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Jim Thomas Talks Early Predator 2 Ideas – Other Time Periods and Arnold Schwarzenegger

This year Predator celebrates its 30th anniversary and to commemorate this many cinemas around the world have been screening special showings of Predator. One such showing, hosted by the Arkansas Cinema Society, was followed by a Q&A session with Predator’s writer Jim Thomas and producer Beau Marks.

While the Q&A mostly covers behind-the-scenes information we’ve heard before, Jim Thomas also spoke a little about their earlier ideas for Predator 2. We’ve known for sometime that Arnold Schwarzenegger had originally been approached for the sequel and ultimately declined to appear in the film. Arnold’s role was eventually rewritten to become Gary Busey’s Agent Keyes.

Answering an audience question (from Wade B Wyeth of Twitter at around 38:20) about their ideas for sequels to the original Predator, Jim divulged some extra details about how that particular Arnold driven Predator 2 would have opened:

“We had an idea where at the end [of Predator], with the burned up clearing where the explosion happens, the film [Predator 2] opens there and the 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.”

Jim also mentioned a different story idea they’d had for a sequel to Predator, another cool tidbit that I don’t believe has ever been spoken about previousy!

“We also had an idea about doing a World War 2 version in the Battle of the Buldge, 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.”

The idea of Predator stories set in other time periods is something that has been explored several times in the Expanded Universe (including World War 1 in Predator: The Bloody Sands of Time) and most recently in the awesome anthology book Predator: If It Bleeds (seriously, go buy it!).

It was also set-up in the finale of Predator 2 when Harrigan is handed the flintlock pistol, the backstory of which was explored in the comic Predator: 1718.  Would you like to see a Predator film set in another time period?

 Jim Thomas Talks Early Predator 2 Ideas - Other Time Periods and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Jim also confirmed that he and John had no involvement with Shane Black’s The Predator but he was looking forward to it. Thanks to Wade B Wyeth for getting in touch about the Q&A.

Keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest Predator and The Predator news! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Predator fans on our forums!



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Comments: 28
  1. Huggs
    "Well that's the thing - that minigun and that AA12 were not what ultimately defeated the Predator in those films so it's really a bit of a moot point, I think. "

    Point well taken Hicks. My thought was that in a straight up encounter, like the camp scene from Predators, aside from the B.A.R., the weaponry would be far less effective than what Arnold's or Brody's group were carrying, except for the sword and 9mm of course. Consequently, the ww2 troops would be at a disadvantage. But traditionally, it's more human ingenuity and determination that wins the day. Although, I would still find it hard to believe the soldiers of that era could identify and understand how they were being seen and tracked by the predator. Unless footprints or noise gave it away, which I don't expect a predator to allow. It's just my personal opinion, but a scenario in that timeframe would be an absolute one-sided slaughter in the Predator's favor. Granted, I've yet to read "If it bleeds". So if someone made it work in the book, pardon my lack of this knowledge.
  2. Corporal Hicks
    He'd been strung up for who knows how long. We don't know if he'd been fed or whatever. For a Pred in those conditions, he put up a great fight.

    Not to mention characters of that timeline would probably have a greater deal of difficulty fighting a predator. Troops in WW2 wouldn't have access to the kind of weaponry available to Dutch's group or the group from predators. The B.A.R. was a vicious tool, but it's not a portable minigun or an aa12. Along with the possibility that troops in that war may have had no clue about the concept of thermal imagery or tracking, and wouldn't be able to disguise themselves from the predator. Unless one of them fell in a snowdrift or became hypothermic to some degree, and was ignored by the predator.

    Well that's the thing - that minigun and that AA12 were not what ultimately defeated the Predator in those films so it's really a bit of a moot point, I think.
  3. AliceApocalypse
    It definitely needed more in the way of other creatures, for sure. While I do enjoy the film, it was such a shame that it was made so quickly and on the cheap. I would have loved to have seen it gotten more to flesh out and iron out the film some more.

    I liked it too, just wish Classic Predator would have won that fight at the end.

    Before we see a WWII setting, I'd like to see a film based on the comic Predator: 1718 where the Elder receives his flintlock.
  4. Huggs
    It's a shame the Arnold concept wasn't realized. It would've been wonderful to read the script for that movie. Maybe have Arnold being stalked either in or on a military base, after he's been brought back for debriefing. It would give the movie a very "Aliens" feel. Creeping through vents and trashed corridors, guns out and afraid. Arnold slowly lowers himself from a vent and drops to the floor, then the classic predator roar is heard somewhere deep in the complex as it takes another trophy. They could even pan up from the predator standing in the ashes at the beginning, and gaze off into the distance where you see the helicopter flying away, indicating that there were other predators nearby all along, and they know where arnold is going.


