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Olivia Munn & The Predator: A Timeline Of The Cut Scene Controversy

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The Predator star Olivia Munn brought to the attention of 20th Century Fox a scene featuring a registered sex offender, Steven Wilder Striegel, which prompted the studio to cut it from the final film; as the controversy continues to unfold, we breakdown the timeline of events. Set to theatrically release on Sept. 14, The Predator is a quasi-reboot of the franchise that kicked off with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Predator in 1987. The hit sci-fi action/thriller has become a staple of Hollywood and evolved into one of the longer-running sci-fi/horror franchises alongside fellow Fox property Alien.

Now, though there were two direct follow ups to Predator - 1990's Predator 2 and 2010's Predators - as well as two crossovers with Alien under the banner Alien vs. Predator, The Predator revives the franchise. Original Predator star-turned-director Shane Black took the helm of the new movie, co-writing it with Fred Dekker. The Predator features an impressive cast that includes Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Sterling K. Brown, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan Michael-Key, Thomas Jane and Olivia Munn. The Predator held its world premiere at TIFF, but just prior to the screening, news broke that Fox cut a scene from the Predator film that originally included Steven Wilder Striegel, a registered sex offender.

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Related: Biggest & Most Important Films Showing At TIFF 2018

Since then, Munn - who brought the criminal history of Striegel to the attention of Fox - has done a number of interviews on the topic while promoting The Predator at TIFF. As she's sat for interviews, Munn has been brutally honest about how she's felt throughout the process, including saying she's felt "isolated" as many of her fellow cast members and director navigate the fallout from the report of The Predator's cut scene. For those confused on the timeline of events, what's happened since the news broke and/or why the case of The Predator matters so much to some, we break down the movie's controversy.

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Background Information About the Key Players

According to The LA Times, actor Steven Wilder Striegel and actor/director Shane Black became friends in 2004 when the former attended a get together at the latter's home. Five years later in 2009, Striegel was arrested for attempting to start a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl online. In 2010, the actor plead guilty to two felonies, risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer, for which he served six months in jail. Due to the sexual nature of the crimes, he also became a registered sex offender.

Over the course of Striegel and Black's friendship, the director has cast the actor in small roles in three of his movies: Marvel Studios' Iron Man 3 in 2013, Warner Bros' The Nice Guys in 2016 and Fox's The Predator. For all three of these films, Black cast Striegel after the latter had plead guilty.

Olivia Munn, for her part, is a survivor of sexual harassment in Hollywood. In a November 2017 LA Times report, Munn was one of six women to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against director Brett Ratner. According to Munn, Ratner masturbated in front of her on the set of his 2004 movie After the Sunset. Munn also wrote about the incident in her 2010 autobiographical essay collection, Suck It, Wonder Woman! The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek. Ratner disputed the claims Munn and the other women made against him. Munn has gone on to be an advocate for change in Hollywood, fighting against the environment and institutions that lead to the recent #MeToo and Time's Up movement.

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August 15, 2018 - Munn Reports Scene to Fox

According to the LA Times report, Munn shared Striegel's criminal history with Fox on Aug. 15, and the studio quickly decided to cut the three-page scene he shared with Munn. The scene was filmed in February 2017, as evidenced by set photos published by Just Jared, at the start of The Predator's principal photography, which continued through June 2017. Per the Times, Striegel's bit role was that of a jogger and his scene consisted of him hitting on Munn's character, scientist Dr. Casey Bracket.

As Munn revealed on The Ellen Show on Sept. 11, she told her co-stars about Striegel's criminal history after informing the studio. According to Munn, Fox "chastised" her for telling her co-stars, insinuating that since they were cutting the scene there was no reason to bring more attention to Striegel, his scene or his past.

Next Page: Cut Scene Story Breaks, TIFF Premiere

Key Release Dates
  • The Predator (2018) release date: Sep 14, 2018
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