'The Predator' Cinematographer Claims There's a Jean-Claude Van Damme Easter Egg

Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the titular creature in 1987's Predator, though his attitude about the film and the change in creature design resulted in the actor parting ways with the film. Larry Fong, the cinematographer of The Predator, revealed that there's a subtle nod to Van Damme's original red suit in the new film.

Fong took to Twitter to share a photo of the original suit while teasing, "Anyone knows what this has to do with the original Predator? … and what the related Easter egg is in the new Predator?"

The original design for the creature, as seen above, involved filming Van Damme inside a red, insectoid suit, with the movie being filmed in the jungle. This prevented the martial artist from showing off his kickboxing moves, with the burgeoning action star thinking this would be a vehicle to become an impressive performer.

"We never shot anything with him," director of the original film John McTiernan previously explained to CinemaBlend. "It was a complete screw up with his agent, trying to hustle him into a job and didn't know what the movie was. It's silly. It was really silly."

Adding to the miscommunication was that the bright color of the suit was a requirement of creating the iconic cloaking visual effects, though Van Damme thought the outfit represented how the creature would look in the final film.

Steve Johnson, a visual effects artist on that film, confirmed in a separate interview, "He was just off the boat from Brussels, he thought he was going to show his martial arts abilities to the world.” Johnson continued, “He thought this was actually the real look of the monster in the movie and he [said] ‘I hate this. I hate this. I hate it. I look like a superhero.’ He was so angry."

From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.

The new film stars Boyd Holbrook, Quinn McKenna, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Alfie Allen, Thomas Jane, Augusto Aguilera, and Jake Busey.

The Predator is in theaters now.

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[H/T Twitter, larryfong]