Dan Trachtenberg talks about making 'Prey'
New Delhi: In his attempt to craft the story of "The Predator" prequel "Prey", filmmaker Dan Trachtenberg says he tried to blend disparate genres to give a "visceral and emotional" experience, just like the original.
Set in the 18th century, "Prey" precedes the events of Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1987 classic "The Predator" and its three follow-ups - "Predator 2" (1990), "Predators" (2010) and "The Predator" (2018).
Trachtenberg, who made his directing debut with critically acclaimed horror thriller film "10 Cloverfield Lane" (2016), said he has vivid memories of the original movie, which was probably one of the first films to incorporate the essence of different genres into one.
"The precedent was set by the original 'Predator' and being one of the first that I experienced growing up that did genre mashups. It was a military movie and an action movie mashed up with a horror movie. I was excited about the idea of making our movie much more of an adventure film and mashing that up with suspense and horror," Trachtenberg told PTI in a virtual interview.
"Prey", currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar in India, follows the story of a young woman named Naru (Amber Midthunder), a fierce and highly skilled warrior who has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters of the Comanche Nation, the indigenous Native American tribe.
Naru comes in contact with a highly evolved alien predator that hunts humans for sport and decides to protect her tribe from it, whilst fighting against wilderness and fur traders.
"Prey" is an underdog story with beats of a sports movie, Trachtenberg said.
"I wanted to give both a visceral and emotional experience. We thought about taking the engine of a sports movie, an underdog story with the theme of persistence and rising to the occasion and dealing with doubt from all sources inside and out. So, that's how we created a real soul for this movie that also has plenty of rock and roll in it," he added.
As a member of the Comanche community, producer Jhane Myers said she ensured that the film was historically accurate.
"I am a Comanche, so it was really important that our spirit gets carried into this film. When I was approached for this project, I wanted this as I grew up on 'The Predator' franchise. That was like one of the very first action-adventure films I had seen. I was really thrilled to do this and to infuse every part that I've ever seen growing up and ever been told like the oral histories as well as anything I've ever created artistically. I got to throw all of those into this 'Predator' movie. For me, it is the movie that makes my life," Myers said.
"Prey" is a 20th Century Studios production and also features Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope and Dane DiLiegro.