[Editorial] Remakes & Reboots & Positive Reactions


Shane Black - PredatorThis week brought news – I think it's safe to say – none of us saw coming. Twentieth Century Fox announced it was rebooting 1987's Predator with the ol' team behind The Monster Squad – Shane Black and Fred Dekker – steering the ship. Shane, who actually co-stars in Predator, will pen the treatment and direct, while Dekker will be placed on scripting duties.

The news broke while I was out of the office, so I wasn't able to weigh in on the initial announcement when it hit and was covered by Silas. And I want to say: What the hell?

A reboot of Predator feels arbitrary in the wake of 2010's Robert Rodriguez-guided Predators which was, more or less, a reboot/sequel. It stayed canon, yet introduced new characters and a new scenario that certainly could have been explored in further entries. The film, directed by Nimrod Antal, made a little over $127 million worldwide, yet grossed a paltry $52 million domestically on a $40 million budget. It didn't exactly reignite the series.

Hollywood, however, stubbornly refuses to clean up messes sequels leave behind by following a week entry with a stronger sequel, so it just reboots the property and wipes the slate clean. It's annoying, but it's how things work these days.

Now, I expected to see a shitstorm of reactions to this news when I returned to the office and hopped online. But what I found across both Twitter and Facebook were shared Predator story links accompanied by: "Holy crap! Awesome!" and "I'm so in!"

Again: What the hell?

This is a massive contrast to the usual fan-driven vitriol I see kicked up by the usual remake/reboot news. What has changed? Well, in this case, it's the players involved. Ahhhhh – so because Shane Black and Fred Dekker are the creative team on board, it's suddenly okay for a reboot? I get it. I really do. Black is an incredible writer and it's great to see Dekker get back in the saddle for something potentially cool. But, I have to ask: Are we – as fans – slowly accepting that "shit happens" and we should maybe give some remakes/reboots a chance? Because the opinions I saw today showed that. They were countered by some negative backlash, but I was surprised that the positive response far outweighed it.

Me? I'm not exactly thrilled to hear that one of my favorite creature features of the '80s is getting an overhaul. I actually thought Predators worked (and I don't believe Predator 2 deserves your hate). Still, I think we're safe in Black's hands; I can't imagine we'll get another Total Recall remake or RoboCop reboot. As I expressed in an editorial months ago, I take a "wait and see approach" to remakes/reboots these days.

Again, though, I found the fan reaction more interesting than the announcement itself.