Chopper Predator

Posted by Darkness on July 8, 2014 (Updated: 11-Dec-2020)

chopper-predator-01 Chopper PredatorThe Chopper Predator, also known as the Gill Predator, is one of the Predators that appears in the 2004 film Alien vs Predator directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Unlike the previous films, the Predator was designed by Amalgamated Dynamics and portrayed by an uncredited Czech stuntman.

The Predator comes to Bouvetøya Island in Antarctica with two other Predators as part of an ancient training ritual. They came to Earth to hunt xenomorphs in an underground pyramid as a rite of passage. He is eventually killed by the Grid Alien after it sneaked up behind him.

Biography

October 10, 2004

The Chopper Predator came to Earth with fellow Predators Scar and Celtic to face a rite of passage in an underground pyramid on Bouvetøya Island, Antarctica. The Predator mothership was able to drill a hole to the pyramid using some form of heat-based laser which attracted the attention of Charles Bishop Weyland who organised an expedition to go down there.

Inside the pyramid was a Queen Alien which the Predators used for breeding xenomorphs to hunt and three shoulder cannons were hidden within the pyramid. It’s revealed that adolescent Predators use the pyramid every 100 years as a coming of age hunt to prove themselves to the Elder Predators. The mothership drops the Predators off in separate pods and they kill the mercenaries on the surface.

They reach the pyramid and find that the humans have stolen their shoulder cannons. When Celtic attacks the humans, a cloaked Chopper kicks Lex out of the way before she can get to a weapon. He is just about to kill her when a xenomorph (Grid Alien) impales him with its tail. It lifts him up and head-bites him, killing him.

 Chopper Predator

Abilities, Weapons & Equipment

The most distinguishing feature of the Chopper Predator is the long Arm Blades. He has the same weapons and equipment as Scar and Celtic including Wrist Blades, Combi-Stick, Net Launcher, Dagger, Shuriken. He also possesses the ability to cloak and his mask allows him to view in different vision modes. His thermal vision is a little different from Jungle Hunter and City Hunter’s as it features more orange highlights than the blue we saw previously. It’s also assumed Chopper has the ability to Self-Destruct.

 Chopper Predator

Behind-The-Scenes

 Chopper Predator

Sculpture of Chopper’s mask.

The Predators were designed by Amalgamated Dynamic in Alien vs Predator as opposed to Stan Winston. The Predators were much bulkier in appearance with armour covering more of their body.

Originally, designer Steve Johnson conceptualised completely new Predator designs but Anderson felt the designs were too far removed different from what came before it. He wanted the Predators to be different from the original films so they were made more muscular and menacing and borrowed from the original comics.

The filmmakers felt that since the Predators would be battling Aliens as well as humans, they would need more protective armour. The armour of Jungle Hunter in Predator had more Asian and tribal influences where as City Hunter in Predator 2 was more ornate, almost insect-like. So ADI had to try and combine the two. Much of the ideas for the armour was provided by concept artists Farzad Varahramyan and Joe Pepe.

For the Xenomorphs, ADI reused moulds from their work on Alien Resurrection but for the Predators, they hadn’t any previous experience in creating Predators so it all had to be done from scratch. To reflect their look in the comics, they were given wider shoulders, a smaller waist, smaller heads and the dreadlocks were made longer.

The Predator weapons were refined more this time round and the Combi-Stick/Spear became sleeker and more elegant. The Disc was changed into a multi-bladed, collapsible buzz saw. The twin wrist-blades were updated and made longer. Five different helmets were created.

The shoulder cannons were made much bigger than previously seen and their thermal heat vision was changed from blue to orange as Anderson thought it looked cooler. Chopper Predator was played by an uncredited Czech stuntman.

Merchandise

McFarlane released Series 2 of their AvP action figures in July 2005 and one of the figures Alien Attacks Predator featured Grid impaling the Chopper Predator. Hot Toys released a 14″ poseable model kit of the Chopper Predator figure in 2006. They also released a 12″ figure of the Predator. NECA released a Chopper Predator figure as part of Predator Series 14 in 2015.

Trivia

  • He was known as Chopper throughout production due to his huge arm blades. Fans also called him Gill Predator because of the slits on his mask.
  • Chopper is the only Predator so far to use arm blades.
  • The Chopper mask can be seen in AvP Requiem when Wolf gets his mask off of a wall. It can be seen along with Scar and Celtic’s masks.
  • He is the first Predator to be killed by a xenomorph on film.

Gallery

Chopper & Celtic Predator
Chopper Predator vs Grid Alien
Chopper & Celtic Predator
Chopper vs Grid

Concept Art

Alien vs Predator
Predator Armour
Predator Armour
Predator
Predator
Predator
Predator
Sculptural elements by Andy Schoneberg and Bruce Spaulding Fuller. Photoshop work by Chris Ayers.
Shoulder Cannon
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