Amber Midthunder in 'Prey'.

Jhane Myers on Bringing Her Expertise to ‘Prey’

Jhane Myers has made a career out of bringing Native stories to life. Comanche and Blackfeet American herself, Myers served as producer on the film Prey. Set as a prequel for the Predator movies, Prey focuses a story on Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young woman who is part of the Comanche tribe, who has to constantly prove herself to the men around her but must then do so to protect them from the predator who threatens their entire way of life.

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Talking to Myers about the release of Prey on 4K UHD, BLU-RAY and DVD, part of what excited her about the story so much was bringing her expertise to the story as a whole. I asked her about bringing Prey to us with a woman, especially an indigenous woman, to the center of the Predator franchise.

“I think, as women, we can do anything,” Myers said. “So when I first read the script, I love the fact that it had a Native hero. I’m a big I’m a fan of the franchise I always have been, and I was in college when the first one came out, and it just blew me away. I thought it was so exciting, and even then I thought, ‘it’d be so cool to work on one of these one day.’ So when I got the opportunity and the fact that it’s a prequel. I just thought that was so inventive to take it back into time, and then to take it into what I’m an expert in, which is the Native content as a creative producer.”

She went on to talk about how she was then so excited to work in that world. “So I was thrilled. I wasn’t sure how everybody would react to it, and that even thrills me more,” Myers said. “But I was thrilled to see Native people included as a people and also as the one and twos on the the grid of the film. So I thought it was really important and I thought this was a great advent to introduce that authenticity and culture that is kind of an unexpected little bonus that you get by by watching Prey.”

Casting Amber

(L-R): Amber Midthunder as Naru and Dane DeLiegro as the Predator in 20th Century Studios' PREY
(20th Century Studios)

The film works on a number of levels but a lot of it rides on the shoulders of Amber Midthunder. Naru carries it and without someone as strong (both as a performer and physically so), it wouldn’t work. Luckily, they nailed it with Midthunder and that came from Myers knowing that she could take a role like Naru on. “She was one of our top people that was auditioning,” Myers said. “I kept telling Dan ‘This woman is a beast. I know she can do it. I know she can do it because I’ve seen her grow up. And I know what she’s capable of,” she said after telling me she knew Midthunder as a kid and had seen her do one armed push-ups.

Midthunder was part of bringing a level of representation to the world of Predator that had never existed within this franchise before. For Myers, it was about bringing the Comanche culture to life in not only Prey but film as a whole. “It’s a joy to be able to add my authentic Comanche culture to this film that went out to the world!  That means there is an accurate historical representation there that is coupled with a beloved franchise,” she said. Which ties into what makes Prey such a good movie.

But Naru really does take us through this story and, for me, I would watch her time and time again. So I asked Myers if there was a hope that we could see Naru again. “I think with Dan Tractenberg’s brilliance in making a prequel and taking the Predator back in time where we all get to meet and love Naru, and don’t forget Suree (Sudee) her dog,” she said. “It would be great to watch her take her skills on new adventures! Prey has sure opened the door for new advent for Comanche and Native stories to keep going!”

Still, you could tell while talking with Myers that Prey was something she was proud to have been a part of so I asked her what was the thing she was so excited about with this movie as a whole. “There are so many positive aspects that I’m proud of with Prey,” she said. “One that stands out is the language component.  The world got to hear what my language (Comanche) sounds like!  And for a history of 100 years of Natives being wrongly portrayed in films, Prey gets it right!”

Prey is now available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD October 3, with over two hours of all-new bonus features.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.