It’s been a year since we last heard about the new Predator movie that Shane Black is attached to direct, but we’ve got some good news: it’s still very much moving forward. The Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 filmmaker signed on to direct and write a treatment for a new Predator movie last summer, enlisting friend and Monster Squad co-writer Fred Dekker to pen the screenplay. While initially reported as a reboot of the property, Black—who appeared as an actor in the 1987 original and also contributed significantly to the script—subsequently revealed to us that the film is instead an “inventive sequel” that will mine the rich mythology of the franchise.
And “inventive” appears to be the keyword for this new film. Haleigh recently caught up with producer John Davis at the Television Critics Association where he was discussing his new NBC series The Player, and when asked if the Predator film was still happening he replied, “Oh yes, you better believe it.” The producer went on to discuss what makes Black’s take so exciting:
“Shane shot a movie and he’s doing a pilot now, but I’ve read a lot of his script and I think it’s genius. I think it’s genius and I think it’s entertaining, and what it did is recreate a famous franchise in a different, interesting way; looking at it from a different light. He’s just an amazing writer-director. He’s got a way of looking at this that makes you excited again. I love this franchise. It was the first movie I ever did. I remember in being in the jungle with Arnold [Schwarzenegger] as a 28-year-old and going, ‘This is a fun business!’…Shane’s amazing. He’s an amazing storyteller.”
Black recently wrapped the 1970s-set noir-ish pic The Nice Guys, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe and slated for release next June, but it sounds like he and Dekker are still hard at work on Predator. Davis continued to gush about the work they’re churning out:
“Shane’s got a writing partner, Fred Dekker. They’ve been doing it together and Fred’s great. The two of them together, they’ve been in the business for a long time, but the writing is so fresh, the perspective is so fresh. I’m telling you you’re going to get something you don’t expect and you’re going to say, ‘This is the most entertaining way to reinvent a franchise.’ I mean he’s the guy who wrote Iron Man 3.”
Indeed, Black has a distinctively acerbic voice as a filmmaker, which Davis assures us will be present in Predator. It’s unclear if this could be Black’s next film, however. He’s developing the 1930s-set adventure pic Doc Savage and the Remo Williams adaptation The Destroyer at Sony Pictures, and he’s also got a ways to go before the release of The Nice Guys so he may not settle on his follow-up until next year. I’m dying to see Black’s Doc Savage, but the prospect of the filmmaker tackling sci-fi and the Predator franchise in one “go” is highly enticing as well—especially in the wake of Davis’ effusive praise. In a sea of endless same-feeling sequels and reboots, the combination of Black, Dekker, and Predator makes this a follow-up to root for.