The Black Demon: Director Adrian Grünberg Says the Movie Isn’t Just Another Monster Flick

The Illuminerdi sat down with director Adrian Grünberg, who explained how The Black Demon sets itself apart from other monster movies.
Ines using binoculars with Paul and Chato next to her

Director Adrian Grünberg makes his return to cinema with The Black Demon. Although he made a name for himself with high-octane action movies like Rambo: Last Blood, Grünberg took a different direction with his latest project, diving into the Hispanic legend of the Megalodon.

While the filmmaker included plenty of monster-movie tropes, he set out to make a product that differentiates itself from the rest of the genre.

The Black Demon Doesn’t Emulate Other Movies

Paul holding Audrey's face
(L-R) Jorge A. Jimenez as Junior, Venus Ariel as Audrey, and Josh Lucas as Paul in the action film, THE BLACK DEMON, The Avenue release. Photo courtesy of The Avenue.

We got the opportunity to speak to Adrian Grünberg about The Black Demon, where the director revealed that, while plenty of other monster movies inspired him, he wanted to make sure his film told a deeper story.

“For me, the ultimate shark movie is Jaws, and I tried to, not emulate, but it’s the idea that it’s a serious movie, you know? It’s not just a monster creating havoc. There’s a reason that things happen, and it’s a character study, which I think is great. There’s all these characters, and there’s a reason for them to be in this movie, and they all come through for me.”

Adrian Grunberg, The Black Demon

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Grünberg never expected to make a genre movie, but the opportunity proved too good to pass up. Unlike his previous films, The Black Demon doesn’t necessarily spotlight one action hero, focusing the plot on multiple characters. The director stressed the importance of every character having a reason to be there, which drew him to the script.

Other than the characters, exploring parts of Hispanic culture and mythology made the project stand out to Grünberg. The Black Demon allowed him to bring those lesser-explored aspects of his culture to the big screen, highlighting the things he holds close to his chest.


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 of Grünberg’s approach to the shark movie? Do you like the idea of exploring Hispanic mythology on the big screen? Let us know your thoughts 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.