LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Filming on the hotly-anticipated Predator reboot is set to begin by October, director Shane Black revealed Friday, describing the latest in the action horror franchise as an "event" movie.
The Predator, due for release through 20th Century Fox in March 2018, has been shrouded in secrecy, but Black said it would be a significantly "bigger" film than its three predecessors.
"To the best of my knowledge, the train is rolling. It took some convincing because they've been putting out these movies all along with a US$50-60 million (S$68-82 million) budget, and they all had a guaranteed return," he told AFP.
"But there was never the sense that it was an event picture. It was more like, "I understand another Predator is coming out - maybe we'll see it maybe we won't"." The original Predator, about a US special forces unit in Central America that encounter an alien who hunts them for sport, was a box office hit, although its sequels enjoyed less success.
It did not make a huge impression among critics on its 1987 release but it has since become a cult hit, frequently placed on best horror and sci-fi lists, ensuring global attention for the reboot.
Black, who played radioman Rick Hawkins in the original, has revealed it will be set in the present day - meaning events will take place 31 years after the original film.
The 54-year-old director has said bringing back Arnold Schwarzenegger to reprise his starring role as Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer is "something we're looking into". Black, who directed 2013 Marvel blockbuster Iron Man 3, confirmed shooting on The Predator would begin "in the latter part of the fall - September, October". Black made the announcement as he was promoting his latest film The Nice Guys, a private eye comedy-thriller starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, which opens May 20.
Veteran producer Joel Silver, who worked with Black on The Nice Guys, also produced and was largely responsible for editing the original Predator. "This is the tone we want. This is the tone he established for the first Predator. Now, make it bigger, but keep that tone," Black said.