Before Jean-Claude Van Damme had his breakout role in the martial-arts drama Bloodsport, the Muscles from Brussels was originally set to play the title character in Predator. At the time, the creature design was much different, with the actor spending a few days on the set running around in a red, lobster-esque suit, which we can now see thanks to The Monster Show, a web series put on by the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. Steve Johnson, who worked on Predator and a number of iconic movies such as Ghostbusters and The Abyss, explained how unhappy Jean-Claude Van Damme was with the suit, how he thought he would be able to showcase his martial arts skills in this movie and much more, along with footage from his early days on the set, and images of the original costume design.
Of course, after the 5'9" Jean-Claude Van Damme left the project, they considerably reworked the Predator design and brought in the 7'2" Kevin Peter Hall to play this massive alien creature. The movie went on to earn over $59 million domestic in 1987 (the equivalent of $127.5 million today) from a $15 million budget, and also served as the acting debuts for both Jesse Ventura and filmmaker Shane Black.
You can also to watch the full three-hour episode of The Monster Show.
Predator was released June 12th, 1987 and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves, R.G. Armstrong. The film is directed by John McTiernan.