• Director John McTiernan reveals that the scene in
    of Dutch’s team shooting into the jungle was a result of studio notes.
  • A Fox executive wanted more gunfire, so McTiernan made the gun action deliberately over-the-top and ended the scene with the characters hitting nothing.
  • Many of the best moments from
    do not involve guns.



Predator director John McTiernan details the disagreements he had with the studio over the gun usage in the film. Released in 1987, Predator stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dutch, the leader of an elite team of commandos who encounter a lethal alien while carrying out a mission in Central America. The film, which spawned a franchise that now includes five installments (in addition to two spinoffs), features the main team of soldiers boasting a great deal of firepower, including one scene in which they open fire on the dense jungle.

In a recent interview with Toisto, McTiernan reveals the origins of Predator‘s big gun-firing scene, explaining that it was born out of an argument he had with an executive at Fox. According to the director, he kept getting the same note over and over, and the scene as it ends up in the movie was his way of detracting from what he saw as “gun pornography.” Check out his full recollection of the events below:

You wanna know how that scene was developed? There was a junior executive at Fox who kept insisting that we need more pictures of guns firing. Constantly. I got this note from the studio. Because he was sitting in on the dailies, talking to my boss, trying to impress everyone with how much he knew. So, I got these notes about how we need more pictures of guns.

Well, for one thing. I don’t just turn in a single shot. I turn out sequences. I’ve thought of an entire sequence through, and I know this shot leads to this shot. So, when somebody is just saying they’re going to start cutting in close-ups of gun barrels in the middle of this, it’s basically because they think they’ll make money as gun pornography.

That was only the surface of how repugnant the notes were. The fact is, he was basically just a pornographer. He was fetishizing the barrels and the white smoke coming out. I mean, it makes you feel creepy just being involved in it.

Anyway, I got that note three or four times, and I sent a message back to the studio that said: I will stage a scene where you’ll get just all the pictures of gun shooting you could possibly imagine. So many that you’ll be sick, right? And then I never want to get another note about gun barrels, okay? Is that a deal?

So, I thought, naively, that I would control the meaning of the scenes so that I could morally say it was alright. I staged it so that when they finished shooting, a guy comes running up, and the first thing anybody says is we hit nothing. Okay, so I thought I was morally off the hook with his gun pornography, because I had said guns are not the answer to everything.

So, the a**holes then said, they now have to put it in every other movie. And then Joel Silver puts it in all over the
movies. It’s been used in 20 movies since then, they have to put that scene in everything. That’s where it came from.

made it up because I was sick of the notes from the studio that were based basically just gun pornography. They wanted more pornography.


Every Weapon The Yautja Use In The Predator Movies, Ranked Worst To Best

The Yautja species pack a deadly array of versatile weaponry in the Predator films, including a few standout devices that strike fear into any human.

Many Of Predator’s Best Scenes Don’t Involve Guns

Arnold Schwarzengger’s Final Predator Fight Is The Best Part Of The Movie

While, ironically, the scene from Predator McTiernan describes above has become a memorable part of the film, most of the film’s most iconic moments aren’t all that gun-heavy. After Dutch’s team has wiped out a village full of enemy guerrilla fighters and the titular alien – technically, a “Yautja” – is discovered, things quiet down and become more of an exercise in suspense. Many of the best moments from this point forward are the surprise deaths of Dutch’s soldiers.

Billy’s (Sonny Landham) death in Predator is one such moment that’s not heavy on gun action, with the character memorably ditching his firearm and instead drawing a blade to take the Yautja on in single combat. Just before this, Dillon (Carl Weathers) also gets taken out, and most of the shooting that happens in this scene happens because his severed arm continues pulling the trigger of his gun. Most of the iconic moments in Predator, however, come during the third act.

The climax of Predator sees Schwarzenegger facing off against the alien alone, and he ditches his weapon fairly quickly. After discovering that mud can hide his heat signature, Dutch adopts more primitive weaponry, opting for bladed weapons and a bow and arrow. While many of the gun scenes in Predator do remain memorable and are a key part of the film’s DNA, McTiernan’s latest comment affirms that he was very much against the fetishization of such weapons.

Source: Toisto

Predator (1987)

Release Date
June 12, 1987

Arnold Schwarzenegger , Carl Weathers , Elpidia Carrillo , Bill Duke , Jesse Ventura , Shane Black , Sonny Landham , Richard Chaves

107 Minutes

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