After a slew of unsatisfying Predator sequels, Shane Black's new take on the franchise offers fans a promising entry for the franchise. The talented director has brought well-received comedic-action flicks such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys to the screen in the past. As such, Black's role helming the new showdown is an exciting aspect of the upcoming release. But before it reached audiences, a small change had to be made to the film, as Fox deleted a scene that included a registered sex offender. This happened after actress Olivia Munn brought the information to the attention of the studio. Cast member Jake Busey recently addressed the incident at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie premiered. Here's what he said:
That was a sad thing. It's a sad thing. None of us were aware of anything like that and that's just not something that, really in any job, you really don't know or do background checks to that extent. So, you just don't know these things about people's past. You know, the government let him...you know, Canada is one of the toughest governments to cross the border. I've had a great difficulty getting across the border in the past, but you know, it's just odd. It was a surprise.
In the interview with Variety, Jake Busey's comments illustrate how the cast and crew of The Predator were unaware that actor Steven Wilder Striegel was a registered sex offender during production. Striegel originally played in a short three-page scene alongside Olivia Munn, where he reportedly hits on her character, Casey Bracket. Munn approached Fox in mid-August of the circumstances, leading them to delete the scene from The Predator within 24 hours. Striegel served six months in jail in 2010 after pleading guilty to charges regarding attempts to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship via the internet.
While Olivia Munn and the rest of the cast has expressed their surprise of the situation, director Shane Black has been friends with Steven Wilder Striegel for 14 years, and was aware of the facts of the actor's history. Striegel also previously was cast in Black's other films including Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys. Shane Black apologized when the information was released to the public, admitting that he "personally chose to help a friend" by casting him in the project but showed understanding in the disapproval of his decision.
Jake Busey's comments comes as The Predator gets ready for its upcoming wide release. After its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival, critics have praised it for its fun, hyper-violent and hilarious approach to the franchise, with CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell calling it the sequel fans have been waiting for. The Predator is expected to have a strong opening when it hits theaters on September 14.