Shane Black, writer of Lethal Weapon, has been tapped to direct The Predator reboot, though the famous and talented writer-director was reluctant to do so. In an interview with Thrillist, Black reveals that he wasn’t sure about tackling this classic and beloved franchise when Fox first approached him.
“They called me and I was reluctant,” Black told Thrillist. “I said, ‘Look. You guys at Fox, I mean, I enjoy these movies, but we’ve been churning out these AVP whatever, they each cost a certain amount of money, they’re okay, but there’s no effort to elevate them or make them any kind of an event.'”
Shane Black also directed the 2013 Marvel Studios film Iron Man 3, and when Black realized Fox would let him “make Predator but treat it like it was Iron Man 3 instead of just another little movie,” he was game and ready to take it on. “Let’s really do it right this time.”
The last entry in the Predator series, 2010’s Predators, was an attempt to reignite the franchise, by following the Aliens formula. They introduced several killer Predators instead of just one. For the most part, the film was fairly successful in doing that, earning decent reviews. However, it only brought in $52,000,688 at the domestic box office. For a franchise like this, Fox was hoping it could have done better.
Giving this Predator reboot to someone like Shane Black can certainly bring the series back to the tone of the first 1987 film and hopefully make it financially successful. The director currently has a lot on his plate. Along with The Predator reboot, Shane is also taking on a film adaptation of Doc Savage.
“Doc Savage is sort of in the ether now,” Black told Thrillist. “We’re hoping to make it sometime next year.”
Doc Savage is a heroic-adventure character, created in the 1930s in pulp magazines. Savage was also an inventor, explorer, researcher, surgeon, and physician. Apparently, Shane Black had only one actor in mind when considering who could play the lead role, an actor who is certainly becoming synonymous with blockbuster success and wide-audience appeal.
“I would very much like to do Doc with a fellow named Dwayne Johnson if we can make that work. I made a decision that Dwayne is the guy. It’s on the back burner while he’s busy.”
But would Dwayne Johnson agree to take on the role of Doc Savage? As of right now, there is no reason to assume that he wouldn’t. Johnson has a number of projects and franchises he’s involved with at the moment, including a television series on HBO called Ballers. Dwayne is going to co-host the 2016 MTV Movie Awards with comedian Kevin Hart — whom he will also be starring opposite in this summer’s action comedy Central Intelligence. Fast 8, Rampage, Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon, Baywatch, Shazam! and a few more titles are on Johnson’s to-do-list.
The former WWE wrestler seems like he loves to just work, so adding Doc Savage to his resume wouldn’t seem all that unlikely. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Dwayne Johnson tweeted his acceptance of the role later on this week.
But Shane Black has another film he’s getting ready to release, one called The Nice Guys, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. The film takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, with Gosling and Crowe as two private detectives who unravel a conspiracy involving a the apparent suicide of a fading porn star. It is a script co-written by Anthony Bagarozzi and has been an idea growing in their heads for several years.
Shane and Anthony originally wrote the very first draft back in 2001, with the hopes of making it a TV show, but that didn’t work, not even with HBO. The concept took place in the modern day but somewhere in 2010 was when they got the notion of making it a period piece, and that script ended up getting a lot of attention. But even then, it took a few years before it finally got made. “The two problems that epitomized LA in the ’70s, I think, were smog and porn,” Black said. “We wanted a plot that embraced them both.”
Shane Black’s reboot of The Predator is set to hit theaters March 2, 2018. The Nice Guys opens in theaters on May 20, 2016.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images / Twentieth Century Fox / Jason Merritt/Getty Images]