Why Shane Black Was Killed Off So Soon In Predator

Shane Black in Predator

Predator is a film in which nearly every character is killed. It doesn't matter if you're Carl Weathers or Jesse Ventura, you're dead. The first to go, however, was the man directing the new Predator movie. Shane Black, the writer of Lethal Weapon and director of The Nice Guys has a role in Predator as a character named Hawkins. He's actually the first one to go when the alien hunter gets started, and he really doesn't last long. As it turns out, there's a reason that Shane Black is the first one killed off. According to Predator producer John Davis, Black was only put in the movie because they wanted him around to help with the script. When Black, refused, they offed him. Davis says...

Shane was a really great writer who had just written this great script called Lethal Weapon. We wanted him to do a rewrite on the [Predator] script. So we put him in the movie, because he's an actor. And we got him down there, and we asked him to do a rewrite, and he said he was an actor in the movie and not a writer. So he was the first person we killed. He got killed seven minutes into the movie.

It's been brought up before that when Shane Black, who impressed a lot of people with the Lethal Weapon script, arrived on the set of Predator, he was asked to polish the script for that movie as well, but Black refused because he saw himself only as an actor on that particular film. However, producer John Davis' comments to The Hollywood Reporter are the first time we're hearing a couple of additional pieces of information. First, the fact that the only reason Black was cast in the first place was that they wanted his writing talent, not his acting skill. And secondly, that the reason Black dies shortly into the adventure was that the filmmakers killed him off once they realized they weren't going to get the help they wanted from him.

For whatever it's worth, John Davis must have gotten over any hard feelings because he's now producing the new Predator film, which is being directed by Shane Black. For that matter, one has to wonder if Black was annoyed at the time. One would think he would have noticed he was being unceremoniously removed from the set. He likely had an idea why.

Eventually, they did get Shane Black to work on a Predator script as he did write the screenplay for the new film. Black has clearly come a long way from being killed seven minutes in, though one wonders if any of the new cast will be living short lives as well. The Predator will hit theaters August 3, 2018.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.