How the Predator ‘Prey’ Creature Outfit Was Designed


The team responsible for bringing the Predator to life in Hulu’s acclaimed prequel “Prey” was uniquely positioned for the project. Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr., award-winning industry veterans of StudioADI, have worked on many famous films, including the original “Predator”, and they are the co-creators of the alien in the director’s film Dan Trachtenberg. “Prey” also hit a first-time viewership record for the streamer, and inside that Predator suit is freak actor Dane DiLiegro.

The “Prey” iteration of the iconic creature, which is a combination of physical costumes and CGI, differs from previous incarnations. “Some of our early conversations with Dan were about making this Predator super thin with a weird kind of camouflage and different from the reptilian thing we’ve seen before,” Woodruff Jr. explained, adding that the different proportions allude to the stage of Predator. development.

Close up of the Predator suit
David Boukach

“The head on this one wasn’t huge, the dreadlocks got thinner and we were trying to emulate the feel of the warriors in their long hair,” he continued. “When we started working on the Predator’s instruments, we had designs that felt a little more handcrafted. The idea was that the Predator also had primitive weapons that evolved. He added that the prequel “wasn’t about guns against guns”, but rather “this girl and this creature and how they all merge”.

Gillis said they started with around 20 different Predator concepts before Trachtenberg whittled them down to five. They refined it from there through what he called “working out the nuances”.

This set clear anchor points to create the character in about six weeks. Due to the pandemic, much of this process took place over Zoom, with occasional in-person adjustments. “We threw a leotard on my son because he’s super skinny,” Woodruff Jr. explained. “It had all this detailed Predator skin stuff printed on it, and right next to it was Dane wearing his model parts.” It was then that the duo and Trachtenberg realized that the Predator was as much about Dane’s mentality and movement as it was about its design.

Image loaded lazily

Dane DiLiegro as Predator gets a touch up in his Predator costume.
David Boukach

“You don’t just put on the suit and go to work,” DiLiegro clarified. “It doesn’t work that way with a character as iconic as this.”

Gillis revealed that they created six Predator suits and four heads, all of which they put to good use. “You throw them away as you go through production, not just because of human sweat, but because some scenes are so physical. We start with a costume, wear it, then turn it into a stunt costume. You barely cross the finish line with a presentable costume.

Woodruff Jr. added, “I think we saved a couple for when we need to see that detail up close. We were prepping Dane for a night shoot and had a pair of Predator feet. We were looking at them like, ‘Wow, this won’t work in daylight, but we can throw some color on it and fix things, and they’ll work fine at night.’

Image loaded lazily

Dane DiLiegro as the Predator.
David Boukach


Comments are closed.