PREY Director Dan Trachtenberg‘s first feature film, CLOVERFIELD LANE, was about 10 years ago, and a very different type of film than PREY. His more recent work on series such as THE BOYS and BLACK MIRROR kept him busy. But PREY as a second feature film was an interesting choice. In the recent press day for Hulu's PREY, Director Dan Trachtenberg talked about why PREY and why now.
PREY Interview with Director Dan Trachtenberg
On the making of PREY
Dan Trachtenberg: It just took this long to make this movie. I started developing this maybe a year after 10 Cloverfield Lane came out. And the last movie came out in theaters. And then, the Fox-Disney merger happened. And all of those things really delayed this from getting going.
But the main inspiration behind it was sort of a confluence of a couple of things. One was really wanting to make a movie that was primarily action-driven, mainly told visually, but not wanting that to just be fun, just be a good time, to wanna inject that with heart and emotion.
And so, the idea to pair the engine of a sports movie, of an underdog story with an action movie was a part of the genesis of this. And then, it became, like, “Well, what if the story could focus on characters that normally are not the heroes of the movie that they're in so that the watching of the movie could be linked to the experience that the characters go through?”
So, that led me down, I think, remembering something from early in my childhood when I was not allowed to watch R-rated movies, and being in the minivan on the way to a karate tournament, and all of the 6th graders had just seen PREDATOR. And I was not allowed to see it. And they described the entire movie to me on the trip to the karate tournament. And the one thing they said that really stuck with me was there was a fight on a bridge over a waterfall between Billy, the Native-American tracker, and the Predator.
I saw the movie eventually, years later, and that scene is not in the movie. And I'd always wanted to see that and really thinking about, “Oh, we've seen a lot of movies that are focused on Arnold Schwarzenegger and that kind of hero. What if we focused a movie on a different kind of character?” So all of that sort of swirled and came together into the genesis of this movie.
On Easter Eggs
Dan Trachtenberg shared briefly that there are some definitely Easter eggs for fans of the PREDATOR franchise.
Dan Trachtenberg: For fans of PREDATOR, the way in which Taabe… is cut when he gets cut. It's in a very specific way.
On Set Challenges
The cast filmed in Canada for 6 months during COVID. The country was still closed, no one saw their families. Certainly, those are challenges but one of the set elements Dan Trachtenberg mentioned being a challenge? The mud pit.
Dan Trachtenberg: The smell of that mud pit is something you never could have expected.
The haunting thing about that is that it didn't smell at all before anyone got in it. And then as soon as the human flesh entered that zone, suddenly, some chemical reaction happened and it was horrifying.
The newest entry in the PREDATOR franchise, 20th Century Studios’ PREY is an all-new action thriller set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago. It is the story of a young woman, Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior who has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains. So when danger threatens her camp, she sets out to protect her people. The prey she stalks, and ultimately confronts, turns out to be a highly evolved alien predator with a technically advanced arsenal, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two adversaries.
PREY is directed by Dan Trachtenberg, written by Patrick Aison (“Jack Ryan,” “Treadstone”), and produced by John Davis (“Jungle Cruise,” “The Predator”), Jhane Myers (“Monsters of God”), and Marty Ewing (“It: Chapter Two”), with Lawrence Gordon (“Watchmen”), Ben Rosenblatt (“Snowpiercer”), James E. Thomas, John C. Thomas and Marc Toberoff (“Fantasy Island”) serving as executive producers. The filmmakers were committed to creating a film that provides an accurate portrayal of the Comanche and brings a level of authenticity that rings true to its Indigenous peoples. Myers, an acclaimed filmmaker, Sundance Fellow and member of the Comanche nation herself is known for her attention and dedication to films surrounding the Comanche and Blackfeet nations and her passion for honoring the legacies of the Native communities. As a result, the film features a cast comprised almost entirely of Native and First Nation’s talent, including Amber Midthunder (“The Ice Road,” “Roswell, New Mexico”), newcomer Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp (“Sooyii”), Michelle Thrush (“The Journey Home”), Julian Black Antelope (“Tribal”). The movie also stars Dane DiLiegro (“American Horror Stories”) as the Predator.
Rating: R for strong bloody violence.
Runtime: 99 minutes
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Producers: John Davis, Jhane Myers, and Marty Ewing
Executive Producers: Lawrence Gordon, Ben Rosenblatt, James E. Thomas, John C. Thomas, and Marc Toberoff
Writer: Patrick Aison
Cast: Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope, Dane DiLiegro
PREY is steaming on HULU August 5th.