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Van Damme explains why he quit Predator

As most of you know, Jean-Claude Van Damme (HARD TARGET) was originally cast as the titular monster in John McTiernan's action-horror classic PREDATOR. But throughout the course of the shoot, he was replaced with Kevin Peter Hall. So why was it that Van Damme left the production?

Well, the actor recently spoke to THR about just that and it turns out he threw in the towel because the original Predator costume reduced his mobility so much that he felt the stunts the production demanded of him would be too dangerous. The final costume saw Van Damme standing on stilts and he says it gave him breathing trouble and he was easily overheated. So he went ahead and defied super-producer Joel Silver and got the boot.

Van Damme on PREDATOR:

I've got my friend next to me and I said, 'Man, I ain't going to make it.' It's boiling hot … I started to panic. When Joel asked me to jump, I knew it was going to be a bad one. I said, 'This is impossible, Joel. I think we're going to have a problem.' Then he replaced me.

And there you have it. That's why Van Damme got the boot from PREDATOR and now Kevin Peter Hall holds the pleasure of playing the credited on-screen baddie. I'm on the fence about whether or not replacing Van Damme was a good idea. At least in comparison to how happy I am that they ditched the original suit (see below). THAT would have been a tragedy if they had kept that horror show.

John McTiernan directed PREDATOR from a screenplay written by Jim & John Thomas. Lawrence Gordon, Joel Silver, and John Davis produced the movie which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Richard Chaves, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Shane Black, R. G. Armstrong, and Kevin Peter Hall as The Predator. If for some reason you don't own the movie on Blu-ray, you can snag a copy HERE.

Source: THR

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