As reported by The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, director Dan Trachtenberg has been given the green light for his next project after the success of "Prey." Contrary to expectations for a sequel to "Prey," the new project is a second Predator movie titled "Badlands." Set "sometime in the future," the film's premise diverges from the previous Predator storyline.

The announcement, while somewhat ambiguous, suggests that Trachtenberg has the creative freedom to shape "Badlands" into his vision of a Predator movie. This early indication bodes well for fans of the franchise, as it hints at a fresh and potentially exciting direction for the series.

In a late 2023 interview with Polygon, Trachtenberg reflected on the creative process behind "Prey," expressing enjoyment in crafting unique and unexpected elements within the franchise and genre. He noted that while some developments were predictable, others offered surprising twists, contributing to the ongoing exploration and enjoyment of the creative possibilities.

Naru (Amber Midthunder), a Comanche woman in handmade leather clothing, bares her teeth in a snarl as she faces the approaching Predator in Prey

The decision to set "Prey" as a period piece in the 1700s, diverging from the modern-day setting of the original movie and Shane Black’s 2018 installment "The Predator," was considered a bold move. It introduced an unexpected twist to the franchise, eliminating the reliance on big guns or high-tech weaponry for action sequences. However, this deviation ultimately became the film's strength. The historical backdrop reset the stakes for characters confronting a Predator, allowing Trachtenberg to reimagine the adversary's visual design and the combat strategies employed against it.

"We aimed to introduce more changes than ever before to provide a fresh perspective and an exhilarating experience, even for the most dedicated fans of the franchise," Trachtenberg shared with Polygon during that period.

Prey End Credits Hint at More for Predator Movie, Says Dan Trachtenberg –  The Hollywood Reporter

While it's premature to predict how "Badlands" will continue Trachtenberg's quest for innovation and unpredictability in the Predator franchise, his departure from familiar designs, settings, and characters suggests a deliberate creative direction. This implies that the producers at 20th Century Studios are entrusting his vision, rather than pressuring him to replicate the formula that made "Prey" successful.

According to THR, the studio is "planning a host of Predator projects, with Trachtenberg at the center" — a statement that hints at his pivotal role akin to that of James Gunn in the Predator franchise. Having a single individual leading the charge to reshape the series, especially someone who has demonstrated a penchant for breaking away from its repetitive patterns, appears to be a positive step forward.

No release date has been confirmed for Badlands; however, THR reports that production is scheduled to commence in the summer of 2024. Based on this timeline, it's reasonable to expect a release in 2025.