A Predator 2 Easter Egg may hold the roadmap for any sequels to Prey. “Grab a seat. Enjoy the show. This is history.”
Predator was deceptively simple: it starts in the vein of Commando, following a group of ultra-buff, macho paramilitary soldiers carrying out a rescue operation in the jungle of Val Verde. Then comes the switch: the quiet suspense of an unseen threat switch flips into otherworldly, no-time-to-bleed terror.
Predator 2 dropped the monster in a drought-ridden Los Angeles, sweltering in agonizing heat, with drug lords waging bloody warfare in the streets. It’s a sweaty rumble in an iron jungle; nastier – it was originally given an NC-17 rating – and fuelled by the coked-up moviemaking of the ’90s.
While broadly dismissed upon release, it’s now viewed as somewhat of a cult classic – and now, the most underrated sequel may be the key to the franchise’s future.
Spoilers for Prey ahead…
Prey has a major Predator 2 Easter egg
Prey is a back-to-basics prequel, following an aspiring hunter and her dog in the Comanche Nation (Legion’s Amber Midthunder) as she tracks a mysterious beast, amid never-before-seen savagery and “lightning in the trees.”
Its Easter Eggs are plentiful, some more overt than others; for example, one character relays the original’s turning-point line: “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”
However, one is more significant than it may initially appear: in the latter half of the film, Naru helps a French fur tracker who loses his leg in a bout with a Predator. In return for her undeserved kindness, he offers to teach her how to use a gun; that gun is inscribed, “Raphael Adolini 1715.”
That’s the same flintlock pistol given to Danny Glover’s Lieutenant Harrigan in the throne room in Predator 2, awarded to him as a trophy after defeating one of the aliens.
Prey director says Predator 2 theory is “interesting”
In an interview with Dexerto ahead of Prey’s release on Disney+, director Dan Trachtenberg spoke about the film’s “many” Easter Eggs, “some obvious, some far more obvious.”
“I think it’s too early for me to be announcing them. For my own delight, I just want to see will the internet pick up on them. Certainly, there’s some words that are spoken that are some references, there’s physical actions that happen that are references,” he added.
He was rather guarded when it came to a theory, though: what if the next Predator sequel followed the origin of another item in the throne room, whether it’s a never-before-seen weapon or one of the skulls – perhaps even that of a Xenomorph?
“Hmm… interesting,” Trachtenberg responded. “Yeah, objects from the throne room… that’s very interesting.”
Predator 2 throne room may be the roadmap for Prey sequels
Now we know where Adolini’s gun came from. We also know that somewhere along the way, Predators have fought Xenomorphs (Alien vs. Predator takes place outwith the main canon). There are other skulls on the wall too; one looks a bit like a dinosaur, while another has huge chompers.
Crafting stories around the throne room’s trophies would allow the franchise to remain fresh with every hunt – but it’s not a novel concept. Following Predator 2’s release, screenwriters Jim and John Thomas told Starlog that the pistol was actually intended to be the focal point of a third film.
“We played around with it on the set, of doing something historical. What would it be like in a time when we had nothing but steam engines and flintlocks, and you went up against something like this? That could be fun,” they said, as per AVP Galaxy.
This idea bears some resemblance to the pitch for Prey, with the Predator “having advanced versions of the other weapons that are used in the movie from the other characters so he kind of meets them on their own terms, but in his own way,” Trachtenberg told Dexerto.
Back in 1996, a comic book short story titled Predator 1718 also explored the sea-faring adventures of a pirate: none other than Captain Raphael Adolini.
As Adolini fights off a mutiny over stolen gold, a nearby Predator assists him against the rebellious crew. Surrounded by bodies, the unlikely duo prepare to duke it out, before Adolini is shot in the back. In his last moments, he gives the gun to the Predator.
Prey’s credits tease a sequel, or at the very least, the reality of Naru’s story: after defeating one Predator, its ship arrives to wipe out her tribe. As for the future of the franchise, Harrigan’s final words feel apt: “Don’t worry assholes, you’ll get another chance.”
Prey is available to stream on Disney+ now.