    I can't say the WW2 idea was worth exploring though. Having Allied troops seemingly "team up" with Nazi's would be in bad taste, and insulting to some. You'd have an entire group of characters whom the audience not only can't relate to, but they would most likely despise. Cannon fodder is necessary, but some folks just aren't likely to get along, and most likely wouldn't even under these circumstances.


    Not to mention characters of that timeline would probably have a greater deal of difficulty fighting a predator. Troops in WW2 wouldn't have access to the kind of weaponry available to Dutch's group or the group from predators. The B.A.R. was a vicious tool, but it's not a portable minigun or an aa12. Along with the possibility that troops in that war may have had no clue about the concept of thermal imagery or tracking, and wouldn't be able to disguise themselves from the predator. Unless one of them fell in a snowdrift or became hypothermic to some degree, and was ignored by the predator.
  5. Johnny Handsome
    I love the first two movies, and like Predators, but when i watch the movie i always think about the wasted opportunities. The main problem i have with this movie is how small and unimaginative it really feels. You're in an Alien jungle with dozens of creatures and prey from other worlds, yet, they do nothing with it. The jungle looks and feels like earth, there's one other creature in the movie for five minutes, the characters aren't terribly interesting. I actually love the stuff with Fishburne, giving some background on the whole thing, but it wasn't enough.

    The concept was pretty interesting, but it really feels castrated for money reasons to the point that people say it's a pure rehash of the first movie and let's be honest, most of the homages just don't work, like Mombasa doing a Billy. The AvP's handled those much better.

    It's still a fun movie and i revisit it from time to time, but it's a prime example of the case Shane Black is making at the moment, it was quickly assembled for a buck and there was no real creativity behind it.
  6. Corporal Hicks
    It definitely needed more in the way of other creatures, for sure. While I do enjoy the film, it was such a shame that it was made so quickly and on the cheap. I would have loved to have seen it gotten more to flesh out and iron out the film some more.
  7. D88M
    I still disagree with the dislike Predators get. The hunting preserve concept was fantastic. I would have made it be only a single Berserker Predator rather than 3 and had more prominence from E-T prey but I still loved it.

    I thought it had some good ideas but others ideas and the execution were bad, it was like a both remake and sequel that we get now so often but more dumb, i did not liked the drones, or alien dogs, the predators looked weird, like they had a head too big, and some other stuff, the casting was good though
  8. XENOMORPHOSIS
    It would be fascinating to see Predator Prequels set during various wars across the world through out history, such as Ancient Asia Predators against samurai. Medieval times I.E. Predator Dark Ages Westerns World War 2. Or even the location the original Predator of Val Verd/Guatemala Central America establishing the mysterious legends of "el demonio que hace trofeos de los hombres" "the demon who makes trophies of men" as told to us by Anna in the original Predator.

    Also hoping that the newest film The Predator paves the way for future Predator movies just as long as quality is retained, Alien and Predator are often described as B-Movies being delivered with A-Movie treatment.
  9. GreybackElder
    I definitely feel that predators is underrated. It’s a decent film with a cool concept! I do feel however that the super predators were a little underwhelming. They didn’t seem so “super” to me. I felt the original predator from P1 or P2 was far more formidable.
  10. Corporal Hicks
    I still disagree with the dislike Predators get. The hunting preserve concept was fantastic. I would have made it be only a single Berserker Predator rather than 3 and had more prominence from E-T prey but I still loved it.
  11. Scorpio
    WW2, particularly Battle of the Bulge, sounds more interesting than L.A., I mean how many movies are set in L.A.?  Only problem would be historical inaccuracy and german stereotypes, probably.
  12. Corporal Hicks
    Predator's only hunt during heatwave's, so the WW2 idea makes no sense.

    They weren't supposed to be in Antarctica either but they still found a way to make it work.

    I still don't have an issue with that. They may prefer it hot but there's nothing to say they wouldn't challenge themselves a little with going to a climate outside their comfort zone. Makes perfect sense to me.
  13. Original Pred
    They should've done it.  That's the only sequel that should've happened. 

    The series has been off track completely. I've said it a thousand times.  You don't kill a Predator and they just ignore that particular "prey".  Revenge is the most sought after desire amongst those hard wired for the hunt.

    But let's pretend like Predator never happened. 

  14. D88M
    Thanks, is good to hear from them since i would really want them to continue the saga. P2 script is as good as P1 but the problem is that the direction is way weaker :(
  15. Darkness
    Good find. That's new information. We don't really hear much from those two.

    I did suggest a ww2 piece in my possibe locations for Shane Black's movie. I wouldn't have had Americans and Nazis teaming up though.
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