In June 1987, a modestly-budgeted movie called Predator first graced cinemas. It was an adrenaline rush of a movie, full of big men, big guns, and a big baddie who would go on to become one of the great science-fiction icons.
Since then , the Predator as a character has left the steamy jungles of the first movie behind, becoming a source of film sequels, comic books, video games, toys, board games, and books.
We've joined Predators in cities, small towns, Antarctica, outer space, and on their own planets, and traveled in time from the Renaissance to the far-flung future to see them in action. Sometimes they're happy to join forces with us puny humans and sometimes we are nothing but sport for them, ending up gutted and hanging from trees.
The Predator concept has grown massively in those thirty-three years since we first met the space-faring hunters, so lets's take a look at some of the lesser-known details about Arnie's "ugly motherf****r" and its franchise.
20. The Predator Grew Out Of A Hollywood Joke
In 1985, Rocky 4, featuring Sylvester Stallone fighting for the honour of the USA against Dolph Lundgren, was making a killing at the box office. By that point, studio executives were running out of ideas about what to do with the Rocky franchise, and there was a running joke in Hollywood that the only thing left for Rocky to do was to fight E.T.
Two brothers, Jim and John Thomas, took the joke and ran with it. They wrote a script that was initially called Hunter, about a technologically advanced alien hunting a military unit. The brothers shopped the idea around to various studios, until Fox took the script for development. Fox gave the film to director John McTiernan, and budgeted it at $15 million dollars.
Once the foundation was laid, things rolled quickly. Fox approached Arnold Schwarzenegger based on his role as a hardened soldier in Commando. His involvement sold Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, and the other primary members of the cast to agree to the film.
Filming locations were found in Mexico, several months were dedicated to making the film, and Predator was released in June of 1987. That Hollywood joke started a franchise that has lasted over thirty years and amassed billions of dollars.