In our final segment of HN Entertainment’s exclusive interview with Predators director Nimród Antal conducted by Nicholas Whitcomb, he dishes about why they ended up picking three predators in the film, his own frustrations with the marketing department putting that one shot of Adrian Brody’s Royce having multiple pred targets lighting up and feels that the franchise has some life still in it.
HN: One thing that I liked about the film is that predators weren’t just hunting humans there were other creatures and alien species. Did you ever have more creatures in the film beyond the River Ghost in the final cut?
ANTAL: “Yeah, we had intentions of that in the early drafts but if I recall I thought we have been losing focus of our hunting party, our heroes, the cast of the film. I think we would have started to lose focus with them and I believe that’s why we started to clean it up and simplify it. We also had the [predator] dogs, the falcon, we had a few other elements within the story we didn’t want it to get too [unfocused].”
HN: With regards to the predators, you did introduce this idea of a Clan War between the Berserker super-predators and the regular predators, the Jungle Hunter Clan, could you talk about that?
ANTAL: “The tribes and the warfare between the tribes was definitely something we got excited about and much like our own society, the worst enemy is within us all.”
Antal laments the studio’s decision not to pursue a direct sequel to Predators considering with a budget of $40 million ended up making $127 million total.
ANTAL: “I know I certainly had a bunch of ideas, but for whatever reason, unfortunately, Fox didn’t follow up with that. I think it did relatively well, it did $25 million opening weekend and ended up over $100 million for total box office, I know they made money with the film. But to why they didn’t pursue it any further I don’t know, it was unfortunate because I think that now with hindsight people are finding appreciation for the film.”
“I’m certainly proud of the film and I’m very honored that I had an opportunity to partake in a franchise that was so dear to me and is such a staple in horror/science fiction geekdom.”
Nimród also spoke to his own frustrations with that controversial shot in the Predators trailer where Royce has like twelve predator targeting dots appear on his body and knew the backlash from fans would be a given since that wasn’t in their movie.
ANTAL: “That was marketing and I was frustrated by that because I knew that we would get backlash for it. They were doing something that fans would expect to see and we weren’t going to be able to deliver, it was never shot that way in the first place and I understand stand that marketing has to sell their product and I understand that everyone is tasked with a job, I respect that. It was just something as a fan I knew it was something we’d be getting backlash for doing and we did.”
“I thought it was really important that we establish early on how many predators there are. The viewer is revealed the three of them together and I thought that it was super important early on to establish how many there were so the viewer understood what they were up against. One predator was capable of killing a crack Army unit, so we knew that if we were throwing in too many we would be doing a disservice to the character and what the character is capable of doing.”
“I think it was a number that I came up with early on and we settled upon early on with Robert [Rodriguez] that felt like a good number. It gave us enough opportunity to show different kinds of preds and show the viewer what we were up against.”
HN: Speaking to the future of the franchise, where would you like to see the Predator franchise go? Do you think there is a chance it could go to TV or streaming?
ANTAL: “I think that the predator character is one of those beloved characters that people would watch whether it was television or a cinematic film, theatrical. People love the character…and I think he could pop-up in any kind of format and there would be interest and there would be a love for him. But as to where it’s going to go, I don’t know.
“Gremlins! How long have people wanted to see a [third] Gremlins film and for whatever reason they’re not making it. But now I heard they’re turning it into a cartoon, it’ll always find it’s path one way or another whether it be through fans, Fox or now Disney. Theatrically going for another run, I think there’s plenty meat left on the bone and I think there’s a lot of cool fun stories left to be told.”
That wraps-up our fantastic chat with Nimród Antal. You can certainly go back and read our other segments where Nimród talks about his desire to tackle comic book movies like Venom 2, Lobo, and Hellboy, his exclusive reveal to HN Entertainment that he’s developing a new project about the Minotaur legend from Greek mythology, and our first part of the Predators interview.
We have a lot more interviews on the horizon, so stay tuned!