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Friday, September 10, 2021

‘Predator’ Star Bill Duke Corroborates Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Story as to Why He Was Fired From the Sci-FI Classic

One of the coolest pieces of Hollywood trivia is that Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the nearly unstoppable alien hunter in John McTiernan‘s classic sci-fi action horror film Predator (1987).

A handful of photos sprinkled across the Web reveal Van Damme in costume, a vastly different version of the Predator than what would eventually end it on screen. It’s well known that the soon-to-be action star left the role, but it’s unclear what the actual truth is behind his exit.

After years of silence, Van Damme actually talked about his experience, revealing that he had trouble breathing in the suit and would overheat, just one of the many problems he endured.

It’s been a bit of “he says”-“he says”, but actor Bill Duke does corroborate Van Damme’s story that he was set up for failure.

“The Predator that you saw was not the original predator did you know that? The original Predator was a much smaller creature and they were gonna put the special effects on his body in post-production,” Duke tells The Murder Master Music Show.

He continues: “He had a stealth suit on and they put him in wires and he flew in the trees with the wires on his back looking like he was flying. He had passed out twice from dehydration. The producer said, ‘If you pass out again I’m gonna fire you!’ Two weeks go by and the guy passes out and the producer goes over and fires him. That person was Jean Claude Van Damme.”

McTiernan told a vastly different story on the film’s 30th anniversary, claiming they never even shot anything with Van Damme and that the young actor didn’t understand the visual effects elements of the costume and had fantastical opinions on how he stacked up against the film’s star Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As I previously shared over the years, I’ve actually heard from people close to both the Predator and Bloodsport productionthat there’s more to it. The other side of the story goes like this: Jean-Claude Van Damme had found out during pre-production that his Bloodsport was financed. The Predator production refused to let him out of his contract, which then caused JCVD to sabotage his role and force them to “fire” him. This lines up a bit with the aforementioned quotes, which allege that JCVD became difficult and angry when he saw the costume design and learned of his role.

While it’s impossible to know the true story, we all won because Van Damme’s Bloodsport is a masterpiece that helped spawn “Mortal Kombat” and other fighting games. We were also gifted with gems such as Kickboxer, Lionheart, Universal Soldier, Timecop, and, yes, Sudden Death.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/movie/3682553/predator-star-bill-duke-corroborates-jean-claude-van-dammes-story-fired-sci-fi-classic/

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