Arnold Schwarzenegger Returning To His Greatest Role?

By Kevin C. Neece | Published

arnold schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator

Variety recently asked Dan Trachtenberg, director of Prey, if there had been any consideration of bringing Arnold Schwarzenegger back to reprise his Predator role or for some other cameo. Trachtenberg was also asked if Danny Glover from the second film was considered for inclusion in the latest installment. While the setting of Prey in the 1700s prevents either character from returning, Trachtenberg said there is still room for both actors in future films, noting that both are still around and working (when they’re not on strike, as they currently are).

Prey director Dan Trachtenberg says both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Glover can return to the Predator franchise.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role in Predator might or might not be considered his greatest, but it is certainly one that, like The Terminator, helped spawn a major franchise that has continued for decades. Trachtenberg’s focus for much of the interview, of course, was on the current film and its representation of historic Indigenous peoples. He was also discussing the Hulu film’s recognition at the Emmys, an unusual occurrence within the sci-fi/horror genre.

prey sequel
Amber Midthunder in Prey

Set well before the lifetime of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in the original, Prey is the seventh entry in the Predator franchise and represents a new direction for the film series. Native actor Amber Midthunder stars in the film as a warrior in the Comanche tribe named Naru who battles the Predator aliens to save her people in the Great Plains in 1719. To ensure Native peoples were well represented, most of the cast was comprised of Native actors, and Trachtenberg worked closely with Indigenous producer Jhane Meyers.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has yet to appear in any Predator sequel, and yet his role of Dutch is one of the most iconic in Hollywood history.

It’s a direction no one could have predicted when Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared in the original Predator in 1987, but one which makes the franchise surprisingly relevant to contemporary conversations regarding diversity, inclusion, and representation.

Indigenous people have long been under-represented in American cinema and television, except through the eyes of white America, which usually resulted in misrepresentation, vilification, the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes, and the casting of white and non-Native actors as Native characters. Jhane Meyers, a Comanche and Blackfeet American Indian who has long been an advocate for better and more widespread representation of Indigenous peoples, languages, and cultures in cinema, has, with Prey, become the first-ever Emmy-nominated Indigenous producer.

Prey was a smash hit on Hulu, but because it took the franchise into the past, there was no chance Arnold Schwarzenegger could appear in it.

It’s an addition to the Predator legacy that surely makes Arnold Schwarzenegger happy, as he himself had to work hard to stake his claim in America and Hollywood as an Austrian immigrant. For Meyers’ part, she reports a symbiotic, open, and beneficially collaborative relationship with Trachtenberg on Prey, noting that they have never had an argument. She also credits Midthunder and the largely Native cast of the film for making the production not only a smooth working experience but a piece of cinematic representation of which Indigenous people can be proud.

That might not be what anyone was expecting from a prequel to an Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie, but Predator afforded this particular opportunity, which Meyers and Trachtenberg were eager to take. The success of the film will probably mean the continuation of the franchise, perhaps with a direct Prey sequel or with some other offering. While Schwarzenegger and Glover were, according to Trachtenberg, considered for inclusion in the 2010 film Predators, neither has yet to reprise their roles, though the future surely holds that possibility.