12 Things You Might Not Have Realised About Predator

Be honest now, did you manage to watch Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Predator when you were far, far too young? Arnie described the Predator as “one ugly motherf*cker”, and our parents certainly didn’t want us feasting our eyes on Stan Winston’s glorious, dread-locked creation.

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Predators may have appeared in a number of films since, but it’s the original, released on June 12th 1987, that holds a really special place in our hearts, and it’s that film that we’re focussing on now with the following 12 fascinating facts…

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1. It Was Inspired By Another Legendary 80s Character

After the release of Rocky IV, a joke in Hollywood claimed that Rocky Balboa had run out of earthly opponents and would need to fight an alien if another film was going to be made. Jim and John Thomas took inspiration from the joke and wrote a screenplay based on it!

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2. It Originally Had A Different Name

Predator was originally penned in 1984 under the working title of ‘Hunter’. The original idea had various alien species seeking different targets, but this was eventually focused down onto one alien hunting ‘the most dangerous species’, ie humans.

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3. The Alien Changed Completely

The original version of the Predator had large yellow eyes and a head that looked like a dog. Knowing that they needed to change the alien’s look for the film to be successful, director John McTiernan spoke to special effects wiz-kid Stan Winston.

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4. James Cameron Came Up With Part Of Its Distinctive Look

Stan Winston sketched ideas for the Predator whilst he was on a plane journey, sat next to legendary director James Cameron. Cameron suggested that the creature should have mandibles, and Winston incorporated this idea into the creature’s final design

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5. Jean-Claude Van Damme Was Originally In The Suit

Action legend Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the Predator, with filmmakers hoping that his martial arts skills would help the alien to appear extremely agile. However, Van Damme had issues with the suit being too hot and causing him to faint, and it was also decided that a larger man was needed to make the Predator appear more threatening.

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6. The Predator Was Over Seven Foot

Jean-Claude Van Damme was replaced by Kevin Peter Hall, who, at 7 feet 2.5 inches, was the tallest in a very tall family (his dad was 6 ft 6, his mother was 6 ft 2, and he was the tallest of seven brothers, all of which who were over 6 ft 5!)

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7. Most Of The Cast And Crew Lost Alot Of Weight

Director John McTiernan and Arnold Schwarzenegger were both reported to have lost 25 pounds during the film’s shoot. In addition to that, a number of the cast and crew had bouts of diarrhea, which was down to the Mexican hotel where they were staying having water purification issues.

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8. Arnie Spent Three Weeks Covered In Mud

We know you’ll remember the climatic scene where Arnold Schwarzenegger smears himself with mud to hide himself from the Predator, but did you know that filming required that he be covered with genuine mud for 3 whole weeks?

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9. It Wasn’t Particularly Popular On Release

The critical reaction to the film at the time of its release was mixed, with many critics mentioning that the plot was rather ‘thin’. The New York Times wrote that it was “grisly and dull, with few surprises,” and Cinefantastique believed that “the militarized monster movie tires under its own derivative weight.”

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10. It’s Now Considered An Action Classic

People’s opinion of Predator has become more and more positive as time has gone on, and it is now often featured on ‘the best action films of all time’ lists, including a 2015 poll run by Rolling Stone magazine. Entertainment Weekly also named it the 22nd greatest action movie of all time in 2007.

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11. Predators Have Appeared In Five Films Since

Could you name all 6 films that have featured Predators? As well as the 1987 original, there is Predator 2 from 1990, Predators from 2010 and the recent The Predator, released in 2018. And there was also Alien vs. Predator in 2004 and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem in 2007. Who could forget them? We’d like to for one…

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12. You Can Watch It In 4K

Predator was released on DVD in 2004, Blu-Ray in 2008 and Blu-Ray 3D in 2013, and it has recently been released on 4K UHD Blu-Ray. Are you lucky enough to own a 4K TV? Then you know what to do…

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Be sure to share this post with your friends and family so they too can find out more about this legendary action film!

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