Judging from some of the comments on his blog of late, it seems a distinct possibility that Michael J. Bassett is one of the “about seven” directors under discussion for the directing job on Predators. The comments were sniffed out by the good burghers of Quiet Earth, who surmised in them a connection to the Robert Rodriguez-produced sci-fi sequel. Bassett’s quotes after the break, as well as some details on the director.

Bassett’s films to date are Deathwatch, a supernatural horror film set in the trenches of World War One; Wilderness, a kind of cross between Punishment Park and Battle Royale; and the upcoming Solomon Kane picture, based upon Robert E. Howard’s adventure novels. People seem to be falling over themselves to praise Kane, which surprises me a little as Wilderness was ho-hum blah material and I think that Deathwatch just stank.

Here’s Bassett blogging optimistically on the 6th of June:

I’m going to be in LA for Monday through Thursday next week. Traveling all the way there on my own dime from rainy England to meet with a producer about a project I’d love to be involved with. He’s seen all my films now and likes them enough to want to meet face to face. Hell, I think I’d do an awesome job – sci-fi, action, aliens and violence – everything I became a director to do. Obviously can’t say what it is and in all likelihood it won’t work as I know he’s meeting with a bunch of guys who, I’m sure, are just as geeky as me but you can’t pass up the chance to take a swing at these things.

And then, on June 15th, he shares his progress with us:

I’m sure, if you’re smart, you can work out what high-profile project I’m talking about but at the moment there are several directors being met and considered so I won’t name names.  I’m also pretty sure I’m not at the top of anyone’s list for this gig, though god knows I pitched my little heart out for it. I met with the producer  (even though arranging the meeting was like trying to juggle mercury) at the very swanky Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills and spent a pleasurable few hours chatting about his work and achievements as well as this project. He’s a director as well and it was really interesting listening to some of his war-stories. He’s not much older than I am but has been far more productive in his time and I was pretty blown away by that sheer heads-down determination and work ethic he’s got. Makes me feel like a lazy underachiever in comparison.

Sounds pretty clear to me that Predators is the project in question.

So, let’s ignore my feelings about Bassett’s first two features. I think you might like to know a little more about him, and that he might be the best man to tell you. Here’s an excerpt from his blog post on which dream projects he has:

Alien is the reason I became a film maker.  I don’t care about Ripley, I want to know about the Aliens; their world, the ecosystem or intelligence that created them.  Imagine if the Alien in its home world was nothing more than a wasp or ant?  What kind of planet would that be? I’d rather Ridley Scott or James Cameron did it but if they won’t I’ll happily take a swing.  Anything has to be better than the Alien movies we’ve been served up so far.

I assume he’s excluding the first two pictures there. As a final note regarding the Predators gig, it seems that Bassett himself has a good idea of who will ultimately get the thumbs up:

I think I know who’s most likely to get the job out of the other names I’ve heard and if I’m right, then we’ll all get a great movie and if it’s me, we’ll then, we’ll get an even better one.

Can’t knock that confidence, can you?

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