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The Predator franchise is one of the most violent and brutal film series in existence. After all, it's a universe of badass humans fighting the galaxy's most lethal hunters, so you can always expect plenty of blood and gore. However, I recently sat down with Edward James Olmos during the press junket for Pixar's Coco, and when the conversation shifted to his work on Shane Black's The Predator, he explained that the long-awaited sequel (don't call it a reboot) would actually be as funny as it is violent. Olmos explained:
Oh, my goodness. That's an interesting story. I haven't seen any of it, but it's gonna be funny. The kids in the thing. Yeah, the humor. Huge. Huge. I mean I was in shock, because, you know this is a really intense franchise, and it still is. Don't get me wrong. You're gonna be inside of it. But the characters are... what he did -- Shane is an incredibly gifted writer, and he's a great director, and so he ended up getting an incredible ensemble, and when I reached it they had already been filming for three months so they were a unit. So I jump in as the General and there were some moments where I just had to laugh in the scene and I couldn't be laughing in the scene. 'I'm sorry guys. Really, I'm sorry.'
Previous Predator movies have typically relied on a very stern and severe sense of machismo to set the tone of their stories, particularly the original, which has one of the more somber Schwarzenegger movie finales. However, it now sounds like Shane Black wants to inject some humor and fun into the franchise as a pairing with all of the blood and gore. In fact, Thomas Jane recently came out and explained that the sequel would actually revolve around a group of "shell-shocked" soldiers (something corroborated by Edward James Olmos' comments), and it sounds like the instability, and generally wacky personalities of these soldiers will be played for laughs whenever appropriate.
One other significant thing worth noting about Edward James Olmos' comments is the fact that Shane Black will continue to lean into his buddy-comedy chops and let the film's cast run wild. Edward James Olmos continued in our discussion of The Predator and said:
Because Keegan (Michael Key) and Thomas Jane, they make... they're paired off in groups of three groups. Six guys. The way they work, they were all post-traumatic stress disorder guys who were inside of an insane asylum. A mental hospital. Then they put the lead character in there to kind of make them disappear, because they want them kind of out of the picture. And so he gets involved and then boom, the world goes crazy and these kids are released. But out of a freaky incident with some of the Predators. It's crazy. It's so crazy. I'm excited for it, and I don't know what's gonna happen. I got a good feeling about it. I mean if it's really funny, and yet deadly like Predator is.
By dividing the group of six heroes into three pairs, Shane Black can explore different permutations of personalities. It sounds like the one shared between Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Jane will deliver some of the best laughs, and we can expect all of them to provide the types of dynamics seen in films like Iron Man 3 or The Nice Guys. Even in the film's more serious scenes, Olmos found himself ruining takes because of the hilarious back-and-forth between these performers. Now, all we need is a Christmas setting, and it will feel like a perfect Shane Black adventure.
Shane Black's The Predator is currently lining up for an August 3, 2018 release. Check out our handy Predator guide to keep up with everything we know about the project, and make sure to catch Edward James Olmos in the considerably more family-friendly Coco when Pixar's latest outing debuts in theaters later this month on November 22.