Prey director talks his Predator design, Mad Max influence, and essential advice from JJ Abrams

Making Prey, the latest installment in the ever-expanding Predator series, was not without its challenges. And yet, setting the film apart from its predecessors was not the insurmountable hurdle that director Dan Tractenberg hoped for.

Inspired by Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic Park and Jaws, the filmmaker takes things back to basics with the new action movie, setting it 270 years before the events of the 1987 original, and it’s even more refreshing. Prey centers on Naru, a young Comanche warrior who is determined to prove that she is just as good a hunter as her brother and her friends. Having grown tired of her supposedly hampering efforts, the men dismiss Naru when she insists that she noticed something strange killing animals near her camp, leading her on a solitary mission to protect her tribe from the new and formidable threat.

Ahead of the film’s release on Disney Plus (UK) and Hulu (US), Total Film caught up with Trachtenberg to discuss the most difficult aspects of making the film (working with real animals on set and the lack of dialogue of the film) to the casting. Amber Midthunder in the title role, freaking out about designing her own Predator of her own, and remembering the advice JJ Abrams gave her while making 10 Cloverfield Lane. She also mentions the importance of Prey being released on streaming platforms with a Comanche voice and why his creature is “fiercer” than the previous ones. Here are our questions and answers, edited for length and clarity.

Amber Midthunder as Naru in Prey

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios/Hulu)

TF: I wanted to ask about the design of the Predator and what the process of finding his latest skin, the skull mask, was like. Have you ever had a moment where you were like, “Oh my gosh, I’m designing my own Predator?”

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