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The Predator franchise has been floundering to recapture the success of the Arnold Schwarzenegger lead version for 1987. We’ve since received a bunch of horrific sequels and more recently a reboot/quasi sequel starring Adrien Brody. But now Fox has giving this franchise new life by putting in the hands of the incredibly talented Shane Black. Black, who has risen to prominence with his work helming Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, and this year’s The Nice Guys.

We do know that casting has begun for the film and production is slated for early 2017 with hopes of a 2018 release. Collider caught up Black on his press tour for his book On Story – Screenwriters and Filmmakers on Their Iconic Films and had an opportunity to ask about the impending Predator project. Black started by saying that the project is looking to start shooting in february next year.

“Right now we’re looking at probably beginning to mid February. I’m heading up to Vancouver in a week or two to go into a serious pre-production, so we’re on the cusp.”

When asked what tone he will take with this film Black answered with:

“I think the Predator movies have slightly veered from typical sci-fi in that there is a sort of thriller aspect to them. I think it should be scary, I think it should be funny, and I think ultimately it should be wondrous and about perceiving things that human beings very seldom get a chance to see… I don’t mean movie audiences I mean characters in the movie. I’m not saying the movie will be nothing anyone’s seen before (laughs).”

Not often we hear the term “wondrous” when describing a sci-fi thriller, but it’s incredibly refreshing. Black seems to understand what made classic horror thrillers so great. It seems that in modern hollywood we get dour ominous films that lack personality and focus on massive set pieces and grand visuals. Black went on to tease that the main ensemble will closely resemble that of the original film.

“I think it’ll be interesting to get a group of credible guys—the hallmark of the first one is you have guys together that are kinda funny and self-referential and also very tough. I don’t know that we’re going to deviate over much from that, but there are at least a couple of factors that we’ve deliberately chosen to make it not just that group of buff, tough guys.”

Finally, Black talks about why the R-rating is the right way to make this film.

“Fox has been very cooperative. I mean part of it is the success they had with Deadpool, but I also made a case—and I think they agreed—that fans of the Predator generally, probably aren’t looking to go to see a PG-13-rated version of it. It would be more of a letdown if it was sort of tailored to a family friendly audience than if it were allowed to play out to the same scale and level that the first R-rated one did.”

This is all amazing stuff, and it’s great to get some insight into what Black has planned to restore the Predator franchise to its former glory.

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