Attention all Indiginerds: the latest addition to the Predator franchise is just one week away from debuting on Hulu. Beginning in 1987 with the aptly named Predator, these films follow the typical formula of an alien who comes to Earth, hunting humans for sport and testing their mettle in battle. In a departure from the series’ more commonly modern settings, Prey takes place in 1719 in Comanche Nation.
Prey follows Naru, played by Amber Midthunder (Lakota), a female hunter who defies the conventions of her community and who suddenly gets wrapped up in protecting them from the Predator. From what we can glean from the trailer, in standard Predator movie fashion, Naru employs all of her skill sets and tools to try and defeat her technologically-superior foe, packed with plenty of action and gore to keep any fan of the franchise satisfied. Above all else, what’s truly exciting about this film is seeing a female Indigenous action hero taking on a leading role in sci-fi and horror, two genres that have been less than favorable to Indigenous people in the past. Alongside Midthunder in the film are Dakota Beavers (Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo) and Michelle Thrush (Cree).Embed from Getty Images
Typically, in sci-fi and horror, Indigenous people are stripped down to basic and unfounded stereotypes and are rarely treated as actual characters. What’s more commonly seen are tropes like the “Indian burial ground” or a “primitive” alien species meant to represent the latter half of “cowboys and Indians in space.” Prey, however, seems to put just as much emphasis on the culture it’s about as it does on the shock and awe. Jhane Myers (Comanche and Blackfoot), a producer on the film, was brought in to ensure that what was depicted when it came to Indigenous culture was as authentic and respectful as possible. Myers, who also produced The Daily Life of Mistress Red, brings a sense of credibility to the film and helps to ensure that the Indigenous people in it are not just an afterthought to the action.
Comanche is spoken throughout Prey, and in an exciting turn of events, a Comanche-dubbed version of the film will also be released alongside the English one, the first time this has happened for a newly-released Hollywood movie.Embed from Getty Images
All in all, Prey is shaping up to be a huge step forward in Indigenous inclusion in Hollywood and the respectful representation of our cultures in genres that have historically pushed stereotypes. We hope you’re just as excited as we are for its release date on August 5th and to watch Naru kick some Predator a**.