Predator (1987) Poster



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Jesse Ventura was delighted to find out from the wardrobe department that his arms were 1" bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger's. He suggested to Schwarzenegger that they measure arms, with the winner getting a bottle of champagne. Ventura lost because Schwarzenegger had told the wardrobe department to tell Ventura that his arms were bigger.
Predator (1987) had several hardships for the actors like leeches, mud, snakes, stifling humidity, heat and rough terrain. All of the night scenes were filmed during freezing cold temperatures, which was especially hard on Arnold Schwarzenegger during the latter half of the film when the mud he had to wear (actually pottery clay) became cold and wet. He was warned it would take his body temperature down a few degrees and he shivered non-stop, even when they tried to heat him with lamps (it just made the clay dry out). He tried drinking jagertee, a schnapps mixture to warm him but that just got him drunk.
Sonny Landham was hired to work on this film, but on one condition: the insurance company insisted on a round-the-clock bodyguard for Landham, not to protect the actor, but to protect everyone else from the actor (who was prone to bar fights, etc.).
Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast to play the Predator but he was dropped for being a relentless complainer.
The sound editors called the Predator's shoulder gun the 'Parrot Gun', because when it moved independent of the Predator while aiming, it reminded them of "Peter Sellers with a rubber parrot on his shoulder."
According to an interview with director John McTiernan, the "hole in the jungle" appearance of the Predator was played by Jean-Claude Van Damme in a "blue screen" (actually red) suit. Van Damme quit after two days, unhappy with being cast as an uncredited special effect, but can be seen as the Predator in If It Bleeds We Can Kill It: The Making of 'Predator' (2001). The alien was scrapped, redesigned and was eventually played by Kevin Peter Hall who was 7'2" tall.
After Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) impales a baddie against a wooden post with his machete, he utters the immortal one-liner "Stick around!" This was apparently improvised on the spot by Arnie.
The weapon that Blain (Jesse Ventura) is using is a minigun. This is a weapon most commonly mounted on the side of a helicopter (or an aircraft carrier) and many, many modifications had to be made to make it usable in the film. It was powered via an electrical cable hidden down the front of Blain's trousers. The firing rate was slowed down to approximately 1/3rd the normal rate of fire, both to reduce consumption of blanks, and to make the spinning of the barrels visible on film. It is rumored that Ventura had to wear a bulletproof vest because of the forceful ejection of spent cartridges, but this is false. Unmodified miniguns eject out of the bottom, with the cases essentially falling out due to the force of gravity. Close examination of the film (especially the scene in which Mac fires the minigun at the fleeing predator, along with the other commandos) show that the ejection of the minigun was not changed.
The original concept for this film originated as a joke. Someone said that the only person Rocky Balboa of the Rocky (1976) series of films had yet to fight was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
Due to health and safety regulations, Arnold Schwarzenegger was not allowed to light his cigar inside the helicopter near the beginning of the film. As a result the glow was added optically in post-production.
Two of the actors portraying commandos besieged by the Predator have been elected to state governorships: Jesse Ventura (Independent) was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1998, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican) was elected Governor of California in a hotly-contested recall election in 2003. In addition, Sonny Landham (Republican) ran an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Kentucky in 2003. Both Landham and Ventura also sought to enter the Senate in 2008 in their states as, respectively, a Libertarian and an Independent. Both dropped out.
The predator's blood - a goopy substance with the color of Mountain Dew - was made on-set using a mixture of the liquid from inside glow sticks, and KY jelly.
Shane Black hated the glasses he was given to wear as Hawkins. He wanted to wear authentic military-issue ballistic glasses worn by actual troops in the field, but the director wanted him to look as geeky as possible.
Maria Shriver discussed decoration plans concerning her and Arnold Schwarzenegger's new home with him over the phone during filming. She later spent a couple of days on the set in Mexico. The stunt crew played a practical joke on the newly married couple by putting frogs in their shower.
The studio would not allow John McTiernan to shoot this film in anamorphic widescreen due to the complexities of the optical effects. As a sly sort of retaliation, the director added an anamorphic version of the film's opening 20th Century Fox logo, which looks noticeably stretched on screen.
Shane Black spent his free time on the set writing the screenplay for The Last Boy Scout (1991).
Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended Jesse Ventura for Blain, after interviewing him for the role. He thought he looked the part, was big enough, had a deep voice and was manly.
An attempt was made to get shots of the Predator swinging from tree to tree using a monkey in a red special-effects suit. However, the monkey kept removing the suit and the idea was abandoned.
The mandibles of the predator were the idea of James Cameron.
Arnold Schwarzenegger lost over 25 pounds before filming began in order to better fit the role of a special warfare operative, who would be lean as well as muscular.
Peter Cullen was reluctant on taking the job of voicing the Predator as he injured his throat playing the title character of King Kong (1976), but eventually accepted after seeing a picture of the unmasked creature.
