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New Predator movie on the way from 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg

As reported by Deadline, 20th Century Studios is preparing to give one of its most iconic titles another go on the big screen. A fifth Predator outing is reportedly in very early development under the banner, and they've tapped director Dan Trachtenberg to lead the project. It's in good hands, as his resume includes directing credits on 2016's 10 Cloverfield Lane and the 2007 short film No Escape, based on the Portal video game series. Additionally, Jack Ryan and Treadstone writer Patrick Aison is signed on to pen the script.

While the story and the cast list is currently a mystery, the next Predator movie will apparently chart its own course instead of continuing the established story, last visited in 2018's The Predator. This might seem like a counterproductive choice to make, but it might actually be the best option on the table given how unsuccessful that entry in the franchise proved to be. In fact, looking back on Predator's complete silver screen history, taking the IP in a bold, new direction should be Trachtenberg and 20th Century Studios' top priority if they want it to be a smash hit.

The Predator series has a rocky history

The Predator franchise has had a complicated relationship with fans and critics alike across its nearly 35 years in pop culture. The original, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by John McTiernan, was a mild hit at first, critically and at the box office, but never quite reached the heights of its contemporaries like Alien or The Terminator.

As far as the direct sequel goes, the Danny Glover-led Predator 2 had a far worse run in theaters and was ravaged by critics, barely making its budget back to boot. However, much like its predecessor, many fans have come to recognize it as a cult classic. Regardless, its shortcomings effectively put the IP on ice for the better part of 20 years, aside from the two Alien vs. Predator movies from 2004 and 2007.

Come 2010, 20th Century felt the time was right for a new Predator installment to hit theaters. Under director Nimród Antal, Predators was hailed as a return to form for the franchise, bringing new elements to the universe, while remaining true to the original ethos of the series. As a result, Predators received largely positive press from all sides and took in a hefty $127.2 million gross, which isn't too bad on a $40 million budget.

Antal's movie never got a direct sequel, but Shane Black's 2018 project, The Predator, continued the series in what amounted to one of that year's most disappointing releases. It made its money back, but many reviews echoed the sentiment that it wasn't anything special and failed to add anything to the Predator mythology. These factors left many to wonder if it was time to put the brand out to pasture for good.

Dan Trachtenberg can learn from the positives and negatives of each of these films, and use them to make his Predator installment the best that it can be, restoring the name to its former glory.

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