Prey director Dan Trachtenberg opens up about a cut action sequence and his approach to making The Predator menacing to a new generation.
Director Dan Trachtenberg reveals details about a cut fight scene from his Predator prequel Prey. The horror/thriller marks the fifth entry in the main continuity of the long-running franchise and the seventh overall when including the Alien vs. Predator movies. Prey marks Trachtenberg’s second feature film after previously directing the highly praised 10 Cloverfield Lane in 2016.
Prey has the distinction of being the first film in the Predator franchise not set in the present. The film follows Amber Midthunder’s Naru, a member of the Comanche tribe, in 1719 America. After witnessing what is believed to be a “thunderbird,” it is soon revealed that what she has seen is in fact the arrival of a Predator from another world. Armed with only weapons of the time and their wits, Naru and the Comanche must do battle with an unseen foe whose technology and bloodlust is far beyond their own.
In an interview with Slashfilm, Trachtenberg opened up about a sequence that he regrettably had to cut from the film. The director spoke about his love of the original 1987 classic and the things he felt he had to include in his entry to the Predator mythos, which included a thrilling treetop chase between Naru and the Predator. Apparently, the sequence made it as far as the pre-visualization phase, but ultimately could not be included in the final product. See what he said below:
“I was, for whatever reason, really obsessed with having the fights be more vertical and seeing the Predator leaping through trees. By the way, I’m just now remembering there was an original draft for this for a long time — I mean, not just the draft, we pre-vized and almost had a fight where they were both up in trees in a treetop chase, just because that was hinted at in the physicality in the original “Predator” movie and never fully capitalized on.”
Despite its director removing what sounds like a thrilling action sequence, Prey is being warmly received by both critics and audiences. The film currently sits at a 92% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, giving it a higher critical score than the original Predator, which sits at 80%. Audiences are also connecting with the film, giving it an 82% on the review aggregator. Given this highly positive response, many are wondering why Disney has chosen not to give the film a theatrical release, as it seems they would have a surefire hit on their hands.
Regardless of its release strategy, it is heartening to see another solid entry in the Predator series. After audiences and critics mostly dismissed Shane Black’s 2018 sequel, The Predator, and gave a middling response to Robert Rodriguez’s 2010 film Predators, there was a feeling amongst fans that the series had run out of momentum. However, by returning the franchise to its survival horror roots with Prey, Dan Trachtenberg has perhaps made the most worthy entry in the franchise since John McTiernan’s original film.
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