This Is Us may have wrapped filming on the first season two months ago, but Sterling K. Brown has had little time for victory laps. The Emmy-winning actor — who will likely be in contention for another one later this year — has been shuttling between Vancouver and Atlanta to film two movies, The Predator and Black Panther. He’s keeping his lips sealed for now about Black Panther and his role as N’Jobu, an individual from T’Challa’s past (“When it comes to Marvel Universe, I’ve learned to just leave well enough alone and keep my mouth shut,” he says), and he also can’t reveal very much about The Predator. But maybe he can reveal a little. (And we don’t mean by lifting his shirt.)
Directed and co-written by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), this reboot of the thermal-tracking, human-hunting alien franchise is the fourth installment in the Predator series and set in present day. Though technically a sequel, it does not continue story lines from 1987’s Predator, 1990’s Predator, or 2010’s Predators. “Shane has his whole take on it and it’s very different than the original Predator,” Brown tells EW. “It’s got a really wicked sense of humor to it, which I love about it. And it’s got a real camaraderie amongst the main characters that I think folks will be attracted to. That’s pretty much all I can say.”
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Well, he can tell you one other thing about getting to work on a sequel to a movie that he has loved for decades. “I’m a huge fan of Predator,” he says, “and, of course, everybody loves Jesse the Body [Ventura] and Arnold [Schwarzenegger] and Carl Weathers and Bill Duke. My friends at Stanford used to tease me — being the dark-skinned African-American man that I am — they’d say, ‘Yo, man, you’re going to start getting all [those] Bill Duke roles when you get older.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t look anything like Bill Duke, you guys can kiss my ass.’ So then I booked this movie and I told them and they’re like, ‘Dude, do you even realize that you’re now Bill Duke???’ And I had to go tell them to kiss my ass all over again.”
Hitting theaters in early 2018, The Predator features a cast that includes Brown, Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, and Jacob Tremblay. Brown will be seen with Chadwick Boseman on the big screen not only in 2018’s Black Panther but also in this fall’s Thurgood Marshall biopic Marshall.
As for his unofficial campaign to play another comic book character, John Stewart, a.k.a Green Lantern, in the now-being-written Green Lantern Corps — “Dear powers that be, if you are looking for someone to play John Stewart, I humbly submit my name,” Brown tweeted in January — Brown has this to offer: “Let me say that the campaign has never been officially launched. That’s just Brown sending out a tweet innocuously in the middle of the night after he recognized that the role needed to be cast. Like ‘Hey, I like Green Lantern, give it a shot.’ No further updates on the development of the Green Lantern pursuit, but I’m still very much interested and intrigued in playing that role.”
Whether or not Brown gets the green light on Green Lantern, he will be back on the small screen this fall when This Is Us returns for season 2. To see what he had to say about Randall’s surprise adoption plans in the season 1 finale and what happens next, click here.