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SXSW 2010: Robert Rodriguez gets predatory

March 14, 2010 |  8:00 am

On Friday night, the Ritz theater in Austin, Texas, hosted a demonstration event promoting "Predators," produced by Robert Rodriguez and directed by Nimród Antal. As Rodriguez explained from the stage, many years ago, he took a for-hire writing assignment to craft a new installment for the "Predator" franchise. Like James Cameron with "Aliens," which followed Ridley Scott's "Alien," Rodriguez made the title plural and went from there. (In an aside, Rodriguez told the crowd that he recently asked Cameron whether the director had designed the distinctive mouth for the original Predator creature. Cameron's answer was yes.)

Pre The final product of those early efforts is headed to theaters this summer. Michael Finch and Alex Litvak take writing credit on the film, in which a group of hardened killers -- played by the likes of Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga and Danny Trejo -- are dropped onto a safari planet used by the Predator creatures for hunting and sport. They are found by a man (Laurence Fishburne) who has, against the odds, survived on the planet. The film was shot partly in Hawaii but mostly in Austin at Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios. Rodriguez and Antal stressed that there was little computer-effects work done for the film.  This is "no CG Predators," Antal said -- practical special effects were mostly used, and there were essentially no green-screen shots.

Rodriguez and Antal, joined by effects wizard Greg Nicotero, didn't reveal that many plot points at the event, offering mainly a slide show with concept art from the production. They also unveiled the Predator head from the film, which was a big hit with the crowd. People lined up to take a closer look as Nicotero worked a remote-control device to operate the creature's mouth and face.

Anyone hoping for actual footage from the film, however, walked away a bit frustrated. They showed two variations of essentially the same trailer, with just a few different shots between them, and one short scene in which Fishburne meets the rest of the crew.

Keeping details from the film under wraps was obviously a top priority at the event, where attendees were reminded repeatedly not to film anything, and even taking pictures seemed to be frowned upon. One might have thought they were revealing far more than they actually did at this fanboy promotion.

-- Mark Olsen

Photo: "Predator" movie poster. Credit: 20th Century Fox


 
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A blast from the past. I worked on this movie poster project at the Rod Dyer Group
before this movie was released.. I had forgotten all about the art work.

I am mad that Rodriguez decided to do this film instead of Sin City 2. Sure, the Predator series is amazing and possibly deserves a remake/sequel, but not right now. Rob, if you read this, get crackin on Sin City 2 pronto. I heard that you have the script ready and finished, everyone is just waiting on you, buddy. Get to it!!!


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