Today, a dynamite interview with The Nice Guys director Shane Black ran over at Thrillist. It’s a good read — not only does Matt Patches get at some nifty insights about violence on film and working with Ryan Gosling, but he extracts two tantalizing tidbits from Black that will only enflame fan anticipation for his upcoming projects.

First, Black outlines his plan for his recently announced reboot of the Predator franchise. Black has a long and troubled history with the horror/sci-fi series: the producers behind the original film approached Black to do a rewrite on the script, an opportunity that Black declined. They cast him in a role anyway, in the hopes that he could be persuaded to lend his pen to the script, and still he refused. Black explains that in order for him to finally commit to this franchise, he had to be 100% sure that he could do it his way:

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.’ 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 really scale, spectacle?’ ‘Yep.’ ‘Shit, that sounds interesting.’

He later expresses his wish to create the Iron Man III of Predator movies, expanding the public profile of the franchise to blockbuster proportions. It’ll be curious to see how that might work; the comparatively low-budget, practically DIY ethic of the original turned it into a sleeper hit, so lavishing it with CGI or massive set pieces will create an entirely different sort of creature.

Later in the interview, Black makes fleeting mention of his gestating Doc Savage project, an adaptation of the seminal series of ’30s and ’40s pulp novels featuring the adventuring hero. (Think Indiana Jones, Allan Quartermain.) Black knows exactly what he wants, but he might have to wait a little while to get it:

Doc Savage is sort of in the ether now. We’re hoping to make it sometime next year. 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.

A lot of exciting talk from Black, but talk is cheap. The Rock is expensive.

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