The success of Prey has already led to talk of a sequel, but a direct follow-up risks repeating the mistakes of previous Predator movies.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead For PreyPrey 2 might break the protocol of past Predator movies by bringing back a major character, but it also risks repeating a sequel mistake. There have been many reasons given for why Arnold Schwarzenegger passed on Predator 2. The star himself has claimed he didn’t like the idea of setting the movie in a city, director Stephen Hopkins has said it was a schedule conflict with Terminator 2: Judgment Day while the producer has stated it came down to the studio not meeting his salary demands. Predator 2 was something of a disappointment in terms of box-office, with Arnold’s absence cited as one reason it didn’t perform as well.
The movie instead introduced Danny Glover as tough L.A. cop Harrigan, and the follow-up accidentally set a template for the franchise. Each subsequent outing – including the Alien Vs Predator crossover films – has introduced new protagonists. There have been reports of both Schwarzenegger or Glover returning in cameo roles across the years, which have yet to come to pass. 2022’s Prey continued this tradition, with the story set in 1719 and focusing on a young Comanche warrior named Naru (Amber Midthunder) battling the “Feral Predator.”
In contrast to the somewhat tepid reception to other recent Predator films, Prey was both a huge streaming hit and was mostly well-reviewed. Midthunder’s Naru was singled out for praise too, with the movie ending with the character slaying the Predator and becoming War Chief of her tribe. A post-credit tease reveals that three Predator ships arrive on the Great Plains shortly after, setting up a potential direct follow-up. While Prey 2 – which could fix a ’90s movie trend – has yet to be announced, there’s a very good chance it will happen and Naru will return. That said, this could undermine what made Prey work so well, as it stripped away the baggage of other Predator films to tell a simple story.
Prey 2 Going Bigger Ignores What Made The Prequel Work
The original Predator is a fairly simple premise but executed with incredible craftsmanship. The sequels had to further flesh out the lore of the title hunters, with Predators revealing they not only had a game planet that they dump special prey on but there was a clan feud between different castes. The Predator attempted to build an ongoing story and teased a future war between Earth and the Predators, who sought to take the planet for themselves. The simplicity of the original got lost in later entries, but the reason Prey – which has a blueprint Alien 5 should copy – worked for so many was a return to this concept.
Prey is a simple action-adventure tale well told and fronted by a likable protagonist. A potential Prey 2 would have to up the scale, featuring larger setpieces and possibly a more convoluted story with the hunters themselves. This will add more narrative flab that Prey was able to free itself from. Perhaps a better direction would see the Predators visiting other countries across different eras, including Japan or Africa. The popularity of Naru – and paying off her Predator 2 easter egg involving the flintlock pistol – makes a direct follow-up more likely. Hopefully the filmmakers involved will find a creative way to build upon Prey, but as the other sequels proved, bigger doesn’t always mean better.