Predator in World War II? It may sound crazy, but it almost happened. Predator is celebrating its 30th birthday this year and, all these years later, it's still one of the best action movies ever made. Unfortunately, the sequels haven't really lived up to the legacy of the original and, specifically, Predator 2 made some weird choices. Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't come back and, instead, Danny Glover, Bill Paxton and Gary Busey did their best to fill the shoes as the franchise made its way to the mean streets of L.A. Writer Jim Thomas recently talked about a scrapped idea at a Predator screening that would have seen Schwarzenegger return. Here's what he had to say about it.
"We had an idea where at the end [of Predator], with the burned up clearing where the explosion happens... [Predator 2] opens there. 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."
It's been known for a long time that the creative team wanted to bring Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch back. But when Jim Thomas and John Thomas realized that he wasn't going to do the sequel, they had to come up with some new ideas. While they ultimately brought Predator to the big city, it's revealed during this Q&A that they actually had an idea to set Predator 2 during WWII at the Battle of the Bulge. And it sounds really awesome.
"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."
Predator 2 has found its defenders over the years, but the movie has a very poor 25 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and wasn't a huge hit at the box office. The idea of bringing the famed alien into World War II is very appealing and it's a shame we'll never get to see that version of the movie. Who knows? Maybe if Shane Black's The Predator does great next year, Fox will look at doing something like this. It's a long shot, but not impossible. You can check out the full Q&A with Jim Thomas and John Thomas, courtesy of the Arkansas Cinema Society Facebook, for yourself below.