Take a look at the pic above, it’s Jean Claude Van Damme as the (pre-Stan Winston) Predator. This one is new to me. If it’s new to you as well then the video below might be too, with only a few hundred views on YouTube, late last year Bill Duke spoke about Van Damme’s time as the Predator.
Now there have been conflicting stories about why Van Damme was no longer in the movie. One was that Van Damme quit… actually, it might have been Jesse Ventura who (recklessly) told it that way. I don’t want to say for sure that Ventura said that, but I strongly feel that he did, in a wrestling shoot interview about two years ago. Another was that Van Damme was fired when the suit changed. Now Duke’s version is that Joel Silver was a colossal asswipe and fired Van Damme because he kept passing out inside the rubber suit, under extraordinary temperatures.
Van Damme passed out twice, at which point Silver threatened to fire him if he did it again. Despite Van Damme’s protests that he couldn’t help it, Silver fired him when he fainted a third time two weeks later. In this day and age, can you imagine the lawsuit? Shit, it may even have killed production.
EDIT: I’m starting to recall more clearly what Ventura said. Basically, he slammed Van Damme as a huge pain to deal with, before voluntarily quitting. Perhaps this is a side Silver seen also, that Duke did not?
Thanks to: Frenchie & Haraldo