The Prey Audition Moment That Landed Amber Midthunder Her Role In The New Predator Movie

Casting an actor or actress to face down the legendary adversary The Predator is not an easy task. You can take the wish-fulfilment machismo of the Arnold Schwarzenegger entry, which kick started the franchise. You can cast young Jacob Tremblay, the way that Shane Black did when he took a swing at the property. And now, with Prey coming to Hulu, you can venture back in time to the era of the Comanche Nation in 1719, to pit a skilled Amber Midthunder – and some rudimentary weapons – against one of most lethal killers in film history. 

But what made Amber Midthunder the right actress for this coveted role? I can tell you that once you are able to see Prey, you will understand exactly why director Dan Trachtenberg wanted this talent to take on The Predator (this time played by the imposing Dane DiLiegro). But ahead of the movie arriving on streaming, Trachtenberg and his cast visited CinemaBlend’s interview suite at San Diego Comic-Con, and the director spoke about Midthunder’s casting, telling us:

The second that I met her, I knew it was most assuredly going to be her. And she is just uniquely talented at saying so much with so little. This movie does not have a lot of dialog in it. It’s primarily told through action. And in one of the auditions that we had, there was like a physical obstacle course component to it. And she really wasn’t just like crawling and hopping over some mats and whatever. She was telling a story while she was doing those physical feats and that’s – this movie needed that. A lot of story is told inside set pieces and just through physical action. … I think setting eyes on her for the first time, seeing her behavior and hearing her speak, you just sort of immediately connect with what she’s experiencing. And that can’t be done by everyone.

Not that the Predator movies have been known for their dialogue. OK, maybe the Shane Black version, The Predator, leaned heavier on the comedy and patter, but that’s because he hired comedians like Keegan-Michael Key to be in his ensemble. If anything, Prey takes things back to the roots of the John McTiernan classic, setting up its action in the woods, where an aspiring Comanche hunter overcomes the sexism in her tribe to go out and hunt the thing that’s killing everything around their camp. 

Prey in the mud

(Image credit: 20th Century)

One of the most memorable scenes in this naturalistic environment (they filmed Prey in the Canadian wilderness), can be spotted in the film’s first trailer. It shows Amber Midthinder’s character, Naru, up to her chin in mud, and struggling to get free. And Dan Trachtenberg explained why it took them five days to capture the memorable moment. He told CinemaBlend:

It took a long time, only because once you’re in the mud, that’s it. So we had to stage things out where we were doing… we would show up to work and we’d do, just, getting in the mud this day. And then we’d shoot more other scenes. And then the next day, would be like, ‘Let’s get (Amber) getting out of the mud,’ and do the run through of that. So it was sort of elongated. But you definitely, she definitely spent a lot of time (in the mud).

And as Amber joked, “This is why I don’t speak to Dan anymore.”

We have a list of all of the Hulu movies you can watch on the streamer while you wait for Prey to arrive. It starts screening August 5, and is a terrific addition to the Predator canon. 

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.