Shane Black’s The Predator to be 'harrowing' thriller that takes on PTSD and imperfect heroes

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Dec 20, 2018, 4:21 PM EST (Updated)

Shane Black says in a recently-released interview that his forthcoming film, The Predator, will be a “harrowing” R-rated thriller that takes on PTSD, learning disabilities and the government. As part of a recent set visit to The Predator set, Coming Soon spoke with writer-director Black about what his entry into the Predator film franchise brings to the table.

First off, Black (Iron Man 3) noted that, despite being known for blending genres with his films, The Predator is “ultimately gonna be a thriller. It’s not gonna be a comedy. It’s an R-rated movie and it’s supposed to be a kind of harrowing experience.” 

With this entry, Black — who played a small role in the original 1987 film — didn’t want the Predator “going up against a perfect specimen all the time.” After all, the heroes in the first film (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, and Carl Weathers) were all cartoonishly musclebound strongmen. So, for his film, Black thought: “maybe there’s a version in which misfits play more of a role and maybe there’s even a sense that The Predator himself is even an outcast.”

Black also noted that, although several characters in The Predator are soldiers (as well as one young boy struggling with learning disabilities), it doesn’t glorify war or dismiss the effect the military has on soldiers. “[W]hen I grew up war movies were not about the thrill of war in the ‘70’s, they were about the horror of war, but they still celebrated the camaraderie of the men,” he said. That having been said, he wanted to explore the mentality of former soldiers who “just executed assignments and didn’t ask about moral questions.” 

He went on: “I like the mentality of guys available who do that, but then who have been damaged by that. And so, we get a little taste, I think, of characters who aren’t as comfortable, but who are also killers. Ultimately, no matter how they may feel about it, they have a certain set of skills that can’t be turned off.”

Black’s Predator film – the fourth in the series – occurs between 1990’s Predator 2 (the story of which actually takes place in 1997) and 2010’s Predators (which occurs off-world in an unspecified time, presumably in the future), and reportedly has the eponymous alien stalking humans in the suburbs.  

The Predator hits theaters September 14.


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