Prey Director Talks Redesigning Iconic Predator for New Film

The upcoming Predator prequel Prey will be taking the iconic hunter to an all-new setting, with director Dan Trachtenberg explaining that the terrifying extra-terrestrial will also have a slightly different appearance from what we've seen in previous films. The filmmaker detailed how the design of the original creature was at least somewhat conceived to accommodate a performer wearing the suit, while advances in practical effects allowed his monster to take on a more anatomically authentic appearance. Funnily enough, the original 1987 underwent some dramatic changes to its creature design due to the difficulty of filming sequences with cumbersome costumes in jungle terrain. Prey will be debuting on Hulu on August 5th.

"The [original] design for me, though incredible, functionally it's always been very top-heavy," Trachtenberg shared with SFX Magazine, per GamesRadar. "The head has always been so large to accommodate a person inside, especially when it was developed in the '80s. This is now the most refined, most proportional head-to-body ratio that's ever been. We actually were able to get the silhouette to be a little bit more anatomically correct. Frankly, it's the smallest, slimmest, I think, of the Predators, though still a hulking alien creature."

He continued, "It's a blend of great practical effects -- not just the Predator, but also other things we do in the movie -- but the Predator as well, and in getting everything people want out of a 'man in suit' kind of thing. And all the benefits of that with, I hope, not all the curses, and using CG elements to do things that the suit can't do."

Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, Prey is the story of a young woman, Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior. She 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.

With how much time there is between the events of this film and the original Predator, the filmmaker expressed how he aimed to capture a more primitive interpretation of the creature, not only in its look, but in its technology.

"So it's almost entirely a guy in a suit, but we've been able to find key ways to enhance it and hopefully trick the audience into feeling like, 'Oh man, this thing is a living, breathing creature,'" Trachtenberg recalled. "There's a lot of play with weapons we've seen in the other movies that are either in this one as well, or we have what could have been an earlier iteration of that weapon. Its mask is entirely new. Basically everything was, 'How do we make this thing feel much more creature-like, much more alien than it ever had before?'"

He continued, "I think that while the design is totally iconic, I've always worried a little about the movement and feeling like there's a professional wrestler inside that suit. We got this great performer Dane DiLiegro and found a way to incorporate his movements to make this creature feel much more feral, much more primal -- but still bipedal and intelligent."

Prey will be debuting on Hulu on August 5th.

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