Fans of the cult classic, Predator, might find something to get excited about in a new interview with writer-director Shane Black that popped up on Thrillist today. While Black said that details of the upcoming installment in the franchise remain "secret," he did reveal that it's on track to be a big-budget event film to be taken seriously, unlike those critically-panned AVP movies we got in the mid-aughts.
Black, the screenwriter behind the original Lethal Weapon, the 1987 buddy cop hit that still looms so large they're turning it into a TV series 30 years later, acted in the original Predator with Arnold Schwarzenegger after producers reportedly hired him in hopes that he'd help rewrite the script. Although he steadfastly refused to touch that script, fate would have it that he has taken over the franchise for what is maybe/maybe not a reboot, and perhaps a direct sequel, titled The Predator.
Black explained the studio's agreeability with his desire to take the franchise in a fresh direction for what would be the human-hunting aliens' sixth appearance on the big screen, which is what convinced him to sign on.
They called me and I was reluctant. I said, "Look. You guys at Fox, I mean, I enjoy these movies, but we've been churning out these AVP whatever, they each cost a certain amount of money, they're okay, but there's no effort to elevate them or make them any kind of an event." They're just sort of another Predator "Oh, there's another one that came out." They said, "What if we said to you we want to reinvent this, and really treat it with as much of an event status, or as much hoopla as we would the Alien prequel, which is coming out also? We really want to make this something. The kind of movie that people line up for." I said, "Really, you'll spend a bunch of money?" They go, "Yep." I go, "Make it really scale, spectacle?" "Yep." "Shit, that sounds interesting."
Black, who also wrote and directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Iron Man 3, also said that scale he was talking about is on par with a Marvel movie.
I think that they came to me knowing pretty much that... they said, basically, if I wanted to make Predator but treat it like it was Iron Man III instead of just another little movie. I said, "Let's really do it right this time."
Black wouldn't say for sure if Schwarzenegger is coming back for The Predator, but did confirm that he's still in talks. The film is scheduled to arrive in 2018. More immediately, Black's movie The Nice Guys, starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, is set to hit theaters on May 20.