In honor of the 30th anniversary of two of his most recognizable films, Predator and The Running Man, Arnold Schwarzenegger made a special appearance at Beyond Fest 2017. During the Q&A portion of the event, Schwarzenegger entertained the crowd with hilarious anecdotes and tales from his time on the set of Predator, where he was joined by his longtime friend and co-star Bill Duke.
The former governor of California told a few stories, including the time Jean-Claude Van Damme’s appearance in a rubber suit nearly derailed the production of Predator.
The Making of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Predator
According to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the production of Predator had a rough start. The Predator was originally built by another special effects and makeup department. The film’s scenes were shot without the predator, but when they finally used it on screen, “it went south very quickly.”
“We started Predator, and the Predator was built by another special effects and makeup department. We did all of our scenes without the Predator, and then we started using the Predator. And it went south very quickly because it didn’t look good on screen. It had nothing to do with Van Damme being inside the rubber suit, like some people have written about it. Because it was just too small – he was supposed to be much taller than us.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed they had to stop shooting for six months to get the Predator right. Eventually, the production team decided to go to Stan Winston’s shop to build a better predator. Winston was more expensive, but he was the best in the business.
“When they finally got rid of that Predator and finally went to Stan Winston’s shop – he was more expensive because he was the best. Academy Award-winning guy, right? So when they went to his shop, we had to stop shooting for six months…”
The Academy Award-winning special effects artist made the iconic Predator that fans know and love today. Winston found a great actor, Kevin Peter Hall, to play the Predator, and he was an amazing athlete who could perform all the athletic jumps and stunts. With the new Predator suit, the film finally reached its full potential.
“…they finally built that great Predator, and they found a great guy to play the Predator and do all of those athletic jumps and athletic stuff. It was amazing what an athlete he was. And then it was really fantastic. So Stan Winston is responsible for Predator to become that successful. Stan Winston is really the best of the best, and he was the best of the best in this business, and as you say, we miss him dearly.”
The film’s success can partly be attributed to the new Predator design. It’s hard to fathom, but Predator could have turned out differently if Winston hadn’t stepped in.
Will Jean-Claude Van Damme and Arnold Schwarzenegger Share A Screen?
Since being replaced, Van Damme has never really shared the same screen with Schwarzenegger. On the contrary, however, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean-Claude Van Damme have co-starred in a few films together- Last Action Hero and The Expendables 2.
However, fans of the two action legends have been consistently let down by their limited on-screen time together. The film Predator was supposed to be Van Damme’s big break, but he was replaced before production began.
Later, he had a cameo in Last Action Hero, but he never shared the screen with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and in The Expendables 2, he faced off against Sylvester Stallone’s Barney Ross. It’s been a long-standing plot point to have Van Damme and Schwarzenegger share the screen together.
Both actors wanted to collaborate, and there have been rumors of various possible projects for years. Despite this, the promised content has never materialized, much to the audience’s dismay. But now, with his upcoming and possibly last movie, What’s My Name?, there’s a chance the two icons will finally share the screen.
Source: Slash Film