Shane Black's The Predator Casting Shortlist Includes James Franco

James Franco eyed for Shane Black's The Predator

Though the arrival of Shane Black’s The Predator sequel/soft reboot is still quite some time away from actually happening, there remains a great deal of interest and questions about the project. The film itself has some reasonably big boots to fill, with 1987’s Arnold Schwarzenegger-led Predator casting its shadow as arguably one of the biggest and most beloved action films of all time.

Shrugging off speculation early on that The Predator would be a remake of the original, Black has been vocal on several occasions about his intent to make what he calls an “inventive” sequel and to turn the homicidal space alien into something that scales back its “overdone” characterization in Predator sequels past. Throughout all this however, The Nice Guys director has yet to divulge who will lead the battle against the creature - aside from revealing that said character is tentatively called Quinn Mackenna and won’t be played by Schwarzenegger.

As is to be expected in a case such as this, numerous names have been circulating with regards to who will nab the lead role and the latest rumor courtesy of Popcorn Talk is that James Franco is a possibility. Though prefaced (in the linked video starting at the 27:45 mark) as “rumor, pure conjecture, utter speculation and to be taken with a giant grain of salt” the current word in Hollywood is that the CAA agency is actively pushing Franco’s name as the prime candidate for the film’s lead.

Franco is apparently “very high on a list” for the job, which doesn’t necessarily mean that he will snag the role, but at present his is the name that is most publicly identified with the Quinn Mackenna character. Over the years the 38-year old actor hasn’t exactly shown his preferred genre to be action – with turns in a number of art-house, dramatic as well as comedic titles - but he’s no stranger to it either, having appeared in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy as well as 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. These films are a far cry from the gritty, military vibe that is sure to permeate The Predator, but Franco’s substantial abilities as an actor have made his a name synonymous with variety, as even the most cursory of glances at his current acting resume will confirm.


Recent rumors regarding The Predator’s casting process have also indicated that Arnold Schwarzenegger could potentially be returning to his original character of Dutch. If The Predator does once again involve a military platoon in the jungle, it’s somewhat difficult to imagine James Franco leading any such group – especially one in which Schwarzenegger must defer to him - into battle.

Aside from Franco’s involvement with The Predator being little more than a well polished rumor at this point, it’s also worth noting that Hollywood can arguably make an action star out of practically any actor.  A personal trainer is often all that’s needed to make the transition complete – provided the actor in question can also bring the necessary acting skills. In the case of James Franco, those skills have long since been proven.

The Predator opens in U.S. theaters February 9th, 2018.

Source: Popcorn Talk

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