Why Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Never Direct a Predator Sequel?

Why Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Never Direct a Predator Sequel? ...

Picture the scene: A camera snaps over the charred remains of what was once a vast expanse of dense rainforest in the Central American banana republic of Val Verde. Suddenly, the cloaked feet of a Predator appear. A second later, the severed arm of a Predator is pulled from the ruined earth. The semi-visible Predator makes a bee-line for his deceased comrades' wrist-based computer.

A read-out appears on the screen, describing everything that led to this point. Audiences know him all too well from a decade of action movies. Right here and right now though, they know him as Maj. Alan Dutch Schaefer. Without saying a word, the Predator knows this is its next target.

As far as idea for opening scenes go, the one created by Jim and John Thomas for their follow-up to the original Predator was an appealing one, putting in motion a sequel that most insiders in 1989 assumed would star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Though he was still a few years away from returning for T2 in Conan the Destroyer, he had already shown a willingness to do follow-ups by reprising his role as the T-800 in the Terminator franchise four more times in the

If Conan's career had taught Schwarzenegger anything, it was to approach sequels with caution. Oliver Stone, who co-wrote the original hit Conan film, had always envisioned Conan racking up as many as 11 sequels, but the mixed response put an end to Schwarzenegger's tenure. The character has been languishing in development misery ever since.

Predator is a different story, as the Thomas brothers claimed to have as many as six distinct ideas for how to follow-up the original, including a bold approach that would have been set around the Battle of the Bulge with opposing German and Allied forces forming a coalition to defeat the Predator.

Thoughts on a potential future without Schwarzenegger appeared to be on the way. But that did not stop 20th Century Fox and any number of artists from pleading creatively to persuade Schwarzenegger to stick around for a little double Dutch.

Some people had potential, others had difficulties, but one thing they all offer is a fascinating glimpse into a different reality in which the cigar-chomping protagonist continued to take center stage in the fight against one ugly motherfucker.

Predator 2

Predator 2 was conceived as a homicide detective in the 1990 film Predator Concrete Jungle, although initially intended to focus on a violent buddy cop triangle between this guy and a returning Dutchman. The most significant shift, however, came with the casting of Danny Glover as Det. Mike Hannigan.

Predator 2's director Stephen Hopkins said in an interview with AVP Galaxy that both producers were open to the idea of the film introducing a different twist on the buddy cop formula, which was common at multiplexes back then, following films like Lethal Weapon and 48 Hrs.

Joel and Larry obviously had both done 48 hours and deadly weapons on their own, according to Hopkins. So it was very much in that wheelhouse where there were two cops who didnt really know each other and had to fight together against something.

Hopkins elaborated on the role of Dutchman in the film, which would have seen him return as a rogue operative hunting the Predator outside the purview of the authorities. He would have been the person who would not have been telling the cops what was going on but would have been able to use the police force to get him in a position to deal with the creature, Hopkins said. He wanted revenge and he would eventually ally himself with [Glovers] Harrigan and go head-to-head

Hopkins even went as far as to explain how Dutch would have been reintroduced to Scream Magazine. The opening sequence of the film was supposed to be these guys golfing on a golf course and a helicopter land, and there is a guy with white hair golfing and they come and say hes back, and Arnold turns around hes got white hair and a scar across his face.

Ultimately, Schwarzenegger rejected the film, provoking a series of rewrites that saw Gary Buseys' character, Special Agent Peter Keyes, play a more prominent role. It's reportedly down to money, which is a shame.

Hopkins suggested James Cameron played a role in influencing Schwarzenegger's decision. According to the director, he wanted him to do Terminator 2 and he didnt want both [sequels] to happen. He felt it would help Terminator 2 if Predator 2 had Arnold in it, and Jim was planning it for a long time.

Alternatively, the thought of a buddy cop film, so soon after Red Heat, might not have been an appeal. Predator 2, which was heavily cut to avoid the dreaded NC-17 rating, received mixed reviews and was only a moderate box office success.

Doch that was not the end of the story just yet.


Fans would be waiting for another Predator film to be released in 20 years, and when it finally came in 2010, it was decidedly lacking in Dutch. That was not for a lack of effort though. Fox was even going as far back as 1996 to enlist rising filmmaker Robert Rodriguez to direct a script that would bring Schwarzeneggers back to the franchise.

Rodriguez' original perspective on the sequel began aboard a Spanish Galleon, where the crew discovers themselves suddenly under siege from an invisible enemy in typical brutal ways. It's Dutch. It's not entirely clear whether the ship is a treasure or a steampunk-style creation, but Dutch is back!

The story would then be turned on its head when it is revealed that those invisible attacks are in fact humans who are assigned to return Dutch to his military superiors in exchange for a trial for insubordination. After Dutch's capture, a group of other criminals would be sentenced to time on a mysterious planet called Arkus 6.

