Director Shane Black Took a ‘Butch-and-Sundance Approach’ to ‘The Predator’

The team behind “The Predator” wants to correct something about the latest installment in the three-decade-old science-fiction franchise. It’s not a reboot.

“It’s an attempt to do something — same world, same universe, just 30 years later,” explains Shane Black, the film’s director and writer.

The movie, which hits theaters on Sept. 14, follows a group of military veterans, some suffering from PTSD, who must form a “Dirty Dozen”-like team to battle alien invaders. The first film, 1987’s “Predator,” also focused on a team of soldiers battling a fearsome adversary, but that unit was led by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura. This one is dominated by Keegan-Michael Key, Boyd Holbrook and Sterling K. Brown, all of whom are better known for their acting chops than for their bench pressing.

'The Predator': News, Rumors, Trailers, Release Date & All You Need To Know For The Upcoming Movie (Moviepilot.com)

By Michael Patterson, writer at CREATORS.CO

One of the most terrifying movie monsters of all time will return to the big screen when The Predator hits theaters in 2018. After eight long years, the iconic hunter known the world over as the #Predatoris back to hunt a whole new troupe of challengers. The film is helmed by Shane Black — who appeared in the 1987 original — and has been branded an "event film". With that in mind, it's understandable to see why many of us are excited about the franchise's return to prominence.

If you too are a fan of the legendary franchise and just can't wait to find out more about the upcoming film, you've come to the right place as we are here to provide you with all the latest news, rumors and theories about the film ahead of its 2018 release.

Larry Fong, ASC, pulls some sleight-of-hand visual magic for the latest incarnation of Kong (icgmagazine.com)

Matt Hurwitz

It’s hard to find a more enduring (and misunderstood) movie monster than the great gorilla, Kong, who made his debut in Merian C. Cooper’s 1933 self-titled feature and has reappeared on the big screen twice since (by Dino De Laurentiis in 1975 and again by Peter Jackson in 2005). Visual effects have been key to Kong’s legacy since Willis O’Brien’s stop-motion magic first brought the big ape to life; then Jackson’s own WETA Digital VFX shop brought the monster to another level 12 years ago. Now, in 2017, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, working with Larry Fong, ASC, and a host of ILM effects masters, has updated the timeless tale, having the 100-foot tall Kong doing battle on his home turf.

Kong: Skull Island takes place just after the end of the Vietnam War. The plot involves a pseudo-scientific organization (led by John Goodman) that sends a group of former military explorers to a remote island in search of strange and undiscovered creatures. Led by a former British SAS tracker (Tom Hiddleston) and an American colonel (Samuel L. Jackson), the misguided warriors trigger Kong’s wrath when they drop explosives on the island from whirling choppers. In response, Kong destroys the colonel’s helicopter fleet (and a good many of his men). The remaining team, including a photojournalist (Brie Larson), chance upon a long-stranded American (John C. Reilly) and try to make their way off the island.

The Japanese Kong: Skull Island Poster Is A Crazed Work Of Genius (Empireonline.com)

James White

However the eventual film turns out, Kong: Skull Island is establishing itself as a movie with some of the most distinctive posters of the year. You may have already seen the Apocalypse Now homage, and here comes a crazed, monster-laden Japanese take on the film, created by artist Kaida Yuji, as tweeted by director Jordan Vogt-Roberts while on the Tokyo arm of the movie's promotional tour.

The ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Monsters Were Inspired by ‘Princess Mononoke’

Jacob Hall

The trailers for Kong: Skull Island feel like some kind of bizarre fever dream given a blockbuster budget and I mean that in the nicest way imaginable. I’m not entirely sure what director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is cooking up with this one, but I sure like the look of the menuTom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson battling giant monsters on King Kong’s island home in the ’70s with a disheveled John C. Reilly on hand to provide exposition while the posters deliberately borrow imagery from Apocalypse Now? Holy cow. Sign me up.

The Predator Gets Zack Snyder’s DP Which Means It Will Be Gorgeous (thegunrange.com)

TRAVIS GUNN

Shane Black’s The Predator only gets more interesting with every tidbit of news that drops and this may be the biggest news for this film junkie. Larry Fong, the DP (director of photography), will be the man to help bring the visual flair of the film for Black and company. Fong is the genius behind the visual consistency of most of Zack Snyder’s films such as 300, Watchmen, Suckerpunch, and Batman v Superman. Whether you love or hate Snyder’s movies, the one constant is how gorgeously shot they are and that’s why Fong to The Predator changes everything.

Magician of Light (Pollymagazine.com)

HOMER LIWAG

Larry Fong is one of the most sought-after cinematographers in Hollywood. He has shot films with JJ Abrams--yes, that JJ Abrams--and visionary director Zack Snyder, and his latest epic, Kong: Skull Island, is in post-production. He’s directly responsible for the epic moving imagery you see on the silver screen and television--and his visuals have been some of the most memorable in recent years.

The New King Kong Movie Looks Like Godzilla but Actually Fun (GQ.com)

TOM PHILIP

Well, there’s hope: the new Kong: Skull Island trailer just dropped, and it’s the most fun three minutes you’ll have all day:

I mean, hell, where to even start here? First off, this film looks GORGEOUS. Cinematographer Larry Fong knows his way around a beautifully saturated war movie aesthetic—he worked as Zack Snyder’s cameraman on Watchmen300, and Batman v. Superman, which, for all their flaws, never stopped looking great.

VES Summit: Cinematographers Discuss Their Strong Working Bond With VFX Supervisors (Shoot.com)

BY ROBERT GOLDRICH

Cinematographers and VFX artisans are fashioning strong working relationships, according to panelists at a Visual Effects Society (VES) Summit session held this past Saturday (10/28) in Los Angeles. Paul Cameron, ASC, noted, for example, that he’s enjoying a strong collaborative bond with VFX supervisor Gary Brozenich on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, a 2017 release for which the DP has been working on DI over the last couple of weeks. 

Panelist Larry Fong, ASC, known for assorted projects including his lensing of features for director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), noted that his modus operandi generally is to work “every day” with the visual effects supervisor. “I try to befriend all the visual effects guys as much as possible,” said Fong, acknowledging their importance in helping to realize the look of a film as envisioned by the director and DP. Fong added that on movies he probably spends more time with VFX talent than with the director.

Panelist Wally Pfister, ASC, an Oscar-winning cinematographer for Inception, has since made a successful transition to directing in features (the 2014 release Transcendence), TV (episodes of Flaked and The Tick) and assorted commercials. His directorial roost for spots and branded content is production house RESET. On the spotmaking front, Pfister noted that he has formed a strong bond with visual effects house The Mill, particularly with VFX supervisor Gavin Wellsman who’s in that company’s New York studio. Pfister said of Wellsman, “He’s key to my process...integral from pre-pro through the end.” Pfister said that he brings Wellsman in as early as the bidding process, coming up with methodologies and technologies best suited for specific projects. 

Latest ASC Master Class Concludes at Clubhouse (theasc.com)

The last ASC Master Class to be held in Los Angeles this year has concluded, with the session’s teaching staff including ASC members Paul CameronBill BennettLarry FongDon McCuaigSam NicholsonCurtis Clarkand Jacek Laskus.

Following the completion of their five-day course and a celebratory dinner held at the ASC Clubhouse, the students were asked What portion of the course was most valuable to you? 

Here’s a selection of their answers, in addition to a gallery of images taken over their five days spent at the ASC Clubhouse and Mole Studio.