Our own Eric Walkuski talked to writer/director Shane Black at THE NICE GUYS junket today and was able to squeeze in a few questions about his upcoming PREDATOR film. Black originally starred in the first PREDATOR film directed by John McTiernan, with producer Joel Silver hoping it would help grease the wheels to get Black to work on the script back then. Now, things have come full circle and Black is taking the reins on the franchise. Here's what he had to say about coming back and taking over.
"I was reluctant to. If you look at the opening of the first Predator, with the helicopters coming in and landing with the smoke and the native people… It was so compelling because it established a world in which this is still mysterious for you. It's not a sci-fi world. It was so fresh back then, like a "why didn't I think of that, what the fuck?" quality to it. I'd like to get back to a movie where it's three months out and people are like, "Let's get our tickets now because we're aware of this, it seems like they put the money and attention into it, it's not just a knock-off." Really try to get back to that feeling of wonderment, mystery and adventure. A fresh movie. Without giving away details, that's been our goal. To say, "What's the John McTiernan and Joel Silver of this, and how do we get back to that?"
Asked if PREDATOR is his next directorial effort, Black said, "It is, it is." He was then asked about when they expect to go into production, saying:
"I think we're looking at end of September, maybe. Latest would be October, depending on casting. We might have to go over if we cast someone who isn't available yet. But if we get the right guys, September."
Lastly, he was asked if Arnold would be returning, to which we got what we expected: "Can't really talk about that!"
Good shit. The first PREDATOR film shaped my early movie geek mind in many ways and continues to stand as an all-time classic. Continuing the franchise has been a bumpy road thus far, but having Black on board to lead the charge fillls me with a lot of hope and his comments here only reinforce that, especially now that it looks like this sucker is really happening…and soon!
PREDATOR is set to hit theaters on March 2, 2018.