Part of the shoot was 48 hours before Arnold Schwarzenegger's wedding rehearsal dinner. Jesse Ventura teased him about his nuptials, often ruining takes; director John McTiernan was not amused. Schwarzenegger missed the final preparation and Maria Shriver was not happy about that, because his mind was more on the film instead of their wedding.
The Predator was first designed by a special effects company the studio picked to save money on. Stan Winston later created the Predator for 1.5 million dollars; this other studio charged half that amount. Because of that, their Predator looked like someone in a lizard suit with the head of a duck, according to Schwarzenegger. When Winston was brought in to redesign the Predator, the final fight scene had to be reshot. The new Predator was eight and a half feet tall, but the recast Kevin Peter Hall was 7'2". The costume was heavy and off balance and Hall couldn't see with the mask on; because of that during the fight scene with Dutch, he actually did hit Schwarzenegger once.
The 'B' camera was given a reel of incorrect film stock, which is why some shots look a lot grainier than others.
Shane Black, who plays commando Hawkins, is actually a writer. The producer wanted Black, who was writing Lethal Weapon (1987), close to him to review the script.
During the closing credits, Shane Black is seen prominently displaying a copy of Sgt. Rock #408 (Feb. 1986). In the DVD commentary, John McTiernan notes that at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger had an adaptation of Sgt. Rock in production, and that's why the comics were on set, so he could read them. He described the scene where Dutch (Schwarzenegger) walks up to Billy (Sonny Landham), who senses the Predator's presence out in the bush, as a "Sgt. Rock moment".
During the "If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It" documentary, there is a quick shot of Jean-Claude Van Damme playing the original Predator creature.
Hawkins was originally supposed to wear a distinctive red beret, most likely inspired by the U.S. Army's maroon airborne berets, worn by American paratroopers. Shane Black refused to wear it, as he thought it would look ridiculous in the jungle. He later regretted the decision, as he felt it would have made his character stand out.
Being the first Predator movie they only show the thermal vision and infrared vision from the Predators point of view (in Predator 2 (1990) they introduce many other vision modes for the predator), but with good attention to details you can get hints that the Predator has different vision modes even in this movie; The Predator can obviously see and avoid the trip wires they hide everywhere in the forest (which would actually not be visible if the Predator only used thermal visions). The predator can also see if the soldiers are carrying any kind of weapons or knives and if they are unarmed, indicating the Predator has a different vision mode which makes him able to detect solid metal.
Predator (1987) had the second biggest opening weekend of 1987; Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) had the first.
Arnold Schwarzenegger never worked again with producer Joel Silver after this film.
Arnold Schwarzenegger believed the reason Predator (1987) was such a hit was because the heroes were impressively muscular and big.
All of the actors are wearing Vietnam surplus canvas load bearing gear, not the more modern (i.e. post 1967) nylon gear.
This was a spec script that accidentally found its way to 20th Century Fox.
Joel Hynek a special effects supervisor, who directed the design of the alien's camouflage effect, is the son of J. Allen Hynek, PhD. J. Allen Hynek originated the "Close Encounter" hierarchy for categorizing interactions with aliens. Dr. Hynek was an Professor of Astronomy at Northwestern University.
Two waterfalls are used in the climax of the movie, both near Palenque in Mexico. The first is Misol Ha, just outside the village (beginning and end of the sequence), and the other is Agua Azul about an hour's drive away (the middle part of the sequence).
Acting debut for both Jesse Ventura and Shane Black.
One of the elements in the sound of the 'snap' to Predator-vision is a whip crack.
Third film in which Arnold Schwarzenegger wears a Seiko model H558-5009 diver's watch. Since nicknamed "The Arnold", it is highly sought-after by collectors and regularly trades for values in excess of its original retail cost. Its distinctive black collar and stainless steel fittings suitably complements Schwarzenegger's exaggerated arm muscles in his early films.
The original "Hunter" model was a large creature with a long neck, a head shaped like a dog and one big eye in the middle. This can be seen on the camouflage demo's on the DVD. It was only when Stan Winston moved in that the complete design of the now "Predator" changed, along with the title.
The sidearms carried by the troopers are Desert Eagle handguns.
John McTiernan admitted that actor R.G. Armstrong was too old for his part, but kept Armstrong simply because he liked him. Added to this, the actor wore "too much" tanning makeup to hide his age somewhat.
The map General Phillips uses to brief Dutch is a map of Brazil. The map show a geographic feature called Chapada das Mangabeiras.
Most of film was shot under the original title "Hunter", it was only later when the creature design was changed that the movie became "Predator". The clapperboards showing the original title can be seen in the outtakes on the special edition DVD.
Dutch's last name in the script is Schaefer.
John McTiernan broke his wrist while on location, but kept working.
Supposedly, Jerry Goldsmith was originally approached to score the film, but was unavailable.


Sven-Ole ThorsenArnold Schwarzenegger's friend and frequent collaborator appears as the Russian Officer.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The black helicopter pilot seen at the end of the movie is Kevin Peter Hall, the actor who plays the Predator.
Body count: 69 (most of them at the hands of Schwarzenegger), a scorpion, a boar and a predator.

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