Predator

Shane Black wants to make The Predator an event film. Initially, Black had reservations about the sequel, but 20th Century Fox’s idea of making a genuine piece of big-scale spectacle piqued his interest. Following the forgettable Alien vs. Predator movies and the underwhelming PredatorsThe Nice Guys director and the studio are intent on “doing it right this time.” By doing it “right,” that involves sticking to the original 1986 film’s R-rating.

Below, Black discusses how Deadpool‘s success might’ve helped the project and the new Predator costume.

Black and his co-writer, Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad), aren’t completely starting from scratch with The Predator. The film isn’t a reboot; it’s a sequel. Black, who isn’t a fan of reboots, is more partial to “the idea of expanding and exploring the existing Predator mythology, rather than hitting the restart button.” Still, we should expect some deviations and updates to make this franchise fresh again, including a new look for the alien species.

While speaking with Comingsoon, Black discussed the reasoning behind altering the original design:

It’s not to ‘improve,’ it’s make it fun, make it different, make it organically different. So what’s the extension of it that makes sense, that’s exciting? There have been a lot of changes to Stan’s design over the years. These different Predator movies have done different things. Ultimately it’s not about design to me, it’s about the story you want to tell. There are people who are always going to agonize over Iron Man, what color his suit is. Maybe this weapon does a new thing, but if the story is not good I don’t give a sh*t what color the suit is. In The Predator we’re doing a lot of upgrades to what you would consider to be the traditional Predator technology and look, but hopefully the story is what’s going to drag people in, not just the attention to the minutiae.

Black, as proven by Iron Man III, isn’t afraid of surprising or outraging fans to best serve the story at hand. But since this is Predator we’re talking about–a franchise in need of a distinct, new vision–fans will likely accept whatever changes the director and all involved make to the original design. Plus, taking into account this is a sequel set o30 years after John McTiernan‘s film, it’s reasonable to assume the aliens have made some serious upgrades to their armor and weaponry over the years.

To embody the spirit of McTiernan’s 1987 picture, Black knows he has to make an R-rated film. In an interview with Screen Rant, the director explained the importance of the R-rating:

I made it a condition of directing The Predator that it has to be the same rating as the first one, which was R. We probably could have gotten more money to do it as PG-13. But I actually think that although that seems like good logic, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. I don’t think the fans want a PG-13 Predator.

20th Century Fox recently made Deadpool, a massively successful R-rated movie. Around the time of its release, the hope was that it’d pave the way for more R-rated tentpole films. According to Black, the comic book movie has perhaps made studios less resistant to the idea of making big R-rated movies:

Before Deadpool everyone was saying exactly the opposite. It’s only been recently that this sort of thing has become more palatable to the decision makers.

That’s good news, especially for a filmmaker like Shane Black, who always fully embraces the freedom an R-rating has to offer. It’s difficult to imagine his latest film, The Nice Guys (which is just great entertainment), as a PG-13 movie, and the same goes for The Predator. A PG-13 Predator movie from Shane Black just doesn’t sound like a Shane Black movie. He can soften his language and violence for PG-13 material while maintaining his style, but this franchise, unlike Iron Man, calls for an R-rating.

The Predator opens in theaters March 1st, 2018.

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