It would be fair to say that The Predator is something of a mixed bag of nuts. Quite literally. While there are flashes of Shane Black's wit and intellect in writing in there and lots of fan-pleasing nostalgia, there was something deeply wrong in the edit and the final product goes pretty wayward in the third act.
It's now emerging that the film's ending was almost a lot different to the version we got to see in cinemas after the studio went over-zealous with their influence and reshot and rewrote large parts of Black's original story. A whole character was cut, full sequences were dropped and dynamics were rewritten. How much it's even Black's film in that final act remains to be seen, even if he's been pretty pragmatic about the changes.
And the most upsetting change is the one that robbed us of one of the best possible cameos in recent memory, because Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch was in the original script as a last minute hail mary character.
According to Birth.Movies.Death, Arnie's muscle-bound hero from the original movie, Dutch Schaeffer, was supposed to turn up in place of the final sequence in which the Predator Killer supersuit is revealed and we get the set up for the sequel in which Boyd Holbrook's McKenna will seemingly take the fight to the aliens as a predator himself.
In contrast, the original script saw McKenna, his son Rory (Jacob Tremblay) and Casey Brackett (Olivia Munn) defeat the Ultimate Predator when a helicopter suddenly appears and Arnie steps out and tells them to climb aboard. Rory would have asked him if he was supposed to get on board (because of course his father would have just left him otherwise?!) and Dutch would have smiled and said "especially you!" following on from the Ultimate Predator's proclamation of him as the next step in human evolution.
Ultimately, we didn't get that moment because Schwarzenegger himself simply wasn't keen.
"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."
It's a shame because of how well an Arnie appearance would have fit Black's nostalgic agenda, but you can probably also forgive Arnie for not wanting to get on board for a walk-on. Though, given how much the ending was rewritten, there must SURELY have been some scope to consider bringing Arnie in for a more substantial role?
With any luck, the film will make enough money to convince Fox that there's still legs in the franchise and we can just get a revivalist Predator movie starring Arnie as Dutch in place of the sequel that The Predator actually sets up. Stranger things have happened...