How Shane Black's The Predator Is Adjusting To Life Without Benicio Del Toro

Benicio Del Toro Boyd Holbrook

A few weeks ago, The Predator made a pretty significant change. While it originally looked as though the upcoming action film would star Benicio Del Toro, the Oscar winner's busy scheduled demanded he leave the blockbuster -- and Logan star Boyd Holbrook has come in to replace him. Casting shake-ups like these tend to worry audiences - but writer/director Shane Black has assured us there's nothing to worry about. While there is certainly a plan in place for Holbrook to hit the gym, his plans for hero character Quinn Mackenna have remained the same.

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shane Black over the phone in promotion of his contribution to the Austin Film Festival-published book On Story - Screenwriters & Filmmakers On Their Iconic Films, and I took the opportunity to ask him about the development of The Predator. I asked if Quinn Mackenna as a character was being altered as a result of having a new actor in the role, but Black explained that nothing much has changed in the script -- before adding that he does plan to have Boyd Holbrook basically live in a gym for a while. Said the director,

You know, at some point we might beef up Mr. Holbrook a little bit, give him a physical workout schedule. That's what we all had to do on the first Predator! We had to become a slightly more exaggerated, beefy version of ourselves. It's a shame -- schedules just could not allow us to proceed in any way that met our start date that we insisted on with Benicio. But we do have this wonderful actor! That's the good news.

Boyd Holbrook has earned positive notices for his work in the past, and certainly has great potential to become an awesome central hero in the Predator canon... but he apparently won't be the only terrific star featured in The Predator's ensemble. While he couldn't name any names yet, Shane Black did tell me that the coming weeks will feature some exciting announcements about actors joining his squad:

[Boyd Holbrook] is a guy who is fantastic, and we're gonna beef up the rest of the cast, and make announcements very soon about the members of this team that we're setting up. And it's all people I really want, and want to work with. It's going to be a very exciting cast.

You can be sure that we will be all over every casting announcement we hear for The Predator, so be sure to stay tuned for that news. In the meantime, you can read more about Shane Black's work in in On Story - Screenwriters & Filmmakers On Their Iconic Films, which is now available for purchase.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.