Rubén Blades was giving a live TV interview to Good Morning America (1975) from the set of Predator 2 (1990) when director Hopkins walked on camera and ordered Blades back to work very loudly. The incident was so embarrassing, Blades and Hopkins did another interview days later to apologize.
He left home at 15 and his background was in art and design. He was story-boarding commercials and video clips, and moved into directing. He started his career in Australia where he lived for six years.
In Australia he made Dangerous Game (1987). This helped him get the job directing A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) Hopkins later said, "I went at it like a dog, and had a wild, fun time. But when I look back, I think I'm the luckiest guy in the world because I don't understand how it all occurred.".
He described Predator 2 (1990), of which he said "I'm pretty immature, really, so it was kind of a laugh". He followed it with Judgment Night (1993) ("a real, absolute, total bomb" according to Hopkins), Blown Away (1994) ("made a lot of mistakes") and The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)("It was a mess. I haven't been able to watch it.").
Hopkins said after Predator 2 (1990) he "looked around for a good film for a long time, and I couldn't get anything I wanted to do... I didn't realize the Hollywood trick. In American action movies, people get shot to death and their arms are blown off, and they get up and they're fine. These films are supposed to be fun things that people can laugh at. I always thought, 'That's wrong, that's not what violence is like.' I took these films too seriously and tried to add profound depths, and that's not what's wanted. You either do that film or you do the other one, but I kept mixing the two up, and probably unsuccessfully.'.
Replaced James Foley as the lead director and producer of the first season of the TV series 24.