Everyone loves the Predator, whose iconic mandibles, dreadlocks and slimily yonic mouth have made him one of the pre-eminent movie monsters – one who’s due to make a return in this fall’s highly anticipated blockbuster.
Of course, his success stems from John McTiernan’s all-time classic Predator, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger and a team of hyper-muscled badasses went toe-to-toe with the galaxy’s fiercest hunter. Yet, the franchise might have died on the vine if they’d gone with the original design for the creature, which we’ve now got a great look at thanks to this new behind the scenes photo.
Take a look:
As you can see, the original Predator is pretty goofy. This version of the monster was designed by Boss Film Studios, who’d produced an impressive maquette of how the alien could look. John McTiernan and producer Joel Silver signed off on it, not realizing that what might come off looking great as a small model might seem very different when turned into a costume that an actor (which turned out to be a pre-frame Jean Claude Van-Damme) could wear.
The main problem was that the triple-jointed legs meant that he couldn’t walk around, and had to be suspended from a harness with puppet legs dangling below him. That’d be tricky enough, but factor in that they were shooting in the Mexican jungle and needed a mobile creature for action scenes and it just simply didn’t work. Plus, as I said before, it also looks damn goofy.
Thankfully, it turns out that fortune was smiling on Predator. Van-Damme learned while shooting the movie that Bloodsport had been financed and that (combined with the misery of being stuck in a rubber suit in the jungle) led to him actively trying to get fired from the project, a goal he quickly achieved.
Left without a monster, Arnie recommended his old Terminator pal Stan Winston have a go at the Predator and they managed to create him in just six months. The rest, as they say, is history.