The Predator sees writer/director Shane Black returning to a world he first experienced back in 1987 as an actor. In this new film, he’s expanding and exploring the story of the alien hunters and the human beings that must face the threat. With the government attempting to cover up the extent of Predator incursions on Earth, a rag-tag group of military veterans must figure out what is going on and how to save the world – or at least themselves – as the battle spreads from the depths of outer space to once-safe suburbia.
Black, a veteran filmmaker, has carved a career out of movies that blend action, violence, and machismo in a new way with comedy and style. The writer of such memorable movies as Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, and The Long Kiss Goodnight, he’s also made films including Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3. In preparation for The Predator, he talks about coming back to the alien creatures, his cast and making sure the threat was real.
Filmy Sansaar – What brought you back into the world of The Predator?
Director Shane Black – There were a number of things that were appealing. One was a chance to work with a co-writer, Fred Dekker, with whom I have a 30-year or more relationship. We’ve worked together before and it just seemed like a chance to go be college kids again – to revisit material that we both cut our teeth on, that we were excited about when we were younger, to play in the sandbox again. At the time, it felt like a bit of a lark. Of course, two and a half years later, it’s become quite a bit more than that. You think you’re digging a garden and then you have to bring out the steam shovel. But that was the fun of it, too. We’ve been grinding away and trying to make the best possible film for two years now. And I think that I’ll be glad when we get it done, but only because I think what we’ll have at the end of that process will be worthwhile.
Filmy Sansaar – Was there something particular that you wanted to say about the Predator universe or about this sort of film?
Director Shane Black – There was the draw of dealing with it not strictly as a fantasy movie but grounding it in that UFO Experience Film. There’s been an incursion. There’s been a visit, and gradually over the years as Predators have continued to hunt on Earth, we’ve noticed that now there’s a faction on Earth that understands what’s happening and is investigating these Predators. At the same time, I wanted to take the traditional tough guy unit of multi-muscled commandos and play with that a little bit. This sort of leaner, meaner group. The Dirty Dozen of it as opposed to the perfect SEAL Team Six version. Guys who are compromised or a little damaged and have to prove themselves. They represent the least likely bunch you’d expect to take on a threat from outer space that even the Army can’t stop. It’s a chance to do some good character work too and to assemble a cast that’s not so monosyllabic but can really light up a scene. We’ve got a wonderful group of actors, character actors. They’re just tremendous.
Filmy Sansaar – They seem like a really different, eclectic group, while also kind of keeping within your style of chatty guys that still get the job done.
Director Shane Black – They’re sloppy. They’re not graceful or gracious by any means, but there is this slapdash kind of come-together, the have-your-back feeling among them that allows for them to come through under ridiculous circumstances. It’s a funny movie. It’s a heroic movie. And hopefully, it’s a frightening movie as well because we wanted the R-rating. We wanted to be able to take people you care about and place them in the meat grinder. Really not sugarcoat the extent to which this Predator is a violent, deadly force of nature on Earth. Meaning it’s a rough journey for them. It’s the kind of movie I think that with this cast represents a throwback to ’80s filmmaking. I wanted to write a love letter to the original, with this rough, loose-limb raw boned male cast. Almost like a Western. Like a Wild Bunch. But that also I think has enough suspense, new-fangled technology and effects to render it viable in the current age. And I’m hoping that it will split the difference between loving the original and massaging that history, inventing its own mythology going forward so that it continues it and reinvigorates it for another generation.
Saajan Verma “Sanjay” is a Founder of FilmySansaar.com. He has worked for many producers and directors in Indian Film Industry. He is a good Hindi writer and his interest towards film industry has leaded to startFilmySansaar.com. Sanjay is a cool guy from small town landed at Mumbai and working in various fields in Bollywood. He has good knowledge in all the sections on film making, graphic designing and media production.
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