When the Predator franchise got rebooted last year by Shane Black, rumour had it that it had some grand ambitions to get Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the fold.
The Predator featured Narcos star Boyd Holbrook leading a group of soldiers suffering PTSD who are thrust into the fight against two alien predators who crash land on Earth.
Following some instalments which had, shall we say, varying degrees of success after the first two movies (and then 2010's pretty inauspicious reboot), it was hoped that this could be chapter to revive things.
Now writer Frank Dekker, who co-wrote the movie with Black, and who's known for having penned movie like The Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps, has revealed how they'd planned to incorporate the Austrian Oak.
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“We very much wanted him in the film but what we had written was a cameo that would have spring-boarded into a major role in any sequel,” Dekker told Moviefone.
“He decided it wasn’t enough of a role and nobody was willing to put money on the possibility of a sequel. He would be taking a pay cut. He would have said, 'Come with me if you want to live'.
“Shane had a talk with Arnold but at the end of the day, the sequel wasn’t a done deal and this is really not a lot of screen time for Arnold to go and fly to Canada and do a half day.”
It's worth noting, of course, that 'Come with me if you want to live' is a line from the Terminator movies, not the Predator movies, which is a bit strange from the outset. Had he mentioned getting to the chopper, we might have been more sold on it.
Dekker added: “[The] thing I said is, 'We have to have Arnold Schwarzenegger in this movie.'
“Because, like it or not, one of the master strokes of The Force Awakens is that ending. Because even though Luke doesn't do anything except turn around and have a beard, it touches that little nostalgia button in you and you go, 'Oh cool.'
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“And then you go to the credits and there's no way that movie's not going to be a big hit. Even though there's not a single original thing in it, all it is just Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back combined and you switch it around a little bit and you change characters, but there's not a single moment in that movie where I go, 'Oh, that's an interesting, cool thing.' Because I saw it all before.
“I love these movies so I know them pretty well. And I know when you're showing me something from another Star Wars movie. Hollywood doesn't like to do that these days. They want to just trot out. This is why there's so many remakes that we don't need.”
Whether we needed the Predator reboot is open to debate too, mind.
It received some pretty brutal reviews (many picking up on its 'franchise hungry ending') and made only $160 million at the worldwide box office.
“There were a couple of ideas to include [Arnie in The Predator], mostly in the third act,” Black told us.
“And the studio wanted, I think, something a bit fresh, that didn’t rely on solely on Arnold’s reemergence, but they were open to the idea to the notion of having him in, in a smaller role.”
“I was fine with that, but it did present a problem, because when you call Mr. Schwarzenegger you don’t want to say: ‘Hey, we got this smaller role for you if you want it?’. I felt embarrassed to ask him, right?”
“He said: ‘Well, if I was featured more, yeah, but what you’re suggesting is that you’re creating this new thing and just using me to bless it.’ And so [I said], ahem… yes. And so I was not surprised when he said: ‘Look, I wish you luck, but that’s too small a role for me’.”