On Tuesday, a wealth of new sci-fi and fantasy trailers emerged for feature-length films expected to launch on streaming platforms by the end of this summer. While most come courtesy of the “Netflix Geeked” brand, the biggest arguably comes from 20th Century Studios, mostly because it suggests some much-needed redemption for the Predator series.
Prey, set to launch exclusively on Hulu on August 5, twists the series’ naming convention to clarify that our favorite alien beast is now in the bow-and-arrow sights of an eager hunter. In terms of timeline, this film qualifies as a “prequel,” as it rewinds to 18th-century America and stars Comanches who had apparently not yet had their lives upended by invading colonists. The trailer features actor Amber Midthunder as the apparent lead and implies that she is the first in her tribe to discover a Predator. Her character, Naru, is nearly killed in a bear hunt gone awry, only to see the bear yanked away at the last second by a much more powerful adversary.
The trailer’s harrowing battles and chases point to Predator’s clear technological lead over its Comanche rivals, as it responds to a quartered bow with infrared laser sights and does some underground burrowing. Caucasian militiamen emerge briefly with era-appropriate muskets, but the trailer implies that they aren’t the heroes of this story; rather Naru’s mastery of Comanche weaponry and traps could give her the upper hand in protecting her brethren from a confusing alien force.
As a successor to the despised 2018 reboot The Predator, Prey appears to have nowhere to go but up—and its massive shift in setting, era, and tone is even more extreme than the shift we saw from 1990’s Predator 2. Yet while the new film’s straight-to-Hulu launch could be taken as a pessimistic sign that it’s not up to theatrical snuff, it comes with an incredible silver lining for anyone tuning in with hopes of an authentic take on Comanche culture: a day-one audio dub of the entire film in Comanche language, toggle-able via Hulu’s built-in audio selector.
Director Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) confirms the feature in a Slashfilm interview by pointing to the awkwardness of Hunt for Red October, which began with Russian actors switching to English language early in that film. Prey will instead default to all actors speaking English from beginning to end, with a full dialogue dub for the film’s American Indian actors available for those who prefer it.
Netflix’s Geeked week of announcements focused exclusively on feature-length summer 2022 films on Tuesday, and its biggest reveal came in the form of Day Shift, the directorial debut from longtime Hollywood stunt coordinator JJ Perry (John Wick: Chapter 2, The Fate of the Furious). Star Jamie Foxx drives the first-look trailer by narrating a barrage of high-octane scenes and raw “behind the scenes” footage, in order to double down on its promise of “amazing” and “practical” stunts.
Sure enough, the footage thus far emphasizes a lack of CGI in favor of real-life car chases, peppered with crashes and explosions, along with the film’s cast of vampires bending and contorting their actual bodies to look like the undead. And, hey, Snoop Dogg shows up with a massive cowboy hat and a Gatling gun—so what could possibly go wrong? However, by the trailer’s end, Foxx insists not once, but twice, that the film will offer viewers something they’ve “never seen before,” which we hope isn’t overcompensating on his part. We’ll find out when Day Shift premieres exclusively on Netflix on August 12.