Why Jean Claude Van Damme Really Left the Original Predator

TVOvermind | 3/21/2012 | Nat Berman
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The Predator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played the leading protagonist Major Dutch Schaefer has long since been considered one of the greatest action-science fiction movies of all time, who lead an elite special forces team into a jungle…. only to encounter a savage alien who was only interested in hunting particularly courageous, cunning, and strong human fighters, and ripping their spinal columns and skulls out as trophies to showcase its status as a powerful hunter.

In the movie after his men had been hunted one at a time by the alien, Schwarzenegger’s character went into a one on one battle with the Predator after discovering it could only see body heat and used that to hunt, and the alien was defeated at the last minute. Kevin Peter Hall, who played the Predator, gained acclaim for his role.

Predator - Action - Jean-Claude - Van - Damme

But he was never meant to play the Predator. Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast to play the alien hunter. The original intention was to have Van Damme use his expertise in martial arts to make the Predator into a more agile, almost ninja-like fighter. That was the original concept and it seemed logical to have at the time since they felt an alien with ninja-like stealth rapidly moving through the trees was a terrifying enemy.

At first, Van Damme must have felt it was exciting being cast as the titular character with one of the worlds biggest action stars. But there was confusion since he had at first believed the makeup he’d receive for the role would be minimal, but they took casts of his body instead in order to fashion the famous Predator look which would take away his mobility and would be too large for him to run around in.

Jean-Claude - Van - Damme - Production - Time

However Jean-Claude Van Damme later left production, and for a long time...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TVOvermind
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