It is now well-known that Jean-Claude Van Damme had originally portrayed the lead character in 1987’s Predator, but there has not been a lot of good images of what he looked like while he was on set. Now, there are a few video footages from Predator and a recent image gives us the best look at the original design. Van Damme was fired from this film for wanting to add kickboxing to this killer alien, and he was not happy about the way this suit looked.
The predator and the titular character are pretty hard to beat. The very same can be said for the Alien franchise also. Jean-Claude Van Damme had been in the original suit. In the released picture, this costume looks like a very weird dog head on a reptile’s body.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has now revealed in an autobiography that they attempted to make this film on a pretty tight budget. To create this alien, a company, Boss Film Creature Shot had been hired for designing the monster wannabe. Jean-Claude Van Damme actually hated it, and he was under the impression that he would wear a leotard with makeup.
Jean-Claude Van Damme was mistaken. They put him in a very heavy suit which had covered his body. For stealth scenes, the suit was red to go against the green jungle and Van Damme hated this and said that he seemed more like a superhero.
Van Damme was unaware that his body will not be seen, To make matters much worse, director, John McTiernan with the cast and crew, did not see the Predator suit until it had been shipped to the set.
“It looked like a guy in a lizard suit with the head of a duck,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said.
After a few test footage, John McTiernan secured more funding and hired Stan Winston to get the alien we know today.
Jean-Claude Van Damme had been fired for complaining and wanting to add kickboxing to this character. He was then replaced by Kevin Peter Hall who was 7′ 3,” compared to Van Damme at 5′ 9″.
But it all worked out for the best. Shane Black who had played Rick Hawkins in the original film has a reboot releasing soon.