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Trivia / Predator

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Trivia for the first movie:

  • Accidentally Correct Writing: While the scene of the protagonists shooting the jungle was written in because the studio wanted more gunfire in the film, filling up an area with rounds when you think the enemy might be there but you can't be sure is an actual military tactic.
  • Acting for Two: It's brief and subtle, but the unnamed choppah! pilot at the end is none other than the Predator himself, Kevin Peter Hall.
  • All-Star Cast: The team of mercenaries is made up of a smorgasbord of actors from '80s action cinema: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura...
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Peter Cullen was reluctant to take the job of voicing the Predator, as he injured his throat playing the title character of King Kong (1976), but eventually accepted after seeing a picture of the unmasked creature.
  • Based on a Dream: Writer Jim Thomas admitted that the Predator's cloaking was inspired by his dreams of an invisible man. John McTiernan got the idea for the nuclear bomb countdown from a dream he had in high school.
  • Breakthrough Hit: For John McTiernan.
  • Cast the Expert: Jesse Ventura was a former Navy UDT (Underwater Demolition Team, the percursors of the SEAL teams), while Richard Chaves was a Vietnam veteran. Arnold was in the Austrian Army too.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • The Hunter (Greece) (also the working title of the movie, minus "the", until the design was refined)
    • Prey (Turkey)
    • Ultimate Warrior (Taiwan)
  • Creator-Chosen Casting: Carl Weathers was always the first choice for Dillon.
  • Dawson Casting: John McTiernan admitted that R.G. Armstrong was too old for his part (Major General Philips), but kept him, simply because he liked him. Added to this, the actor wore "too much" tanning makeup in order to hide his age somewhat.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • The script features a scene where a butterfly lands on the immobile Predator's arm as it watches Dutch and his men move through the jungle. When the Predator moves, the butterfly flies away, momentarily leaving an impression of itself on the Predator's camouflage. While footage of this was completed as part of an effects test for the creature, it was not used in the film.
    • Footage was filmed of the Predator mutilating Hawkins' corpse after retrieving it from the tree where it is last seen hanging in the film, presumably to make a trophy. Behind the scenes footage shows Shane Black being dressed with fake blood for this scene.
    • The morning after Blain's body is reclaimed by the Predator, a brief scene, designed to tie into Anna's description of the Predator, showed Anna picking up a chameleon from the jungle floor and studying it.
    • Some footage was cut from the scene where Dutch flees from the Predator after it kills Poncho. After hiding in a gully where he is covered with biting ants, Dutch believes he has evaded the creature and collapses, exhausted. The Predator takes aim at the back of his head with its Plasmacaster, but at the last moment shifts its aim to a tree in front of Dutch, allowing him to see the laser pointer, before it fires, blasting the tree and temporarily blinding Dutch, who crawls away. The Predator continues to follow, deliberately missing with successive Plasmacaster shots, leading Dutch to realize aloud that the creature is toying with him.
    • The sequence where Dutch constructs his improvised weapons and traps for his final showdown with the Predator was originally longer, showing how he spends a day or more preparing. Additional moments not seen in the film include footage of Dutch removing matches from a watertight compartment in the handle of his combat knife and more footage of him constructing his bundle bow.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Arnold Schwarzenegger lost over twenty-five pounds before filming began in order to better fit the role of a special warfare operative, who would be lean as well as muscular. Of course, being him meant he would still be much more muscled than the average soldier.
  • Executive Meddling: The studio sent a memo that there should be more gunshots in the film. This led to John McTiernan adding the scene where the team panics and pumps hundreds of rounds into empty jungle. It also forced the inclusion of the spaceship scene at the beginning of the movie, instead of letting the audience figure out for themselves where the Predator comes from.
  • He Also Did: The Predator himself, Kevin Peter Hall, also played Bigfoot in Harry and the Hendersons.
  • Inspiration for the Work: The film came to be as the writers decided to follow a joke regarding how Rocky was receiving so many sequels he would soon be fighting an extraterrestrial.
  • On-Set Injury:
    • The stuntman who doubled for Arnold Schwarzenegger for the fall into the river blew out his knee performing that particular stunt.
    • John McTiernan broke a wrist while on location.
