How the “Predator 2” Easter egg got into the movie, how the gun was made
- Warning: Spoilers below if you haven’t seen “Prey”.
- Director Dan Trachtenberg spoke to Insider about a “Predator 2” Easter egg.
- He explained how a YouTuber helped achieve success.
“Predator” fans rejoice. Hulu’s “Prey” is a worthy addition to the franchise, as this gory look at the alien killer’s first voyage to Earth delivers ultra-violent action and a powerful story about one woman’s quest to become a leader.
On top of all that, director Dan Trachtenberg (“10 Cloverfield Lane”) cleverly included unique callbacks to the “Predator” franchise, including a trademark 1990s “Predator 2” origin.
Set in 1719, “Prey” follows Naru (Amber Midthunder)’s journey to become a Comanche warrior by setting out to slay a beast in the woods, which, unbeknownst to him, is a killer from another planet.
After Naru helps a white settler who is also hunting the Predator, he in return gives him a flintlock pistol. In her final battle with the Predator, the gun is one of the things she uses to fight it.
In the film’s final sequence, Naru returns to his tribe with the Predator’s severed head, showing that the threat is over. She then hands the gun to the elder of the tribe. He looks at the engraving on it, which says: “Raphaël Adolini 1715”.
This is a callback to “Predator 2”.
At the end of this film, which is set in 1997 Los Angeles, Danny Glover’s character LAPD Lieutenant Harrigan receives this exact gun from a Predator.
The idea for the pistol came when Trachtenberg decided to set the story in the 18th century
Trachtenberg told Insider that the idea of including the gun in the film came very early in the development of “Prey.”
“What came first was the idea of making a movie with Native American and Comanche protagonists in particular,” Trachtenberg said, as he wanted to plug Predator further back in time than ever before in the franchise.
“And then the ‘Predator 2’ light bulb went out and I was like, this is the date, this is where we should go,” he continued. “The gun might even have been in my initial talk at the studio.”
However, the gun already had an origin story.
Comic shows the Predator getting the gun from a pirate
In a July 1996 Dark Horse Comics anthology series, a story titled “Predator: 1718” features a Predator fighting alongside a pirate named Raphael Adolini who gives the Predator his gun before he dies.
It was also an idea that “Predator” creators Jim and John Thomas had in the mid-1990s for a sequel in the franchise.
Trachtenberg said he was unaware of the comic or the idea for the sequel when he and screenwriter Patrick Aison developed “Prey,” but has since learned about the story.
“It was only while working on the film that I heard about it,” he said. “When we got the green light, I expected we would get the ‘Predator’ bible. ‘Here is all the information you need: the words we use, all the weapons that have been used.’ It doesn’t really exist in the studio. There was no continuity.”
This led to a challenge when it came time to track down the gun accessory.
A YouTuber created the gun you see in “Prey”
Trachtenberg said he doesn’t know where the “Predator 2” gun is, assuming it’s buried deep in the Fox studio archives. So, prop master “Prey” James Rosenthal was commissioned to make it. But in this process, Rosenthal took a huge break.
“He ended up on YouTube and was watching a fan vlogger who makes replica guns,” Trachtenberg said. “On the shelf behind him in the picture was the ‘Predator 2’ gun. So he reached out to this vlogger and said, ‘I need this. It looks better than anything I could do.’ So the gun in the movie is from this guy’s shelf.”
It’s true. A “Predator” fan built the gun in “Prey.”
Trachtenberg thinks it would be fun to continue the gun’s journey in a ‘Prey’ sequel
Now, a “Prey” sequel should figure out how to put the gun in the hands of a Predator for the “Predator 2” scene to make sense. Trachtenberg admits he’s not too worried.
“I don’t think we painted ourselves into a corner,” he said. “One thing shouldn’t lead to a sequel, but like in that movie, it’s a fun thing to keep including to make the lore something that was just an idea. Embrace it.”
Although no sequel has been announced, the prospect of a sequel looks good. The animated end credits — which Trachtenberg says was created by seven indigenous artists — show the Predator spaceships returning to Earth for revenge.
And Trachtenberg says he has ideas on how to move forward.
“I’ve been thinking about this movie since I was in 3rd grade, so there’s really some fun stuff brewing in this universe for me,” he said. “It would be great to do more.”
“Prey” is currently available on Hulu.