It seems safe to say that after the big ‘ole trainwreck that was Shane Black’s 2018 entry The Predator, the sci-fi action-horror franchise of the same name has effectively been circling the drain. It’s hard to say how much cache still remains in the idea of the Predator—an extrasolar hunter who stalks human beings for sport—but we’ll soon find out. Director Dan Trachtenberg of 10 Cloverfield Lane has taken on the latest revival of the concept that began with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987, promising a “back to basics” approach for Hulu in the 1700s-era prequel that is now titled Prey, after previously being known as Skulls.
The first teaser, released today, is effectively brusque, hinting at the basic setup of “native Americans vs. Predator.” As the official synopsis puts it:
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 is only Trachtenberg’s second feature, but the overwhelming critical acclaim for his tight, suspenseful 10 Cloverfield Lane has hopes riding pretty high for Prey. The screenplay was written by Patrick Aison, and producers include Jhane Myers, a member of the Comanche nation. Fittingly, the film has been cast almost entirely with Native and First Nation performers, including star Amber Midthunder, along Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope and newcomer Dakota Beavers.
Perhaps if we’re lucky, Prey will evoke a more simple, “man vs. nature” aesthetic and succeed as a bare bones thriller. We’ll find out in the mid summer, as Prey will debut Aug. 5, 2022 on Hulu. Check out the short teaser below.