For years we all knew of the infamous Rodriguez script. The epic tale set aboard a Spanish Galleon with an estimated budget of $150 million! It was every Predator fan’s dream, surely. It was written by Robert Rodriguez in 1996 as a writing assignment for some fun. It’s been largely hidden from the public but is available on the internet. This article will take a look at this infamous script and whether it’s actually entertaining. Well, here goes…
The script opens on a Spanish Galleon being besieged by a force of Invisibles (as they are referred to in the script). We read on as pirates, using a mix of muskets and futuristic weaponry, battle with these Invisibles. Then we find ourselves introduced to a badass pirate as he breaks an Invisible’s neck. This turns out to be Dutch. He soon finds himself captured by the Invisibles who also turn out to be a Special Forces team of humans kitted-out in full Predator gear.
Dutch is wanted for desertion and the team return, with him in tow, to a mothership in orbit. Turns out the attack took place on another planet. We’re briefly introduced to the rag-tag group who run the ship (more on them in the characters section later) before Dutch makes an escape attempt. He is, of course, captured again and returned to his cell.
He is soon tried and we find out that instead of returning to home-base like the crew thought, a military leader called Sadler tells them they are to take Dutch to some place known as Arkus 6. It’s apparently some kind of nature preserve with plenty of jungle (oddly enough described in the script as looking like Jupiter) and it’s a mystery as to why they’re going there.
13 days later, the ship arrives at Arkus and they all kit-up and land on the planet. They find only a destroyed little kiosk area and a curious looking alien totem-pole that opens up underground hatches when touched. The group head off towards a nearby facility they believe to be the prison. On the way they discover a predator crucified and barely alive.
The group barely has a chance to ponder what this strange creature is and why it’s wearing their amour when Dutch runs for it, panicked by this encounter with his old foe. During this escape attempt, a massive group of 50 predators shows up, capturing the crew with their netguns. Dutch disappears.
The survivors wake up locked in cells in a massive predator camp with several other alien species (details below). Using a laser cutter hidden by the ships medic (Hardwick), they cut their way through the cages as the predators engage in combat with the various other aliens. One member of the crew, Cadillac, is also forced to fight with the winning alien. Cadillac beats it.
The crew make a break for it, several killed in the progress (Gonzalez has his legs cut off by a predator boomerang). Hardwick is saved by Dutch who pulls her into a mudpit to mask their heat signatures. Everyone is returned to their cage apart from Gonzalez who has been fitted with metal legs and injected with a strange chemical made from the bodies of aliens. He goes off on a rampage, chasing another survivor (Pines, who has had his arms cut off). Gonzalez is then chased by the predators who kill him and make a trophy out of him.
Speculating as to how both predator and humans have similar technology, it is suggested that they traded human lives for it. It is also suggested that the whole camp and arena is designed to train the younger teenage predators (which they are called in the script). The cage of another two crew members opens up so they can participate in another fight and they make a run for it. Both are caught and killed by the young predators.
Luring an acid-spitting native animal of the planet towards them, Daks and another crew member, Turkey, get it to spit on the cage and burn through the metal, also getting some acid onto Dak’s face. They both slip away unseen. Dak is eventually caught and killed by a predator but Turkey meets up with Hardwick and Dutch. They realise that they were all setup.
Wilson is being prepared to be executed by the predators, screaming “not me, you morons!”. The trio arrives in time to save him, using some predator weaponry. After freeing the crew, they also open the cages of the other aliens to cause a distraction.
Hardwick and Rocko are caught during the escape. A group of predators on “Cyclesleds” chase the rest down. Another crew member is killed, the rest remain undetectable thanks to some mud which infuriates the lead predator. The crew then head off to the prison, looking to answer the question of who set them up.
Back at the camp, the predators are forcing Hardwick and Rocko to fight. Both put on a show for the predators, pretending to fight each other. However, Hardwick ends up killing Rocko at his demand. A predator then jumps in to finish Hardwick off as well.
Dutch and the others arrive at the prison facility to find it guarded by a group of predators with even more advanced weaponry than standard. Cadillac distracts them by stealing one of their Cyclesleds. At the camp Hardwick manages to defeat a predator. She is then jumped by the rest of them.
Sneaking inside the facility, Dutch and the rest witness predator officials and Sadler walking around together. Noting a strange device on Sadler, Dutch determines that Wilson is the betrayer due to a similar mark on him. They sneak further inside to find an underground hanger filled with predator and alien ships, and more importantly their own. It is being filled with predator technology. They also witness modified humans, with body parts from other aliens, doing the labor in the hanger.
The group is then found and makes a break for it, running through the facility with the predators hot on their tails. The group is eventually split, JC and Dutch stuck together. The rest are caught by the predators. Dutch and JC eventually end up fighting another predator hand-to-hand and defeating it. They encounter and follow one of the mutated humanoid aliens right into…
Sadler. The pair confronts him and he confirms everything. They’re trading humans for technology so that humans can remain a powerful species. Soon the pair is surrounded by other predators and they make an escape by destroying some flammable liquids in the room. Sadler is killed in the crossfire.
