Shane Black Talks About His PREDATOR Reboot and Wants Dwayne Johnson to Star in DOC SAVAGE

The latest trailer for Shane Black's new detective comedy The Nice Guys just came out, and to mark the occasion, Thrillist spoke with Black about the trailer and a few of his upcoming projects, two of which are of particular interest to me (and hopefully to you).

First up is the Predator reboot that he's writing (with Monster Squad co-writer Fred Dekker) and directing. Thrillist Entertainment Editor Matt Patches provides some good context in his question, so I'll include that along with Black's response:

You're going to write and direct a new Predator movie, 30 years after Fox asked you to punch up the script for the original movie and you declined. Then the studio cast you in a role, hoping you'd rewrite the script, and you still refused. How does the guy who kept saying no wind up taking over the franchise?
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."

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."

As for whether Arnold Schwarzenegger is coming back, Black says, "Still in talks, script still a secret." But come on, we all know Arnie's coming back. He won't be able to resist.

Next up is Doc Savage. Black has also been trying to get a film adaptation of the pulp hero off the ground for years, and at one point Thor star Chris Hemsworth was in talks for the role. Now the writer/director has a different actor in mind:

Doc Savage is sort of in the ether now. We're hoping to make it sometime next year. I would very much like to do Doc with a fellow named Dwayne Johnson if we can make that work. I made a decision that Dwayne is the guy. It's on the back burner while he's busy.

Johnson sounds like a great fit for the character, but Black may be waiting for a while: Johnson is currently filming Baywatch, then goes straight into Fast & Furious 8, then Rampage, then San Andreas 2. Eventually he's also going to have to work on season 3 of HBO's Ballers and he's doing voice work for Disney's Moana in between all of that, so it could be at least another year before Johnson has enough free time to take on this project.

Read more in the full interview at Thrillist.

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