Nimrod Antal Opens Up About Directing Rodriguez' Predators
Even as we speak, Nimrod Antal and his cast and crew are out in Hawaii shooting Predators, the Robert Rodriguez produced reboot of the sci-fi franchise that started some 22 years ago. We first learned in July that Antal was directing Predators and found out who's in the cast in October, but this is the first time Antal has spoken out about working on the project and what his plans are as well as his love for the franchise. "So far, it's been great, and I think that the fans who may have been underwhelmed by the last two AVP films, I think they're in for a very pleasant surprise," Antal told ComingSoon in an interview. Read on for more!
There any many questions to ask Antal about how they're handling this reboot, but let's start with how they found a balance between practical effects and CGI. "I think [Rodriguez and I] both recognize that the original film was as good as it was because of the practical, because it was a guy in a suit, because it was the jungle, so we stay true to that. We were in Hawaii for a month in the jungle, so there's going to be some pretty impressive locations." He doesn't confirm whether there are multiple Predators or not, like the title alludes to, and always answers every question carefully (as in, he doesn't really talk about the creatures).
Next up, the cast for this doesn't include any Arnold Schwarzenegger-like big buff actors. Instead, it's made up of other "smaller" guys like Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Walton Goggins, Derek Mears (who is actually big guy), Danny Trejo (who's also pretty damn buff), and Alice Braga. So why choose this rather odd cast?
"I think when we cast Adrian, there were a lot of people going, 'What?' but at the same time, if we cast a Vin Diesel in that role or if we cast anyone who is Arnold-esque, we would have been attacked for doing that. So we decided early on to go in a very different direction as far as the casting process, but it turned out fantastic. He plays a mercenary in the film and if you look at the guys in Iraq and Afghanistan today, they're not 'yolked- out' Schwarzenegger-looking guys. They're all very wiry and thin guys, and I think it's going to play well."
And of course, there's a concern about whether Antal is even the right director for this. But don't worry, he's a pretty big fan himself. "Let me tell you, I was so much of a fan that I stood in line when I was 14 and I had the poster on my wall. I was a huge fan," Antal enthusiastically told ComingSoon. And as for Rodriguez' involvement, he explains: "He is involved in the screenplay and we've had a lot of conversations, and any big decisions I want to make, I always speak to him about, but he's been very gracious and he's been letting me do my thing. He's really let me perform and he's letting me dance, so again, I'm grateful to him for that."
Antal adds: "We are trying to stay with the original as far as the monster and the atmosphere and the tone of the film, but we are trying to do something new and contemporary and feels fresh." From these quotes at least, it sounds like they're headed in the right direction. Though I'm anxious to see a poster or a photo or something to confirm that it's on the right path. And while we're waiting, you might as well go see Armored this weekend, as it was directed by Antal and is the film that Rodriguez hired him off of. So if it's great, then we know this is at least in good hands. Oh, and thankfully it'll be rated R. Phew! Thoughts?