- Warning: Spoilers below if you haven’t seen “Prey”.
- Director Dan Trachtenberg talked to Insider about a “Predator 2” Easter egg.
- He explained how a YouTuber helped make it happen.
“Predator” fans rejoice. Hulu’s “Prey” is a worthy addition to the franchise as this bloody look at the killer alien’s first trip to Earth offers hyper-violent action and a powerful story about one woman’s quest to become a leader.
On top of all that, director Dan Trachtenberg (“10 Cloverfield Lane”) cleverly included unique callbacks from the “Predator” franchise, including the origin of a feature from 1990’s “Predator 2.”
Set in 1719, “Prey” follows Naru’s (Amber Midthunder) journey to become a Comanche warrior, setting out to slay a beast in the forest, which, unbeknownst to her, is an assassin from another planet.
After Naru helps a White Colonist who is also hunting the Predator, he gives her a flintlock pistol in return. In her final battle with the Predator, the pistol is one of the things she uses to fight it.
In the final sequence of the film, Naru returns to her tribe with the Predator’s severed head, indicating that the threat is over. He then gives the pistol to the clan elder. He looks at the engraving on it, which reads: ‘Raphael Adolini 1715’.
This is a throwback to “Predator 2”.
At the end of this film, set in 1997 Los Angeles, Danny Glover’s LAPD Lt. Harrigan character is presented with this very pistol by a Predator.
The idea for the pistol came when Trachtenberg decided to set the story in the 18th century
Trachtenberg told Insider that the idea to include the gun in the film came very early in the development of “Prey.”
“What came first was the idea of doing a movie with Native Americans and specifically the Comanche,” Trachtenberg said, as he wanted to tie Predator further back in time than the franchise had done before.
“And then the ‘Predator 2’ lightbulb went off and I was like this is the date, that’s where we have to go,” he continued. “The pistol might even have been in my initial step into the studio.”
However, the pistol already had an origin story.
One comic shows the Predator taking the pistol from a pirate
In July 1996 Dark Horse Comics anthology series, a story titled “Predator: 1718” features a Predator fighting alongside a pirate named Raphael Adolini who gives the Predator his pistol before his death.
This was also an idea that “Predator” creators Jim and John Thomas had in the mid-1990s for a sequel to the franchise.
Trachtenberg said he wasn’t aware of the comic or the idea of a sequel when he and screenwriter Patrick Ison developed “Prey,” but has since been filled in for the story.
“I was only working on the film when I found out,” he said. “I expected when we got the green light that we were going to get the ‘Predator’ Bible. ‘Here’s all the information you need: the words we use, all the weapons that have been used.’ That doesn’t really exist in the studio. There was no continuity.”
This led to a challenge when it came time to locate the gun mount.
A YouTuber Created the Pistol You See in ‘Prey’
Trachtenberg said he doesn’t know where the “Predator 2” gun is, assuming it’s buried deep in the Fox studio archives. So ‘Prey’ master prop James Rosenthal took it upon himself to do it. But in the process, Rosenthal caught a huge break.
“He ended up on YouTube watching a fan vlogger who makes replica guns,” Trachtenberg said. “On the shelf behind him in the shot was the ‘Predator 2’ gun. So he reached out to this vlogger and said, ‘I need it. It looks better than anything I could make’. So the gun in the movie is from this dude’s shelf.’
Correctly. A ‘Predator’ fan built the pistol in ‘Prey’.
Trachtenberg Thinks It Would Be Fun To Continue The Gun’s Journey In A ‘Prey’ Sequel
Now, a “Prey” sequel will have to figure out how to get the gun in the hands of a Predator so the scene in “Predator 2” makes sense. Trachtenberg admits he’s not too worried.
“I don’t think we’ve painted ourselves into a corner,” he said. “One thing shouldn’t lead to any sequels, but like in this movie, it’s fun to keep including to make lore out of something that was just an idea. Embrace it.”
While no sequel has been announced, the prospect of one looks good. The animated end credits — which Trachtenberg said were created by seven indigenous artists — show the Predator starships returning to Earth for revenge.
And Trachtenberg says he has ideas for how to move forward.
“I’ve been thinking about this movie since I was in 3rd grade, so there’s definitely fun stuff in that universe for me,” he said. “It would be awesome to do more.”
“Prey” is currently available on Hulu.