Benicio Del Toro is in negotiations to star in The Predator, the reboot of the alien action movie series that Shane Black is directing for 20th Century Fox.
The 1980s producer mainstays John Davis, Joel Silver and Lawrence Gordon are producing.
Plot details are being kept hidden in mud but the new movie is said to be an ensemble piece anchored by the character to be played by Del Toro.
The actor and the studio have been dancing for months around this project, but one challenge has been been Del Toro’s schedule. That stumbling block looks to have been cleared and a February start date is being planned. The studio had no comment.
Predator was the 1987 muscle-bound action movie that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers and Jesse Ventura as commandos being stalked in a jungle by a fearsome alien. John McTiernan directed the pic, which was one of the films that cemented Schwarzenegger’s star power.
Black, who last wrote and directed The Nice Guys and created the Lethal Weapon movies, wrote the treatment for the script of the Predator reboot, which was written by Fred Dekker, Black’s university chum with whom he wrote 1987’s Monster Squad.
For Del Toro, if a deal is made, Predator will continue his franchise-movie streak. The actor has for years worked in gritty dramas but recently has started to branch out into more populist fare. He appeared in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and is slated to appear in Star Wars: Episode VIII. He also starred in 2015’s Sicario, and now that has the potential to become its own franchise as a sequel — titled Soldado and focused on Del Toro’s assassin character — is in active development.