There are a lot of interesting things about Prey, the fifth Predator movie that isn’t a cross-over with Alien. First of all, this is a great movie that stays true to the original Predator. You know, where the movie was more interested in showing us a fight between a Predator and a human and kind of left all the lore up to the audience’s imagination? In Prey, Naru, played by Amber Midthunder, takes the place of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch. Naru is a Comanche warrior who makes it hard to tell who is hunting and who is being hunted. (Like the first movie, this one is also very violent.)
Second, this movie takes place in 1719, which is right where Predator 2 left off when a Predator gave Mike Harrigan, played by Danny Glover, a pistol from 1715. As director Dan Trachtenberg says up front, that seems like a much more interesting way to go than making two Alien vs. Predator movies, which is what two Alien vs. Predator movies would have been.
Also, for some strange reason, the movie Prey won’t be shown in theaters, even though it would be a great choice. Disney wants Prey to be a movie that gets people to watch Hulu, as Trachtenberg says up front. (And based on what Adam Very at Variety has written, this seems to be what he is saying as well. If Prey was ever shown in theaters at all, it would go to HBO Max. Disney can put it on a platform they already own if it doesn’t.)
Trachtenberg explains below why he wanted to make a Predator movie that was similar to the first one but didn’t just copy it verbatim. He talks about how the story of Prey begins at the end of Predator 2. And yes, he wants Prey to be in theaters, which is why he made it, but at the end of the day, you’re getting a great movie theater experience right in your own home. (Trachtenberg was very good at finding the good in this situation.)
Since I saw this movie, I can’t stop thinking about “Pray” by MC Hammer. I think it would have gone great with this movie that takes place in the 1700s.
The funny thing is… I think that having an animated end credit sequence is like bringing back the movie’s ending theme song. Because it’s something we don’t get as often as we used to. Putting it together was really hard. We didn’t want to feel like we were watching Mannequin or Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead…
I wasn’t expecting to hear about these two movies during this interview.
Of course. You will, of course, say something like this in one of your interviews. So, we joked about what this movie’s end credits theme song would be. I hope that’s what movies do because that would be awesome. But for us, the animated title sequence at the end of the movie is the thing we’re bringing back.
I actually just recently watched Mannequin again. During the whole movie, “Nothing’s Going to Stop Us Now” doesn’t play at all. It only comes at the end. I thought it was in that movie five times.
Also, it was one of the few times that the end credits were turquoise. Colors rarely change in movies. I think Superbad changed the color of its credit sequence, and Mannequin wore teal like it was going out of style.
I think it’s still possible to change the colors of the end credits of Prey to teal.
No more time. No more time.
I love the first Predator movie a lot. And, like a lot of other people, aren’t that interested in the other ones. I think what you did here was talk less about the backstory and more about what made the first Predator movie so popular. ” Am I way off?
No, that’s not wrong at all. I think the challenge is to make it feel like the first one did, but not like we’re just going over the same ground again. But it was the reason why the creatures were changed. On the one hand, it had to feel unmistakably Predator. But also do it in an unexpected way. The first movie was so great because you saw this cloaked being, which was already cool, and then you saw it with a bio-mask. When I was young and saw it, I thought, “Oh, that’s the bad guy.” In this movie, that’s the coolest thing. Then, at the end, you see it in its final form, and you’re like, “Oh no, that’s what it is?”
So I really wanted this movie to have the same three parts. And to have fun set pieces when it’s hidden, making the most of that, and then to see it when it’s wearing a mask and have fun set pieces there. And then, yet again, we’ll show you one more thing we have up our sleeves about how it will look in the end. So that the franchise can continue to add new symbols.
I feel like some of the other sequels focused more on the history of the predators than just having the Predator hunt and fight someone.
Yes. I think it was very important for this to feel like a movie, and especially like a Predator movie. You see? “It’s just a Predator movie,” instead of “It’s just a Predator movie.” This movie is always about Nadu’s story. It’s an adventure story and a coming-of-age story, and everything serves those goals. Her underdog story is even better because she’s up against this crazy, powerful, and seemingly impossible threat, which is another thing that connects it to the original. The original was a mix of action, sci-fi, and horror like this one. Again, this one tried to mix things up, but what made it more interesting and new to me was that it was more of an adventure, suspense, science fiction, and horror mix.
So I’d never seen all of Predator 2 before. So yesterday I watched it. I didn’t know that when a Predator gives Danny Glover the pistol from 1715 in Predator 2, that’s the start of Prey. So I’m happy I saw it. But do you want Predator 2 to come first?
I think that gun was also the inspiration for the ending of the Aliens vs. Predator movies. You see?
It did. I’d like to say something about that, but go ahead.
So I think, and I guess you didn’t remember that from the movie, that somehow, for me, that did seem to affect how we got to our date.
I hadn’t seen the whole thing before. I didn’t even know that scene was in there. Predator 2 isn’t talked about as much as it used to be. I first saw Prey…
How do you feel about the AVP? How Predator 2 was related to AVP?
So, after I saw it, I read about it. It looks like the people who did the special effects also worked on Aliens, so they thought it would be funny to throw that in there. But it seems like the next story should have been about the gun, not a fight between a Xenomorph and a Predator.
Randomly, a Predator gives a pistol to a human for no reason. This seems like the better story to take from the end of Predator 2, so we should find out what it means.
So what gives with this only being on Hulu? I went to the theater to see this, and it was a great movie.
Yeah… I mean, look, we made it to be a big theater experience, but it’s not coming out that way, which is a shame. So you can’t see in the theater, but on the plus side, you’re getting a huge theater experience right in your living room. It’s not like a place where people just dump videos. “This is a real movie,” it seems to say.
It’s confusing because I don’t know what was going on here, other than studio politics.
There are so many places where people want people to experience their… They want things to have a high-end feel. Right?
So Hulu really hasn’t had… There hasn’t been a 20th baby from a franchise yet. So they want to really get the word out that “we’re not just putting out small, low-budget stuff. This is also a place where you can have big movie experiences.
From the outside, it was clear that the last one didn’t do as well as people had hoped. I wonder, from the outside, if Disney even wants to be in the Predator business. But from what you’ve said, it sounds like they do.
That’s not how it was. I have to say this.
After the merger, I was scared, and then the Allens [Alan Horn and Alan Bergman] were going to look at the script and see if they wanted to make it. “Oh no, what if they don’t get it?” I thought. What do you know? It was great. They never said, “Stop being so mean.” Nothing was ever changed.
No, they didn’t tell them to stop fighting. This movie is very dangerous.
In fact, they didn’t. In fact, they didn’t. In fact, they wanted what everyone wants, which is more dogs. Yeah, the whole point of the dog was to make it feel like The Road Warrior. We wanted Nadu and her dog to be like the silhouette of Mad Max and the dog. They really liked that, and they told us to do more there. So it wasn’t that they never had anything wrong to say about the movie and loved it when they saw the first cut and wanted to make it as big as possible to make Hulu an excellent place for big movies like this.