that could be a way to keep going the predator ball going. as you say the idea of a desert...that could work very well for the fourth movie..
Oh right! Having different hostile environments is another way for each sequel to differentiate themselves, and a way to keep the franchise's creative juices flowing. So a desert sequel, especially if set in another Hollywood depiction of a Middle Eastern conflict zone, would be perfect for Predators, as well as highlight how they might adapt differently to a different terrain. Would be really interesting to see how they could deal with a setting without any foliage. Probably could use some inspiration from Dune. And just imagine a fight scene against a cloaked Predator during a sandstorm, the particles exposing the silhouette of the menacing warrior...
 
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