Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Amber Midthunder Reveals The Real-World Origins Of The Sign Language Seen In Prey - Exclusive

Sci-fi horror, by its very nature, is an often futuristic subgenre with otherworldly threats. As a consequence, "authenticity" isn't usually listed among the subgenre's many virtues. "Prey," the newest film in the "Predator" franchise, is quite the contrary on that score. Taking place 300 years ago when a Yautja lands in Comanche territory, the movie is deeply committed to authenticity in every aspect, from the training to the language — there's a full dub in the Comanche language, and the original plan was to record it entirely in that language — to the details of the portrayed tribe. 

In an exclusive interview with star Amber Midthunder, she revealed that the authenticity of "Prey" extends not only to those aspects, but also even to another linguistic aspect of Comanche culture you may not expect. That sign language used in the movie? It's based on real Comanche sign language, used as part of the filmmakers' efforts to capture as much detail as possible in the world of "Prey."

Getting every aspect of the language right was important

When asked about the various training she had to undergo to capture traditional Comanche forms of combat, Amber Midthunder explained, "We had a four-week boot camp that we did in Calgary before we started shooting. Weapons training was a huge part of it, and we worked with a stunt team, and we worked with a personal trainer and all that kind of stuff."

It was a full-tilt, comprehensive boot camp that even saw co-star Dakota Beavers get extensive time horseback riding. At the same time, accurate cultural portrayal was just as important to director Dan Trachtenberg and producer Jhane Myers. The language component was particularly important to Myers, because as she told us, "This is the first time that there's ever been a film completely in the Comanche language."

The Comanche people utilized non-verbal sign language as well, so capturing that was an important aspect of being truly accurate. Of course, that's something the filmmaking team incorporated. As Midthunder shared: "[We also] developed a sign language that you see some of in the movie that was based off of real Comanche sign language, so [we] built on the world and the characters as much as possible before we started shooting."

It's a tremendous layer of detail to add to the film that makes it feel that much more rich and true to the society it portrays. 

"Prey" is now available on Hulu.