Alien's Ripley Was The Predator Killer
It’s no secret The Predator underwent a huge reshoot that changed the third act. Instead of being hunted in a forest by the Upgrade Predator, there was an entire subplot where The Loonies are brought to Area 52 and introduced to two "friendly" emissary Predators. These elders aren’t necessarily good guys, but they don’t agree with the impending invasion of Earth, so they came to help humanity prepare so it’s a fair fight. This led to a huge battle where the Upgrade Predator invades the base and unleashes a horde of misshapen Predator hybrids dubbed The Menagerie. The heroes then escape on an armored vehicle while fighting off the creatures, thereby resulting in the deaths of some key characters.
Test audiences reacted poorly to this section, so The Predator was retooled to put more focus on the Upgrade Predator as the antagonist and less of an emphasis on the DNA splicing subplot. The removal of a key storyline results in some slipshod editing in the final cut, and the movie’s original ending would have done little to raise excitement for a sequel. That’s why a last-minute reshoot was organized a few months prior to the film’s release to add a cliffhanger. They ultimately chose the Predator Killer armor but they shot two more variations that would have got fans talking.
One alternative ending revealed the Fugitive Predator's mystery pod was covered in Weyland-Yutani logos and opened to reveal none other than Alien icon Ellen Ripley inside. Ripley’s face is covered by a Facehugger-style breather mask, but her name is seen clearly on her uniform. This definitely would have been an unexpected twist, but not in a good way. Having Ripley appear in a modern-day setting makes no logical sense, and since she’s never faced off with the Predators before, her designation as a Predator Killer is somewhat baffling. The Predator reshoots had teased the Alien Vs Predator movies are considered canon – best seen with Lex's Alien tail spear at Project Stargazer’s base – but the movie’s hard right into teasing a new AVP crossover reeks of studio desperation.
Needless to say, the sleeping Ripley is portrayed by a double and not Sigourney Weaver, and it's hard to imagine a scenario in which she would have agreed to return. Weaver had previously insisted on Ripley’s death in Alien 3 to rule out an appearance in a proposed Alien Vs Predator crossover, which is a concept she found horrible. She would go on to badmouth 2004's Alien Vs Predator, and while she’s expressed interest in some day returning as Ripley, this probably isn’t what she had in mind.
Aliens' Newt Was The Other Predator Killer
To this day, one of the most controversial aspects of the Alien franchise was the decision to kill off Newt and Hicks in the opening scene of David Fincher’s Alien 3. While their sudden demise cast an appropriately gloomy tone over the movie, it also robbed Ripley of her victory at the end of James Cameron's Aliens, and the move felt unnecessarily cruel because of it. There had been talk of bringing Newt back in the past; Joss Whedon’s original treatment for Alien Resurrection focused on Newt being cloned, but once the project started gaining momentum, the studio insisted on Ripley instead. Then Neill Blomkamp’s canceled Alien 5 would have seemingly retconned Alien 3 and Resurrection out of existence, and then continued the adventures of Ripley, Hicks, and Newt.
Without a doubt, the strangest alternate ending for The Predator centered on the pod opening to reveal Rebecca 'Newt' Jordan. Not only is the character alive but she’s also now an adult too. The explanation for her return was almost certainly being saved for a sequel, but it at least suggests the events of Alien 3 were being ignored. It's hard to think of an explanation for the return of either Newt or Ripley that doesn’t involve time travel, which would have been an unsatisfying answer at best. If the studio really wanted a link to the Alien series, surely having the pod contain an egg or an Alien Queen would have made more sense, and indicating the Xenomorph itself was the perfect Predator Killer.