In the early 1990s, Robert Rodriguez penned a Predators script, replete with half-human/half-Predator hybrids, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and an old-timey pirate ship. How does this nutty original treatment stack up to this summer's Predators film? Gargantuan spoilers after the jump...
In 1994, Rodriguez - whose best known work at the time was 1992's El Mariachi - wrote a sequel to Predator that wouldn't see the light of the day for 15 years. Now that both alleged copies of both scripts have leaked onto the internet, let's take a look at what plot points made the final draft. (Note: these scripts have been making the rounds on the web for a while and neither is a confirmed original. This is all in the name of speculation, y'know?)
The film opens with a gang of mysteriously cloaked creatures attacking a "Spanish galleon" that is captained by none other than Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer from Predator. Dutch's assailants are garbed in Predator armor, but who are they actually?
The LEADER stands only a few feet away from Dutch as it begins to MATERIALIZE. At first glance, it would seem to be a PREDATOR in ARMOR.
The LEADER reaches up to remove its HELMET-MASK.
It is WILSON, a HUMAN SOLDIER in PREDATOR-ARMOR!
That's right, those are good ol' Homo sapiens gussied up in some ugly motherfuckers' Sunday best. The humans extract Dutch and blow up the pirate ship...which is incidentally on an alien planet. It's never explained why Dutch is on an intergalactic Spanish galleon seeing as how Predator took place during the Reagan administration. Hey, some plot points you just have to take on faith.
The "Invisibles" capture Dutch and begin yammering about taking the deserter Dutch to a prison on the planet Arkus 6. When the hardened band of space marines - whose defining character traits can be distilled to such modifiers as "skinny," "hungry," and "female" - land on Arkus 6, they stumble across the Jesus Predator (and yes, he is referred to as the Jesus Christ of the lizard men later in the script):
(We follow Dutch's reaction, intercutting the reveal of the thing on the cross
with his POV of it.)
Stretched out on the cross is a PREDATOR CRUCIFIED.
It hangs helplessly, making no sound. It is bleeding a FLUORESCENT GREEN
BLOOD, and is obviously past any threshold of pain man could endure. Its
helmet is off. head slumped and looking dead.
It's been baking in the sun. Its SHOULDER MOUNT GUN is smashed and
dangling. It's wearing the exact same armor that the crew is wearing. If not for
the amphibian head they'd swear it was one of their own.
The marines are obviously perturbed that this ugly dead thing is wearing their armor, but they plod ahead undeterred and eventually get their asses handed to them by "The Black Predator." Dutch escapes using his tried-and-true mud camouflage trick. The rest of the marginally likeable marines are shanghaied off to the Predator arena/camp, where "Teen Predators" are taught to hunt alien species. To the marines, this movie is a living hell. To the Teen Predators, this movie is a tender coming-of-age story.
The captives notice a human guillotine at the Predators' summer camp. Someone's obviously in cahoots with the crab-faces:
I mean let's admit it. Our shit is fantastic no doubt about it. but we're just not smart enough to invent shit like that. Not yet, anyway.
You saying we got it from them?
Or traded for it. That fucking guillotine is the proof.
We traded guillotines for shoulder mounts, I can't believe that.
Not traded for guillotines. For us.
You smell a rat.
The Teen Predators guillotine some humans for the hell of it and turn one marine into a cybernetic zombie, whom they blow up for laughs. Some more marines die, some escape, and a guy named Cadillac fights a cockroach man. Dutch goes on reconnaissance to the human prison and discovers that his much-hated superior officer has sold the marines out the Predators in exchange for Predator weaponry. Dutch also discovers that the Preds have been dabbling in genetic engineering.
Different HUMAN PRISONERS have been CROSS SPUCED with different species of creatures from the other planets.
If this dreaded "spucing" wasn't enough of a revelation, it turns out that the Predators have a personal vendetta against Dutch.
And Dutch here is better than Fort Knox with a pair of legs. Seems you made quite an impression around here when you diced that big green one back on earth. First personalized request we've ever had. You should be proud.
What are you talking about?
