You're going to write and direct a new Predator movie, 30 years after Fox asked you to punch up the script for the original movie and you declined. Then the studio cast you in a role, hoping you'd rewrite the script, and you still refused. How does the guy who kept saying no wind up taking over the franchise?
They called me and I was reluctant. I said, "Look. You guys at Fox, I mean, I enjoy these movies, but we've been churning out these AVP whatever, they each cost a certain amount of money, they're okay, but there's no effort to elevate them or make them any kind of an event." They're just sort of another Predator. "Oh, there's another one that came out." They said, "What if we said to you we want to reinvent this, and really treat it with as much of an event status, or as much hoopla as we would the Alien prequel, which is coming out also? We really want to make this something. The kind of movie that people line up for." I said, "Really, you'll spend a bunch of money?" They go, "Yep." I go, "Make it really scale, spectacle?" "Yep." "Shit, that sounds interesting."
Fans of the original may not imagine Predator as a giant blockbuster.
I think the first one was great, and it was contained, and it was a perfect little gem for what it was. I think there's an expansion that needs to take place, and also just a love for that era, that movie, and the mythology of the Predator. I think that they came to me knowing pretty much that... they said, basically, if I wanted to make Predator but treat it like it was Iron Man III instead of just another little movie. I said, "Let's really do it right this time."
And is Arnold Schwarzenegger back?
Still in talks, script still a secret.
You also have an adaptation of the Doc Savage pulp novels waiting in the wings...
Doc Savage is sort of in the ether now. We're hoping to make it sometime next year. I would very much like to do Doc with a fellow named Dwayne Johnson if we can make that work. I made a decision that Dwayne is the guy. It's on the back burner while he's busy.
You've imagined The Nice Guys as a television series, and you've played the franchise game in Hollywood. Do you see this movie as the first of a series, or do you hope it stands alone?
I have no problem with a detective franchise. You can always have another case. Especially I love this notion, if should it do well, I don't want to jinx anything. It's a landlocked franchise. This one takes place in the '70s. The next one, we'd have to look at what's down in the '80s, what was going on in '84, let's say. What can we do? Then, if we did another one, it'd be the '90s. I love that notion of creeping through the years, but they're all landlocked. They're all in a past era.
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Matt Patches is Thrillist’s Entertainment Editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian. He insists you see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.