At some point in the mid-1980s, producer Joel Silver was asked to come aboard a project developed from a mysterious script that appeared under an executive's door one day. Arranged as a vehicle for Austrian body-builder-turned-action-star Arnold Schwarzenegger, Predator was an unexpected genre experiment that's widely regarded as one of the best '80s action movies. Though the cast and crew seems to have had fun in the jungle together, the making of Predator was tough from start to finish.
Schwarzenegger stars as Dutch, a soldier in charge of leading his elite Special Forces team into a Central American jungle on a rescue mission. The mission is interrupted by an alien presence, and all hell breaks loose. Shooting primarily near Palenque, Mexico, the cast and crew dealt with the extreme heat of the jungle and serious illnesses brought on by eating and drinking contaminated food and water.
But illness was only one of the movie’s obstacles. Director John McTiernan recalls trouble right out of the gate, saying, “The first day of shooting was the worst nightmare I’ve ever seen.” Things didn't get easier. One of the most interesting Predator behind-the-scenes stories centers on the original Predator suit, and the muscle-bound man from Brussels initially hired to play the part. They were both a complete disaster.
Jean-Claude Van Damme Was Originally Cast As The Predator
John McTiernan Broke His Wrist Falling Out Of A Tree And Arnold Had To Perform One Scene With An IV In His Arm
The Screenwriters Got The Idea For 'Predator' From A Joke About 'Rocky'
The Temperature On Location Was About The Same As Human Body Temp, Making Actors Invisible To Infrared Cameras For POV Shots
Production Was Shut Down To Work On The Monster, With Accidental Input From None Other Than James Cameron
Arnold Got Health-Conscious Carl Weathers Hooked On Cigars