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Prey's Dakota Beavers Explains How Taabe's A Different Kind Of Onscreen Big Brother - Exclusive

The new "Predator" film, "Prey," has a number of refreshing things going for it. It's pivot to a historical period, the commitment in the film to a full accuracy (in combat, horseback riding, and everything else) and a novel, more melee-centric Yautja all allow the film to do some new and unexpected things in the franchise. The movie focuses on a young Comanche woman, Naru (Amber Midthunder), and her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) as the pair team up to try and thwart a Yautja endangering their tribe. 

Another refreshing element of the script is one you wouldn't expect: the heartwarming relationship between Naru and older brother Taabe, who share a dynamic that's very different from the usual brother-sister relationship on the screen. While Naru is on a mission to prove herself as a hunter, a path that goes against the grain in her tribe, Taabe actually supports her journey even as the other young men reject her. In an exclusive interview with Looper, Beavers explains why having an atypically supportive relationship was so important to him.

How to be a better brother

So many films about young women seeking to rise up in conventional ways in a man's world have that female protagonist experience an array of doubters, even amongst their own family. Older brothers are often portrayed of dismissive of the younger sister's efforts, but not here — Taabe backs Naru's play, and the series ends with the pair joining forces as equals. In the interview, Beavers explains why this approach to their relationship was so important to him.

"It was important to me that Taabe not just be another older brother who was angry and jealous," he says, "and 'You can't do that, I'm the big boy here,' because we've seen that so many times. I wanted [him] to be someone who was supportive and loving, yet a strong and masculine guy, but he knew his sister's talents and he wanted her to succeed."

It's a smart approach that adds a modern, trope-escaping touch to an innovative franchise film. What's more, their relationship is really healthy, and that makes their team up in the final act work in "Prey." It also makes sure that Taabe is a character that really works in a modern lens. Beavers continues to explain how he wanted Taabe to want the best for Naru: "He wanted her to feel fulfilled in life, so that was really important to me, and I was so thankful that it translated that way in the end." 

It's that evident motive that allows them to pair up so well at the end, and that adds a moving element that would be missing if Taabe were the oh-so-stereotypical disapproving brother.

"Prey" is now streaming on Hulu.