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Prey 2: Will The Predator Prequel's Sequel Ever Happen?

The Predator franchise has been terrorizing audiences since Arnold Schwarzenegger battled the devious alien in 1987. Following the action thriller's success, 20th Century Studios consistently pumped out sequels, spin-offs, and various other multimedia projects like comics and video games. While the series has its fans, the franchise's theatrical projects have seen mixed critical results. To date, the Predator property has debuted three sequels and two crossover films with the coveted Alien franchise. In 2022, the series received a prequel in the form of "Prey," which blew audiences and critics away. 

Upon release, Looper critic Matthew Jackson awarded "Prey" a 10/10 score, praising the picture's captivating performances and stellar action sequences. Indigenous critics also appreciated "Prey" for its nuanced narrative and empathetic representation. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, the film is set in the early 1700s and follows Comanche warrior Naru (Amber Midthunder) on a quest to kill a mysterious, out-of-this-world creature, aka the Predator. A breath of fresh air, "Prey" was a success for the franchise after 2018's maligned "The Predator." With a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes, "Prey" is the highest-ranked film in the entire franchise.

Now, fans are eager to see Naru's journey continue with "Prey 2." Despite such positive acclaim and impressive viewership numbers — it stands out as one of Hulu's most-watched premieres, 20th Century Studios has been relatively quiet about a sequel. While the creatives are being tight-lipped, it doesn't mean that a "Prey 2" isn't in development. 

Why isn't Prey 2 happening yet?

The response to "Prey" was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, making it the best film in the franchise since the iconic original. The prequel received 6 Emmy nominations, including nods for best direction and best television movie. With such acclaim and positive fan reception, one would assume that "Prey 2" would be of major importance to 20th Century Studios execs. 

The reason "Prey 2" hasn't manifested yet is because the property is going in an entirely new direction. With Dan Trachtenberg at the helm, the franchise is set to continue with a movie currently titled "Badlands." Expected to begin production in late 2024, Deadline reports that Elle Fanning is circling the project. "Badlands" plot details are unknown, but it's said to be a standalone entry that expands the Predator universe. Trachtenberg also co-wrote the film.

While some fans might be disappointed that a "Prey 2" isn't heading into production, Deadline adds that 20th Century Studios is still interested in a follow-up to the prequel. Though nothing has been officially announced, the project is said to be in early development, and the intention is that Naru star Amber Midthunder will return as the badass warrior. "Badlands" is likely a priority for the studio, as it's possibly being set-up as a launchpad for future, contemporary films. With "Prey," future entries can probably only take place in the 1700s, meaning there's not much room for expansion. 

What Dan Trachtenberg and Amber Midthunder have said about Prey 2

Even before "Prey" was released, Dan Trachtenberg expressed interest in a sequel. It should be noted that all the Predator films have largely been divorced from one another, with the only recurring element being the titular alien. Before the announcement of "Badlands," Trachtenberg was adamant in both his desire to return to the franchise and to make a "Prey" sequel. 

When Looper sister site /Film asked the director about the "Prey" credits sequence, which details Naru's future battles, Trachtenberg said that tease was deliberate. "I really just can't speak to any specifics, but we put that in there for a reason, and we have never stopped. We were talking about what else we could do very early and have not shut our mouths yet," he said in late 2023. In a separate interview with ComicBook, Trachtenberg mentioned that it was important to create a sequel that added something to the franchise, emphasizing how it shouldn't just simply be a next part. 

While Trachtenberg has consistently remained coy about making a direct sequel to "Prey", Midthunder hasn't been shy about wanting to return to the series. In early 2023, the star told Variety that she hoped "Prey 2" would move forward. "I don't have a date for you. This is not an announcement, but I'm not saying it's not," she said. "We talk all the time about all kinds of things and that was probably one. I'm ready. I loved that experience. I love that movie, and I would be happy to see where else we can take it." 

What could be explored in Prey 2?

While there are no concrete "Prey 2" plot details, it's fair to assume that the sequel would follow the exploits of the Comanche tribe and their relationship with the Predator. Previous Predator films haven't featured recurring protagonists, but all signs point to the hypothetical sequel continuing Naru's (Midthunder) story. As the 2022 film comes to a close, Naru returns to her tribe, having defeated the mysterious alien. 

The end credits scene for "Prey" features drawings that dramatize Naru's journey. The sequence wraps up by showing Naru and her tribe looking at three Predator dropships, suggesting that a future project would show the eventual battle or war the tribe would wage against the aliens. With Naru now operating as the War Chief, the sequel will likely go deeper into her psyche, exploring how her she strategizes against the creatures. It would be interesting to see Naru train members of her tribe to help destroy the Predators. 

It's unclear if there will be a significant time jump between "Prey" and its sequel, but it would be fascinating to see a wiser, more mature Naru continuing the war effort. If a time jump happens, the "Prey" sequel could also further explore the brutal effects of colonization, expanding on the French scenes from the first film. 

Who would star in Prey 2?

Should "Prey 2" ever manifest, it will be interesting to see if the studio decides to not bring back Amber Midthunder's Naru. While the character's future is teased, it's always possible that the "Prey 2" story could go in a radically different direction. Perhaps the sequel does a major time jump, showing the next generation of Comanche warriors battling Predators? While that's an intriguing idea, Midthunder has consistently mentioned that she's interested in returning, so it's fair to say she'll be back for "Prey 2." The same can also be said for other characters in Naru's tribe, like her mother Aruka (Michelle Thrush). 

Because plot details for "Prey 2" are non-existent, it'll be difficult to speculate on the sequel's cast. Right now is a particularly interesting time for the Predator franchise, as it seems to want to rapidly expand with the confirmation of "Badlands." While details on that film are also slim, it's possible that both "Badlands" and "Prey 2" could be connected, especially with the confirmation that Dan Trachtenberg is spearheading the former. 

While fans wait for more news on "Prey 2," they should check out 12 movies just like "Prey" in the meantime.