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Unlike the 1987 original, the cast of The Predator, a sequel whose world premiere is set for Sept. 6 at the Toronto Film Festival, doesn’t contain future governors of California and Minnesota. But seeing politicos Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred, and Jesse Ventura, who got killed off early, was just part of the charm.
THR said Predator was an “explosive, big-barrel production” that was “a classic behind-enemy-lines/buddy movie.” The John McTiernan-directed film also was a surprise hit. The $15 million production brought in $60 million domestically ($133 million today), knocking Beverly Hills Cop II from the top spot and spawning a half-dozen sequels. The title character was a space alien who stalks Schwarzenegger’s commando team. The creature’s costume was originally worn by Jean-Claude Van Damme, who either quit or was fired midway through filming in Mexico.
With him went the costume that Schwarzenegger (who’s not in the new film) said “looked like a guy in a lizard suit with the head of a duck,” to be replaced by a sleeker Stan Winston creation. “I think the simplicity of Predator films is that each installment is framed as a hunt,” says Shane Black, who co-starred (and was killed off first) in the original and directs the reboot. “What a simple, iconic selling point: ‘He’s back — and the hunt is on again!’ ”
This story first appeared in the Sept. 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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