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