Watch: Prey producer Jhane Myers on Native American representation
Prey producer Jhane Myers says the Native American representation in the movie has the potential to ‘shift that Hollywood paradigm’ around depictions of Native people.
The producer, who has worked on numerous projects involving Native American characters, praised the representation on both sides of the camera in the new Predator film.
Directed by 10 Cloverfield Lane filmmaker Dan Trachtenberg, the movie is set in the 1700s and follows a tribe of Comanche hunters who must defend themselves after the arrival of a Predator.
Legion star Amber Midthunder, who is a member of the Fort Peck Sioux Tribe, leads the cast as axe-wielding young woman Naru, seeking to prove herself as a hunter every bit as capable as the men.
Prey was filmed in both English and Comanche, with streaming services set to carry both languages of the movie — a source of pride for Myers.
“This is the first time there has ever been a brand new movie done in a Native language,” she told Yahoo.
She added: “So I think this shifts that Hollywood paradigm when they think about Native content and shows that it can be done and it can be done on a large scale.”
Despite the presence of dozens of Native actors in the cast, it’s notable that the person in the director’s chair is a white man — something Myers had no misgivings about.
She said: “When I read the script and when I interviewed with Dan and talked to Dan, Dan’s heart is in the right place.
“It doesn’t matter that he’s non-Native because predominantly the whole cast is Native American.”
Myers also said that many of the Native American staff members working behind the scenes were given their first break by the film and are now still working in the industry.
“When people think of Native people, we’re always in front of the camera, but here you have a Native producer and we had an internship programme so that within every department there were Native people,” she said.
Myers added: “In every section [of the production], we had Native people so it was very hands-on with Natives. Dan had this vision and then he had the brilliance to let us fill it in.”
Franchises like Predator, of course, come with in-built fanbases who have their own opinions about the direction of those franchises, but Myers thinks fans will love Prey.
“I grew up watching Predator films and the first one was my favourite action-adventure forever. This one, to me, is very similar to the first because it’s just pared down and doesn’t have all of those bells and whistles,” said the producer.
She added: “I don’t care about how other films have performed because this one is built like it’s a stand-alone.
“It is in a franchise, but you don’t have to have the background of watching another Predator film in order to get this. I think if you watch this, it’ll make you want to watch other Predator films.”
Prey is available via the Star platform on Disney+ from 5 August.
Watch: Trailer for Prey