MOVIE NEWS – After the success of Prey, Disney has identified two promising paths for the Predator franchise, and both possible sequels could happen…
The smash success of Prey means that Disney has two great options for the next sequel to the newly inherited Predator franchise. But it seems the studio doesn’t necessarily have to choose. 2022’s Prey is the closest the Predator series has come to widespread success since the 1987 original. It is unknown how well the film could have soared at the box office if it had been released. But its streaming-exclusive edition registered as the most-watched program across all platforms in the US and UK in its week of release. (According to Mashable.)
The original Predator movie was a huge success for 20th Century Fox, bringing in $98 million on a budget of just $18 million (after The Numbers).
However, the franchise struggled to repeat that success for over 30 years. Continuation after sequel, yet they couldn’t make it at the box office. In Prey 2022, which pits a Comanche warrior against a Predator in 1719, the franchise finally has not one but two viable directions. The film’s closing scenes set the stage for a specific type of sequel. However, that’s not the only way the film will reboot the franchise.
The ending of Prey sets up a direct sequel
A direct sequel to Prey is out of the question for Disney. A theatrical sequel to the streaming hit could easily be the biggest-grosser for the Predator franchise to date. In addition, the filmmakers will not have difficulty justifying the sequel since Prey 2 is already on the cast list of the first film. The cast list features a beautifully animated recap of Naru’s fight with the Predator. It is told in the traditional ledger art style practised by Native American communities.
However, the artistic representation does not end with the climax of Naru’s journey in Prey; instead, the sequence continues with an ominous closing shot of three Predator ships descending from the clouds.
A direct sequel, which was teased at the end of Prey, would be an exciting step up from the stakes of the first film. After barely surviving a single Predator fight, Naru now faces three shiploads of monsters. Having earned the respect of his tribe, he would be forced to join forces to fight an all-out war against the alien threat. In Prey, Naru proved to be the most interesting protagonist in the Predator franchise since Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch. Continuing Naru’s story with a direct sequel is an obvious next step for the franchise.
Could the closing also pave the way for stand-alone Predator movies?
While Prey’s ending offers a natural lead-in to a sequel, the film itself proves that Predator films of its era could work. Each instalment of the Predator franchise operates as a stand-alone work with a new protagonist. The first four films play out a relatively repetitive formula of tough, modern soldier types pitted against the Predator.
Prey is the first sequel to take a wild swing, travelling back more than 250 years before the first film to follow a very different kind of warrior.
In addition to confirming possible interest in Péda 2, the film’s director, Dan Trachtenberg, expressed that he would like to explore “some different things” in the Predator franchise (after Slashfilm). The movie proved that there is interest in watching Predators fight against humans through different points in history. So, the Predator doesn’t need to return to the modern era. The Predator comics have been pitting the titular monster against historical opponents for decades. This is the source of location ideas for another sequel to the film franchise, such as feudal Japan, Victorian London or World War I France.
With two promising concepts for a Pred sequel, there’s no reason why the Predator franchise shouldn’t pursue both. The Predator movies never required exorbitant budgets. The last one also cost only 65 million dollars. If the franchise were to greenlight both a sequel and another stand-alone historical Predator film for $65 million each, the combined production costs would barely exceed the budget of Prometheus (after The Numbers). This relatively modest amount is a small price to pay for two films with rich sequel potential. Moreover, after decades of trying to bring back the success of 1987’s Predator, Prey gave the franchise more promising opportunities than ever, both from a critical and financial point of view…