Following the success of Prey, Dan Trachtenberg is returning to direct another Predator film: Badlands, this time set in the future.
Following the wibbly-wobbly mess that was 2018’s The Predator, 20th Century Studios regained its footing with Prey in 2022. Starring Amber Midthunder, it was a back-to-basics approach to the Predator franchise – set in 1719, it told the simple story of Native Americans versus colossal alien big-game hunter.
Director Dan Trachtenberg clearly enjoyed the experience, since he’s signed up to make another Predator film. It won’t be a direct sequel to Prey, however; called Badlands, it is, according to The Hollywood Reporter, set “sometime in the future” and will also feature a female lead. (It’d be amazing if it was Sissy Spacek.)
This initially left us thinking about Predators hunting their human quarry among flying cars and jet packs, until we remembered that 1990’s Predator 2 (starring the great Danny Glover and Bill Paxton, among others) was set in a particularly sweaty 1997. Could it be that Trachtenberg’s Predator film will be set a few years’ hence, like that film? Prey was, after all, loosely inspired by Predator 2, given that the dated flintlock pistol briefly seen in that film suggested the setting for Trachtenberg’s 18th century-set outing.
The positive reception to Prey has prompted 20th Century studios to plan more than one Predator film – including a direct Prey sequel – with Trachtenberg reportedly “at the centre” of all of them.
Badlands appears to be the furthest along of these new Predator films, though, with production said to be getting underway in July.
This August, meanwhile, sees the release of Alien: Romulus (now it’s confirmed title), which, like Prey before it, will offer a more stripped-down approach to 20th Century Studios’ Alien franchise following Ridley Scott’s prequels. Directed by Fede Alvarez and featuring a young cast including Cailee Spaeny and Isabela Merced, it was originally set to be released direct to streaming before the studio changed its mind and scheduled a cinema release.
Prey, sadly, wasn’t so lucky, and went straight to Disney+ in the UK and Hulu in the US. Given just how well-received Prey was, it’s just possible that Badlands will get the cinema outing that Trachtenberg’s previous outing was denied.
More on this as it comes in.
Read more: What went wrong with The Predator?