Saturday, 19 November 2016

The Predator gets renamed as Benicio del Toro steps down

Shane Black's (Iron Man 3) new Predator film is about to undergo some swift recasting. After much rumour that he was on the way out, word arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Benicio del Toro (Sicario) has officially left the project now going by the intriguing name Ollie. Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl) has instead stepped into the role.

No official reason has been given for del Toro's departure, but with all the Marvel Cinematic Universe work, Soldado and Star Wars: Episode VIII on his schedule, it is  not hard to imagine that timings might have been a factor. Holbrook, currently working on Logan with Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine), is best known as DEA man Steve Murphy in the Netflix drama Narco's. He has also had more minor roles in Gone Girl (2014) and Scott Frank's A Walk Among The Tombstones (2014).

As for Ollie, that is the unlikely working title that has been affixed to the project. It is certainly a strange one considering the movie already has a title – The Predator – so we can only guess what Black and his writer Fred Dekker (RoboCop 3) have in mind with this.

Either way, Black is promising big things for a franchise that seemed to have breathed its last with Nimród Antal's Predators (2010). "We want to achieve the same sense of wonderment and newness that Close Encounters had when that came out," he explained. "It's very impossible, but we're gonna try. It just has to feel like a powerful story that has a lot of flavours and textures."

Filming is expected to kick off in February 2017. The Predator – or should that be Ollie – is scheduled for release in the US 9 February 2018.

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