On paper, Shane Black’s plans for ‘The Predator’ sounded like an ultimate action movie slam dunk.
It starred Narcos actor Boyd Holbrook as the leader of a ragtag bunch of PTSD-suffering soldiers going up against two of the titular alien hunters.
But somewhere along the way, things went wrong, with the resulting movie an incoherent mish-mash of ideas that showed occasional glimpses of brilliance but proved mostly mediocre.
And yet, it could have been so different.
An Arnold Schwarzenegger Cameo
Alas, Dutch Schaefer never made his comeback but that hasn’t stopped fans from wondering what it would have entailed or whether it would have been enough to save a sorry mess of a movie.
Now writer Frank Dekker, who co-wrote the movie with Black, has lifted the lid on what they had in store for Schwarzenegger, had he signed on the dotted line.
“Come with me if you want to live.”
“We very much wanted him in the film but what we had written was a cameo that would have spring-boarded into a major role in any sequel,” Dekker told Moviefone.
“He decided it wasn’t enough of a role and nobody was willing to put money on the possibility of a sequel. He would be taking a pay cut. He would have said, ‘Come with me if you want to live’.
“Shane had a talk with Arnold but at the end of the day, the sequel wasn’t a done deal and this is really not a lot of screen time for Arnold to go and fly to Canada and do a half day.”
Dekker added: “[The] thing I said is, ‘We have to have Arnold Schwarzenegger in this movie.’
“Because, like it or not, one of the master strokes of The Force Awakens is that ending. Because even though Luke doesn’t do anything except turn around and have a beard, it touches that little nostalgia button in you and you go, ‘Oh cool.’
“And then you go to the credits and there’s no way that movie’s not going to be a big hit. Even though there’s not a single original thing in it, all it is just Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back combined and you switch it around a little bit and you change characters, but there’s not a single moment in that movie where I go, ‘Oh, that’s an interesting, cool thing.’ Because I saw it all before.
“I love these movies so I know them pretty well. And I know when you’re showing me something from another Star Wars movie. Hollywood doesn’t like to do that these days. They want to just trot out. This is why there’s so many remakes that we don’t need.”
He Could Have at Least Gotten to a Choppa
Back in 2018, Shane Black opened up to Yahoo about their Arnie-shaped plans for the film.
“There were a couple of ideas to include [Arnie in The Predator], mostly in the third act,” Black told us.
“And the studio wanted, I think, something a bit fresh, that didn’t rely on solely on Arnold’s reemergence, but they were open to the idea to the notion of having him in, in a smaller role.”
“I was fine with that, but it did present a problem, because when you call Mr. Schwarzenegger you don’t want to say: ‘Hey, we got this smaller role for you if you want it?’. I felt embarrassed to ask him, right?”
“He said: ‘Well, if I was featured more, yeah, but what you’re suggesting is that you’re creating this new thing and just using me to bless it.’ And so [I said], ahem… yes. And so I was not surprised when he said: ‘Look, I wish you luck, but that’s too small a role for me’.”
Given that, despite poor reviews, The Predator earned $160 million at the box office, we aren’t ruling out an Arnie return just yet. Get him to the chopper!
Would you have wanted to see an Arnie cameo in The Predator? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page!