‘Prey’ director reveals how the film was inspired by a karate tournament

By Hulu

Directors can find inspiration for a film in many ways, and for Dan Trachtenberg, Prey was solely inspired by the events leading up to a karate tournament.

In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, the director recounted a very vivid moment in third grade that sowed the seed for what would become the major sci-fi horror movie. The director explained how the Sioux heritage of original character Billy, played by Sonny Landham, influenced his reimagining of the story.

“It’s true, yeah. I was in third when Predator came out, and I wasn’t allowed to see any R-rated movies. So I found myself in the back of a carpool on my way to a karate tournament with all the sixth graders who had just seen Predator, and they spent the whole trip telling me the whole movie. And I vividly remember they said there was a scene where Billy, the Native American tracker, was standing on a bridge over a waterfall and fighting the Predator. But when I finally saw the movie, that scene wasn’t there. (Laughs.) It’s the start, but then it cuts out. So the seed was planted, and then I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a movie that focuses on this character’s story?’ And Prey is not exactly that, but it is, spiritually.

While the older kids may have exaggerated the events of the original film to a very young Trachtenberg, it spawned a ten-year-old idea that was eventually fleshed out on screen.

Prey continues to garner positive reviews for its direction, cinematography and Comanche portrayal – including the film’s producer, Comanche Nation citizen Jhane Myers. Lead actress Amber Midthunder is also acclaimed, even drawing a reaction from Predator alumni Bill Duke and Jesse Ventura.

Prey is available to stream on Hulu.

Kristen T. Prall