Steven Seagal Was Desperate To Star In Predator 2, According To Director Stephen Hopkins

To say that "Predator 2" is divisive would be an understatement. Fans of the famed Yautja either adore this movie for its ridiculousness or despise it for the same reason. Regardless of your opinion, fans can agree that its main character, LAPD Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover), was a straightlaced but still fun addition to the franchise.

Many fans might know that Harrigan was supposed to team up with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, the main character from the 1987 movie, for this sequel. However, the latter was unable to return for this sequel, prompting the casting of Gary Busey as Special Agent Peter Keyes.

Director Stephen Hopkins told Scream Magazine in an interview that Busey wasn't the first actor considered for the role. In fact, Steven Seagal, the controversial martial artist whose career was on the verge of taking off at the time, was briefly up for consideration. However, it turns out that he wasn't looking to play Keyes at all.

Seagal's pitch

Hopkins did not recall meeting with the actor, supposed aikido fraud (via The Independent), and alleged human trafficker (via The Daily Beast) very fondly. He said the meeting took place at Seagal's house in a room supposedly decked out with guns. Hopkins even said that Seagal crushed his hand — whether or not this was an exaggeration remains to be seen, but given the subject, it isn't hard to speculate.

However, the director soon discovered that Seagal was looking for a very specific role for the movie, one that was not in the script and eventually would not end up in the movie. And if you remember "Predator 2" correctly, you'll know that one of its characters was a voodoo-practicing mob boss. If you are wondering how Seagal's idea compared to characters like this, here's what he had in store. Hopkins said:

"He told me he wanted to play a CIA psychiatrist who is also a martial arts expert and carried a gun. I listened to him for a long time, and he was clearly a little crazy at the time. I said, 'Oh, this is different from the way we were going, so I guess we shouldn't do it.'"

Welcome to the war

Despite Hopkins' disapproval, Seagal apparently was relentless. The director recalled the actor trying to maintain composure upon hearing the news before sweetening the deal with an unusual bribe.

"He became really keen to do it, and he threw his arm around me on the way out and he said, 'I want you to come to my ranch in Santa Barbara because I've got a grenade launching range there, so we can go and launch grenades together,'" said Hopkins. Yeah, that'll seal the deal.

And it did, but not in the way that Seagal hoped. Hopkins said he agreed to meet up with him at some point, even though the grenade-launching meeting never happened. It sounds like Hopkins made up his mind right then and there, and thank goodness for that. The "Predator" franchise already has its exhilarating ups and ableist downs, and casting Seagal would have fit squarely in the latter. His Keyes would have aged as gracefully as his stint as an Arizona reserve deputy.