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Watch the deleted Prey scene director Dan Trachtenberg was bummed to cut

An unexpected-but-welcome 4K release comes with bells and whistles

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Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

This week, 20th Century Studios’ breakout 2022 hit Prey arrives on 4K Blu-ray. That might be an obvious mile marker for a blockbuster Predator revival, but for Prey, it’s an unexpected twist — and for physical media buffs, it’s a glimmer of hope. Originally produced for and distributed on Hulu, the movie has become part of a Blu wave, as parent company Disney renews its focus on physical releases. The studio’s 4K summer slate has included everything from a Cinderella restoration to WandaVision. Prey joins the fray with a tricked-out disc that includes the kinds of special features that were starting to seem lost to time.

Now out on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD — as well a sweet arty Steelbook — the Prey disc comes with a behind-the-scenes documentary, audio commentary, a panel with below-the-line creatives, an alternate opening scene, and multiple deleted scenes. Maybe that doesn’t put Prey on the pedestal with the Fight Club paper-bag DVD and other all-time-great home-video releases. But these days, it’s a nice gift to a film thought to be locked in the box of straight-to-streaming releases. Director Dan Trachtenberg told Polygon he never in a million years expected to hold a copy of his Predator movie tricked out with fancy box art, but it’s a welcome surprise.

“It’s super cool,” he said over the phone in September. “Who knows… if the cloud is destroyed one day when Skynet takes over, at least there’s some physical representation of something that I’ve made that exists in the apocalypse. You could throw it as a deadly weapon or [watch it] as entertainment!”

To coincide with the release, 20th Century Studios has released one of the deleted scenes from the disc, a pre-visualized version of a spectacular action sequence that would have pit Naru (Amber Midthunder) against the Predator in the trees of the Great Plains. It was a scene that Trachtenberg didn’t necessarily want to cut, but also one he knew might not even fit in the movie he was making.

“The pre-vis sequence… I was so stoked on. But I was worried about [the treetop chase] being too fancy for the movie. And we really had to nail the execution for it to not feel goofy when so much of the movie and its action is quite grounded. As excited as I was for that kind of physicality, of Naru and that style of chase to be on screen, I was quite nervous. But I loved the way that the cut clamp was used in that sequence, and thought it was quite a clever thing for Naru to be doing. So I’m happy that can exist now.”

While Trachtenberg is tight-lipped about the potential for a Prey 2, he isn’t worried about giving away his best ideas on a 4K release. If anything, he hopes that deleted scenes like the treetop chase inspire a new generation of filmmakers like the special features of yore did for him.

“I grew up wanting to be a filmmaker, and wanting to know as much as I could about movies. And special features were an access point to that,” he said. “So having a pre-vis sequence, which is something we see all the time working in movies and TV, and that fans on the outside don’t get to see… I thought that that was really fun to be able to include on the disc.”

Prey is out now on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD.

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