When we heard from Shane Black last month about his plans for The Predator, he said that 20th Century Fox was able to woo him back to the franchise by pitching it as an event on the same level of Alien or Iron Man 3. He didn’t have much beyond that, but there’s certainly room to build an event franchise around the Predator. His films have been varying levels of cool (I say that as a defender of Predators, which was a really neat idea for the franchise), and if you put it in the hands of a talented filmmaker and storyteller like Black, you could really work wonders with the monster.
Steve Weintraub caught up with Black at CinemaCon to talk about Predator. First Black confirmed that it will be his next movie, so that means Doc Savage is probably going to have to wait a little longer:
Is it next?
SHANE BLACK: It would seem so.
What does that mean?
BLACK: Well it means that I’m working on the script, and barring an act of God, a safe from the sky, there’s nothing that suggests it won’t be the next thing, and I’m getting more and more excited day by day. I mean, there’s great Predator movies, but to actually play with the idea of making it an event, not necessarily in scale—it doesn’t have to be huge—but it just has to feel like a Predator movie you want to see in the summer and line up for it. And that’s what we’re going for. Let’s get back to the excitement and innovation of that original movie where it felt fresh. I just want to find a way to make it feel fresh and that’s what we’re trying to do.
He then addressed the possibility of Arnold Schwarzenegger coming back, which was also mentioned last month:
A lot of people are wondering if you’re bringing Arnold back.
BLACK: We have not talked about it, which is good because I’m not supposed to talk about it anyway. Not supposed to talk about details of the script. And I shouldn’t.
It won’t get you into trouble.
BLACK: [mock laughter] Haha! Trouble! Who cares! I think it’s something we’re looking into, and as this thing evolves and takes on more of a shape, we’ll figure out how best to honor the tradition of what is really a remarkable first movie and even parts of the rest of them as well.
Finally, with regards to when the film is set, Black gave us some firm info by revealing that it’s set in the present day:
Is it using the real time since the first film?
BLACK: This one will be set in present day.
Ah, so there’s a possibility.
BLACK: Yes, it’s set in present day.
That means, since The Predator is due out March 2, 2018, thirty-one years will have passed since the events of the original film. How that will affect the plot remains a mystery, but it’s a nice tidbit of info to have.
Black’s new film, The Nice Guys, opens May 20th. Look for more from Steve’s interview with Black soon.