Arnold Schwarzenegger could easily return in a sequel to The Predator, says director Shane Black. For years an urban legend claimed the origin of Predator came from a joke pitch for Rocky V, where a screenwriter claimed that after defeating the near-invincible Ivan Drago that an alien was the only credible opponent left. That legend has since been debunked, but it neatly sums up the premise, where the world’s best soldier – naturally played by Arnold Schwarzenegger – faces off against an unstoppable killer alien.
Predator is considered a classic piece of sci-fi cinema, but Arnold declined to return for Predator 2 to focus on Terminator 2 instead. The Predator sequels are a mixed bag overall, with 2010’s Predators often being considered the strongest. Shane Black’s The Predator is aiming to get audiences reinvested in the series and sees a team of war vets going up against a new type of Predator that has been upgraded with the DNA of the most dangerous species in the universe.
It’s no secret that Schwarzenegger was offered a brief cameo role in The Predator, only to turn it down. Now in a new interview with Digital Spy, Black elaborated on Arnie’s reasoning for rejecting the offer, and how he could reappear in the future.
The studio wanted a fresher movie that featured an evolving cast. They didn’t want to hinge the movie on the re-emergence of Schwarzenegger. It would probably be more of a matter of his showing up briefly and just participating at the very end, at the climax of the movie. Understandably – and believe me, I completely get it – he said, ‘Look, that’s kind of a small part, and I don’t really think I want to do that. I’m off to do Terminator with Jim Cameron, basically. Or for Jim Cameron. So I totally got it, you know? If I was Schwarzenegger, I’d want to be one of the stars of a film or nothing.
Arnold’s cameo would have left the door wide open for future sequels, which is still a possibility.
I even said to him, ‘If you’re in this one, we would open it up for the sequel, because now you’re back in the franchise.’ So you know, if there’s another movie, there’s no reason why he couldn’t be either in it, or the star of it, or whatever someone decides at a future date.
While fans would no doubt have loved to see Schwarzenegger return to the role of Dutch for The Predator, the character was only scripted to appear at the very end and speak a handful of lines. Having waited over 3 decades for the character to return, that would have been something of an anti-climax. The star has actually been offered cameo roles in most of the sequels – including Alien Vs Predator and Predators – but a mix of prior work commitments or sheer lack of interest has seen him pass on all of them.
Early word on The Predator is mostly positive, and the movie’s producer has already claimed the studio is thinking of a further 2 sequels. That said, given the movie’s multiple delays and extensive reshoots, The Predator would need to return a hefty profit before Fox even considers another instalment. With Arnie set to return for the James Cameron produced Terminator sequel – which is being pitched as the true third movie – fans might be curious to see him return to other famous roles, so if a Predator sequel does move ahead, a rematch between Dutch Schaefer and the Predator is likely on the cards.
KEY RELEASE DATES
The Predator (2018) release date: Sep 14, 2018