September 14, 2018
‘The Predator’ Has a Bonkers Ending, But It Was Originally Significantly Different
The Predator is in theaters this weekend, and even though it’s not faring too well among critics, yours truly found it to be a truly enjoyable, bloody, pulpy, action-packed extravaganza with the perfect amount of Shane Black‘s signature humor and an outstanding ensemble cast to bring it all together. Plus, it has one wild ending that sets the stage for something huge in a possible sequel.
But The Predator ending was originally significantly different than what ended up on the big screen, and it featured one hell of a reference to the first movie. Since this dives into major spoiler territory, you’ll have to join us below to learn more.
The Predator Ending (Theatrical)
Before we get into what The Predator ending was originally supposed to be, let’s dig into what ended up in theaters.
The makeshift unit of soldiers suffering from PTSD have dealt with the Ultimate Predator, the big one that has been part of some kind of hybridization that the species as a whole has been partaking in by extracting DNA from the best warriors they’ve encountered. Boyd Holbrook‘s character Quinn McKenna survived the battle, and suited back up in official military garb, he’s come to see his hyper-intelligent son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) at a military facility where Rory has been helping experts with something they’ve acquired from one of the Predator’s ships.
You see, the first Predator that comes to Earth in The Predator is a fugitive. He’s on the run from his species, and it appears he’s gone rogue to the point where he wants to help humans fight back. So he brought a care package with him that was jettisoned from his ship before it crashed. Rory has been helping the military figure out how to open it, since his autism helps him easily understand their technology and language, and Quinn has arrived just as they’re about to find out what’s inside.
Rory dubs the contents a “Predator killer,” and at first it’s just a piece of machinery that is covered in some kind of black goo. It’s just floating in the air above the container that it was delivered in. But suddenly, it lunges onto the arm of one of the scientists and slowly covers him in armor. Not just armor, but an entire weaponized suit with glowing red eyes and some major firepower on the arms and back. It looks like a Predator crossed with War Machine.
When one of the on-lookers stupidly asks what that is, McKenna says, “That’s my new suit. Hope it comes in 42-long.” Then we cut to black with the prospect of a sequel where humans are given the best technology to fight back against any invading Predators.
The Predator Ending (Original)
That’s quite the bonkers ending. But the original ending was much different, even though it went in a similar direction. This information comes from the folks over at Birth Movies Death, who got their hands on the script.
The original screenplay by Shane Black and Fred Dekker still featured Quinn and Rory McKenna, but instead of being at a military facility, they’re still out in the woods, having just survived their encounter with the Ultimate Predator. In this version, Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) is still around too because she survived the final fight (though she doesn’t appear in the final scene in the theatrical ending). They’re all still catching their breath after killing that upgraded, ugly motherfucker, and then…
A helicopter lands nearby. Out of the choppah walks none other than Dutch Schaeffer, the character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. This isn’t necessarily a cocky, confident kind of greeting as his face is “haunted; etched by pain.” But he tells the group that they need to come with him. Rory asks, “Me too?” And Dutch smiles and says, “Especially you.” Cut to black.
That’s a great way to end the movie too, but apparently they couldn’t get Schwarzenegger to take the part because it was too small. In the spring of 2017, the actor confirmed that he turned down a chance to be in The Predator, saying:
“They asked me, and I read it, and I didn’t like it — whatever they offered. So I’m not going to do that, no. Except if there’s a chance that they rewrite it, or make it a more significant role. But the way it is now, no, I won’t do that.”
It’s a shame that Schwarzenegger was too proud to pull that off, because fans would have gone nuts for that ending, and it still sets up an intriguing sequel with Rory McKenna as the key to defeating the Predators. However, it does make us wonder where that shot (pictured above) went of Quinn McKenna looking up at the sky in the location of the final battle of the film and saying, “Come and get us, motherfucker.”
But there’s a much more insane ending that I think would have been even more fun and mind-blowing, and it also involves Arnold Schwarzenegger.
How The Predator Should Have Ended
In the theatrical ending, the container for the “Predator killer” looks like some kind of space coffin. It seems like there was a person, creature, or something vaguely human-shaped inside. So when it turned out that the contents of the container was a powerful gauntlet that gave the wearer a suit designed to kill Predators, it was surprising and cool, but also slightly disappointing.
There was a split second where I sat up in my seat, so curious about what was inside this container, and I thought to myself, “Holy shit, what if there’s a Terminator in there?”
Sure, that wouldn’t make any sense at all with regards to the origins of the Terminator that we know from the franchise. But why couldn’t this be an alternate timeline where the Terminator was created by the Predator species? The movie already explains how they use the DNA of the best warriors they’ve defeated to enhance themselves, so it would stand to reason that they could use the DNA of Dutch (there’s a way to explain how they got it in the original Predator) to create something killer. And how fucking cool would it have been if the “Predator killer” was Arnold Schwarzenegger as a goddamn Terminator?
The group of friends who attended the movie with me thought that it might be a xenomorph from the Alien franchise inside, especially with the black goo all over the item once it came out of the container. That could have also been an interesting teaser for a sequel, but I don’t think it ties everything together in a nice, crazy little package like a Terminator would have.
The ending we got in theaters was still cool as hell, and it makes me want to see what that sequel would be like. But 20th Century Fox will probably wait to see what the box office receipts are like before they give that the greenlight.
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