You’re probably already aware that Jean Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the Predator in the original movie. This was before Stan Winston got around to designing the alien (with a little input from James Cameron) and the thing looked like a giant lobster. Now a new picture of the creature is online, from the Winston archives.
If you check out the Predator Special Editions you can see more footage from this and hear John McTiernan talk about the suit itself. McTiernan famously filmed footage of the lobster Predator, fully knowing that it looked like shit, then sent it to Fox to scare them into redesigning the Predator. It worked.
There are varying accounts on why Van Damme was removed from the movie. Jesse Ventura puts the blame on Van Damme, claiming that he pushed Joel Silver too far, who then supposedly fired him (or Van Damme quit) and told him he’d never work in Hollywood again.
Bill Duke, however, offers a different version.
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 someone getting away with treating an employee like that?