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Bill Duke Talks Van Damme As Predator, Unfairly Fired – ManlyMovie

Bill Duke Talks Van Damme As Predator, Unfairly Fired

vandammepredatorsuit

Take a look at the pic above, it’s Jean Claude Van Damme as the (pre-Stan Winston) Predator. This one is new to me.  If it’s new to you as well then the video below might be too, with only a few hundred views on YouTube, late last year Bill Duke spoke about Van Damme’s time as the Predator.

Now there have been conflicting stories about why Van Damme was no longer in the movie.  One was that Van Damme quit… actually, it might have been Jesse Ventura who (recklessly) told it that way. I don’t want to say for sure that Ventura said that, but I strongly feel that he did, in a wrestling shoot interview about two years ago. Another was that Van Damme was fired when the suit changed.  Now Duke’s version is that Joel Silver was a colossal asswipe and fired Van Damme because he kept passing out inside the rubber suit, under extraordinary temperatures.

Van Damme passed out twice, at which point Silver threatened to fire him if he did it again.  Despite Van Damme’s protests that he couldn’t help it, Silver fired him when he fainted a third time two weeks later. In this day and age, can you imagine the lawsuit? Shit, it may even have killed production.

EDIT: I’m starting to recall more clearly what Ventura said. Basically, he slammed Van Damme as a huge pain to deal with, before voluntarily quitting. Perhaps this is a side Silver seen also, that Duke did not?

Thanks to: Frenchie & Haraldo

3 Comments

  1. Haraldo

    August 23, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Getting fired for passing out… surprised Van Damme didn’t leg kick Silver afterwards. Most interesting part is JCVD and Silver not speaking for years. Silver had so much great stuff laying around back then, Van Damme could’ve easily starred in any of it, they could’ve done great together. But it all worked out anyways… Thank God for Cannon.

    • The Night Rider

      August 23, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      I’m starting to doubt the Duke side of it. It’s hard to believe that Silver could get away with firing someone for that, even in the 1980s. You’re looking at multiple lawsuits… unfair dismissal, unsafe working environment…

      I mean not saying Duke is lying, rather there has to be more than meets the eye. Throw in Ventura’s account of JCVD being difficult, there’s probablly more to it.

      • Uncle Sporkums

        September 3, 2016 at 10:17 pm

        Steve Johnson (Ghostbusters;Fright Night), who was asked to create this version of the suit, also remembers Van Damme being temperamental on location, mainly due to the suits’ clunkiness and apparent promises that were not kept regarding what he would be able to do in the film.