Shane Black has worked on his fair share of Hollywood franchises over the years, but this summer will see him return to the Predator series as the director of The Predator. Black is no stranger films full of outlandish personalities, so it raises the question of why he decided to tell a story about a mostly mute alien invader. That said, during a visit to the set of The Predator, director Shane Black opened up to CinemaBlend and other outlets and explained that a significant draw to work on the film involved working with an alien creature who had a discernable personality. Black elaborated:
No, I just thought that it was a great, iconic alien. And, what separated it from other alien invasion movies wasn't just a space plot, it was an actual space creature with a mythos and a sense of honor, in some respect. A mission. And, a sense of humor, oddly. The idea of the game it plays. It's rare that the Predator shows humor, but there are moments where you see it almost look at someone like, 'Really?'
So while the Predators seldom speak in any of the Predator movies, that doesn't mean that they don't have their own unique personalities. These hunters come from a proud and traditional race of alien badasses known as the Yautja, and Shane Black was excited to dig into that side of the mythology. As far as the sense of humor was particularly concerned, Black liked the idea of showing the hunter's disbelief when humans try to fight it. It's not just a feral animal like the Alien Xenomorph; there's tradition, personality and character to it.
It's worth noting that the sense of humor element feels particularly relevant. The Predator series has long thrived on a strong sense of foreboding dread and a creepy atmosphere, but the emphasis on something funnier feels like a change of pace. In fact, while speaking with CinemaBlend about Coco last year, Edward James Olmos similarly noted how funny the film is, so it seems that Shane Black isn't the only member of the crew to hone in on the humor element.
That sense of humor feels perfectly in-line with the type of writer and filmmaker that Shane Black has become over the course of his career. After achieving fame with Lethal Weapon, Black eventually went on to become one of Hollywood's go-to creatives for the action-comedy genre. He has applied those chops to several different projects over the years, such as Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys, and what we have learned about The Predator seems to suggest that he's going to do the same on this film as well.
The Predator focuses its story on a young boy named Rory (Jacob Tremblay) who accidentally summons a new Predator to earth using alien technology. When a new hunting party begins, a group of mercenaries (led by Boyd Holbrook's Quinn, Rory's father) team up with a scientist (Olivia Munn) to uncover the secret behind the Predators and the genetic changes that have taken place in the species.