Hulu’s Prey Puts a New Spin on the Predator Franchise

The Predator is a film villain with very basic motives. He’s an alien who comes to Earth to hunt for fun with some cool gadgets. He can make himself invisible, but can’t see his targets, he can only detect their body heat. In the years since 1987’s PredatorFilmmakers have tried to make a narrative for the Predator and create an expanded world. But, honestly, trying to quote-unquote explain the Predator never fails to be sort of lame, and that’s what director Dan Trachtenberg’s new reboot, PreyIt is right.

PreyHulu’s exclusive launch of, is simple and straightforward: Dog and girl vs. Predator. It’s clever that the story takes place in 1719 in the Northern Great Plains, not today. Amber Midthunder plays the young Comanche woman with strength. She is out to prove she is as good at hunting as her male companions. It’s an archetypal narrative—almost Disney Princess-esque—thrown onto a Predator movie with all the green goo and ridiculous kills that entails. The result is quite entertaining, even if it’s a mishmash of humor and beautiful landscapes.

Here’s what to know about how the Predator’s greatest foe evolved from a bodybuilder in the middle of the jungle to an 18th century Comanche woman.

Franchise origins

Naru and Midthunder

David Bukach—Hulu

John McTiernan’s 1987 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, titled The Predator, first showed the Predator prowling. The bulky Austrian action star plays Dutch, a commando who is part of a team dispatched in an unidentified but coded as Central American jungle to handle a Communist insurgency that goes awry when, surprise, there’s an alien on the loose, skinning people alive and murdering for fun. (For what it’s worth, the film was shot in Mexico.) It’s savvier and wilier than you might remember, as much a secret takedown of macho posturing as it is a celebration of it—and critics have been kinder to the film as time’s worn on. Dutch may be the largest man in a group of large men but his final victory is based on smarts and not ammo. The franchise was founded after selling nearly 100 million tickets.

It was 1990.Predator 2. set a Predator upon Los Angeles, and introduced more of the creature’s mythology—including a detail that it possesses an 18th Century Flintlock pistol as a trophy. In an interview with UPROXX, Trachtenberg said that the antique firearm was how it came. Prey It was a historical site.

The Predator, along with its brethren, were resurrected after more than a decade in dormancy to take on the Xenomorphs of the AlienMovies in the Alien vs. Alien vs. spinoffs, and then rebooted twice with 2010’s Predators and 2018’s Predator. The latter film—directed by Shane Black, who appeared in 1987’s Predator—was clearly designed to produce sequels that never actually came to fruition after controversy, bad reviews, and a mild box-office take.

Meanwhile, Trachtenberg had been working on Prey—written by Patrick Aison—since around 2016. It was originally intended to preserve the fact that it was ever a. Predator Movie a secret like Trachtenberg did before Cloverfield Lane, 10, but the ruse was revealed in 2020.

An old tale in a new setting

Cody Big Tobacco; Dakota Beavers; Stormee Kips, Skye Pelletier and Tymon Carrier

David Bukach—Hulu

Midthunder is a Native performer, best known for her role in The CW TV series Roswell in New MexicoNaru is the hunter who wants to be known as Naru even though she’s assisting her mother Michele Thrush in making herbal balms. When one member of her tribe is attacked by what the rest of the men assume to be a mountain lion, Naru realizes that there’s something bigger and badder prowling the plains. No one—including her brother (Dakota Beavers)—believes her, so she heads out with her loyal pup Sarii (a Very Good Dog) to take down the Predator on her own, and achieve what is called Ku̵htaamiaThis is a celebration of a hunter’s victory over large animals.

Along the way she meets resistance from doubters within her own community, and a group of evil French trappers that shout “merde” with such stereotypical exuberance they may as well be out of a Monty Python sketch. As they die at the hands of an alien friend, their deaths are incredibly bizarre.

Occasionally, this silliness clashes with Trachtenberg and his cinematographer Jeff Cutter’s desire to create visually sumptuous images. These drone photos of Naru and Sarii running through the open field are breathtaking, with the emptyness of the space being pierced only by small figures. Remove these frames from context and you might think you’re watching a very different movie—one where an extraterrestrial is not stomping around murdering for sport. There’s even something, dare I say, Malickian about the way Cutter and Trachtenberg capture the Nakoda land in Calgary where they staged the action.

Cultural specificity is a key ingredient in a franchise monster

Dane DiLiegro, The Predator

David Bukach—Hulu

The filmmakers, including Comanche and Blackfeet producer Jhane Myers, worked with Comanche consultant Juanita Pahdopony, and the result is a product that is maybe not entirely historically accurate—(there’s a Predator)—but also largely respectful. Hulu is also making a Comanche-dub of the movie that was presented to press. It’s mainly in English with some Comanche bits throughout. “This movie resets a whole lot of paradigms, and one of them is the language component,” Myers told in an interview.

Yet, the radicalst thing is about PreyIs that it’s a PredatorFilm, an elemental movie with almost exclusively indigenous cast. In various Predator sequels The Predator himself, here played by Dane DiLiegro, tends to overshadow the humans sparring against him, all of whom stand in the shadow of Schwarzenegger from McTiernan’s original. Naru is a strong performer. She’s an anti-Arnold in the best way, the kind of heroine who knows she can be underestimated and uses that to her advantage. Also, she is a shaman and owns an adorable dog. It’s a winning formula.

Read More From Time

Reach out to usSend your letters to


Related Articles

Back to top button