Arnold Schwarzenegger Turned Down A Role In The Predator, But Shane Black Doesn’t Mind

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator

With the trend of nostalgia proving endlessly popular, there is no property off limits for a reboot or long awaited sequel. This includes the horror genre, which will see new sequels for Halloween and Predator this fall. The latter is titled The Predator, and is directed by Nice Guys' Shane Black. Black is putting his signature comedy into the beloved franchise, while also crafting a new monster that would be able to destroy even the titular monster. It turns out that he also had a role in mind for original protagonist Arnold Schwarzenegger, before the actor turned it down. Although Black totally gets why. As he tells it,

The studio wanted a fresher movie that featured an evolving cast. They didn't want to hinge the movie on the re-emergence of Schwarzenegger. It would probably be more of a matter of his showing up briefly and just participating at the very end, at the climax of the movie. Understandably -- and believe me, I completely get it -- he said, 'Look, that's kind of a small part, and I don't really think I want to do that. I'm off to do Terminator with Jim Cameron, basically. Or for Jim Cameron. So I totally got it, you know? If I was Schwarzenegger, I'd want to be one of the stars of a film, or nothing.

Well, at least there's no hard feelings. While Shane Black would have liked Arnold Schwarzenegger to be present during The Predator's mysterious finale, the actor understandably wasn't interested in a cameo. Black's comments to Digital Spy indicate he understands how the cookie crumbles, so negotiations probably ended on a positive note.

Rebooting beloved franchises is a tricky game, especially when it comes to including its original stars. In this case there's usually two options: bring them back and make them a star of the movie, or give the OG star a mentor role for the new set of heroes. Harrison Ford did both with The Force Awakens and Blade Runner 2049 respectively. And while Arnold Schwarzenegger will return to the Terminator franchise soon, Predator fans will have to keep their fingers crossed for Schwarzenegger's character Dutch to return sometime in the future.

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While Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't return for The Predator, the upcoming sequel does have some connection to the 1987 classic. Actor Jake Busey (Starship Troopers) is playing Sean Keyes, the son of Jake Busey's OG character Peter Keyes. It's especially powerful since they're father and son in real life, adding a special connection to the overall franchise.

It should be interesting to see how The Predator ends up doing at the box office. A scandal is currently surrounding the blockbuster, after actress Olivia Munn discovered a day player on the project was a registered sex offender. Poor timing, considering The Predator hits theaters this weekend.

The Predator will arrive in theaters on September 14th. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.