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SYFY WIRE Predator

He’s baaaack! Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as Dutch in Predator: Hunting Grounds

By Benjamin Bullard
Arnold Schwarzenegger and rescue team in Predator

Who knew Dutch was going to stick around this long after the credits rolled? After going MIA for more than 30 years after launching the Predator franchise, Arnold Schwarzenegger is hopping back in the chopper to reprise the man-versus-alien role he made famous in director John McTiernan’s 1987 movie — only this time he’s doing it in a video game.

Schwarzenegger has teamed up with developer Illfonic for the upcoming wave of DLC headed to Predator: Hunting Grounds, the lore-faithful multiplayer special ops game that touched down in the Central American jungle late last month. According to Illfonic chief creative officer Jared Gerritzen, who shared his experience via the PlayStation Blog, the Governator spent a day with the studio recording new lines for a DLC story that follows what became of Dutch after the explosive final events of the film.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator Hunting Grounds

“Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger has reprised one of my favorite roles from childhood for this game,” wrote Gerritzen. “… To say my inner child cannot be contained is putting it mildly. Yes, I got to meet him, and yes, I think I kept my cool. We got to spend a day in sunny California recording with Arnold. And before you ask, Arnold truly is one of the nicest people I have met in my lifetime.”

Even today, that’s high praise for the guy who definitely meant business when he said, “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” Schwarzenegger’s alien-stalking likeness will appear in two rounds of DLC heading to the game later this month, as part of a larger story in which Dutch has left audio-recorded breadcrumbs to make sure the rest of the world gets the warning message — even if something bad happens to him.

A found cassette tape from Dutch in Predator Hunting Grounds

“The premise of it is [Dutch] recorded these tapes since '87, after the first movie,” Gerritzen, who wrote the new story content, told Entertainment Weekly. “Throughout these tapes, there are those arrows [pointing to] what he’s doing, kind of like safeguards if he gets killed or captured. These tapes are gonna be used to essentially keep his story going.”

The first piece of DLC is a free update for anyone who owns the game, and it’ll use found-footage cassette tapes to let players in on the mystery of where Dutch has been since surviving his fateful first encounter. EW reports that one of the recordings comes right after we see that big mushroom cloud above the trees, dating from Sept. 12, 1987: “These tapes are my personal testimony, insurance,” says Dutch. “Should anything happen to me, what I found won't be lost.”

Dropping at the same time, a second piece of paid DLC takes things a huge step further, putting you in control of the man himself as the leader of your five-person Fireteam and granting early access to some familiar-looking weapons (including Dutch’s Knife).

Because it’s the first time Dutch (and Schwarzenegger) have returned to the world of Predator in 33 years, getting the lore just right was vital. “We had a lot of meetups, working with myself and the design team, to get this story to be bulletproof because we do weave it throughout the universe,” Gerritzen told EW. “It's not like after '87 [Dutch] went and did nothing to do with the universe. We actually tied it to the universe … It was one of those things where it was like, ‘Hey, Arnold’s never come back. He hasn’t come back in any of the movies, he hasn’t come back in any of the books or any of the comics. What can we do with this?’”

Filling the shoes of the dude who took down the original Predator may come with some pressure, but we can’t wait to coat ourselves in a thick layer of heat-jamming mud from head to toe — and then turn the tables on our alien stalker with a vengeance. Both pieces of DLC for Predator: Hunting Grounds arrive on May 26 for PlayStation 4 and PC on May 26.