With The Nice Guys clearly in the rearview mirror, director Shane Black is ready to focus his full attention on a new film set in the Predator universe. The project is being set up as a sequel to the original Predator and will ignore the subsequent installments (and their steady decline in quality), and rumors have been circulating that Arnold Schwarzenegger would reprise his role as Dutch to headline the film.
Looks like that won’t be the case, after all: The Playlist was present for a live Q&A Black conducted with Empire, and he spoke about the protagonist of his upcoming venture into sci-fi horror:
“The name I’ve given the [hero] in ‘Predator’ right now is Quinn Mackenna. And that may change.”
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Schwarzenegger won’t be involved in the film, but it seems to indicate that he won’t be the focus of the story. For now, Black is keeping his mouth shut, because he wants audiences to walk into the theater without knowing too many of the film’s secrets:
“We live in a culture where everyone’s like, ‘[I want to] know everything about it before it comes out, and I want to be able to see every moment, and i’m gonna go back and forth on the goddamn YouTube channel and get every goddamn moment and every Easter egg.’ [But] I’ll tell you a little bit about it. It’s an attempt to event-ize the ‘Predator’ and make it more mysterious.
‘The Predator’ has been so overdone in a way —very low budget with a guaranteed return, every couple of years there’s a knock off churned out. It’s gotta get to the point where people buy their tickets in advance instead of saying, ‘Oh honey look, another ‘Predator’ movie. No, Adam Sandler’s got this thing on TV, let’s do that instead.’
I want people to say, ‘’The Predator’ is coming, I know it’s coming, we want to see it, it’s mysterious, interesting, it’s got the same sense of wonderment and newness that ‘Close Encounters’ had when that came out.’ That’s what we want. That’s very impossible to achieve, but we’re going to try.”
One of my biggest pet peeves about modern-day film marketing is that so many of a film’s biggest moments are often given away in the trailers, long before the film actually hits the screen. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a great example of this – I was shocked when Doomsday was revealed in the second trailer, and I couldn’t understand why the studio wouldn’t have wanted to let audiences be surprised by that moment, rather than spending the entire film waiting for it to happen.
So with that in mind, I totally respect what Black is going for here. Show the audience just enough to get them in the theaters, and then make them pay to see the rest. Star Wars: The Force Awakens did a great job in this regard – every trailer was more tantalizing than the last, but the film still had plenty of surprises up its sleeve that weren’t given away weeks before the release date.
Whether or not Schwarzenegger shows up in Black’s Predator film is kind of moot, at this point – I’ll be seeing this one regardless of Arnie’s involvement, because I love just about everything Black does. And if he’s in there, I have zero problem with not finding out beforehand. Surprise me.
The Predator is slated for release on February 9, 2018.
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