Dutch and JC encounter Turkey and Wilson who are being led out the facility by predators. Killing the guards, the four jump onto some Cyclesleds and flee, with predators in pursuit yet again. After some driving around the jungle, JC and Dutch find themselves alone. Turkey ends up seeing something burning in the distance and follows it, while Wilson is thrown off his cycle.
Figuring they may be able to make an ally of the crucified predator they found earlier, Dutch cuts it loose, believing it might lead them to a way off the planet. The trio hops onto a Cyclesled and head off. Turkey eventually finds Cadillac who is making a BBQ of dead Predators. After some banter, Turkey soon joins the seemingly intoxicated Cadillac.
The trio of Dutch, JC and “Renegade Predator” are soon chased down by other predators. Turkey and Cadillac are killed at their camp site by dozens of pissed off Predators. Meanwhile it is revealed that Wilson is caught and “Black Predator” intends to make a grand fight out of him. During this fight, the “King Predator” shows up and begins to “knight” various predators – what we would know as “blooding” now.
JC and Dutch are brought in and it is revealed that JC was in fact working with the predators all along. Using some sort of translation device he bargains with the King. Dutch is now property of the predators. However, the King throws both of them weapons and the two fight to the death, JC ending up impaled on a spear. The Renegade shows up in an airship and massacres the gathered crowd. Dutch runs for the ship, with the King in pursuit. Fortunately Dutch manages to kill the King and together the Renegade and Dutch head to Earth.
Dutch – Dutch spends the majority of the script in silence. He is apprehended by the crew because he deserted the military. However, it is eventually revealed that the reason he was hunted down was because of the event in Predator. The military wanted to trade Dutch for technology. He actually realises that the whole series of events is a setup, eventually teaming up with another predator to escape the planet. He kills a number of predators, in particular the King.
Jack Carver (JC) – JC is the captain of the unnamed ship which the characters pilot. He is quite the badass and holds the respect of the crew. Dutch and JC manage to develop a rapport when the shit hits the fan. He is shown to be a thoughtful and intelligent man. It is eventually revealed that he was working with the predators too and is killed in a duel with Dutch. Dutch impales his skull with a predator spear.
Wilson – Wilson is JC’s second-in-command and is usually responsible for leading the missions that take them off the ship. From the opening scene Wilson is portrayed as being brutal when he slaughters the captain of the galleon and orders the ship to be set on fire. He fits in perfectly with the other outcasts of society that make up the team. Like JC, Wilson is discovered to have been working with the predators. However Wilson is revealed before JC. He is eventually killed following his defeat of the Black Predator.
Hardwick – Hardwick is the medic onboard the ship. Throughout the script she is portrayed as having a cold personality. Many other characters commented on how she was “frigid” in terms of her sexuality. She is eventually forced to fight with and kill Rocko, another member of the crew. She also manages to defeat one of the predators before the rest jump and presumably kill her – it isn’t actually shown on page.
Sadler – Sadler’s role in the script isn’t a main character but he sure is an important one. He is responsible for sending the crew to Arkus 6 and it is eventually revealed that he is also one of the men behind the human/predator deal going on. He is eventually killed in an explosion.
Rodriguez put quite a lot of effort into “expanding” the portrayal of the predators. According to this script, the ones we saw in the first two films were weak and the lowest-of-the-low in predator society. This script instead introduces predator “captains” which are apparently elite predators. We are also introduced to something called predator drones but I think they’re just the equivalent of guards as they aren’t described as being any different.
The whole script is also based around some sort of training camp on Arkus 6. As such, we get to see a lot of predators training with various weaponry as the youngsters learning to fight. They also use a variety of aliens to hone their skills.
The predators also show some interesting new technology. This includes a very low-tech sling-shot that shoots spiked balls capable of killing. They also use a device called a Cyclesled which is essentially a hover-bike. A predator translation device also makes an appearance, which translates human speech into the clicks and ticks of predator language. It also leaves a mark on the neck which looks like a love-bite.
The predators are also shown to employ the use of cross-species slaves. By that I mean they’ve genetically mixed the aliens that are featured in the script to create efficient but mentally unable slaves.
Also introduced is the predator king, a tribal leader who is also extremely intelligent and runs the predator military system. He is the one to ensure the trade-alliance with the humans and presumably the relations with other races as well.
When the human characters are captured, the camp they are detained in features a number of other alien creatures. The descriptions and names below are taken directly from the script.
Salamandermen – Are scaly and amphibious, but their red tongues show their bloodlust.
Teethgnashers – They look like they sound.
Cockroachmen – Humanoid creatures with cockroach-like wings and serrated legs, they crackle with intense electric nervousness.
Like the humans, these aliens in the script are used for sparing with and training young predators.
*Hardwick labels the predators as “Draconia Ostracoccm”; Draconia meaning “Exceedingly harsh; very severe: a draconian legal code; draconian budget cuts”, and Ostraco meaning “like a hard shell”.
To put it bluntly, I think this script is utter trash. The ideas in it are absolutely ridiculous. Honestly, it reads like extremely bad fanfiction penned by some ten year old kid. It’s horrible. Now obviously I understand this was written for a giggle over a decade ago but…if this is the basis for the new Predator film…God help us all. Don’t you think we fans have suffered through enough?
Robert Rodriguez Predators Script – From 1996.