Back in Black

Di­rec­tor Shane Black ex­clu­sively re­veals what he’s work­ing on post-preda­tor

Empire (UK) - - PRE.VIEW - JAMES DYER

THE PREDA­TOR ISN’T even in cine­mas yet, but writer/di­rec­tor Shane Black is al­ready hip-deep in his next project. “There’s this old sort of adage: al­ways get your next job be­fore the pre­vi­ous movie comes out,” Black says. His “next job” could be an­other nos­tal­gic pas­sion project: The De­stroyer is based on a se­ries of pulp nov­els (145, to be pre­cise) pub­lished in the ’70s and ’80s and fea­tur­ing Remo Wil­liams, a cop who fakes his death and joins a se­cret gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion to fight ev­ery­thing from com­mu­nists to killer ro­bots, and even an an­cient Chi­nese vam­pire.

“It’s a plot of a Steven Sea­gal movie!” laughs Black. “It’s a tough sell be­cause the story it­self is not par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive, but what makes it is these char­ac­ters and style and the panache of the writ­ing in the orig­i­nal books.”

Still in the very early stages of de­vel­op­ment, Black is col­lab­o­rat­ing with The Preda­tor’s Fred Dekker and nov­el­ist Jim Mul­laney (who wrote no fewer than 30 of the De­stroyer nov­els him­self ) to bring Remo to life with, we hope, far more dig­nity than ill-fated 1985 adap­ta­tion Remo Wil­liams: The Ad­ven­ture Be­gins.

“They missed the point,” says Black. “You have to find the core of these sto­ries. There were a ton of those men’s ad­ven­ture books that I used to read re­li­giously. The Butcher, The Slasher, The Nixer, The Ex­e­cu­tioner. But The De­stroyer was by far the best. It be­came sort of a mantra, a bi­ble for me.”

While Black’s long-ges­tat­ing adap­ta­tion of an­other pulp icon, the Dwayne John­son-star­ring Doc Sav­age, has now been shelved (“I would have loved to work with Dwayne,” he says sadly), a sam­pling of Remo Wil­liams’ de­mented an­tics should more than fill the gap. Fin­gers crossed for the one in which Wil­liams takes on Nasa-cre­ated an­droid Mr Gor­dons. Or Rasputin the un­dead monk. Or the Hindu god­dess of death.

THE PREDA­TOR IS IN CINE­MAS FROM 12 SEPTEM­BER

Di­rec­tor Shane Black con­tem­plates his next project.

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