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Predator Cinematographer Confirms Jean-Claude Van Damme Easter Egg

The Predator cinematographer Larry Fong has confirmed the movie’s Easter egg calling back to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s time playing the title role. The original Predator’s high-concept premise finds an advanced alien hunter coming to Earth to stalk and kill an elite group of soldiers, led by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The production famously had a hard time designing the alien itself, and when the original costume finally arrived on set, director John McTiernan knew instantly it wasn’t going to work.

The production shot some footage with this suit to show the studio how bad it looked in action, and Jean-Claude Van Damme was hired to play the creature. The actor found it near impossible to work in the outfit, where his vision was obscured and he would sometime pass out due to the intense heat. The footage also looked ridiculous, with the creature resembling a giant lobster in some shots. It was decided to shut down the production to give Stan Winston time to create a new design, and Van Damme was fired and replaced with Kevin Peter Hall.

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The legend of Van Damme briefly being part of Predator has spread far and wide in fan circles, with photos and behind the scenes footage proving just how poor the original design was. Eagle-eyed viewers were able to spot one of the young trick or treaters in The Predator wearing what seemed to be a homage to Van Damme's costume, and now cinematographer Larry Fong has confirmed on Twitter this was very intentional. He also reveals the origins of the suit's cameo.

The Predator contains lots of references and callbacks to previous entries, but this is one of the subtlest. Director Shane Black actually starred in the original film as Hawkins, who is the first on-screen victim of the hunter. He also tried to convince Arnold Schwarzenegger to make a brief cameo at the very end to set up a sequel, but the star turned it down, feeling the part was far too small.

Sadly, The Predator proved to be a box-office letdown, so it's doubtful it will receive a sequel now. The movie ends with McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) being gifted a Predator Killer suit to even the odds between him and the creatures in a future movie, but another ending was planned. This would have revealed a mystery character sleeping in a pod with a Weyland-Yutani logo on it, and wearing a Facehugger inspired breathing mask. This obvious nod to Alien suggests a sequel may have been another Alien Vs Predator movie, but despite props being constructed, this scene wasn’t shot.

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Source: Larry Fong

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