Didn't you know? Dutch went head-to-head with one of them back on Earth. A scout. Showoff daredevil scouts. I've seen more skill in crosseyed raccoons. They can't hunt for shit. Not like the CAPTAINS we got here.
Dutch escapes the corrupt humans, who all die gruesomely. Meanwhile, Cadillac - the hungry marine - is eating a Predator.
CADILLAC is sitting on a log before a wood burning fire. COOKING up a storm!
Parts of a HACKED UP PREDATOR lav on the fire: a leg here, an arm there. Cadillac is EATING the PREDATOR.
White or dark meat?
(can't believe it)
It's all fucking green man!
(kind of far gone)
Nonsense, I bet this stuff is very high in protein and there doesn't seem to be an ounce of fat on it.
Cadillac stabs into a piece of PREDATOR ARM. Black dots and short hairs line the limb.
What the hell are you talking about? You eat that shit and you're gonna straight out die!
(holding up a good size slab)
If we're gonna beat this thing we're have to get inside it's mind. Understand its nature. Eat its flesh.
Look at that fire, man, that things out of control! You're gonna have every motherfuckin Crocodile Man coming here, and they're not gonna be too happy seeing you shishcabobing their buddy there.
Let em come, I'm ready! And if you don't quit bitchin' I'm gonna give you the dick.
Cadillac holds up a suspect looking slab of Predator to emphasize his point.
Of course, the light of the fire attracts a slew of Predators, and Cadillac and Turkey are immediately tri-lasered to smithereens. The script plows on with some more arena battles, Dutch recruiting the Jesus Predator to get him off-planet, Dutch killing the King Predator, and a foreshadowed Predator invasion of Earth. Overall, this alleged Rodriguez script has the gonzo sensibilities of such future projects such as From Dusk Til Dawn and Planet Terror. It eschews the Predator's Honor Code of the prior installments, and instead showcases 50+ Predators dog-piling a few hapless marines.
This summer's Predator flick was also penned by Rodriguez, this time with revisions by Mike Finch and Alex Litvak. The script keeps several elements of the previous draft while streamlining the crazy (No galleon! Boo!). The treatment has the veneer of a reboot - in other words, no Aliens, no Predaliens, few new Predator weapons, and mostly a bunch of human sociopaths getting torn to shreds by the uglies. In fact, the only reason we empathize with the protagonists' plight is that they don't have mandibles for lips.
The story opens with the Royce - a hitman and Adrian Brody's role - knocking off some poor schmo in a back alley on Earth. Suddenly, Royce blacks out and BOOM!
He's plummeting through the void at 160 mph, an earthbound missile dressed in the same clothes he wore a moment ago, twisting, tumbling, SCREAMING, wind HOWLING, whipping mercilessly at his hair and flesh.
Just like the nightmare we've all had.
Except this. IS. FUCKING. HAPPENING.
Reality is a washer/dryer in a spin cycle. With each rotation we catch a glimpse of blue above, a vast expanse of green below, the latter closing fast.
An altimeter of foreign design is hooked to a harness crossing Royce's chest. LED flashes in a degrading sequence... a countdown... and then the thing cracks!
Parachute deploys with a POP. Much like the altimeter that triggered its release, its design is unfamiliar to us.
Royce goes from terminal velocity to 30 in less than a second, deceleration jerking him up. Jungle looms. IMPACT.
When Royce lands in this mysterious otherworldly jungle, he meets a motley crew of other humans, who are inexplicably armed with a chain gun, uzis, a sniper rifle, etc. Barring the mysterious Isabelle and nebbish Edwin (Topher Grace), this cohort appears to have ties to military or organized crime.
Spetsnaz, Alpha Group. Los Zeta, cartel enforcer. RUF, Sierra Leone death squad. Yakuza, Inagawa-kai. Former FBI's Most Wanted.
Settling on Edwin, who's raptly examining a beautiful monarch butterfly that's landed on his arm:
Finally returning to Isabelle. A nod toward the sniper rifle:
And you. (beat) I'd say we were chosen.
