One of the coolest franchises in Hollywood that has never quite managed to live up to its potential is the Predator series of films. After the breakout success of the original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the franchise never manage to rise to the same heights again. Filmmaker Shane Black’s 2018 reimagining of the series with The Predator was also dismissed by fans and critics as largely uninspired.
But the movie almost went in a startling and exciting new direction. Actress and stunt performer Breanna Watkins recently confirmed in an interview that she shot two alternate endings for The Predator where she alternately played the role of Ellen Ripley and Newt from the Alien franchise.
“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.”
The story of Ellen Ripley’s crusade against the Xenomorphs in the Alien series takes place many years in the future. So the timelines between the Alien and Predator franchises have never really matched up. But the box-office potential for crossover between the two series has always been too much for Hollywood to resist, as was seen when they made 2004’s Alien vs. Predator.
Based on Watkins’ comments, Ripley’s entry in The Predator would have been explained away with some form of time-travel plot device. While it would have been exciting to see Ripley take on the threat of the Predators after a lifetime of fighting Xenomorphs, the makers of The Predator instead choose to go with a much tamer ending involving a “Predator Killing” suit. Watkins explained that there was a possibility of another Alien/Predator crossover project in the future before the studio decided to go in another direction.
“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.”
While Watkins served as a body double for Ripley, the initial plan had been for the Alien character to be played in full by Sigourney Weaver herself. In 2019, the co-writer of The Predator, Fred Dekker, explained why the plans for Weaver and the character of Newt ultimately fell through.
“We shot a version where Ripley was in the cocoon and we shot one where Newt from Aliens was in the cocoon. Sigourney [Weaver] didn’t want to clear any future for Ripley in the franchise and ultimately I don’t think anybody remembers Newt well enough for that to have meant anything.”
This news originated at AVP Galaxy.