Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for The Predator!
At the end of Shane Black’s The Predator, the humans are in a lab examining the cargo retrieved from the Predator’s ship. The cargo opens to reveal a piece of technology that attaches itself to a lab worker and creates a suit around him. This suit would seemingly give humanity technological hope against these extra-terrestrial threats. But in one of the alternate endings considered, the person wearing the Predator Killer would have been someone who knows a thing or two about killing aliens: the Alien franchise’s Ripley. Take a look:
As you can see from Hollywood artist Yuri Everson’s Instagram, the ending to The Predator would have seen Ripley wearing the breather mask and a costume that had some very alien characteristics. This alternate ending does not however mean that Sigourney Weaver could have been in the film. As Yuri Everson says, the actress who played Ripley was Breanna Watkins.
Although this didn’t happen, you can imagine what a huge stinger it would have been for the end of the film. Seeing the Predator Killer suit was neat, and sets up possibilities for a sequel but just having the name “Ripley” on the person in the pod would have been a way to drop a few jaws before the credits rolled.
We don’t know why Shane Black and company didn’t go with the Ripley ending, as it would have been cool and still set up intriguing possibilities for humanity’s hope in a potential sequel. However, it also might have been considered a bit too convoluted considering that Ripley is from over 100 years in the future, so to introduce a time travel head scratcher at the end might have been a bridge too far.
The other interesting thing here is that Yuri Everson said that the Ripley ending was one of three endings shot, along with the one that was used in the final film. That raises the obvious question of what was the third ending. Yuri says they were all three variations of the “Predator Killer,” so does this mean that the third would have seen a different character wearing the tech, and if so who?
Thanks to the Aliens vs. Predator films in 2004 and 2007, the Alien and Predator franchises are linked and frequently compared. But in recent years these two sci-fi/horror franchises featuring iconic extra-terrestrial antagonists have done their own thing, Alien with Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, and Predator with 2018’s The Predator. But it looks like there is still an inclination there to connect them.
As it stands we don’t know what the future holds for Ripley or either franchise. Both of the most recent entries The Predator and Alien: Covenant underperformed commercially. And while there are supposedly sequel ideas out there for the latter, the future of the franchise will soon rest with Disney so much is likely up in the air at this point.