Getting “Predators” into theaters wasn’t easy — just ask Robert Rodriguez, who wrote his first draft of the screenplay in the early 1990s. Although the script never made it into production, the folks at 20th Century Fox turned to Rodriguez once again when the idea for a new “Predator” yarn came about. With gritty films like “Sin City” and “Grindhouse” under his belt, Rodriguez had plenty of new experience to bring to the table with “Predators” — but even then, he still needed a pair of fresh eyes on the material.
“It’s almost like there’s three movies in there,” Rodriguez told MTV News about developing the plot of “Predators.” “You could have split it up into three pictures. I didn’t even know what to do with it, because I’d worked on it so long ago. I worked on it so long — about a year — that it was always tough to crack. I needed fresh eyes on it.”
Those fresh eyes came in form of director Nimrod Antal, who joined the “Predators” project and offered his own unique take on the material.
“Nimrod came in and picked a section that would be the best movie for this first film and he made it about that,” said Rodriguez. “It was really surprising to hear what his approach was and really refreshing, and that’s why I hired him.”
“Fortunately, I came into a situation where there was already an existing draft, and there were a lot of elements in it I thought were fantastic,” Antal said of approaching the story. “What I tried to do was see how I could interject something to either elevate it or focus it. Fortunately, Robert was really receptive to the ideas. It was really an organic process. Being fans of the original film, we had an easy time because we would always go, ’Are the fans — are we — going to dig that?'”
Although Rodriguez and Antal aimed to honor the original Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring film, both filmmakers were careful to keep their vision as new and fresh as possible.
“[Antal] had to balance that every day, at every moment — how much to make it reverential to the first film and how much just to make it its own picture,” said Rodriguez. “We wanted to be inspired by the first film, to take that very classic creature and the dynamics. I always had the idea that the ’Predators’ title had a double meaning, that it was about the characters that could very easily kill each other before they met a creature. I really wanted it to be about that, and on top of that drama, have it be this very intense story about the hunt.”
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