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What’s Next for Shane Black

With ‘The Predator’ done and dusted and other projects in the pipeline, he has some interesting options to pursue.
By  · Published on September 12th, 2018

Shane Black isn’t even off the heels of The Predator yet, but we’re already looking ahead to the future. What his next film will remain to be seen. However, we do know that he’s not intending to return to the franchise he just resurrected.

That’s right. Black told The Independent that he’s done with the Yautja for now. “I’m going to take a bit of a break, take stock and try and get creative about something. I’ve been working on the same project for two years and it’s time to do something really quirky and risky and odd. So, I’m going to get a little odd and see what comes of it.”

If you read the rest of the interview, you’ll notice that he isn’t enthusiastic about the state of modern blockbuster cinema and the studio interference that comes with it. The above quote also suggests that he might be looking to create something brand new. If that’s the case, we’ll be as surprised as you when we find out what his plans are. That said, the writer-director has discussed a bunch of projects recently that could become a reality soon. Let’s discuss these possibilities.

Cold Warrior

This project has been in the works for over a decade. Before he took the reins to Iron Man 3, Black planned to make Cold Warrior his directorial follow-up to Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. At one time Mel Gibson was even in negotiations to star, but nothing came of it. The years that followed saw the script collecting dust over at Universal Pictures, but plans seem to be moving forward. As reported by Collider, Netflix has since rescued the film from development hell.

The story follows a spy who comes out of retirement to help a younger agent overcome a Russian terrorist threat. That’s all we know about the film for now. But despite the lack of details other than that basic description, Cold Warrior sounds like another classic Black buddy yarn in the making.

Unlike Black’s other movies, this wasn’t written by him. The original script was penned by Chuck Mondry. Still, it’s unlikely that will Black work solely from someone else’s material. Plus, with the creative freedom Netflix offers creators, he will likely sprinkle some of his own ideas into proceedings. Furthermore, if Black does want to make a movie without interference from businessmen, a Netflix project is a strong bet for his next feature.

The Destroyer

Black is at his best when he’s embracing his love of pulp fiction. His fondness and appreciation for dime novels permeate the majority of work, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. When it comes to pulpy fare, the “The Destroyer” series is long overdue a modern adaptation. And who better to helm one than the Hollywood player who probably loves these books more than most?

“The Destroyer” stories center on Remo Williams, a former cop who is recruited by a secret government organization named C.U.R.E. to carry out assassinations. Under the guidance of the martial arts master Chuin, Williams becomes a professional assassin who takes down all manner of foes.

This one is also very much a reality. In a recent interview with Diabolique Magazine, Black revealed that he’ll be re-teaming with Fred Dekker and series author Jim Mullaney to flesh out the script after The Predator. Should this movie go ahead, the potential for an entertaining franchise would be strong. The novels boast all manner of villains and scenarios — from the regular to the supernatural — and it would be wonderful to see those adventures taking place on the big screen.

The Nice Guys Sequel

Hey, Netflix! While you’re resurrecting Black projects from oblivion, why don’t you see about making a sequel to one of the best movies of the last decade happen? If you really wanted to, you could. Open that checkbook. We’ll all be grateful for your efforts.

It’s not just us fans who more of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as a pair of private dicks, either. Black is open to making a sequel to the buddy comedy if someone gives him the money to make it. Despite underperforming at the box office, the first film was a hit among critics and has since gained a loyal cult following. If this ever goes ahead, the audience would be much bigger this time around. Since The Nice Guys’ release, Gosling’s star power has only gotten bigger and brighter. That alone could bring more butts to the theater.

On the other hand, the future of The Nice Guys could be gender-flipped and destined for the small screen. A female-led television reboot was announced last year, but the show’s current status is a mystery.

Doc Savage

Black signed on to direct Doc Savage back in 2013. The project, which is based on the titular pulp hero of the 1930s, saw Dwayne Johnson climb aboard to play the Man of Bronze. For a while, the stars seemed like they were aligning in all the right ways. So what’s with the holdup?

For the time being, Doc Savage is a no-go. Black claims that the hold up is down to creative differences between him and the powers that be. They want the movie to be based in the modern day, whereas Black wants to make it a throwback to the character’s period-set origins. But not even the star power of Johnson can convince the studio to let Black make the movie he wants to make. That’s a damn shame.

Johnson, on the other hand, claims that business issues — not creative ones — have caused the project to stall. Who knows what’s really happening, but it all sounds like one big mess. The only upside is that Black and Johnson have supposedly made a pact to work together eventually. Still, until Johnson’s busy schedule clears up, we could be waiting a long time for that dream collaboration to come true.

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.