Exclusive: John Davis Talks About the PREDATOR Franchise, Potential Sequels, Reveals What Stopped Arnold from Doing PREDATOR 2

     June 6, 2011


A few days ago I sat down with producer John Davis for an extended interview.  While the main purpose of our sit down was to talk about his new family film, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, starring Jim Carrey, we also covered his early career, his thoughts on VOD, his relationship with Eddie Murphy, what he has coming up, and many other subjects.  Since the conversation was so wide ranging, I’m breaking it up into smaller parts, like I did with my interviews with producers Dan Lin and Neal Moritz.

While I debated what to post first, I’m going with Predator.  Davis served as a producer on every Predator film including the two Alien vs. Predator movies. As a big fan of what producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal did last year on Predators, I was curious if we’d get a sequel, and what was up with the franchise.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like anything is happening right now.  However, I did learn that Schwarzenegger almost did Predator 2 and the deal broke down over $250,000.  Hit the jump for more.

Predators-movie-imageThe big news for fans of the franchise is that nothing is brewing right now.  Davis said that even though all the Predators movies make money, “it needs to rest for a couple of years.”  He went on to say that it’s all about finding new ways to reinvent the franchise.  He went on to say:

“I can’t see why if we can’t be clever we can’t reinvent it again.”

However, while another sequel/reboot might be somewhere down the road, I learned an interesting fact from the past.  According to Davis, Schwarzenegger almost made Predator 2 and “the deal broke down over $250,000.”  With how much money Schwarzenegger makes, it crazy to think such a small number kept him out of the sequel.  However, back in 1990, Schwarzenegger made Total Recall and if he had agreed to be in Predator 2, perhaps one of his best roles would have never happened.

Here’s the part of my conversation with Davis about the Predator franchise.  Look for more with Davis tomorrow or Wednesday.

Collider: You started with Predator and I really dug the reboot you did with Robert Rodriguez.  How successful was that for the studio in terms of maybe making another one?

John Davis:  You know, those Predator movies…Tom Rothman said this to me, “Man, they all seem to make money.”  I get a big check every year on my net points off of the original Predator.  You know how hard it is to get net points on a studio movie, right?  It was hugely profitable.  It far exceeded its revenue on DVD than in theaters by three or four times.

John_Davis_ProducerYou’re talking about the original, right?

Davis:  Yes.  I talked to Arnold about rebooting Predator and doing something in terms of that.  I think in terms of right now, it needs to rest for a couple of years.  I can’t see why if we can’t be clever we can’t reinvent it again.

I actually really dug it.  I thought Rodriguez did a great job with it.

Davis:  Yeah.  It was really fun.

It was really good.  That’s why as a fan I’d love to see another one.

Davis:   Yeah.  He changed the setting.  He put it on another planet.  You have to keep changing the setting.  You have to find a clever way to do it.  If we were going to do it with Arnold; it was like, “Does it make sense to go back and to put him with a young team?”  So maybe it’s 20 years later, you have retired, and you are the one person who has survived one of these encounters.  Is that a reboot in the fact that you are in it with a group of young guys?  Is that a reboot?  You just have to figure out a way to reboot it.  Rodriguez rebooted it.  It’s all in the planet.  The sequel to the first one rebooted it.  We should’ve had Arnold in the movie.  The deal broke down over $250,000, which is a shame.  But it was moved from the jungle to the city.  You have to create a freshness about it.  When we did Alien vs. Predator we kind of rebooted it because we put the two pieces together.  You just have to give it enough time to come up with a new freshness.  It is what they did so brilliantly with Fast Five.


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