Actress Breanna Watkins has revealed new details regarding the cut alternate endings of The Predator in which she portrayed Aliens’ Newt and Ripley.
Actress and stunt performer Breanna Watkins has revealed new details regarding two alternate endings to 2018’s The Predator, in which she played Aliens‘ heroines, Ellen Ripley and Newt Jorden. Co-written and directed by Shane Black, the fourth installment in the sci-fi horror-action series saw a group of PTSD-afflicted soldiers and a scientist team up to face off against the titular alien creatures. The ensemble cast included Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane, and Keegan-Michael Key.
First announced in June 2014, the film moved away from the events of the third installment, Predators, and returned the action to Earth with Black, who previously starred in the 1987 original as Rick Hawkins, in the director’s chair with a script he and longtime collaborator Fred Dekker penned. After seeing 50 Cent and Benicio del Toro dropping out due to scheduling issues and Arnold Schwarzenegger declining the offer to return due to the minor nature of his role, Black assembled his ensemble cast and took to British Columbia to shoot in early 2017. Following poor test screenings of the film, the cast and crew regrouped in July 2018 as the entire climax was re-written and re-shot. In September of that year, the film finally hit theaters to mixed reviews and solid box office numbers, becoming the highest-grossing in the franchise at $160.5 million though still only modest considering its $88 million production budget.
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With a new ending needed for the project, Black and co. looked to another area of the stars and came up with the concept of crossing over beloved characters Newt and Ripley from the Alien franchise. After shooting two endings, in which the cargo on the titular creature’s ship was revealed to be a pod containing one of the two characters, the studio and filmmakers were forced to go in a different direction with the Iron Man-like Predator Killer suit gifted to the humans. In an interview with AVPGalaxy, Watkins gave a little more insight into her portrayal of both characters, including the narrative hoops it’d have to jump through to explain each appearance and revealing the potential future she had with the franchises.
“A whole backstory was explained to me for each of my two endings… however I believe that the franchise owners may still want to have the option to use those backstories so I shouldn’t really go into specifics of what I was told, but I can say that time travel, cloning and genetic enhancement was involved. The backstory did vary depending on which ending they were going to use. There was some discussion about the future potential of the character to be continued in other crossover movies, along with my possible involvement with that if they decided to go with that ending. It was indicated to me before the movie came out that neither of the endings I was in were going to be used. It was disappointing… but I was aware that there was a lot going on with the future direction of both franchises around that time, so I can understand why they weren’t used.”
Unfortunately, Newt and Ripley weren’t the only characters to hit the cutting room floor in the elongated development of the film. Edward James Olmos was cast as a military general and shot scenes for the film, but found his role was also cut due to time constraints, as the filmmakers and studio were aiming for the 107-minute runtime mark to keep consistent with the rest of the franchise.
Both of these cut endings could have tied the most recent reboot back into the Aliens franchise, but it’s almost better they never happened, considering the poor response to the released film. While the future of the Alien franchise is still up in the air, fans can at least look forward to a new Predator film with Dan Trachtenberg’s in-development prequel film.
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