"Predators" brings together some of the meanest, nastiest warriors a well-connected alien would ever want in a killing contest. But director Nimrod Antal had to be sold big-time on the concept of casting a woman in the bunch.
Even when the part of Izzy/Isabelle was laid out in the script, Antal fought it.
"I wanted to cut Izzy," he admitted at "Predators" press day. "It took me a while to get my head around it."
"It would have been a huge mistake if I had won that battle," he admits now.
But in the heat of warfare, Antal argued hard for cutting the female character with producer Robert Rodriguez.
"My first concern was there aren’t very many theaters of war which allow women into combat," said Antal. "We were talking about hardened people who have seen a lot of nasty things, so I was a little bit concerned with that."
But when he asked Rodriguez "how many great girls have there been" in combat movies, Rodriguez had a quick answer. Ripley from "Alien." Sarah Connor from "Terminator," Nikita. And so on.
"I was like, 'Oh, I guess you’re right. There have been a few good ones," admitted Antal. But even then he tried to find away around it, even suggesting that the female character turn out to be an alien in the end.
"I still think that's a good idea," said Natal. "I think she should have been an alien."
At least his doubts disappeared in the casting of Brazilian/predator butt-kicker Alice Braga (who is something of a box office draw on her hotness as well).
"We found Alicia and then we were both relieved," said Rodriguez. End of discussion. She rolled with the big boys.
Braga works. There are a few truck-sized holes in the movie's plausibility (and who really cares in a movie like this as long as green alien blood is flowing with red human blood?). But Braga's credibility as a warrior is never in question. And, as a spoiler alert -- she's entirely human.