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Elle Fanning Eyed for Lead Role in ‘Badlands’ Latest Predator Franchise Expansion

Fans of the Predator franchise may soon see actor Elle Fanning take on a new, exciting role in the upcoming film “Badlands,” a standalone movie from director Dan Trachtenberg. According to a report from Variety, Trachtenberg, who previously directed the highly successful “Prey,” has signed on to helm this new venture for 20th Century Studios. “Badlands” is set to widen the scope of the Predator universe, promising another thrilling chapter for fans of the storied franchise.

The film’s script, co-written by Trachtenberg and Patrick Aison, became a priority after the success of “Prey.” Released in 2022, “Prey” functioned as a prequel to the original Predator movies and garnered both commercial success and critical acclaim. Notably, it broke records on the streaming platform Hulu and even bagged five Primetime Emmy nominations, winning for outstanding sound editing. The film’s successful run has already sparked early development of “Prey 2,” with its lead actress Amber Midthunder potentially returning. This sequel is highly anticipated and will continue to explore the gripping narrative established in the first installment.

As for “Badlands,” the project was officially announced in February, and production is expected to commence later this year. However, plot details are still under wraps, creating a shroud of mystery around what fans can expect from this new entry in the Predator saga.

Meanwhile, Elle Fanning, slated to possibly take on a leading role in “Badlands,” has been keeping busy. She has just concluded a three-season run as both executive producer and star of the Hulu series “The Great,” where she portrayed Russian monarch Catherine the Great. This role earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, marking a significant milestone in her illustrious career.

Fanning’s career, spanning over two decades, showcases her versatile talent across various genres and platforms. From portraying Disney princess Aurora in the Maleficent movies to starring in the ripped-from-the-headlines drama “The Girl from Plainville,” her portfolio is as diverse as it is impressive. She’s also made her mark in family comedies like “We Bought a Zoo” and auteur-driven films such as Nicolas Winding Refn’s “The Neon Demon,” Mike Mills’ “20th Century Women,” and Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” and “The Beguiled.

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Fanning’s involvement in “Badlands” is particularly noteworthy given her impressive acting credentials and her ability to delve deep into complex characters. Her participation would undoubtedly bring a unique layer to the project, adding to the already high expectations surrounding this film.

What makes “Badlands” all the more intriguing is its context within the broader Predator franchise. Since the original Predator film released in 1987, the franchise has seen numerous sequels, crossovers, and reboots. Each new installment has brought a fresh perspective and innovative storytelling while retaining the core elements that fans love: high-stakes action, suspenseful narratives, and the iconic Predator creature.

Trachtenberg’s “Prey” revitalized interest in the franchise by providing a refreshing prequel that explored the origins of the Predator’s encounters with humanity. By breaking records and earning critical accolades, “Prey” set a high bar for future installments. Thus, “Badlands,” under Trachtenberg’s direction, is expected to continue this trend of high-quality narrative and production.

20th Century Studios seems to have significant confidence in Trachtenberg and his vision for the Predator universe. Collaborating with Patrick Aison again for the script indicates a desire to maintain the consistency and quality that made “Prey” such a hit. The dynamic duo’s creative synergy is likely to result in another compelling storyline that will captivate audiences.

Anticipation for “Badlands” is building among both fans of the franchise and general moviegoers. The secretive nature of the plot details adds an element of suspense, heightening curiosity about what new direction the Predator universe will take.

In conclusion, if Elle Fanning is indeed confirmed for “Badlands,” her star power combined with Trachtenberg’s proven directorial prowess could make this standalone Predator film a standout entry in the franchise. With production expected to start later this year, fans won’t have to wait too long to see how this exciting new chapter unfolds. Stay tuned for more updates on what promises to be a thrilling addition to the Predator universe.