PREY continues its unprecedented success. Following its wide streaming release on Hulu last week, the fifth installment in the Predator franchise certified itself as the No. 1 premiere on the green-branded streaming service, which includes all film and television debuts. The 100-minute prequel brings the Predator to 1719 Northern Great Plains, where a more "feral" version of the blockbuster beast squares off against a tribe of Comanche warriors. While Dane DiLiegro's iteration of the Predator puts a bigger emphasis on hand-to-hand combat, it still possesses many of the auxiliary gadgets that put the trophy-seeking extraterrestrial on the map.
Speaking to ComicBook.com, PREY effects artists Tom Woodruff and Alex Gillis noted that they did attempt to devolve this Predator in his combative style, while simultaneously improving its design thanks to modern practical effects.
"It's the evolution of the Predator himself, or the de-evolution," Woodruff explained. "And then it's also the evolution of whatever the state of the art is right now in performing with practical effects creatures. I'll speak to the technical end of certain components, where the same type of things that we use back on the original Predator, like a foam latex skin with a spandex backing.
"Some of the things that are different is that we've got very, very concise digital motors that can be used to articulate the face that we didn't have back then. And that made it possible for us to slim down the head of the predator because our director Dan Trachtenberg wanted to see the head slim down quite a bit," Woodruff continued. "And it came right down to where it fit just within an inch of Dane's head. And one of the really cool things that was different was that we were able to digitally scan Dane and the artwork of the Predator head was created in 3D form. So we were able to pre-visualize where Dane's head would be and where the Predator head would be, and then print them out. And that became the basis of creating a suit that was different from what we'd seen before."
Gillis added that while PREY is under the 20th Century Studios banner, it was executed in a throwback way.
"It's always a partnership with the filmmakers. And in this case, this felt more like an old school film, despite being a studio film. This feels like a Fox movie, like a great old school Fox movie," Gillis said. "This was Dan Trachtenberg's vision, and we got to work directly with him without it running through too much studio input. And one of the things he said to us very early on was that he wanted a very lean Predator and he wanted it to be more like a horror character. And so those were two great anchor points that we used in conceiving this character.
"And then as we started discussing it with him more, we realized, well, we've got to downgrade the Predator's weaponry a little bit because it's in the past," Gillis continued. "And because we wanted it to not be too overpowering to the indigenous weaponry, right? So all those things were factoring into this design. And ultimately we were given more freedom to go in a different direction than we have been perhaps on other Predator films."
Trachtenberg has expressed significant interest in continuing the Predator franchise after PREY, stressing that he wants to do things "that haven't been done before." That said, many have clamored for the Predator to run it back with Alien's Xenomorph now that both franchises have a new lease on life at Disney.
Gillis reiterated that the Alien vs. Predator story has been told before, but he is invested in expanding the universe even further.
"I think there's certainly some good stories that could be told in that world, and it's not like it hasn't been done," Gillis said. "What excites me about Disney's involvement in this is what they've done with the Star Wars universe, where you can have these standalone side story movies. It expands the universe and expands possibilities. So we're looking forward to filling in those spaces with cool creatures, cool stories."
PREY is now streaming on Hulu.