  • The Other Marty: The Predator was originally played by Jean-Claude Van Damme, but difficulties with the original costume (Van Damme claimed it was too hot to move in at all) and the decision that the Predator needed to be more physically imposing to be seen as a serious threat to all the bodybuilders playing the humans lead to him getting recast (along with the Predator costume being redesigned). Some of the scenes with the Visible Invisibility effect were shot with JCVD.
  • Production Nickname: The sound editors called the Predator's shoulder gun the "Parrot Gun", because when it moved independent of the Predator while aiming, it reminded them of "Peter Sellers with a rubber parrot on his shoulder."
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot:
    • Dutch throws his machete at a goon because the custom-made machete turned out to be too big and heavy, so the film crew wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible.
    • According to producer John Davis, Shane Black was only cast because they wanted him to do rewrites on the script. When they asked him to do so, however, he refused claiming he had been hired as an actor, not a writer. Thus Hawkins became the first person to die.
  • Spared by the Cut: Anna was originally killed by the Predator shortly after Poncho when she fires on the creature with a recovered weapon, but this was changed for filming to have Dutch disarm her, saving her life.
  • Throw It In:
    • Dutch's "Stick around!" Bond One-Liner was improvised by Schwarzenegger.
    • One courtesy of James Cameron himself! When the production crew's first attempt at the creature effect failed spectacularly, they decided to hire Stan Winston for the film. The two were flying to Japan, and while Winston was doing preliminary design sketches, Cameron saw what he was doing and said "You know, I always wanted to see something with mandibles." Winston then included them in his designs.
    • Bill Duke improvised the shaving. The crew scrambled on set to make a razor that squirts blood.
  • Troubled Production: Filming in Mexico took a toll on the cast and crew, with sweltering heat, rough terrain, and everyone getting bouts of Montezuma's Revenge due to unclean hotel water (except Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was in another hotel, and director John McTiernan). It took a while for the title creature to get a design, and even then, both that initial one (which was discarded as the crew eventually found it ridiculous) and the final product were unwieldy costumes that both Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kevin Peter Hall noted as hard to move around in.
  • Uncredited Role: Shane Black was an uncredited script doctor on the screenplay.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • As mentioned above in The Other Marty, the Predator was originally envisioned as a giant insect-like creature with a rat-like head, golden eyes, and big claws, but the overall look of the original design was felt to be both far from scary and not really practical to film in the jungle, so it was completely redesigned by Stan Winston and recast (with Kevin Peter Hall replacing Jean-Claude Van Damme).
    • The film originally featured a Native American soldier as the lead. This character eventually evolved into Billy, played by Sonny Landham.
    • Fans of Alan Silvestri could have had a legal soundtrack release (there was a bootleg) long before there actually was one — Fox had intended to release an album paired with Michael Kamen's work for the first Die Hard in 1993 as part of Fox Records' series of releases. Unfortunately, it and several other planned albums never surfaced (nor did a Predator soundtrack arrive until 2003, courtesy of Varèse Sarabande). This is the story of the planned release and why it never happened.
    • Supposedly, Jerry Goldsmith was originally approached to score the film, but was unavailable. Joel Silver wanted Michael Kamen to do the music after collaborating on Lethal Weapon, but Kamen was unavailable due to him working on Adventures in Babysitting. However, John McTiernan recommended hiring Alan Silvestri after hearing his work on Back to the Future.
    • Peter Cullen almost didn't get the part of the Predator. He was asked by Fox to take on the part of the titular character, but had injured his throat playing the part of King Kong for the 1976 film. As such, he was understandably reluctantly to do the part, and had to insist repeatedly to see art of the character, much to John McTiernan's annoyance (at least according to Cullen's account of his audition). He finally saw the art, came up with the voice almost instantly, and the rest is history.
    • In an early draft, Dutch had two additional men on his team, both of whom would've been killed during the attack on the guerrilla camp.
    • Following Blain's death, the Predator was to be seen returning to its ship to treat its wounds, creating a kind of paste from two small glowing stones and then using it to cauterize its injuries. Likely due to budget constraints, the Predator's ship was cut from the movie before filming, and the Predator merely treats itself with a portable medical kit on a branch.
