"The Predator" Screenwriter Shane Black Says The R-Rating is Essential

Friday, 28 October 2016 - 2:17PM
The Predator
Friday, 28 October 2016 - 2:17PM
"The Predator" Screenwriter Shane Black Says The R-Rating is Essential
Predator was one those 80's action movies that changed the game—not only was it filled with gunfire and the ultimate action hero (and Last Action Hero), Arnold Schwarzenegger, it was genuinely scary and suspenseful. The movie became so legendary that one of its throwaway lines, "Get to the choppa!", became one of the most oft-repeated movie phrases in pop culture (and it's own song!). How do you reboot one of the greatest B action movies of the past thirty years? Well, with one of the most acclaimed screenwriters in the entire action genre, Shane Black.

For the first time in living memory (it seems, at least), this is going to be a real Predator movie that doesn't involve that other famous predator, Alien's Xenomorph—which, by the way, is getting its own new sequel with brand-new, terrifying aliens. In fact, Black himself was sick of the Alien crossovers—that's why he was a little skeptical when Fox called him up about writing a new Predator movie. According to an interview with the Thrillist:

Opening quote
They called me and I was reluctant. 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." They're just sort of another Predator. "Oh, there's another one that came out."
Closing quote


Wow, Shane Black—that's pretty bold to say to the people offering to let you write their new movie. But Fox came back with the right answer:

Opening quote
They said, "What if we said to you we want to reinvent this, and really treat it with as much of an event status, or as much hoopla as we would the Alien prequel, which is coming out also? We really want to make this something. The kind of movie that people line up for." I said, "Really, you'll spend a bunch of money?" They go, "Yep." I go, "Make it [a really big scale] spectacle?" "Yep." "Shit, that sounds interesting."
Closing quote


So Shane signed on to make a real Predator movie. More recently, in an interview with Collider, Black talked a bit about what he would like the film to be:

Opening quote
I think the Predator movies have slightly veered from typical sci-fi in that there is a sort of thriller aspect to them. I think it should be scary, I think it should be funny, and I think ultimately it should be wondrous and about perceiving things that human beings very seldom get a chance to see…
Closing quote


Thrills, scares, wonderment...cool! But big buff guys with guns usually aren't the kind to revel in wonderment, right? Is the movie moving away from big, buff guys? They're kind of essential.

Opening quote
I think it'll be interesting to get a group of credible guys-the hallmark of the first one is you have guys together that are kinda funny and self-referential and also very tough. I don't know that we're going to deviate over much from that, but there are at least a couple of factors that we've deliberately chosen to make it not just that group of buff, tough guys.
Closing quote


Ah, more of a thinking-man's buff, tough guys—gotcha. Subverting expectations. Interesting. Finally, Black shared his thoughts on the R rating and how Deadpool made it possible:

Opening quote
I mean part of it is the success they had with Deadpool, but I also made a case-and I think they agreed-that fans of the Predator generally, probably aren't looking to go to see a PG-13-rated version of it. It would be more of a letdown if it was sort of tailored to a family friendly audience than if it were allowed to play out to the same scale and level that the first R-rated one did.
Closing quote


It's these kinds of remarks from a screenwriter that make us hope for a better class of action movie, the kind that spawns immortal one-liners like "If it bleeds, we can kill it." That was a simpler time.

The Predator is set to release in 2018.
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The Predator