THE PREDATOR Director Shane Black Talks Going Old-School on the Film to Tell The Story

Last week the first trailer for The Predator was released and while I enjoyed it, a lot of fans weren't too thrilled. I think this movie is going to be a lot better than fans think it will be. Shane Black is a solid and talented director! Sure, Iron Man 3 may not have worked out very well, but Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys were both fantastic movies! He's also written a good amount of classic films like Monster Squad and the Lethal Weapon films. I just think the odds are in his favor. 

Shane Black recently sat down with Collider to talk about the film and during the interview, he explained that he wanted to go old-school with this film to tell the story and help make it feel fresh. Fans are always talking about how practical effects are the way to go with films, and he embraced that while making The Predator:

"I think there was a great deal of nostalgia and also a desire to do a kind of old-school thriller in the form of The Predator, because I think the reason there’s a lasting quality that the original movie has that’s due I think, in part to the fact that it was made before it was so easy to just do a bunch of CGI effects and before video games had taken hold as well. So, there was a more visceral kind of war movie thriller-esque quality to the material because they weren’t saying, ‘What if the camera whooshed around, and the character fell off a cliff, and we followed him down, and then when he hit and we ran with him.’ Who’s the cameraman?! [laughter]

"Fred and I just thought — obviously we’ve kept up on visual effects and technology and we’re big fans — but let’s try to do an old-school kind of real hearty and heartfelt kind of war movie surrounding this story. And all the elements were like, spies, romance, mystery. Just stuff as much genre into one pack as we can, so you can literally unpack different facets of the movie, which is sort of a stew that represents, to us, the genre movie that we would’ve loved to see when we were coming up, when we were all young and still felt twenty-five."

I love that they are going old-school on this movie. Black then talked about the tone of the film and offers a bit more info on the plot, saying:

"It’s ultimately gonna be a thriller. It’s not gonna be a comedy. It’s an R-rated movie and it’s supposed to be a kind of harrowing experience. I think it goes to what Fred and I are very familiar with, which is, if you told me to write a comedy I’d be helpless, but if you say write a thriller and put some jokes in it, then fine. Then, I don’t have to worry. The curse comes off because of the narrative and the thrills…”You know what would be great here, is if the guy threw him the gun and he missed and the gun just broke a window.” Or, y’know, whatever. So, it’s that sort of combination and tone shuffling that becomes at once the juggling act and also the challenge, but the joy too of what we’re trying to do.

"There’s an element of intrigue and I think espionage/mystery, whatever. The government is involved in this and it takes it to the level of what happens when the Predator strikes, these incursions are not just an every-once-in-a-while phenomenon known to a few, but have come to the attention of an establishment that is actually set on preparing for and marshaling forces against these incoming Predator strikes. And, so it’s that sort of what the next step is, when they get noticed, that’s kind of what we start as our jumping off point for what’s different. And also, what happens when the Predators get a little more ambitious? Maybe it’s not just a weekend [hunt] anymore. So, we’ve had some fun with that."

I like what Black is saying here. This is the kind of stuff that gives me confidence that the movie will actually turn out good. He goes into a lot more detail about what he is trying to accomplish with The Predator in the full interview, so it's worth reading if you're interested. 

From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.

The movie stars Boyd Holbrook (Narcos, Logan), Thomas Jane (The Punisher), Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse), Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), Jacob Tremblay (Room), Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Sterling K. Brown (The People vs. O.J. Simpson, This is Us), Keegan-Michael Key, and Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica).

Black co-wrote the script with his Monster Squad co-writer Fred Dekker, and it will be released in theaters on September 14, 2018.

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