Over time, the Predator franchise has produced some of the most beloved horror films ever made. However, the production history of the iconic monster film is not without drama. During an interview on the Murder Master Music Show (via Comicbook.com), actor Bill Duke confirmed that Jean-Claude Van Damme, who was slated to portray the main murderous alien in the 1980s film, was terminated. Duke played Sergeant Mac Elliot in the 1987 release of the first Predator film, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger as one of the unfortunate humans trapped in the dense jungle of Vietnam with a dangerous alien on their tails. The majority of filming took place in Mexico, and Duke described what it was like for Van Damme to work in such scorching temperatures.
“We spent a considerable amount of time in the Puerto Vallarta and Palenque jungles,” Duke explained. “I do not know if you are familiar with this story, but the Predator you saw was not the original.” The actor went on to explain that Van Damme was supposed to portray a smaller alien than the one we are all familiar with, and that he was fired from the production because he kept passing out on set. Duke recalled, “He wore a stealth suit, and they strung him up on wires; he appeared to fly through the trees with the wires on his back.”
“After passing out twice due to dehydration, the producer approached him and said, ‘If you pass out again, I’ll fire you.’ And the man responded, ‘I’m not fainting on purpose! I’m dehydrated! After two weeks, the man passes away. The producer dismisses him personally. This individual was Jean-Claude Van Damme. Even though the incident with Van Damme is upsetting, no one can deny the IP’s success despite its allegedly harsh decisions. The Predator franchise has grossed over $443 million worldwide, and the critically acclaimed prequel action film Prey was just released, reigniting interest in the series.
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