Of the numerous comebacks that have come around this decade, none has been more exciting and promising than the return of 1980s action-movie guru Shane Black, and I’m including even the great Michael Keaton‘s resurgence in that round-up. For a Marvel sceptic like myself, the shock and thrill of witnessing his brilliant, evocative Iron Man 3, easily the best Marvel film to be released thus far, was not unlike an awakening, seeing just how character-driven and inventive the MCU could be if the projects were given to genuinely unique artists like Black.
The writer-director, who penned Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Last Boy Scout, and Last Action Hero, among other movies, will release his follow-up to Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys, this summer but his reboot of the Predator franchise looms even larger on his release schedule. And during a discussion about The Nice Guys, which looks like an awful lot of fun, with The Thrillist, Black touched on how he ended up taking on the reboot, entitled The Predator officially, despite refusing to work on the script for the original classic and having major hesitations about coming back to the tainted franchise.
Here’s what Black had to say about taking over the reboot after saying no to the original script:
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.”
He went onto suggest that the film would be an Iron Man 3-level event movie:
I think the first one was great, and it was contained, and it was a perfect little gem for what it was. I think there’s an expansion that needs to take place, and also just a love for that era, that movie, and the mythology of the Predator. 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.”
The Thrillist went onto ask whether or not Arnold Schwarzenegger would be returning for the latest film, Black said that negotiations are currently in process and the script itself must remain a secret for the time being, which is not surprising at all. I’m a hesitant supporter of Nimrod Antal‘s wonky Predators, as well as the trashy Predator 2, but the fact that Black will (presumably) give the film the size, scope, and personality that such a modern sci-fi classic deserves in its remake makes me extremely impatient to see how all of this develops.