||Predator is a 1987 American science
fiction action film directed by John McTiernan, starring Arnold
Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, and Kevin Peter Hall. It
was distributed by 20th Century Fox. The story follows an elite special
forces team, led by 'Dutch' (Arnold Schwarzenegger), on a mission to
rescue hostages from guerrilla territory in Central America.
to the group, they are being hunted by a technologically advanced form
of extraterrestrial life, the Predator. Predator was scripted by Jim and
John Thomas in 1985 and was originally titled Hunter.
began in April 1986 and creature effects were devised by Stan Winston.
The film's budget was around $18 million and when the film was released
in the United States on June 12, 1987, it grossed $98,267,558.
critical reaction to Predator was mixed, with criticism focusing on the
thin plot. However, in subsequent years critics' attitudes toward the
film warmed, and it has appeared on a number of "best of" lists.
sequels, Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010), as well as two
crossover films with the Alien franchise, Alien vs. Predator (2004) and
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), have been produced.
and Gordon first approached Arnold Schwarzenegger with the lead role.
Schwarzenegger said, "The first thing I look for in a script is a good
idea, a majority of scripts are rip-offs of other movies. People think
they can become successful overnight. They sat down one weekend and
wrote a script because they read that Stallone did that with Rocky.
was one of the scripts I read, and it bothered me in one way. It was
just me and the alien. So we re-did the whole thing so that it was a
team of commandos and then I liked the idea. I thought it would make a
much more effective movie and be much more believable. I liked the idea
of starting out with an action-adventure, but then coming in with some
horror and science fiction."
To play the elite band of
mercenaries, both Silver and Gordon, with co-producer John Davis,
searched for other larger-than-life men of action. Carl Weathers, who
had been memorable as boxer Apollo Creed in the Rocky films was their
first choice to play Dillon, while professional wrestler and former Navy
UDT Jesse Ventura was hired for his formidable physique as Blain.
Americans Sonny Landham and Richard Chaves, and African-American Bill
Duke, who co-starred alongside Schwarzenegger in Commando, provided the
As a favor to the writer of Joel Silver's
blockbuster Lethal Weapon, the studio hired screenplay writer Shane
Black not only to play a supporting role in the film, but also to keep
an eye on McTiernan due to the director's inexperience.
An alien spacecraft enters the Earth's atmosphere and jettisons a pod, which descends to Central America.
time later, Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) arrives
in Guatemala with his elite team for an operation to rescue three
presidential cabinet ministers abducted by guerrilla forces in Val
Dutch's old military buddy, CIA Special Agent George
Dillon (Carl Weathers), steps in as a liaison and joins the team:
Sergeant Mac Eliot (Bill Duke), weapons and ordnance specialist Blain
Cooper (Jesse Ventura), trackers Billy Sole (Sonny Landham) and Jorge
"Poncho" Ramirez (Richard Chaves), and radio man/medic Rick Hawkins
The team is inserted into the jungle by
helicopter and begin their hunt. They soon find the wreckage of a downed
helicopter, and later, the remains of several skinned bodies identified
to be an Army Special Forces unit, whose presence in the country
They track the guerillas to a heavily defended
rebel encampment, and Dutch's team takes out its inhabitants, except for
a woman named Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) whom they take prisoner. Dutch is
enraged when Dillon confesses the rescue mission had been a ploy to get
his group to destroy the camp and that the men they found earlier
disappeared in a failed rescue mission of two CIA agents.
team make their way to the extraction point, they are observed from
afar by an unknown creature using thermal imaging.Anna briefly escapes,
but, when Hawkins reacquires her, he is savagely murdered and skinned.
Moments later, when the team is looking for Hawkins' killer, Blain is
killed by the creature, alerting the team that they are being stalked by
something in the jungle.
Anna offers the team insight into the
creature; a predator, which has apparently become a local legend for
hunting humans for sport. The team sets a trap to ambush the Predator,
but it avoids capture, severely wounding Poncho in the process. Mac and
Dillon are killed during the ensuing chase, and Billy is slain while
making a stand to allow Dutch and Anna time to carry off the injured
If it Bleeds we can Kill it
The Making of Predator
Predator catches up to Dutch and engages in a short shootout with him,
during which Poncho is shot and killed. Realizing the creature only
attacks those possessing weapons, a wounded Dutch sends Anna unarmed to
the extraction point.
Dutch narrowly escapes the creature by inadvertently masking his body's heat signature with mud.
He witnesses the Predator's true form when its active camouflage fails after being exposed to water.
then applies more mud, improvises various weaponry and traps, and baits
the Predator into coming out of hiding by starting a large fire.
Hearing Dutch's war-cry, the Predator soon arrives to investigate and
eventually traps him.
It challenges Dutch to a final duel in
hand-to-hand combat, discarding its electronic weaponry and revealing
itself to be a monstrous, 8-foot-tall-hulking-alien before brutally
Once in the alien's grasp, Dutch manages to drop the counterweight from one of his traps, which falls and crushes the creature.
Dutch asks the mortally wounded alien what it is, the creature mimics
his question in garbled English and then activates a self destruct
mechanism on its wrist device while laughing, gradually increasing its
laugh into a human-like pitch. Dutch barely escapes the massive
explosion and is later rescued by helicopter along with Anna as the only
Jean-Claude Van Damme | Predator | The Real Story
Van Damme was originally cast as the Predator creature, the idea being
that the physical action star would use his martial arts skills to make
the Predator an agile, ninja-esque hunter.
When compared to
Schwarzenegger, Weathers, and Ventura, actors known for their
bodybuilding regimens, it became apparent a more physically-imposing man
was needed to make the creature appear threatening.
it was reported that Van Damme constantly complained about the monster
suit being too hot, causing him to pass out.
He also had
allegedly voiced his reservations on numerous occasions regarding the
fact he would not be appearing on camera without the suit. Jesse
Ventura's autobiographical book also alleges Van Damme intentionally
injured a stunt man.
Van Damme was removed from the film and
replaced by Kevin Peter Hall. Hall, standing at an imposing 7 foot 2,
had just finished work as a sasquatch in Harry and the Hendersons.
Cullen was invited by Fox to do creature vocals, and was initially
reluctant since his throat was injured when he voiced King Kong for the
1976 film, but accepted the job after seeing the unmasked Predator.
Cullen said his main inspiration were horseshoe crabs, which the
Predator face reminded him of.