MILD spoilers for The Predator ahead.
Twentieth Century Fox cut a scene from The Predator that featured registered sex offender Steven Wilder Striegel when Olivia Munn brought it to the studio’s attention – here’s where it would’ve been. Last week, just before the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was reported Fox cut a scene from The Predator featuring a registered sex offender days before the movie was locked. Since then, Munn has answered the press’s questions about the scene, being open and honest about her experience of bringing attention to the scene and watching her co-stars handle the story. Munn and her fellow cast members have praised the studio for removing the scene, while director Shane Black apologized for bringing Striegel onto the set.
For his part, Black returns to the Predator franchise after co-starring in the 1987 original alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. Black directed The Predator from a script he co-wrote with Fred Dekker. The film follows a team of soldiers with mental illnesses led by Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) who team up with Munn’s Dr. Casey Bracket in order to take on the Ultimate Predator. Now, with The Predator in theaters and the story of the cut scene dominating headlines in the week leading up to the film’s theatrical release, we offer insight into where the scene originally appeared.
Based on what we know about the cut scene from The Predator, we can deduce it would have served as Casey’s introduction in the film. In the theatrical cut of The Predator, Munn’s character is first seen being approached by government agents that work for Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown). At the time, she’s in a dog park, and she’s escorted by the agents to government facility to analyze the predator they captured. Since Munn is wearing the same costume as in the set photos for her scene with Striegel, and descriptions of the cut scene indicate it would have featured Striegel as a jogger who hits on Munn’s Casey until she rebuffs him, it’s clear the scene that was cut immediately preceded her character’s introduction in the final movie.
This means that The Predator doesn’t really have an introduction for the character of Dr. Casey Bracket. The first time viewers meet her, she’s being whisked away by government agents and she’s then thrown into the main action of The Predator. It’s unfortunate that Munn’s character, who becomes an integral part of the plot and fun of the film, doesn’t get a deserving intro like the other members of the movie’s ensemble. Still, considering the scene featured a registered sex offender, Munn and Fox no doubt made the right call in cutting the scene.
Munn has spoken extensively about her feelings on the scene, being the one who brought the actor’s history to Fox’s attention and reportedly insisting Striegel’s scene be cut or she wouldn’t feel comfortable promoting the film. The actress also called attention to the fact that Black hired Striegel and brought him on set without disclosing his criminal history to the cast or the studio. In 2010, Striegel plead guilty to two felonies – risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer – after sending sexually suggestive messages to a 14-year-old girl. He served six months in prison and became a registered sex offender. Recently, the survivor came forward about The Predator scene being cut, issuing a statement about her experience and thanking Munn for taking a stand.
Now that The Predator is out, it’s clear where the scene was cut from in the overall film. It would have served as the introduction to Munn’s character, Dr. Casey Bracket. Whether fans will love The Predator without the scene remains to be seen, but the movie is undoubtedly better off without it.