Below you’ll find trivia for the film.
- The original concept for this film originated as a joke. Someone said that the only person Rocky Balboa of the Rocky series of films had yet to fight was E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
- The studio would not allow John McTiernan to shoot this film in anamorphic widescreen due to the complexities of the optical effects. As a sly sort of retaliation, the director added an anamorphic version of the film’s opening 20th Century Fox logo, which looks noticeably stretched on screen.
- According to an interview with director John McTiernan, the “hole in the jungle” appearance of the Predator was played by Jean-Claude Van Damme in a “blue screen” (actually red) suit. Van Damme quit after two days, unhappy with being cast as an uncredited special effect. The alien was scrapped, redesigned and was eventually played by 7’2″ Kevin Peter Hall.
- An attempt was made to get shots of the Predator swinging from tree to tree using a monkey in a red special-effects suit. However, the monkey kept removing the suit and the idea was abandoned.
- The mandibles of the predator were the idea of James Cameron.
- Most of film was shot under the original title “Hunter”, it was only later when the creature design was changed that the movie became “Predator”. The clapperboards showing the original title can be seen in the outtakes on the special edition DVD.
- The original “Hunter” model was a large creature with a long neck, a head shaped like a dog and one big eye in the middle. This can be seen on the camouflage demo’s on the DVD. It was only when Stan Winston moved in that the complete design of the now “Predator” changed, along with the title.
- The director didn’t get sick while on location in Mexico, because he refused to eat. As a result, he lost 25 pounds.
- The director broke his wrist while on location, but kept working.
- The predator’s blood – a goopy substance with the color of Mountain Dew – was made on-set using a mixture of the liquid from inside glow sticks, and KY jelly.
- Due to health and safety regulations, Arnold Schwarzenegger was not allowed to light his cigar inside the helicopter near the beginning of the film. As a result the glow was added optically in post-production.
- Two waterfalls are used in the climax of the movie, both near Palenque in Mexico. The first is Misol Ha, just outside the village (beginning and end of the sequence), and the other is Agua Azul about an hour’s drive away (the middle part of the sequence).
- The weapon that Blain (Jesse Ventura) is using is a minigun. This is a weapon most commonly mounted on the side of a helicopter (or an aircraft carrier) and many, many modifications had to be made to make it usable in the film. It was powered via an electrical cable hidden down the front of Blain’s trousers. The firing rate was slowed down to approximately 1/3rd the normal rate of fire, both to reduce consumption of blanks, and to make the spinning of the barrels visible on film. It is rumored that Ventura had to wear a bulletproof vest because of the forceful ejection of spent cartridges, but this is false. Unmodified miniguns eject out of the bottom, with the cases essentially falling out due to the force of gravity. Close examination of the film (especially the scene in which Mac fires the minigun at the fleeing predator, along with the other commandos) show that the ejection of the minigun was not changed.
- During the closing credits, Shane Black is seen prominently displaying a copy of Sgt. Rock #408 (Feb. 1986). In the DVD commentary, John McTiernan notes that at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger had an adaptation of Sgt. Rock in production, and that’s why the comics were on set, so he could read them. He described the scene where Dutch (Schwarzenegger) walks up to Billy (Sonny Landham), who senses the Predator’s presence out in the bush, as a “Sgt. Rock moment”.
- All of the actors are wearing Vietnam surplus canvas load bearing gear, not the more modern (i.e. post 1967) nylon gear.
- The sidearms carried by the troopers are Desert Eagle handguns.
- Cameo: [Sven-Ole Thorsen] Arnold Schwarzenegger’s friend and frequent collaborator appears as the Russian Officer.
- Third film in which Arnold Schwarzenegger wears a Seiko model H558-5009 diver’s watch. Since nicknamed “The Arnold”, it is highly sought-after by collectors and regularly trades for values in excess of its original retail cost. Its distinctive black collar and stainless steel fittings suitably complements Schwarzenegger’s exaggerated arm muscles in his early films.
- Body count: 64
- The black helicopter pilot seen at the end of the movie is Kevin Peter Hall, the actor who plays the Predator.
- Two of the actors portraying commandos besieged by the Predator have been elected to state governorships: Jesse Ventura (Independent) was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1998, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican) was elected Governor of California in a hotly-contested recall election in 2003. In addition, Sonny Landham (Republican) ran an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Kentucky in 2003.
- Shane Black, who plays commando Hawkins, is actually a writer. The producer wanted Black to watch over John McTiernan, whose first studio film this was.
- Sonny Landham was hired to work on this film, but on one condition: the insurance company insisted on a round-the-clock bodyguard for Landham, not to protect the actor, but to protect everyone else from the actor (who was prone to bar fights, etc.)
- John McTiernan admitted that actor R.G. Armstrong was too old for his part, but kept Armstrong simply because he liked him. Added to this, the actor wore “too much” tanning makeup to hide his age somewhat.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger lost over 25 pounds before filming began in order to better fit the role of a special warfare operative, who would be lean as well as muscular.
- Jesse Ventura was delighted to find out from the wardrobe department that his arms were 1″ bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. He suggested to Schwarzenegger that they measure arms, with the winner getting a bottle of champagne. Ventura lost because Schwarzenegger had told the wardrobe department to tell Ventura that his arms were bigger.
- Acting debut for both Jesse Ventura and Shane Black.