Predator fans beware, for the house of mouse has a new prequel film in development called Prey, which is slated to arrive on Hulu in the summer of 2022.
Prey is directed by Dan Trachtenberg, who helmed projects like 10 Cloverfield Name, “Playtest” (a Black Mirror episode), and Portal: No Escape, a short fan film. The project previously operated under the codename Skulls, and is produced by John Davis and John Fox.
PREY: PREDATOR PREQUEL OFFICIAL LOGLINE
“Set in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, the action-thriller follows Naru, the skilled warrior who fiercely protects her tribe against a highly evolved alien predator.”
Amber Midthunder stars as Naru, and is joined by castmates Quannah Chasinghorse, musician Dakota Beavers, and Harlando Khat in currently undisclosed roles. Behind the scenes, Director Dan Trachtenberg is joined by cinematographer Jeff Cutter, production designer Kara Lindstrom and stunt coordinator Steven McMichael.
This is the first installment in the franchise to feature a female lead, which is certainly exciting. Furthermore, the new setting could add a refreshing dimension to a franchise which has tried and failed to reinvent itself too many times. Prey could be a return to form for the Predator franchise, even in spite of its external differences from the original film.
While the release window was a pleasant surprise, the title, poster, and venue of distribution all leave something to be desired. What does “Prey” as a title mean for this film? Prey doesn’t feature an overt connection to Predator like previous installments, such as Predators, Predator 2, and The Predator. It suggests that perhaps the antagonistic alien warriors will become the “prey” in this version of the story, something that most fans probably aren’t hoping for.
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While that’s all purely speculative, let’s talk about the objectively horrendous poster. While I may not be an expert in graphic design, I can confidently state that this piece of promotional material was a huge misstep. Why obscure the Predator so much? Why the color palette? Is it the nuclear holocaust of 300 years ago? Did a volcano just explode?
While this incredibly grey, flat poster is not necessarily an indication of Prey’s film’s quality, a troubling quote from one of the producers might be.
“It all depends on how you end up cutting it, right? It was conceived as an R-rated movie. It could easily end up PG-13. I guess I’m going to find out what it has to be or what it is when it’s all cut together.”-John Davis, Producer of Prey
The Predator franchise began in 1987 with Predator, directed by John McTiernan. Several R-rated sequels would follow. In fact, the PG-13 Alien Vs. Predator was the only franchise exception to the harder MPAA rating. Even AVP has an unrated cut that is universally considered to be superior, which proves the importance of R-rated brutality and creative license in this franchise.
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That the Alien and Predator franchises are headed to Hulu instead of the big-screen was already disappointing. If the upcoming TV and film projects for this beloved action-horror franchise are rated PG-13 on top of being streaming releases, AVP fans should prepare for some dark days ahead. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I believe that Predator is a franchise that belongs on the silver screen.
Prey has a great challenge ahead of it. Many believe that the original Predator film has never had a great followup, though there have been nearly a half-dozen attempts. If Prey can tell a frightening, gorey tale in the past, with a compelling new cast of characters, it could become the first worthy successor. Hopefully Dan Trachtenberg and company are up to the task.
Prey arrives on Hulu in United States in the summer of 2022, and will be available internationally on Disney+. Let us know what you thought of the new Predator news in the comments below or on our social media!
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