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Prey Star Amber Midthunder Didn't Know She Was Auditioning For A Predator Movie

After the disappointing reception to 2018's "The Predator," it genuinely seemed like audiences might have seen the last of the alien hunter (via Rotten Tomatoes). However, four years later, director Dan Trachtenberg has revitalized the franchise with "Prey," a film that pits a young Comanche woman against one of the Yautja killers nearly 300 years before the events of 1987's "Predator." This back-to-basics approach fixes many of the problems with the recent "Predator" films by trimming the fat and keeping it simple.

At the heart of the story is Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young woman who is trying to prove herself to her tribe when the film kicks off — and ultimately her fight with the hunter is a way of earning the respect that she deserves. Midthunder is no stranger to challenging stories thanks to her previous work on FX's Marvel series "Legion." Trachtenberg also told GamesRadar how impressive she was in auditions. "So much of this movie is nonverbal and expressed through action, and when she auditioned, we did a version of the scene between her and her mother without any words," Trachtenberg said. "She could only communicate through her eyes and her behaviors, and it was such a moving experience watching that performance."

But speaking of auditions, it sounds like Trachtenberg and 20th Century Studios were keeping plot details under wraps when developing "Prey", because Midthunder didn't even know she was auditioning for the next "Predator" movie when she first heard about the role.

Amber Midthunder thought it was a period movie

In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Amber Midthunder revealed that she didn't know "Prey" was a "Predator" movie when auditioning. In fact, all Midthunder knew about the role was a very basic outline of her character, Naru. "I knew that it was a film only about a young Comanche woman who wanted to be a hunter, and I don't even know if I knew the exact time period," Midthunder said. "I don't know if that was decided at the time, or if I had that information."

Midthunder added that after she auditioned in February 2020, the project disappeared for a while due to the pandemic, but she was eventually called back for more auditions. She explained, "And then it started again, and eventually somebody told me, quite close to the last audition, 'Oh, this is a Predator movie.'" The star then added, "And I was like, 'What? Oh, my God! How's that gonna work?' and went through all the questions that everybody, I think, has cycled through. 'What? How would that..? What is that gonna look like? What does that mean?' I went through all those things, and then read the script, and then I understood."

Of course, it would be interesting to know if Midthunder would have approached the project differently if she had known her audition was for a "Predator" movie. Regardless, Naru definitely goes through a trial-by-fire by going up against the brutal hunter. Notably, it's still unclear whether the tease in the credits means that Trachtenberg aims to bring her back for more battles in the future.

"Prey" is available for streaming on Hulu.