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Prey’s Amber Midthunder On The Predator Prequel’s Success And How The Native American Community Has Responded To The Film

Amber Midthunder and Dakota Beavers in Prey
(Image credit: Hulu)

Last month, Hulu received a Predator sequel in the form of Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey and it not only became the most-watched premiere for the streaming service to date but marked a rare moment of representation for Native American communities. Following its massive success, Prey star Amber Midthunder spoke about how the movie has been received, particularly by those who are members of the Native American community.

Prey features a cast full of actors from Native communities, including Amber Midthunder, who hails from the Assiniboine Native American and Fort Peck Sioux Tribes. In a recent interview, the star of Prey spoke about the feedback she received following the movie’s release, and it was apparently a "huge sigh of relief" for her:

There are no words for how that has felt. Really, the thing that I was thinking about the most, in making the movie, and then releasing the movie, was how Native people would feel about it. Indian country’s response to the movie was really what I felt the most anxious about. That was the biggest thing that was weighing on me, what the response for that would be. I feel like that’s who the movie was for and that’s what the movie was about, so to have it come out in that way, and to have Comanche people respond well, and to have Native people, in general, respond well, was a huge sigh of relief.

While speaking to Collider, the actress admitted that she was nervous ahead of the movie’s release when considering whether Native people would embrace the film. However, there have been mostly positive responses to her performance and the film as a whole, which not only now ranks high among the Predator movies. As she continued: 

And then, to have some of the interactions I’ve had with people, which have been really meaningful and really beautiful, and really, really moving, there’s nothing that could top that. There’s no amount of chart breaking or anything that could top what that means to me. But then, you step back and look at all those other things, like the number one release and the high numbers on Rotten Tomatoes, and it literally feels like we’re living in a dream. I don’t think I thought about what would happen after the movie came out, but I know that I wasn’t expecting this at all, and I’m so grateful.

The movie follows Midthunder’s Naru, a Comanche warrior who goes up against a Yautja, who Arnold Schwarznegger’s Dutch faces over 200 years later in the original Predator movie, per its new timeline. Fans of the franchise have embraced the movie as well, including the original movie’s own Bill Duke, who praised Midthunder particularly, calling her “phenomenal” in the movie. 

As Amber Midthunder shared, although all the praise coming from the Hollywood community and Predator fans has been a “dream,” she’s been most affected by how the movie has impacted Native people in a positive way. Many critics from indigenous communities have sung the movie's praises. This includes A Tribe Called Geek’s Johnnie Jae, who called it a “groundbreaking achievement” for “the entire Comanche Nation." 

To that point, there's even a version of the movie that's been dubbed in the language of the Comanche Nation. And believe it or not, Dan Trachtenberg’s initial plan was to shoot the whole film exclusively in the language rather than English. He ultimately decided to do both and the movie, which is streaming with a Hulu subscription, is the first of all time to be released in both English and Comanche. 

Following the success of Prey, we’re thinking about how a sequel could happen as well as what Amber Midthunder might do next. Maybe Midthunder could play a Marvel character? Only time will tell but, after her performance in the Predator installment, I'm sure she'll have support from many in the Native American community in whatever she tackles next.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.