Predator 2 was a pretty strange movie. Transporting the alien hunter into the urban jungle was a logical step for a sequel, but the bizarre voodoo subplot, replacing Arnie with Danny Glover and the addition of Gary Busey resulted in a rather confused and ambling cinematic experience. Critics and fans agreed, too, with the film failing to meet box office expectations and suffering vicious reviews.
This makes it all the more frustrating to hear screenwriter Jim Thomas explain the initial plans for the project, revealing the following:
“We had an idea where at the end [of Predator], with the burned up clearing where the explosion happens. Predator 2 pens there. Predator’s invisible feet come into view and a hand plunges down into the dust, into the ashes, and brings up the Predator’s arm and then activates the computer and gets a readout to see everything that had happened up to that time, focusing on Arnold, and ‘this is my target.’ We went from there and we had to think of how to bring Arnold back into it.”
Unfortunately, it soon transpired that Schwarzenegger didn’t want to do another Predator movie, so the creative team had to think of an alternative plot and apparently, their initial idea was to set Predator 2 during the the 1944-45 Battle of the Bulge. You might be raising an eyebrow right now as you wonder how this would work, but I think you’ll agree that the description sounds pretty freakin’ badass:
“We also had an idea about doing a World War 2 version in the Battle of the Bulge, in the middle of the winter. A German foot platoon and an American platoon separated and had a stalemate fighting each other off when the Predator shows up. They have to join together to defeat it. We thought the snow Predator effect would be quite different.”
Nazis vs. Predator does sound very cool, and I bet there’d be some genuinely spooky visual effects as the men try to spot the cloaking effect within a blizzard. Of course, the Predator did eventually see action in World War II in the pages of Dark Horse Comic Predator: Demon’s Gold, which is set in South America and shows a Nazi unit trying to discover a cache of gold while being pursued by a Predator. It wasn’t a great comic, but if you want to see Pred shredding fascist scumbags, then it’s pretty much your only option.
Since Predator 2, the galaxy’s most lethal hunter hasn’t been particularly well-served by cinema, so let’s hope that Shane Black’s upcoming reboot breaks that trend.