“This guy has the biggest arms in the world”: the friendly and virile rivalry between Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers on the set of Predator


Carl Weathers certainly faced Sylvester Stallone in the “Rocky” saga, but he also rubbed shoulders with Arnold Schwarzenegger on “Predator”. A certainly muscular shoot as he recounted in an interview.

There is no doubt that the original 1987 Predator, by John McTiernan, is one of the most cult films in science fiction. But did you know that during filming, the two stars of the film started a little competition, trying to outdo each other in their training methods?

Besides Arnold Schwarzenegger, several other muscular actors, such as Jesse Ventura and Sonny Landham, were also there and Carl Weathers felt intimidated by the omnipresence of steel biceps around him. 37 years ago, he and Arnold Schwarzenegger therefore engaged in a training duel taken to the extreme. It’s on the plateau of Tonight Show Johnny Carsonin 1988, that the late actor shared this anecdote.

In some ways, I’m really not as physical as a lot of people might think, but when you’re around these guys, you can’t help but do other things. So we go there, we do the show, we do Predator, and we go down into the jungles of Mexico. Arnold carries around 800,000 books [36 287 kg] weight with him. […] So I’m out there and I’m with Mr. Universe, Mr. Galaxy, Mr. Everything, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I’m like, ‘This guy has the biggest arms in the world, I need more muscles, I need to bulk up A little.

Twentieth Century Fox

Let the competition begin

In an attempt to compete with Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers therefore decided to train even more and, above all, even earlier than his opponent.

Arnold goes to the gym at 4:30 a.m. to train every day before he goes to shoot in the morning, because we get up at 6 a.m. to go out and train. So I decided to get up a little earlier, and go there at 4am. Well, I later find out that Arnold starts going at 3:30 in the morning. I tell myself : This is crazy, this can’t continue. Okay, I won’t wake up earlier but I will come down after we get back in the evening and go for a run up the hill […]. One day I’m running up the hill and Arnold drives by because he’s coming home later than me. The next day, Arnold runs up the hill. So here we are, these two guys are supposed to be actors, right? It’s a competition. Finally, I told him: “Come on, let’s call a truce Arnold.

Obviously, Arnold Schwarzenegger also redoubled his efforts to avoid being overtaken. As for the truce, we do not know if it really took place. Regardless, the stars’ dedication was definitely noticeable on screen, with muscles being everywhere – and surely necessary to survive the dreaded Predator who could have been played by another star with big muscles. .

Van Damme as the Predator?

Another colossus of the era was almost also in the cult film. Indeed, in the mid-80s, Jean-Claude Van Damme was hired to play the Predator himself. But when he realized that we would never see his face in the film, things got worse and the actor ended up getting fired!

“He was really angry”: Jean-Claude Van Damme was to play one of the most famous monsters in cinema but was fired from the film

Schwarzy almost returned to the franchise

If Arnold Schwarzenegger has repeatedly expressed interest in returning to the franchise, the question arose for The Predator, released in 2018, and directed by Shane Black, who played Hawkins in the 1987 film.

But, in the end, the small role offered by Shane Black was not enough: we were then talking more about an appearance than a real substantial role, which was too little for the actor, as he explained in an interview with Yahoo in 2017.

What future for the franchise?

After years of films with mixed reviews, the franchise finally regained its strength with Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey in 2022 which had everyone in agreement – and which should have a sequel. In the meantime, fans are already rejoicing because Badlands, the new standalone film from Dan Trachtenbergwhich will feature an all-new story set in the future, is well into production.

Badlands and the potential Prey 2 would not, however, be the only Predator projects in preparation. The surprise success of Prey having reinvigorated the saga, the studio would therefore plan a multitude of projects alongside Dan Trachtenberg. To be continued.

While waiting to learn more, Predator (1987), Prey and the other films in the saga are available for streaming on Disney+.

Also check out Carl Weathers’ interview in full on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show below:



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