How was the costume of a predator creature “Prey” designed?

The team responsible for bringing the predator back to life in Hulu’s “prey” was uniquely positioned for the project. StudioADI’s award-winning Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. have worked on several blockbuster films, including the original Predator, and are co-creators of director Dan Trachtenberg’s Alien movie. “Prey” also hit record viewership for the first time for a streaming device, and inside the Predator’s suit is brutal actor Dane DiLiegro.

The “Prey” iteration of the iconic creature, a mixture of physical and CGI costumes, differs from previous incarnations. “Some of our early conversations with Dan were about making this predator very skinny with some kind of weird camouflage and different from the reptiles we’ve seen before,” Woodruff Jr. explained, adding that different lineages hinted at a predator stage of development.

Close-up of a predator suit
David Bokas

He continued, “This person’s head was not huge, the dreadlocks became thinner, and we were trying to simulate the feeling of warriors with their long hair.” “When we started working on the Predator machines, we got some designs that looked homemade. The idea was that the Predator also had primitive weapons that evolved.” He added that the introduction “was not about guns against guns,” but rather “this girl and this creature and how they fit together.”

Gillis said they started with roughly 20 different Predator concepts before Trachtenberg narrowed them down to five. They’ve honed it from there with what they called “nuance resolution.”

This set clear anchor points for character creation in about six weeks. Due to the pandemic, most of this process has been done via Zoom, with occasional in-person combinations. “We threw clothes on my son because he’s too skinny,” Woodruff Jr. explained. “It had all these detailed Predator leather stuff printed on it, and right next to it was the Dane wearing his typical pieces.” That was when the duo and Trachtenberg realized that the predator was as much about Dane’s mindset and movement as it was design.

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Dane DiLiegro as Predator gets a twist while wearing a Predator suit.
David Bokas

“Don’t just put on the suit and go to work,” Delegrew explained. “It doesn’t work that way with such a creative personality.”

Gillis revealed that they created six Predator suits and four capes, which they all used wisely. “You throw them away as you go into production, not just because of the human race but because some of the scenes are so physical. We start with a suit, put it on, and then move on to putting on a suit. You barely cross the finish line in one chic suit.”

Woodruff Jr. added, “I think we saved one or two when we needed to see these details up close. We’d set up Dane for a night shoot and had a pair of Predator feet. We were looking at them like, ‘Wow, these won’t work in broad daylight, but We can throw some color on it and fix things, and it’ll do well at night.”

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Dane DiLiegro as the Predator.
David Bokas

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