The group would eventually discover they were the bargaining chip in a trade between humans and Predators, with the latter being eager to utilize the latter's technology and willing to trade human lives for it.

The other captives, it would appear, would be utilized to train up young Predators by competing in a series of gladiatorial-style fights involving other alien species. The film would wrap with Dutch leading an escape before teaming up with a rogue Predator to defeat the King Predator.

Rodriguez would later acknowledge that his script was a little ahead of its time, including a rogues gallery of cyborgs and human-predator hybrids.

According to the Daily Record, it had a lot of special effects that were going to be hard to pull off for the time period. It had Arnold in it, and it was set on another planet. It was quite difficult, actually, to go back to 1995 and 1996.

Schwarzenegger did not take a look at the script, although sources say Fox's attempts to entice him to a sequel fell flat. After 1997s Alien: Resurrection, another sequel with mutants and clones, became the franchise's lowest-grossing film at the box office.

In 2010, Rodriguez's script for Predators would be dusted off, although in a more organized, simplified fashion, that saw an eclectic assortment of warriors and psychopaths, with Adrian Brody serving as a Dutch stand-in, being dropped off on a similar looking planet to be hunted by Predators.

Alex Litvak, who had caught the eye with his own idea for a Dutch-led sequel, would have seen Schwarzeneggers' character living in exile as a janitor or possibly in jail after being made a scapegoat for what transpired in Val Verde.

Litvak explained how the story would begin as a result of a Predator ship disaster in an accessible location.

So now the powers of the East have come to him [Dutch] saying: We need you because another Predator ship has arrived, and think of all the technology we can access, and think of all the scientific advancements we can make. Come with us because you are the only one who experienced this creature and lived, according to Litvak.

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Dutch was designed primarily as an advisor, akin to Ripley in Aliens, but Litvak said his script would then completely change the story once they reached the alien ship: they blow the hatch, and theres a whole fucking team of Predators waiting for them the whole thing has been a trap to get Dutch. Dutch is the preferred prey, and the reason they came back is theyre hunting him.

Litvak said he wrote a letter to his Fox and Predator employees, but the message reverberated once again that Schwarzenegger was hesitant to return to the role. Despite this, at least one version of the Predators script included a surprise appearance in the final scene.

Royce and Isabelle, the characters from Adrian Brody and Alice Bragas, would have been surrounded by Predators following the final battle and facing what they assumed would be sure death. Suddenly a bigger Predator, adorned with many awards, would have stood up and removed his helmet to reveal Dutch underneath. Not bad, kid. He would have said it all before the screen shattered to black.

Why did it happen? The simple answer was that by then, Schwarzenegger was Governor of California. That certainly fits with the narrative of Alien vs. Predator filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson, who claimed that Schwarzenegger would appear in the crossover film, but those plans were voided when he was elected governor.

Despite all of this, there will be one more dice throw in the future.

The Predator

Shane Black was ecstatic when fans got engaged to write and direct The Predator in 2014. Not least because to the realization that Arnie would be returning in the sequel to 1993's Last Action Hero.

Schwarzenegger met Black over lunch to discuss his participation in The Predator. Those who hoped for Dutch delight were disappointed when Schwarzenegger admitted he would not participate.

He told Yahoo! Movies that he would not do that unless there is a chance that they modify it, or make it a more significant role. But in the current situation, no. I will not do that.

While the details aren't yet known, script pages were leaked online that suggested the part would have remained unreported at the conclusion of the film until a sequel was approved. In an interview with Moviefone, writer Fred Dekker explained, "We had created a cameo that would have sprung-boarded into a major role in any sequel." Nobody was willing to risk their lives for a sequel.

According to Dekker, Dutch would have taken part in the last few seconds of the film, remarking to survivors: Come with me if you want to live before the screen becomes black. Black and Dekker, likening it to Mark Hamills brief appearance in the final seconds of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, failed to follow Schwarzeneggers instructions, leaving fans and financiers disappointed.

The failure of the film and the subsequent success of Prey, which incorporated a more traditional Thomas brothers approach to the franchise, suggests that Schwarzenegger may never bring back the notion that we should never have to go to the choppa. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Schwarzenegger admitted that he had no prejudice against the sequels before he gave a Q&A audience in 2015: So far, no Predator, no matter which one they chose after the first one has been released, has been satisfactory to the audience. In that sense, Schwarzenegger may be better served preserving the legacy of his one and only entry into the franchise, having already seen the effect of his role as the T-800 in The Terminator being diluted by one (or two) too many sequels

The specter of Schwarzeneggers Dutch is likely to last a little longer if Predator films like Prey continue to have characters stating, If it bleeds we can kill it.