    • Another scene set aboard the Predator's ship that was removed from the final cut featured the hunter admiring Hawkins' flayed skin, stretched over a frame as it dries. Satisfied with its work, the Predator was to take the skin down, fold it neatly, and store it in a compartment full of skins from all manner of alien creatures.
    • Originally, following Blain's death, the team originally carried on towards the extraction point. This led to an elaborate action sequence set at a deep, sheer-sided river gorge. Coming upon the gorge, the team are forced to carefully pick their way along the top of the cliff. However, the ground is unstable and gives way beneath Dillon's feet; he snatches at Poncho's leg to try and arrest his fall, twisting it and breaking Poncho's ankle, before losing his grip and plummeting over the precipice, becoming tangled upside down in some vines a hundred feet above the river below. The collapse spreads, and Anna almost goes over the edge as well, but is caught at the last minute by Dutch. Dutch and his men manage to pull Poncho and Anna back up to safety, but Dillon remains trapped below, and so Dutch rigs up a rope so that he can rappel down to him. This leads to a tense sequence in which Dutch tries desperately to reach Dillon as the vines supporting him begin to snap one by one, threatening to pitch Dillon down onto the rocks below. Finally they give way, but Dutch is able to grab hold of Dillon's shirt. His equipment still threatens to drag him down, and so Dutch orders Dillon to drop their radio set, which smashes on the rocks below. Finally, the other men pull them back up, and they retreat from the unstable cliff back into the jungle. This then led to the sequence where Mac and Dillon are killed by the Predator, which originally happened before the mercenaries manage to trap the creature in a net.
    • In early drafts of the script it was Billy, not Anna, who escaped alive from the jungle before Dutch's final showdown with the Predator. Dutch sent him on ahead to the extraction helicopter before the scene where the Predator is (briefly) caught in the net made of jungle vines. It was also Billy who returned with Philips aboard the extraction helicopter at the end of the movie.
    • After Dutch discovers that mud renders him invisible to the Predator, a brief added scene showed Billy aboard the rescue chopper with Philips, searching the jungle for Dutch. Failing to find any sign, they turn away and head back to base. On the ground, the Predator watches the helicopter fly overhead.
    • In the original script, Dutch goes hunting for the creature himself after fashioning his bow and arrows instead of luring it to him. Only after finding the creature's camp does he begin preparing traps for it.
    • The Predator originally had a net made of incredibly fine wire appearing like a spider's web when deployed. Dutch was to find one such net strung between two trees when hunting for the Predator. When he triggers the trap by hurling a log into it, the net instantaneously contracts, completely shredding the log. The sequel would go on to introduce the net as an official part of the Predator's arsenal.
    • Originally, Dutch's final battle with the Predator was to take place predominantly within an enormous pile of rotting trees bridging a river, a vast log jam left over from a flood many years before. In contrast to their running battle in the movie, the two opposed hunters were to engage in a tense game of cat-and-mouse through the many passageways and crawlspaces running between and through the fallen trunks. The setting was likely scrapped for budgetary and practical reasons.
    • In early versions of the script, Dutch's final showdown with the Predator is further complicated by encounters with several aggressive, terrestrial creatures, including a jaguar that he is forced to leap down a small cliff to escape and a colony of bats that viciously attack him when he disturbs them.
    • The Predator was originally supposed to mimic members of Dutch's team during their duel to try and lure him into an ambush, almost succeeding until it begins mimicking people Dutch knows to be dead.
    • The Predator's ship, which it used to reach Earth, was originally set to appear at the climax, when Dutch would discover it in the jungle.
    • In the original script, the final battle resumes when the Predator rallies itself and begins wrestling with Dutch on the floor. During the struggle, Dutch manages to get hold of the Predator's spear, at which point the creature flees onto its ship and attempts to leave. Before it can seal the access hatch, Dutch hurls the spear through its head, killing the creature and also setting off a devastating chain reaction aboard the ship, which triggers an explosion similar to the Predator's self-destruct device in the film.
  • The Wiki Rule: Xenopedia has information on Alien, Predator, and Alien vs. Predator.
  • Working Title: Alien Hunter, Hunter, and Primevil.