'Prey' director explains how an Easter egg from 'Predator 2' found its way into the end of the new movie
- Warning: Spoilers below if you haven't seen "Prey."
- Director Dan Trachtenberg talked to Insider about a "Predator 2" Easter egg.
"Predator" fans rejoice. Hulu's "Prey" is a worthy addition to the franchise as this bloody look at the alien killer's first journey onto Earth delivers ultra-violent action and a powerful story about one woman's quest to becoming a leader.
On top of all that, director Dan Trachtenberg ("10 Cloverfield Lane") cleverly included unique callbacks from the "Predator" franchise, including the origin of a hallmark from 1990's "Predator 2."
Set in 1719, "Prey" follows the journey of Naru (Amber Midthunder) to becoming a Comanche warrior by setting out to kill a beast in the woods, which, unbeknownst to her, is a killer from another planet.
After Naru helps a White settler who is also hunting the Predator, he gives her a flintlock pistol in return. In her final battle with the Predator, the pistol is one of the things she uses to battle it.
In the movie's final sequence, Naru returns to her tribe with the severed head of the Predator, showing that the threat is over. She then hands the pistol to the elder of the tribe. He looks at the engraving on it, which reads: "Raphael Adolini 1715."
This is a callback to "Predator 2."
At the end of that movie, which is set in 1997 Los Angeles, Danny Glover's LAPD Lieutenant Harrigan character is gifted that exact pistol from a Predator.
The idea of the pistol came when Trachtenberg decided to place the story in the 18th century
Trachtenberg told Insider that the idea of including the pistol in the movie came very early on in the development of "Prey."
"What came first was the idea of doing a movie with Native American protagonists and Comanche in particular," Trachtenberg said, as he wanted to plug in Predator farther back in time than has ever been done before in the franchise.
"And then the 'Predator 2' light bulb went off and I was like, that's the date, that's where we should go," he continued. "The pistol might have even been in my initial pitch to the studio."
However, the pistol already had an origin story.
A comic has the Predator getting the pistol from a pirate
In a July 1996 Dark Horse Comics anthology series, a story titled "Predator: 1718" features a Predator battling alongside a pirate named Raphael Adolini who gives the Predator his pistol before his death.
That was also an idea "Predator" creators Jim and John Thomas had in the mid-1990s for a sequel in the franchise.
Trachtenberg said he wasn't aware of the comic or the sequel idea when he and screenwriter Patrick Aison developed "Prey," but has since been filled in on the history.
"It was only working on the movie that I learned about it," he said. "I was expecting when we got the go-ahead that we would get the 'Predator' bible. 'Here's all the info you need: the words we use, all the weapons that have been used.' That doesn't really exist at the studio. There's been no continuity."
This led to a challenge when it came time to track down the pistol prop.
A YouTuber created the pistol you see in 'Prey'
Trachtenberg said he doesn't know where the "Predator 2" pistol is located, assuming it's buried deep in the Fox studio archives. So, "Prey" prop master James Rosenthal was tasked with making it. But in that process, Rosenthal caught a huge break.
"He ended up on YouTube and was watching a fan vlogger who makes replica weapons," Trachtenberg said. "On the shelf behind him in the shot was the 'Predator 2' gun. So he reached out to that vlogger and said, 'I need that. That looks better than anything I could make.' So the pistol in the movie is from the shelf of this dude."
That's right. A "Predator" fan built the pistol in "Prey."
Trachtenberg thinks it would be fun to continue the journey of the pistol in a 'Prey' sequel
Now, a "Prey" sequel would need to figure out how to get the pistol in the hands of a Predator so the scene in "Predator 2" makes sense. Trachtenberg admits he's not too concerned.
"I don't think we've painted ourselves into a corner," he said. "One thing should not drive any sequel, but like in this movie, it's a fun thing to continue to include to make lore out of something that was just an idea. To embrace it."
Though no sequel has been announced, the prospect of one looks good. The animated end credits — which Trachtenberg said were created by seven indigenous artists — show the Predator spaceships coming back to Earth for revenge.
And Trachtenberg says he has ideas of how to go forward.
"I've been thinking about this movie since I was in 3rd grade so there is definitely fun stuff brewing inside this universe for me," he said. "It would be awesome to make more."
"Prey" is currently available on Hulu.
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