Despite being relegated to debuting as a streaming release, 2022's Prey revived the Predator franchise in such a successful way that 20th Century Studios has enlisted director Dan Trachtenberg to develop another entry for the franchise, titled Badlands. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the upcoming film isn't a direct sequel to any installment in the series, though early reports claim that the movie will be set in the future as opposed to during the timeframe of Prey and that it will also feature a female lead. Additionally, the outlet claims that Badlands is just one of many Predator projects on the horizon, with Trachtenberg taking on a creative leadership role for the franchise's future.
Badlands was written by Trachtenberg with Patrick Aison, with development seemingly being so far along that production could start in July.
The original Predator focused on a group of soldiers encountering an otherworldly hunter in the jungle, while its sequel saw the monster lurking a more urban locale. Much like the Alien franchise, even without new films being developed, interest and excitement in the concept was kept alive through comic books and video games. Eventually, both franchises collided in two Alien vs. Predator movies, first in 2004 and then again in 2007.
In 2010, Robert Rodriguez attempted to being the series back to its roots with Predators, and when that failed to make a major impact, director Shane Black, who starred in the original Predator, delivered another adventure focusing on a former military group battling the hunter in 2018's The Predator. Even without any installments equaling the success of the debut installment, fans were always excited to return to that world and its sprawling potential.
Production on Prey was kept somewhat under wraps, as Trachtenberg began shooting the film under the codename "Skulls," as he hoped to keep a tight lid on how it was a story about indigenous people fighting the alien in the early 18th century. Entertainment outlets, however, ended up publishing reports about how Skulls was actually a new Predator film, much to the dismay of Trachenteberg.
Even if the filmmaker was disappointed that the surprise had been revealed before his liking, Prey would go on to be a hit with audiences and critics alike and Prey scored multiple Emmy Awards.
It's currently unclear when Badlands could be released or if it will similarly be a streaming-only release.