The Black Demon: Director Adrian Grünberg Uses a Massive Shark to Tell a Story About Climate Change

The Illuminerdi sat down with director Adrian Grünberg to discuss how climate change factors into his new movie, The Black Demon.
Audrey with oil on hand on boat with Ines and Tommy

Adrian Grünberg’s latest project, The Black Demon, hits theaters later this week, bringing the shark of Hispanic legend to the big screen.

There’s plenty to enjoy within the film’s 100-minute runtime, giving audiences everything they could want from a shark movie. It’s man vs. nature, as Paul Sturges (Josh Lucas) and his family go head-to-head with a Megalodon to escape an abandoned oil rig.

However, within the aquatic thrill ride, there’s a simple yet unique real-world story of climate change, which Grünberg used to set his movie apart from the rest of the genre.

Climate Change is an Important Part of the Story of The Black Demon

Ines, Tommy, Paul, and Audrey sitting in cantina
(L-R) Fernanda Urrejola as Ines, Josh Lucas as Paul, Carlos Solórzano as Tommy, and Venus Ariel as Audrey in the action film, THE BLACK DEMON, The Avenue release. Photo courtesy of The Avenue.

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We got to talk with Adrian Grünberg about the direction he wanted to take The Black Demon. While the director bought into the original script’s climate change storyline, he wanted to focus more on it in his final version.

“Look, climate change is a world thing. It’s a problem that we all face as a species, but I think it all starts small. So, we have a really small oil rig with a spill that’s killing that little part of the world, which nobody will know. That’s where it begins, and that, I think, is more relatable to people, you know. ‘Hey, I live in a small place. I live in a street, and then I live in a township, then I live in a city, then I live in a country, then I live in the world.’ But the closer you are to that reality, hopefully, the more it hits you. We tried to accentuate that.”

Adrian Grünberg, The Black Demon
Ines using binoculars with Paul and Chato next to her
(L-R) Josh Lucas as Paul, Fernanda Urrejola as Ines, and Julio Cesar Cedillo as Chato in the action film, THE BLACK DEMON, The Avenue release. Photo courtesy of The Avenue.

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As for the film’s ending? We won’t get into spoilers here, but it doesn’t seem like the world’s problems are solved. While Grünberg wouldn’t rule out a sequel, he hopes that The Black Demon‘s ambiguous ending leaves fans wondering what’s next. Whether that’s hoping for a sequel or prolonging the climate change talk, both are a success in his book.

“At the end of the day, that’s what it is. The problem is not over, right? We didn’t fix the world, we solved our little moment in time, right? We closed this circle, but the circle continues. The infinity loop is still there.”

Adrian Grünberg, The Black Demon

About The Black Demon

The Black Demon movie poster

Release Date: April 28, 2023, exclusively in theaters

Director: Adrian Grünberg

Writer: Boise Esquerra (written by), Carlos Cisco (story by)

Cast: Josh Lucas, Fernanda Urrejola, Julio César Cedillo

Run Time: 100 minutes

Rating: Rated R for some grisly images

Genre: Action

Distribution: The Avenue

Synopsis: Josh Lucas (Ford v Ferrari, Yellowstone) stars in this edge-of-your-seat action thriller from the director of Rambo: Last Blood. Oilman Paul Sturges’ (Lucas) idyllic family vacation turns into a nightmare when they encounter a ferocious megalodon shark that will stop at nothing to protect its territory. Stranded and under constant attack, Paul and his family must somehow find a way to get his family back to shore alive before it strikes again in this epic battle between humans and nature.

Are you excited about The Black Demon? What do you think about using a shark movie to tell a story about climate change? What do you think the ending symbolizes? Let us know your thoughts and theories on social media!

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Danny Bojic

Danny Bojic is a writer located in Nashville, TN, who's had a lifelong obsession with video games, comics, movies, and other nerdy things. He's written thousands of articles on topics ranging from movies, TV, and comics to automotive, tech, and video games. With The Illuminerdi, he's attended countless press events, covered conventions, produced online content, and interviewed talent.