[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from the end of 2018’s “The Predator.”]
“The Predator” – a mess of ultra violence and wit that never fully developed – was Shane Black’s first movie that didn’t reach his ambitious standards. However, he might’ve been able to pull off a Hail Mary if he had decided to keep one shocking ending that was filmed but ultimately cut.
The actual film ends with a surprise of sorts: the package that a rogue Predator had finally gotten into the hands of humanity is opened to reveal the means to become a Predator Killer. Humans can wear and operate this alien armor, which is equipped with a face-hugger mask, naturally. Mankind is no longer quite so defenseless.
Hollywood artist Yuri Everson – who specializes in crafting the practical designs for fantasy, sci-fi, and horror projects – posted on his Instagram Friday that a total of three final scenes were shot, and one of them features a familiar name: Ripley. Yes, badass savior of the “Alien” series actually shows up wearing the armor to become Predator Killer Ripley. Apparently, the famed enemy of Xenomorphs is equal opportunity when it comes to killing aliens.
In the post seen below, Everson writes, “We shot 3 different endings for #thepredator, all variations of a ‘Predator Killer.’ This unused ending was Predator Killer Ripley wearing the breather mask we created for the film. You can see her name tag there on her costume.”
That doesn’t mean that Sigourney Weaver was involved, however, since the face-hugger mask covers all flaws and faces.
“Breanna Watkins played Ripley under the mask instead of Sigourney Weaver,” continues the post. “The moving ‘fingers and ‘tail’ were deemed too facehugger-like on the day and were cut and removed by someone…”
While the conclusion that Black provides sets up an obvious sequel in which humanity has a real chance of fighting back, the addition of Ripley would’ve done that and so much more. Her character has long been the heart of the “Aliens” films, and therefore her presence would’ve made up for the hollowness of the overall film.
For whichever reason that path wasn’t taken – perhaps Weaver turned down the sequel or Black couldn’t figure out the time travel aspect since Ripley isn’t technically alive in 2018 (“Alien” takes place in 2122) – it’s a huge shame. But now this raises the question: Who wears the Predator Killer mask in the third alternate ending?
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We shot 3 different endings for #thepredator, all variations of a “Predator Killer”. This unused ending was Predator Killer Ripley wearing the breather mask we created for the film. You can see her name tag there on her costume. Breanna Watkins played Ripley under the mask instead of Sigourney Weaver. The moving “fingers” and “tail” were deemed too facehugger-like on the day and were cut and removed by someone… ✂️ Sorry @jon_k_miller who headed up making the breather mask for us @thestudioadi with @saratheterra @ape5150 Zac Teller and Lord Garth but they made me do it! Michael Diner and his amazing Vancouver crew made the pod. All in no time flat. More #bts to follow…🎬🎥 #flashbackfriday #avpgalaxy
Jon Miller, an artist for character FX Studio ADI, confirms the alternate ending by posting a close-up of the mask, which he created.
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Here’s a “facehugger” breathing apparatus we built for an alternate ending in “The Predator” @thestudioadi. I feel very fortunate to have been the lead on this one, but it was a short build “7 days” and it would of never gotten finished without @saratheterra @ape5150 @h2originals Garth Winkless, and Zach Teller. It was a huge pleasure to finally build something by one of my favorite designers @faustodesign sadly it was cut from the final film.