Before Shane Black's The Predator began shooting earlier this year, word on the street was Arnold Schwarzenegger would return to reprise his iconic role as Dutch from the 1987 original. But soon after production got underway, a number of different team players admitted that Schwarzenegger wasn't coming back. Now we know why. He hated the script.
Maybe 'hate' is a harsh word. But he certainly didn't care for it, enough so that it kept him from participating in the project. In a recent interview with Yahoo to promote his latest release Aftermath, he had this to say about why we won't be seeing Dutch back on the screen when it comes to next year's The Predator.
"They asked me, and I read it, and I didn't like it, whatever they offered. So I'm not going to do that, no. Except if there's a chance that they rewrite it, or make it a more significant role. But the way it is now, no, I won't do that."
Here's the thing about his comments. We have it on good authority that Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch was supposed to come back, but only for a cameo. He would have shown up in the very last scene, much like Luke Skywalker at the end of The Force Awakens, or like Ice Cube at the end of xXx 3. Dutch would have saved the day, and set up a sequel. It was speculated that the cast and director Shane Black were downplaying Schwarzenegger's role in the movie to keep it a surprise. But from Arnold's comments, it appears that he really isn't returning in the movie, just because of that. The role was simply too small.
Then again, perhaps he's playing coy like so many actors before him recently, who try to keep their cameo on the down low to maintain the surprise. Here's the problem with this scenario, though. If he was really coming back in the climax, would he go on record stating that The Predator script was something he wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole? Unlikely.
In the 1987 original, Schwarzenegger played a commando on a jungle mission who's entire unite gets wiped out by an unseen force. Dutch must come face-to-face with this alien hunter alone in Central America, in what is one of the ultimate 80s fight to the deaths. Shane Black actually served as one of Arnie's co-stars in the movie, and helped ghost write some of the revisions while on the set of the iconic sci-fi action thriller.
The Predator is currently shooting in Vancouver, and we've already seen a number of photos featuring the cast. None of which feature Schwarzenegger. The story is set in Suburbia. We also have it under good authority that the sequel/reboot revolves around trying to militarize the Predator for use in war. And that these Predators will all be CGI/Motion Capture as opposed to Men in Suits, as we saw in the last few installments.
The Predator isn't the first time Arnold has turned down a chance to appear in one of the sequels. He was originally supposed to show up for a cameo in 2010's Predators, directed by Nimród Antal. But his role was eventually rewritten and given over to Laurence Fishburne, who played the character Noland.
The Predator has been described as a big tentpole movie. And it is being used to set up an all-new Predator franchise. Perhaps Arnold will return in one of the future sequels. As for now, this version of the movie is set to hit theaters on February 9, 2018, with or without Dutch appearing overhead in his chopper to save the day.