Prey Director Dan Trachtenberg on Creating the ‘Feral’ Predator

Dane DiLiegro as the Predator in 20th Century Studios’ PREY, exclusively on Hulu. Photo by David Bukach.

Prey is taking the Predator franchise back to its roots, and director Dan Trachtenberg and the crew have been changing things up by setting the film in the 1700s following a young Comanche warrior. The film currently has a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and you can check out our review here. The director shares some insight on the film and the Predator’s practical and CG effects during the global press conference.

“Most of it is practical; some of it is CG,” Trachtenberg said. “Yeah, I mean, frankly, I have a different point of view than I think most horror filmmakers or people that have worked, you know, and even fans. I’m not someone who thinks that CG is awful, and I fetishize practical visual effects and all those and suit work and all those things.”

The original Predator film uses a mix of practical effects and visual effects. Once audiences get to see the alien hunter, it featured a man inside a suit. With Prey, the director explains the blending of both worlds to create the best version of the alien antagonist.

“I oftentimes feel just as pulled out of a movie by feeling like I see the man in that suit as much as I’ve been pulled out of a movie they’re feeling like I feel the artifice in the digitally recreated creature or visual effect,” Trachtenberg explained. “So I really wanted to really combine both thoughts and mainly rely on the practical suit. But, like, even just using visual effects to enhance, like, his calf muscles. And sometimes the hands are changed and sometimes we see the throat throbbing.”

The Predator in the film is nicknamed Feral, and Trachtenberg reveals why it gets that name.

“It’s the reason why we nicknamed him Feral,” the director said. “I really wanted to feel that it was ferocious and alien and not a guy lumbering around in a suit, which sometimes in some moments in the other Predators it can feel like.”

Prey is now available to stream on Hulu.

About Prey

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.

“Prey” stars Amber Midthunder (“The Ice Road,” “Roswell, New Mexico”), newcomer Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp (“Sooyii”), Michelle Thrush (“The Journey Home”), Julian Black Antelope (“Tribal”), and Dane DiLiegro (“American Horror Stories”) as the Predator.

The film is directed by Dan Trachtenberg and written by Patrick Aison (“Jack Ryan,” “Treadstone”), with a story by Patrick Aison & Dan Trachtenberg based on characters created by Jim Thomas & John Thomas.

It is produced by John Davis (“Jungle Cruise,” “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.

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