Back in 2014, 20th Century Fox made the surprise announcement that they were moving forward with a new Predator, with Shane Black set to write and direct. The filmmaker has a unique history with the franchise, since the studio wanted him to rewrite the original Predator script. They offered him an on-screen role as Hawkins, in hopes that he would also help punch up the screenplay while the movie was in production, although he never touched it. Thrillist caught up with the writer-director, who shed some light on why he took on this project, revealing that the studio wants to treat it as an "event movie."
"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 (Alien: Covenant), 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.'"
The original Predator followed Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who lead a group of soldiers on a mission in Central America to take down a gun running operation, where they run into the mysterious title character (Kevin Peter Hall), who hunts them down one by one. The movie wasn't a massive blockbuster, but it was profitable, earning just under $100 million worldwide from a $15 million budget. The movie spawned 1990's Predator 2, which moved the action to Los Angeles, followed by Alien Vs. Predator (2004) Aliens Vs. Predator - Requiem (2007) and Predators (2010). Shane Black has already confirmed that this new Predator is a sequel, and in this new interview he compared the size and scope of his last directorial effort, Marvel's Iron Man 3.
"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 3 instead of just another little movie. I said, 'Let's really do it right this time.'"
Earlier this month, original Predator star Arnold Schwarzenegger teased that he was meeting with Shane Black soon to discuss the possibility of starring in this sequel. While nothing is set in stone quite yet, the filmmaker teased that the actor is "still in talks" and that the script, which the director co-wrote with Fred Dekker, is "still a secret." It isn't known if the filmmaker will bring back any of the Predator 2 or Predators stars as well, but it's certainly possible. Are you glad that the director and the studio are treating Predator as a huge event film?