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Untold Tales of Hollywood #107

Film #21 : Predator (1985; released 1987)
Directed by John McTiernan
Production Designed by John Vallone

My pal Rick Baker called me in on this one. We had always wanted to work together. Would this be our chance?

I was thrilled to get the call, as this would officially be my first work on a big studio film, in this case, 20th Century Fox (some of my other films, like Conan the Barbarian, were released by big studios but were, in reality, independent productions). This represented quite a film career breakthrough for me.

My first Predator lunch was with Rick, director John McTiernan, and production designer John Vallone. At that time, the film’s title was Hunter. During our meeting, McTiernan opened up a bookmarked page in a book on Alien designer H. R. Giger.

“I would not be unhappy if the creature looked like this,” he said, pointing to a specific Giger painting.

I was stunned. Why not just hire Giger?

To satisfy McTiernan, I did one Giger-esque creature design:

I designed this so that the tail could extend or flip forward and attach to the head.

But, in an attempt to encourage McTiernan and Vallone to take a non-Giger direction, I also presented a few of my own takes on how the creature might look:

I liked the innovative idea of mine of a triple-eyelid instead of a standard top-lid/bottom-lid eye.
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