Plenty of filmmakers have a fallow period, but looking back, Shane Black’s wilderness years are a peculiar anomaly. After becoming the most in-demand screenwriter in Hollywood off the back of his work on the original Lethal Weapon, after which he penned a flurry of quip-heavy crime capers, he pretty much disappeared until his work writing and directing Iron Man 3, and is now doing the same for franchise reboot The Predator.
The first couple of trailers for The Predator have struggled with the hard sell of yet another do-over for the series (following the Robert Rodriguez-produced damp squib of 2010’s Predators), with the focus on the AVP: Requiem-worthy goofiness of the film’s “Ultimate Predator” antagonists not exactly setting social media alight with hyped fans.
Full credit to whatever marketing bod or exec chose the direction for this, the final trailer before the film’s imminent release, which finally shows it up to be what we all hoped it would: a Shane Black joint, through and through. Written with his Monster Squad collaborator Frank Dekker, the dialogue peppered throughout this teaser — delivered by the uniformly brilliant cast of Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, and Sterling K Brown, amongst others — is of exactly the sweary, self-aware stripe which makes the likes of The Last Boy Scout and The Nice Guys such a joy to watch.
Black previously appeared on-screen in the original Predator, his part as a dorky radio operator always cracking wise secondary to his behind-the-scenes role as on-set script doctor. He knows the material, and from the looks of it 20th Century Fox trust him to muck about with it as much as possible, with this trailer including Brown and Cooke quibbling over the naming of the Predator itself, Thomas Jane channelling Bruce Campbell, and some R-rating worthy gore.
The Predator also stars Moonlight‘s Trevante Rhodes, Jake “Yes, Gary’s My Dad” Busey, Keegan Michael-Key Game of Thrones star Alfie Allen and Room‘s Jacob Tremblay, the latter’s presence implying another subversive take on the precocious child actor gag ala Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys.
The Predator, will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, before touching down in UK cinemas 12th September 2018.