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Every Skull In The Trophy Room

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Here’s a brief guide to every skull shown in Predator 2’s trophy room. While Predator became a huge hit in 1987, it suffered through a troubled production. A key issue was the design of the title creature, which was originally an insectoid alien played by Jean-Claude Van Damme. In addition to the suit being almost impossible to work in – with Van Damme passing out several times due to the heat – the design itself was famously awful. The decision was made to scrap this outfit, and Stan Winston was brought on to build a new suit. This created one of sci-fi cinema’s most enduring creatures and the movie’s success led to a sequel being greenlit.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

Arnold Schwarzenegger passed on Predator 2 as he disliked the idea of the hunter in a city. Instead, Danny Glover (who starred in the Lethal Weapon movies) was cast as the new hero, a cop trying to solve a string of brutal murders during a Los Angeles heatwave. Naturally, the problem is extraterrestrial. The sequel received mixed reviews and was a box-office disappointment, though it’s been reappraised as an enjoyable follow-up in recent years. The movie was also referenced in 2018’s The Predator with Sean Keyes, the son of Predator 2’s deceased agent Peter Keyes, continuing his father’s work studying the hunters; Sean is even played by Jake Busey, the real-life son of Peter Keyes’ actor Gary Busey.

Related: Prey Obeys 1 Screenwriting Rule That 2010’s Predators Ignores

Predator director John McTiernan, who also helmed Die Hard, cut out a number of sequences from the original script, including Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Predator character finding a cloaked Predator ship filled with human trophies. This concept was revised for Predator 2 with the final showdown featuring Glover’s cop tracking the hunter to his craft. One of the most memorable scenes of the sequel has Glover discovering a Predator trophy room, which is littered with skulls both human and alien.


The Skulls In The Predator 2 Trophy Room Are Still Mysterious

The most famous skull on the Predator trophy room wall belongs to the Xenomorph itself, which felt like a natural crossover since Fox owned both franchises; this Easter egg eventually led to 2004’s Alien vs. Predator. The human skulls belong to King Willie, the Jamaican Voodoo Posse leader who put up a fight against the hunter, and police officer Jerry Lambert (Bill Paxton). The other four trophies are alien but were seemingly created with no specific creature in mind.

There’s a huge creature that resembles a Jurassic Park-style T. Rex, but it has mandibles and four eyes. There’s a skull that looks vaguely humanoid but with much larger features, and while it may not have been intended, it looks similar to H.R. Giger’s Space Jockey design. Directly below this skull on the Predator trophy wall is a smaller skull that looks like another form of Predator, and the final alien creature has some vicious-looking tusks.

The Predator 2 trophy room scene would likely be loaded with more overt Easter eggs had it been shot in more recent times – like including a Na’vi skull from Avatar, for instance – but this scene was pretty mind-blowing to fans back in the day. The Xenomorph skull alone confirmed the series existed in the same universe as Alien while the other trophies suggested the Yautja Predators had been hunting for a very long time.

Related: How Prey Reimagines Predator’s Best Storytelling Trick

Why The Predator 2 Trophy Room Is So Important

Although the movie had its shortcomings, Predator 2‘s trophy room scene was still a crucial moment in the franchise because of its ambitious reach. By linking the Predator to another alien movie franchise with the Xenomorph skull and to a few other yet-unknown worlds with the other trophies, Predator 2 gave its terrifying hunter the potential for many more spin-off projects – a near-unprecedented move at the time. The Alien vs. Predator concept hasn’t had much success so far, but there’s the potential for an Alien vs. Predator reboot to work out better in the future. Prey beautifully illustrated that the concept of the Yautja hunter hasn’t lost its appeal, and the mystery of the remaining skulls is still a tantalizing one. For all of these reasons, Predator 2 did its title creature and the wider intellectual property a huge favor with the trophy room scene.

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