Maleficent’s Elle Fanning Circles Role In New Predator Movie, ‘Badlands’

20th Century Studios has revealed a significant expansion of its Predator universe with the announcement of the upcoming standalone film, Badlands. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, who previously helmed the critically acclaimed Prey, Badlands is gaining momentum with the potential addition of Elle Fanning to the cast.

According to Deadline, Elle Fanning, celebrated for her role as Catherine the Great in Hulu’s The Great, is currently in negotiations to star in Badlands. Fanning’s involvement could signal a fresh direction for the Predator franchise, known for its intense action sequences and thrilling sci-fi plots. The screenplay for Badlands is co-written by Trachtenberg and Patrick Aison, who also collaborated on Prey.

Elle Fanning
Elle Fanning in Maleficent

Prey has been lauded for rejuvenating the Predator franchise with a fresh perspective and a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Fanning, primarily recognised for her dramatic roles and not as an action star, suggests Badlands might explore new thematic territory within the Predator universe. Fanning’s most action-oriented role to date was in J.J. Abrams’s Super 8, indicating her potential return to the genre with Badlands.

Badlands is set to delve into the sci-fi elements characteristic of the Predator series, potentially incorporating psychological horror or thriller aspects, distinguishing it from the straightforward action of Prey. This strategic shift could pave the way for unique storytelling possibilities within the franchise, including potential crossovers with characters from Prey, including Amber Midthunder’s Naru, in the future.


Despite the focus on Badlands, a sequel to Prey, tentatively titled Prey 2, is still in the early stages of development. The sequel would mark a return to the original film’s setting and potentially bring back Midthunder, although no official casting has been confirmed.

While plot details remain tightly under wraps, anticipation builds around this new instalment, which could possibly see a theatrical release, contrasting with Prey‘s exclusive debut on Hulu. This move aligns with 20th Century’s recent pattern of supporting theatrical releases, further hinting at Badlands‘ potential impact on both the franchise and its audience. The film industry and fans alike are eager to see how Badlands will continue the legacy of the Predator series when it premieres.