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Writers considered setting Predator 2 during World War II

11.13.2017by: Cody Hamman

Alien vs. Predator

Back in the '80s, writers Jim and John Thomas scripted one of the greatest movies ever made - the 1987 film PREDATOR, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of a team of soldiers who battle an alien creature in a Central American jungle.

PREDATOR was so successful that 20th Century Fox soon hired the Thomas brothers to write a sequel. Their first idea for a follow-up, as you would expect, was to bring Schwarzenegger back to battle another member of the alien species. During a recent Q&A hosted by the Arkansas Cinema Society, Jim Thomas revealed: 

We had an idea where at the end [of Predator], with the burned up clearing where the explosion happens, the film [Predator 2] opens there and the Predator’s invisible feet come into view and a hand plunges down into the dust, into the ashes, and brings up the Predator’s arm and then activates the computer and get’s a readout to see everything that had happened up to that time, focusing on Arnold, and “this is my target.” We went from there and we had to think of how to bring Arnold back into it.”

The PREDATOR 2 we ended up getting starred Danny Glover as an LAPD police officer who faces off with a Predator who inserts itself into the middle of a gang war. Also in the mix in that sequel is a federal task force that has been tracking the appearances of Predators around the world, a task force led by a character played by Gary Busey. At one time, the hope had been that Schwarzenegger might play the head of the task force, but he opted not to return for the sequel in any capacity.

But the PREDATOR 2 we got wasn't the only idea the Thomas brothers came up with while kicking around stories that could be told without Schwarzenegger's character. There was an alternative idea that sounds pretty cool... no pun intended.

We also had an idea about doing a World War 2 version in the Battle of the Bulge, in the middle of the winter. A German foot platoon and an American platoon separated, and had a stalemate fighting each other off when the Predator shows up. They have to join together to defeat it. We thought the snow Predator effect would be quite different.”

A snowy setting ditches the concept established in the first film (and reiterated in PREDATOR 2) that the human-hunting creatures are drawn by heat and conflict, but we did eventually see Predators in the snow in the 2004 crossover ALIEN VS. PREDATOR.

There's a lot that can be done with the PREDATOR franchise, which has told us that Predators have been coming to Earth for a long, long time. These creatures could be dropped into any setting, any time period, and put against a variety of opponents. I would still like to see the Thomas brothers' World War II idea get brought to the screen someday.

In the meantime, Shane Black's "inventive sequel" THE PREDATOR is set to reach theatres on August 3, 2018.

Extra Tidbit: What do you think of the World War II idea?
Source: AVPGalaxy

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