Prey star Amber Midthunder is receiving rave reviews for her performance, and it turns out her audition process was...unique.
Many people are calling Prey the best entry to the Predator franchise since the original, and the cast is a large part of its success. The movie features a star-making turn from Amber Midthunder, whose biggest roles to date were in overlooked the FX series Legion and in the film Hell or High Water. Apparently, Midthunder had quite the interesting casting process too, as she told Variety that she auditioned in both English and Comanche. This makes sense, as the movie was originally supposed to be shot in Comanche. While they ended up shooting the movie in English, they did dub the film in Comanche as well, making it the first film to have a Native dub upon original release.
Prey is a prequel to the rest of the Predator films, taking things back all the way to the 1700s. This is an interesting turn for the series, as although the Predator is more technologically advanced than its prey (per usual), its tools are still more rudimentary than the Predator’s we’ve come to know. The movie follows a Comanche tribe and a healer turned hunter named Naru (Amber Midthunder). The new Predator is played by former Italian/Israeli basketball player Dane DiLiegro and the rest of the cast is largely Indigenous. Midthunder herself is an enrolled tribal member at the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Indian Reservation. The cast also includes Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope, Stefany Mathias, Bennett Taylor, and more. Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) directs.
Prey just hit Hulu on Friday, but audiences are already loving it. Currently, it holds 92% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and 81% from audiences. This is in stark contrast to the last entry of the franchise, The Predator. While Prey is being called the best Predator movie since the original, The Predator is widely considered the worst entry in the franchise. The Predator came out in 2018 and was directed by Shane Black (who appeared in the first film), with a cast that included Olivia Munn, Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan Michael-Key, and Jacob Tremblay. The film featured the Predators returning to Earth with the ability to genetically upgrade themselves by using the DNA from other species. The film currently holds 33% on Rotten Tomatoes from both critics and audiences.
Prey is definitely sending the franchise in the right direction. The back-to-basics prequel approach seems to be the exact refresh the series needed, and setting the movie in the 1700s Comanche Nation was a win narratively and for Hollywood Native representation. Amber Midthunder and the rest of the cast definitely brought their all to the movie, and it’s well worth the watch for fans of the franchise. The success of Prey certainly bodes well for future installments of the franchise. In an interview with Timeout, Dan Trachtenburg revealed that there have been discussions for additional installments and that any future films will continue to do things that haven’t been done before in the franchise. If Prey is any indication, this will definitely be a good thing.