J. Kim Murphy Dan Trachtenberg was still developing his action movie brainchild “Prey,” a 1700s-set take on the “Predator” franchise, when he was informed that the film would be the first entry in the storied action series to debut outside of theaters.The filmmaker first gave his pitch for “Prey” to 20th Century Fox hot off the heels of his 2016 directorial debut, “10 Cloverfield Lane” — a critically beloved, post-apocalyptic potboiler that flipped a modest production budget into a $110 million haul at the global box office.
While Trachtenberg’s take on “Predator” initially drew enthusiasm, the project fell to the wayside as The Walt Disney Company began its acquisition of 20th Century Fox.
Once the dust settled, the fate of “Prey” changed, from a wide theatrical release to a straight-to-streaming bow. “After the merger happened, that was when discussion of it coming to Hulu started,” Trachtenberg told Variety.But the director wasn’t going to let a less glamorous distribution plan prevent him from putting out all the stops on the period details and bloody violence of “Prey.”“We made the movie with the intent of making it a giant cinematic theatrical experience,” Trachtenberg said. “I’ve worked in a lot of television where we’re always boxed in the format we have to work in.
That was not the case here.”“Prey” thoughtfully shifts the dynamic of “Predator” to the Great Plains, at a time when some Native Americans still live untouched by encroaching colonial forces.Read more on variety.com