Prey director Dan Trachtenberg believes the Predator film's final runtime was always destined to be 97 minutes long.
Speaking exclusively to TechRadar at Prey's UK junket, Trachtenberg surprisingly revealed that the sci-fi action movie's runtime was "meant to be". How so? Because every single cut of the upcoming Hulu movie, no matter who edited it, always clocked in at the 97-minute mark.
Curiously, Trachtenberg's revelatory comments weren't part of the actual interview, either. Before the official chat began, TechRadar's Tom Power passed comment on Prey's pleasantly short runtime; the existence of a sub-two hour movie being something of a rarity these days. It was then that Trachtenberg revealed the surprising quirk behind Prey's final runtime and joked that it was seemingly fated to happen.
"By the way, every cut of this movie was 97 minutes," he explained. "There was no first cut that was four hours long – it was always that length. The first pass that the editor did, and then my first cut... everything was always the same. The movie [runtime] did not change. Yeah, we added and subtracted so many scenes and other things, but it just somehow always came out at the same runtime. It was as if it was meant to be."
Suffice to say, we shouldn't expect a director's cut any time soon. However, Prey's final runtime also brings the curtain down on a particularly fascinating coincidence within the Predator film franchise – all of which are streamable on Disney Plus in the UK and Hulu in the US.
Until now, every one of the four Predator movies preceding Prey clocked in at a remarkably identical 107 minutes. Well, nearly every other entry anyway – Predator 2, which landed in theaters in November 1990, technically runs for 108 minutes, but what difference does a single minute make when a serendipitous opportunity like this presents itself?
Regardless, Prey's final cut simultaneously breaks that curious Predator film runtime streak while adding its own unusual quirk to the long-running movie franchise. If 20th Century Studios and Disney decide to greenlight another entry in the beloved series, we can't help but wonder if Prey 2 – or whatever it's called – will also run for 97 minutes. Time will tell – and yes, that pun is completely intended.
Set 300 years before the events of the 1987 original, Prey stars Amber Midthunder as Naru, a Comanche tribeswoman who longs to be treated as a skilled and fearsome warrior among her people. Setting out to prove her worth, Naru begins to hunt an unidentifiable creature in the territory that her clan occupies. However, Naru soon realizes that the prey she's stalking is a bloodthirsty extraterrestrial, who was sent to Earth – armed with a deadly arsenal of weapons, no less – to hunt humankind for sport. It turns out, then, that Naru isn't the predator in this game of cat and mouse – she's the prey.
For more Prey-based content, read up on why Prey's Predator movie prequel status isn't as cut and dry as we thought. Alternatively, check out our spoiler-free Prey review, and look out for our exclusive in-depth chat with Trachtenberg, Midthunder, and producer Jhane Myers.
Prey will forego a theatrical release when it arrives on Friday, August 5. The Predator pre-sequel will be available to stream on Hulu in the US and Disney Plus in non-US territories.