Prey (2022) is the latest entry in the long-running Predator franchise, which started with Predator (1987) the sci-fi action horror classic that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. But is Prey a prequel to Predator?
Check out the official trailer for Prey below:
Related: Prey ENDING EXPLAINED
Prey is the seventh movie in the Predator series, following Predator (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Predators (2010), The Predator (2018), and spin-off movies Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Reqiuem (2007).
However, while you probably already know that the film is set in 1719 and therefore pre-dates everything else in the series, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a prequel, or even part of canon. So let's take a closer look.
So Prey it takes place long before the original 1987 film, as it's set in 1719. As per 20th Century Studios and Hulu, here's the official synopsis for Prey:
Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago during 1719, the film follows Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior, who has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains. So when danger threatens her camp, she sets out to protect her people. The prey she stalks, and ultimately confronts, turns out to be a highly evolved alien with a technologically advanced arsenal, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two adversaries.
— 20th Century Studios and Hulu
It sounds like Prey is indeed a prequel, and for all intents and purposes, in terms of the Predator timeline, it is. However, director Dan Trachtenberg seems to think otherwise, something he expressed in a recent interview.
"I want to specifically say this, because I think there’s been some confusion how people have understood: in my mind, this is not a prequel movie, this isn’t, ‘Let’s tell the origin of the Predator.’ This is really something that’s set prior to the original Predator movie. And the Predator creature in this one, this is its first time traveling to Earth.”
So, while Prey is chronologically a prequel, it isn't a prequel from a narrative perspective. It's very much a stand-alone film in that sense, and as such, will likely not be thought of as a prequel over time.
There are of course a few Easter eggs throughout the film that reference Predator, Predator 2 (1992), and Predators (2010), but that's it. Prey is actually better thought of as a "new beginning" in the series than a prequel.
In fact, a sequel - which is probably inevitable given the fact that it has been a huge success on Disney+ and Hulu - will likely go under the title Prey 2, seeing as Prey marks the beginning of a new era for the Predator series.
Perhaps gone is the Predator branding, although with that said, if we get a Prey 2 and a Prey 3, then fans will undoubtedly think of it as a Predator prequel trilogy.
Prey is currently streaming on Hulu in the US, Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ internationally.