The gang stumbles through the primeval brush, surviving an encounter with mutant Predator war-hounds, meeting the previous draft's crucified Predator, and evading a bio-mechanical Predator Falcon. Cartel enforcer Cuchillo and African soldier Mombasa perish in these initial encounters (Danny Trejo goes out like a chump, sob). The gang escapes and seeks refuge in a roiling river. The hunters finally reveal themselves:
Predator Falcon descends toward the ridge overlooking the river. Wings extend, braking. Settles... on nothing. Wings retract. Just sits there, perched in mid air.
Light distorts. The air undulates, shifts. A form SHIMMERS into view.
We don't get the money shot. There'll be time for that later.
Just a few glimpses, from the back. The rest, mercifully, is covered in shadows. One thing for sure...
If Predators were frightening, this thing is TERRIFYING.
A familiar RATTLE.
Meet BLACK SUPER PREDATOR.
Twenty yards to his left a SECOND SUPER PREDATOR de-cloaks.
Across the river and fifty yards downstream, a THIRD.
This is the hunting party.
Once safely downstream, Royce gets the harebrained idea to recruit the crucified Predator to get them off-planet - after all the mind-blowing craziness they've seen thus far, this idea is as good as any. Isabelle - who apparently has some US military ties - recognizes the Predator from Dutch's reports but had previously dismissed it as an urban legend. She also reveals that Dutch himself disappeared years ago. The crew then runs into Noland, a grizzled hermit who has survived on the Predator game preserve for decades:
How long have you been here?
Noland motions to a wall.
Thousands of lines carved into stone. Thousands of days.
Don't see much of him around here. We win the war?
Unfortunately for our not-really heroes, Noland is a survivalist and begins pumping poison gas into his cave while they sleep - he needs their weapons if he's going to make it on the Predator planet. Royce and company's escape attempts attract the Predator cadre, who dispose of the Noland and Nikolai, the Russian. One Predator bites it on Nikolai's Claymore mines. Stans, the prison inmate, soon dies after trying to shiv a Predator. Hanzo, the Yakuza enforcer, has a much smarter idea and instead engages the second Predator with a samurai sword. This is hands-down the most fangasm scene of the film:
SUPER'S POV: Computer calculates Hanzo's weight dispersal. Muscle tension. Predicting where he's going to strike next.
They charge toward one another.
A BLUR of steel, as they pass. SWISH! SLASH!
Beat. We can't tell who got whom. Until...
Super gurgles black blood. Slides apart, split from shoulder to thigh.
Hanzo DRIVES his sword into the ground. An echo of Kurosawa.
His hand on the hilt. Blood flows freely down the wrist.
He looks up at the sky. Collapses.
A beautiful death.
Royce, Isabelle, and an injured Edwin are the last humans remaining - Edwin and Isabelle fall back as Royce recruits the crucified Predator to womp his pursuers. Sadly, the "Black Super Predator" rips the Jesus Predator's spinal cord out and Edwin incapacitates Isabelle - looks like the poor lil' guy is a serial killer. Whoops.
Edwin cups Isabelle's face. Caresses it with a knife.
I was right in front of you. Watching you. Earning your trust. Waiting for the right time. But you couldn't see me. Guess these things aren't the only ones who can turn invisible.
The script has two different endings - one ends with Isabelle and Royce defeating their nemeses and becoming stranded like Noland. The second - although ridiculously awesome - seems unlikely given Arnie's quasi-appearance in Terminator: Salvation.
Ground begins to vibrate, barely perceptible at first.
Growing stronger, rising in intensity and volume.
As if a freight train was coming toward them.
Slowly Royce stands up. Isabelle alongside him.
Ready for whatever comes next.
Dust and ash swirl all around, obscuring vision in all directions.
Then the cloud settles, revealing—
A PREDATOR SHIP
This isn't the Enterprise. Ugly. Battered. Functional.
A form SHIMMERS into view. A Predator. Another. More. About a dozen of them.
Royce and Isabelle. No energy to fight. No point to run. They simply wait.
Predators part like the Red Sea. Their leader — his armor different from the rest, covered in trophies from untold hunts — approaches.
Surveys up our duo. The devastation. Last but not least, the slain Black Super Predator.
Slowly he removes his helmet.
The face beneath it belongs to—
The man. The myth. The legend.
Not bad, kid. Not bad at all.
SMASH TO BLACK