That Time Jean-Claude Van Damme Was The Predator

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Geek Dave asks "what the hell are you?"

Jean-Claude Van Damme has more than his fair share of embarrassing early roles. Here he is bustin' some moves in the 1984 film Breakin'...

In the same year he would also get this high profile role in the movie Monaco Forever...

It doesn't get much bigger than 'Gay Karate Man', does it? But Van Damme was just getting started and two years after that he landed what he thought was his big break. A major role in a major action film opposite a major Hollywood star.

Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the Predator!

Van Damme thought he'd get the chance to show off some of his martial arts skills and be face to face fighting Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he was quite wrong. The original Predator suit that Van Damme was to wear was quite different from the one which eventually made it to the screen, as you can see above. And below you can spot the Muscles From Brussels in the red suit he had to wear for the 'invisible' special effect.

Was there ever a more appropriate moment to include the meme featuring that kid from The Simpsons who points and goes "ha ha"?

Now, as you likely all know, it was Kevin Peter Hall and not Van Damme who played the legendary bloodthirsty alien in the 1987 film, so what happened? Well as the special effects artist on the movie, Steve Johnson, put it "our Predator didn't work".

Johnson, recently gave an interview about Van Damme's involvement and included some rare footage of JCVD running around the jungle in the red suit, it's worth watching for that alone, but also to hear him recount how Van Damage was either misinformed, or just a bit deluded, and believed he was cast as much more than just a stunt man.

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