The True Story Behind Jean-Claude Van Damme, 'Predator' And Why He Quit

By Eric Eisenberg 2014-04-08 17:37:42discussion comments
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Arriving in Hollywood from his home country of Belgium back in the mid-80s, Jean-Claude Van Damme was able to establish himself as one of the biggest names in the action genre... and generated some interesting stories on his way to fame. One of the more popular stories about the actor is that he was actually originally hired to play the titular monster in John McTiernan's 1987 movie Predator - a role he was eventually let go from. Now that story has come to life on video, as the Stan Winston School (via Yahoo!) has released a clip from an interview with Makeup FX artist Steve Johnson that features clips and tons of inside information about Van Damme's notorious time on the set of the 80s action classic.

Watching the video you'll learn about not only how extremely unhappy Van Damme was with the role and the production, but also see what the original design for Predator was. It's true that the monster is actually invisible for most of the film, but I honestly think that Predator would not be as popular as it is today if its eponymous villain looked like this:

Jean Claude Van Damme Predator

Jean Claude Van Damme Predator

Jean Claude Van Damme Predator

Jean Claude Van Damme Predator

They definitely made the right choice designing the costume after Van Damme left the production:



When you really think about it, at the end of the day both sides of this situation won. Predator didn't feature a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, but it still remains one of the best sci-fi movies of the 80s. Van Damme, meanwhile, was able to take his particular set of skills to projects that actually needed them, and as a result we got movies like Bloodsport:



It's just like Hollywood to give the story a happy ending.
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