The timeline of the Predator franchise (and the Alien one too, for that matter) might have gotten a whole lot more interesting this past year, if a reported alternate ending for Shane Black’s The Predator had made the cut for the final film.
Practical effects artist Yuri Everson, who’s done special effects work in both the Alien and Predator universes, shared via Instagram a peek at the breather mask he says Predator Killer Ripley — yes, Ellen Ripley — sported in the unused ending, supposedly one of three different “Predator Killer” endings that Black shot for the movie.
The full-mask setup means Ripley’s famous face — the one that belongs to the Xenomorph-slaying Sigourney Weaver in the original Alien movies — didn’t need to be visible in the unused footage, which instead featured professional stunt actor Breanna Watkins underneath the mask, according to Everson.
Artist Jon Miller, whose ADI effects studio was responsible for the mask itself, confirmed Everson’s post in a separate picture:
“The moving ‘fingers’ and ‘tail’ were deemed too facehugger-like on the day and were cut and removed by someone,” Everson explains as the reason the unused ending didn’t make the final film. But throwing Ripley into the mix would also have required a new ripple in her Alien timeline, since Weaver’s character shows up in 2122 in the Ridley Scott original, while The Predator takes place in the present day.
While the idea of recruiting Ripley into the Alien-Predator crossover-verse would likely have created all sorts of extra buzz, at least The Predator leaves the door open for the sequel to explore pretty much any possibility. Thanks to a stealthy parting gift from The Predator’s lone alien dissenter, humans at last have some real predator tech of their own — and if anyone has already proven that people can level the playing field against a bloodthirsty E.T., it’s Ripley.