Friday August 5, 2022

The Predator movies — especially the second installment from 1990 — have dropped hints to the fact that the titular, bloodthirsty extra-terrestrial warrior has been to Earth plenty of times before we were first introduced to it in the original 1987 classic (one of the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies). However, we have never been given the chance to see this creature go hunting in a time before modern civilization, when its otherworldly and extremely deadly weaponry would prove to be an even greater threat against more primitive technology, until the release of Prey on Hulu.

From 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg, this prequel to the Predator franchise (and fifth film overall) is one of the most exciting new movies starring Amber Midthunder, who plays a Comanche woman struggling to protect her tribe from oppressive forces — especially that of a bizarre, imposing, armored beast that has turned her home into its personal hunting grounds — during the 18th Century. Before witnessing who will survive the Predator’s rampage in this new, unique vision of the iconic villain’s story by streaming it on Hulu, let’s discuss who is playing whom in the Prey cast, starting with the heroic lead.

Amber Midthunder as Naru in Prey.

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Amber Midthunder (Naru) 

The role of Naru — a Comanche warrior who comes face-to-face with the Predator in Prey — is one that Native American actor Amber Midthunder was born to play, marking her first time leading an action movie after years of supporting roles in the genre. For instance, she played a missing teenager rescued by the titular Wyoming sheriff in the Longmire pilot, was witness to a bank robbery in 2016’s Hell or High Water, had a pretty badass recurring role on Legion as a powerful mutant, and appeared in two Liam Neeson movies in 2021 (The Marksman and Netflix’s The Ice Road).

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Midthunder made her acting debut at 4 years old alongside her father, Westworld’s David Midthunder, in 2001’s The Homecoming of Jimmy Whitecloud before landing her first speaking role in 2008’s Sunshine Cleaning and later earning more prominent starring spots in movies like the 2016 drama, Priceless, the horror movie 14 Cameras in 2018, and the thriller Only Mine from 2019. Also in 2022, she portrayed one-half of a marriage on the rocks in director Steve Pink’s drama The Wheel and can currently be seen on the fourth and final season of The CW’s sci-fi series Roswell, New Mexico as Rosa Ortecho.

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Dakota Beavers in Prey

(Image credit: Hulu)

Dakota Beavers (Taabe) 

As a fellow Comanche warrior and member of Naru’s tribe named Taabe, we have Dakota Beavers. Like his co-star, Amber Midthunder, the young actor is also of Native American descent, but unlike her, Prey is not only his first movie, but his very first acting credit ever.

However, artistic performance is not lost on Beavers, who is also a successful musician and has been active in the art since he was 13. He sings and plays lead guitar for the country music group WesternBoy — a trio he formed with his father, Lance, and brother, Dylan.

Comanche Nation warrior holding bow and arrow in Prey

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Stormee Kipp (Character Name Unavailable) 

Also landing his breakout feature film role in the Prey cast is Stormee Kipp. However, while the sci-fi action thriller will be most audiences’ introduction to the fellow young actor of Native American descent, he has already received praise for his performance in another period piece following the violent struggles of an indigenous tribe. In November 2021, Kipp won Best Actor at the American Indian Film Festival for his lead role in Sooyii — a 2021 drama co-written and directed by stuntman Krisztian Kery about a young Pikuni man who mysteriously becomes the only survivor of a deadly curse that spreads throughout his village.

Michelle Thrush in Prey

(Image credit: Hulu)

Michelle Thrush (Character Name Unavailable) 

One of the more experienced performers in the Prey cast is Michelle Thrush — an award-winning Aboriginal Canadian actor known best for writer and director Jim Jarmusch’s Johnny Depp-led drama, Dead Man, from 1995, 2007’s brutal mythological adventure, Pathfinder, with Karl Urban, and her main role on the Canadian crime drama, Blackstone, from 2009 to 2015. She made her debut in 1984 with the TV movie, Isaac Littlefeathers, before appearing in more films with rich Indigenous representation like 1991’s The Dark Wind with Lou Diamond Phillips, 2002’s Skins from Smoke Signals director Chris Eyre, and HBO’s Emmy-winning historical feature, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee in 2007.

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Some of Thrush’s other most notable TV credits include playing the Ghost of Christmas Past in 1998’s Ebenezer (TNT’s western reimagining of A Christmas Carol), guest spots on hit series like Fargo and Hell on Wheels, recurring spots on shows like Amazon’s Tin Star or Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem, and lending her voice to PBS’s animated children’s program Molly of Denali. She also acted alongside her own daughter, Imajyn Cardinal, in the 2015 coming-of-age drama, Saver, and had a major role in 2016’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure, The Northlander.

Julian Black Antelope in Prey

(Image credit: Hulu)

Julian Black Antelope (Character Name Unavailable) 

Another Canadian-born Prey cast member of indigenous descent is Julian Black Antelope, who has numerous credits in common with Michelle Thrush — including The Northlander, Blackstone, guest spots on the likes of Hell on Wheels or Arctic Air, and a recurring role on the Canadian crime drama, Tribal. He made his acting debut in executive producer Steven Spielberg’s historical miniseries, Into the West, in 2005, followed that with a French-language historical parody film called Big City in 2007, and more recently created and starred on his own fact-based TV show called The Secret History of: The Wild West in 2021.

The actor, writer, filmmaker, and stunt performer has also made guest appearances on series like the Gothic horror Penny Dreadful, Arrowverse favorite The Flash, and NBC’s short-lived sci-fi drama, Debris. Antelope also appeared in Jeremy Saulnier’s Netflix original thriller, Hold the Dark, in 2018 and was last seen taking on an otherworldly creature in the woods in 2021’s Don’t Say Its Name

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Dane DiLiegro as the Predator in Prey

(Image credit: Hulu)

Dane DiLiegro (The Predator)

In 1987’s Predator, the titular creature was portrayed by 6’9” former basketball player Kevin Peter Hall, who also put on prosthetics to star in Harry and the Hendersons the same year. In Prey, the villain is portrayed by 6’9” former basketball player Dane DiLiegro, who also played an imposing creature called The Dragior on Disney+’s fantasy-inspired reality competition, The Quest, in 2022.

Among the other beastly acting credits DiLiegro has under his belt so far are his uncredited debut role as “Hero Walker” on Season 10 of The Walking Dead and the “Muscle Monster” on Netflix’s South Korean post-apocalypse drama, Sweet Home, from 2020. The following year, he appeared in two episodes of Hulu’s creepy anthology series American Horror Stories (first as part of a Halloween festival’s “Scare Patrol” and secondly as a fertility demon known as a Ba’al) and played an alien in the music video for Doja Cat’s “Get Into It (Yuh).” He is set to appear in the upcoming movie, Monsters of California (likely as one of said monsters).

It is really cool to see this new chapter in the Predator saga following tradition by casting a B-ball player as the iconic antagonist, but also especially refreshing to see this new film go in an entirely new direction by setting it way in the past and casting a female actor in the lead. See how Amber Midthunder’s Naru measures up against Dane DiLiegro’s Predator by streaming Prey (opens in new tab), which is available on Hulu now.

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