How the ‘Predator’ Prequel Makes History as Hollywood’s First Franchise Film to Feature an All-Native American Cast
When he was casting Prey – new Predator prequel set three centuries before Arnold Schwarzenegger became entangled with the deadly ET – director Dan Trachtenberg insists the idea of hiring a predominantly Native American and Indigenous cast wasn’t just part of the conversation . This has been the conversation.
“We are creating this underdog story”, Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) tells us during an interview where he was joined by producer Jhane Myers and stars Amber Midthunder and Dakota Beavers (see above). “Not only was I just like, ‘Oh, that would be great to see a movie that has a Native American protagonist. You never see that. But more so, for this movie, we’re telling the story of someone who doesn’t isn’t really seen. And trying to say, ‘I deserve to do what I’m doing.’ never the hero.
PreyThe hero of is Naru (Midthunder), a young Comanche woman in 1719 who longs to leave the gathering and become a hunter – and is the first person in her tribe to suspect that she is being hunted by an otherworldly force, one she’ll eventually go along with.
“It means everything in the world”, Midthunder (Legion) says about the film’s groundbreaking cast. “That’s the thing about the movie that I’m most proud of. There are so many amazing pieces, but for me, that’s what really gets to me. … In terms of representation, it’s like the mission Navy SEAL secret of my career, showing that Indigenous people can be and do anything and add value where I think it hasn’t been demonstrated yet.You go all the way and we are oral storytellers. storytelling is our medium.
“You so rarely see a period piece where indigenous people become whole people. They’re either very wild people or they’re too spiritual people. So being able to show a variety of personalities with social dynamics and all kinds of things like this, and inside a movie [series] As Predatorwhich is also just fun and exciting and entertaining, to me it’s like the best thing in the world.
Beavers, who makes his screen debut as Naru’s brother Taabe, agrees.
“It was just an honor for me,” he says, adding how much it meant to Trachtenberg to bring on Myers, a Comanche woman, as the project’s lead producer. “It was just better than anything I could ask for. … They did everything they could to make things right. And that carries a lot of weight in my mind.
Says Myers: “This movie really sets the bar for representation.”
— Video produced by Kyle Moss and edited by Jason Fitzpatrick
Prey premieres Friday, August 5 on Hulu.
Watch the trailer: