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All The Predator's Alternate Endings Explained

The Predator's Super-Suit ending was roundly mocked by fans, but it turns out it was one of the tamer options considered. The Predator franchise began in 1987 and was born from a simple high-concept pitch; an alien hunter arrives on Earth to stalk the planet’s most lethal prey – man. The film went through some production woes, like the design of the original Predator (played by then-unknown Jean-Claude Van Damme) being so atrocious it had to be completely redesigned. The end product was an instant classic, however, thanks to a tight screenplay, tense direction, and an endlessly charismatic cast led by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Of course, Predator's success led to sequels, but the Predator franchise has evolved in odd ways. It took a 14-year hiatus following the lukewarm reception to 1990’s Predator 2, before being dusted down for a long-awaited smackdown with the Xenomorph in both Alien Vs Predator movies. It returned again for arguably the best follow-up in Predators, which found a ragtag group of soldiers and assassins being hunted on a predator game planet. The series has always been a reliable earner financially, but it’s never been a box office juggernaut either. Shane Black (Iron Man 3) wanted to change when he came on board to direct The PredatorBlack actually appeared in the original movie as one of Schwarzenegger’s ill-fated commandos, and he wanted to resurrect the franchise as a genuine event.

Related: The Predator Reshoots Explained: How Fox Changed Shane Black’s Movie

Sadly, the production proved to be a messy one, with negative test screenings leading to sweeping reshoots and narrative tinkering. The released movie bears these scars, suffering from rushed and confused storytelling. And this extends to the ending, where the heroes learn the Fugitive Predator came to Earth to present humanity with a gift against an upcoming invasion; an Iron Man-style suit of armor dubbed the Predator Killer. This scene was widely derided as ridiculous and out of sync with the rest of the movie. While not all of them were shot, there were other denouements considered, so let’s break down the unused endings of The Predator and see if any of them were an improvement.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Ending Cameo

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dutch in Predator (1987)

Despite Predator being one of his signature movies, it’s a surprise Schwarzenegger has never reprised his role as Dutch. This isn’t from a lack of effort on the part of producers as he’s been offered cameos in pretty much every sequel aside from Alien Vs Predator: Requiem. Fans have been crying out for his return but for The Predator, the studio insisted on introducing the audience to new characters. Black wrote a prominent cameo for Schwarzenegger nonetheless, with the intent of giving the character a larger role in a potential sequel. Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger wasn’t interested in a cameo - and he didn’t seem to the like the script itself very much - so he declined.

Related: Arnold Schwarzenegger Almost Returned To Predator 4 Times

Schwarzenegger's Dutch cameo would have been the final scene of the movie, with a helicopter appearing after the heroes have defeated the Upgrade Predator. McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), Bracket (Olivia Munn), and Rory (Jacob Tremblay) approached the chopper, with none other than Dutch Schaeffer stepping out. He tells them to hop onboard, with Rory asking if he should climb on as well. Dutch smiles and replies, "Especially you." So, it was a tiny cameo that teased the Dutch’s expanded role in a Predator sequel, in addition to implying Rory would figure into the military’s plan to fight an impending Predator invasion of Earth.

McKenna's Dare To The Predators

Boyd Holbrook in The Predator

Following Schwarzenegger’s cameo rejection, it seems The Predator would have ended on a much quieter note. Following the defeat of the Upgrade Predator, the survivors mourn the loss of The Predator's Loonies and bury the various mementos Rory had been secretly collecting from each of them. Then, they would have looked up at the dawning sky, which is still twinkling with stars, with McKenna pointing to one of them and daring it to "come and get us motherf*****s." Rory then admonishes his father’s bad language, and the group gets up and leaves. It’s not exactly a rousing note to end on, but McKenna’s line hints that he knows there will be future battles to fight. That said, it's easy to see why the studio felt this ending needed a little more oomph to get audiences excited for another entry in the Predator franchise.

Page 2 of 2: Alien's Ripley Connection & Predator Killer Newt

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