Originally Wes Craven had the idea of Brenda, from the first film, enlisting in the National Guard to overcome her fears, only to be sent back to the same desert with the mutants. She was to be the only one who knew where the mutants hideout was located. This idea was cut since the actress was involved with Lost (2004) at the time.
Director John Carpenter, another horror icon just like Wes Craven, wrote unproduced horror thriller script titled "Prey" which had plot that was similar to both Wrong Turn (2003) and this film, which was written by Craven and his son. Carpenter described his Prey script, which he wrote with another writer James Nichols years ago, as mix of Deliverance (1972) and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). The main characters of the script were three young women who go on a trip through the woods in order to get to some mountain but then they are captured by inbred family living in the woods, and just like in this movie the leader (father) of the family wants to use the women as breeders. Eventually the story of the script ended with last surviving woman escaping from the inbred family, the family members hunting after her through the woods and then being killed by her during the hunt and father of the family getting captured and put in jail.
Wes Craven's initial inspiration for the film came during a casual conversation with producer Peter Locke. Craven envisioned that the previous films character Brenda (Emilie de Ravin) traumatized by her suffering joins the National Guard to overcome her fears. Barely finished with basic training, Brenda receives a call from her sergeant, who explains that they are sending a team back to the New Mexico desert to eradicate the remaining mutants. Her sergeant and the team need her, for she is the only one left alive who knows the mutants location. Because of de Ravin's involvement in the television show Lost (2004) her schedule was unable to accommodate the filming of the sequel. Wes Craven replaced her character, but retained much of the original concept, including the group of National Guard soldiers in training.
A one-minute teaser trailer was released on December 12th 2006. The teaser featured "Insect Eyes" a song by indie folk recording artist Devendra Banhart. In addition to that, a series of clips with an introduction by Wes Craven and small gallery can be found on the Fox Atomic website. Also on Fox Atomic is a soundless clip of the mutant Grabber attacking Amber. Later on a full length trailer and two clips were released to Yahoo! movies.