Director Shane Black certainly has a lot on his plate these days. Not only is his latest film, THE NICE GUYS, set to hit theater soon, but he already has two big properties ready to follow that one up. The first is THE PREDATOR, a film that’s set to revitalize the long-dormant franchise. Also on the horizon is a film chronicling the adventures of the decades-old pulp hero, Doc Savage.
Here’s what Black had to say about THE PREDATOR when asked if the sort of “macho” culture that it came out of was still relevant in todays’ world.
“I think that the only thing that the 1980s macho context really has to add is that back then, the actors tended to be moreâ€¦ I think more ‘men,’ and less ‘boys.’ For instance, back in the day, the ones who filled my head as I grew up: Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, those types of people in THE DIRTY DOZEN. ‘Men.’ I donâ€™t want to see a wiry kid with with a man-bun fight the Predator. And thatâ€™s the difference. Now, that said, I think it would be great to shake it up, that not everybody who goes up against the Predator is a tough guy with giant muscles.”
When asked if the title of the film, THE PREDATOR, refers to a specific Predator.
“There is a reference in the script as to why that makes sense but Iâ€™m not really supposed to talk about it.”
Black then went on to re-iterate the timeline of the franchise, and how it applies to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s potential involvement.
“Well, all I can really say is itâ€™s set present day, so that kind of lets out the one where they travel to other worlds. I think that was the Robert Rodriguez one. We can maybe do some pre-lapping [â€¦] but itâ€™s set in 2018.
[PREDATOR 2] all happened in 1990, but now itâ€™s 25 years later. So in other words, if Arnold [Schwarzenegger]â€™s in it – which Iâ€™m not allowed to discuss [laughs] – he would be old Arnold.”
Black also had plenty of comments in regards to DOC SAVAGE.
“For the sake of everybody, and the for the sake of humanity in general, the strategy with DOC SAVAGE first and foremost would be to pretend that the last time he emerged was in the â€˜30s with those pulps and the â€˜60s with the books. Ignore the movie and just concentrate on what it was that made him such a timeless character, who has survived now for 75 years.”
With that in mind, Black also made it very clear that he wouldn’t contemporize the character.
“I would never. In fact itâ€™s interesting that you ask that. I made it a condition. ‘Iâ€™ll do Doc Savage, Iâ€™d love to.’ They said, ‘Weâ€™ll set it in the present day where he fights Al-Qaeda. Thatâ€™s how you can get him to do movie tie-ins and do Chrysler ads.’ And I said, ‘Well, okay, goodbye!’ No interest. Itâ€™s a out a magical time when America was swamped, when democracy was still an experiment which, to some, was capable of failure. The Depression had everyone on their knees and they were looking to the exoticism of pulp and to the hope that this beacon offered, this guy who said ‘improve yourself.’ Itâ€™s the ultimate American story, that sort of rags to riches, Horatio Alger, done as a heroic thriller, and thereâ€™s just so much to say about that time period and the glorious romance ofâ€¦ if you ever saw a movie called My Man Godfrey, it opens with the Hooverville camps in New York City, and across the river you see the shining skyscrapers and even though itâ€™s a crappy little camp full of people hanging their laundry, itâ€™s the most beautiful image you can imagine. Itâ€™s weâ€™re all in it together, on the verge of a great war, and yet somehow the world is mysterious and exotic and if we can just get out of here thereâ€™s a yeti in the mountains somewhere. Thereâ€™s hidden under the sea a kind of secret civilization. Today if thereâ€™s a yeti we would have found it by satellite.”
So when would Black want to set the film?
“The Loch Ness Monster was sighted for the first time in 1939, when Doc Savage is set. Thatâ€™s when I want to do it.”
Which of these projects interest you more? Let us know in the comments down below!
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