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Trivia / Predator

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Trivia for the first movie:

  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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)
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    • Prey (Turkey)
  • Dawson Casting: John McTiernan admitted that R.G. Armstrong was too old for his part, but kept him, simply because he liked him. Added to this, the actor wore "too much" tanning make-up, to hide his age somewhat.
  • 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 Mc Tiernan adding the scene where the team panics and pumps hundreds of rounds into empty jungle.
  • He Also Did: The Predator himself, Kevin Peter Hall, also played Bigfoot in Harry and the Hendersons.
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  • 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.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Sonny Landham plays a member of a military platoon stalked by a hunter, while six years earlier he had reversely played a hunter part of a posse stalking a military platoon in Southern Comfort, only to suffer a Groin Attack at the climax.
  • 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."
  • Throw It In!:
    • Dutch's "Stick around!" Bond One-Liner was improvised by Schwarzenegger.
    • 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:
    • According to FX supervisor Steve Johnson, pre-production of the film began with director John McTiernan dramatically throwing down concept art for the creature at a meeting with FOX executives, as it looked awful. Apparently, the original idea called for a creature that had backwards-jointed reptile legs along with an extended head and arms. The crew were also planning to film the project in the muddy slopes of Mexico. Despite Johnson and other members of the crew telling them that it would be physically impossible to shoot with such a creature, McTiernan went ahead anyway.
    • Jean-Claude Van Damme (then recently-emigrated from Belgium) was brought in without giving him any sufficient explanation of what he was supposed to be doing. Van Damme was furious due to believing that the temp effects suit (which was used so the "cloaking" effect could be applied in post-production) was the actual suit for the final product. Additionally, the suit was unwieldy (causing him to bump into trees because he couldn't see), and he was further angered to learn that he wouldn't be able to do any of his martial arts moves, which he was famous for.
    • Filming got underway in Mexico, and it quickly became apparent to the cast and crew that the conditions weren't favorable. While the suit was still being constructed, the crew had to deal with sweltering heat and rough terrain. Every member of the cast and crew but Arnold Schwarzenegger (of course) and McTiernan got bouts of Montezuma's Revenge due to unclean hotel water.
    • Things got worse when the finished (original) suit actually reached the production set and saw the result. Faced with Van Damme complaining relentlessly and the crew treating the suit as a joke, McTiernan shot some test footage and sent it back to FOX hoping that they would see reason. The studio did and shut down production. Lawrence Gordon (one of the producers) was forced to secure additional funding so that Stan Winston and his team could come in and redesign the suit. Van Damme either left the production because of fears for his own safety (supposedly due to a stunt he was supposed to do, but which was helmed by another stuntman who broke his own leg the first time attempting it) or was fired by the studio.
    • Kevin Peter Hall was brought on to play the title character, and production continued in earnest, though not without running into more problems during the filming of the final confrontation. Schwarzenegger found himself being caked in cold mud for hours at a time, while Hall also found it difficult to move around in the suit.
  • 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).
    • 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
  • The Wiki Rule: Xenopedia has information on Alien, Predator, and Alien vs. Predator.
  • Working Title: Hunter.
  • 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.


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