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Dan Trachtenberg Talks Amber Midthunder’s Casting, French Fur Trappers and No Plasma Casters

In another new interview following the release of the full trailer, Dan Trachtenberg spoke to Empire about a number of different aspects of Prey. Talking about casting Amber Midthunder, he spoke about his initial reaction to her audition.

“Primarily because she’s awesome! She read for the role in a hotel room, over Zoom or FaceTime and she really delivered. She transported me, immediately, despite the strange circumstances of her audition tape. She’s incredibly thoughtful, and relatable.

One of the things that I was excited to have was a period piece that didn’t put a wall up between the viewer and the characters. And not stuffy in a way that sometimes a period piece can get. Because it’s of a different time, you forget that people are still people and still felt the same feelings that we feel today, even way back when. And Amber immediately has that laser into our soul of, ‘oh, man, she feels how I feel’. Also, her parents have both been stunt performers in the past and I thought, ‘If they can do it, she can do it too’. And boy, did she! She trained so hard for this movie and really delivers on the action.”

Those of us out there who have been tracking the film closely will have seen actors cast as French fur trappers. When asked about Colonialism in Prey, Trachtenberg also confirmed that we would be seeing those fur trappers, and they have a large role to play in the film.

“I don’t want to speak too much of this. I want to make sure that I let the movie speak for itself. But yes, those are French fur trappers. Right. And, and they do play a significant role in the movie.”

 Dan Trachtenberg Talks Amber Midthunder's Casting, French Fur Trappers and No Plasma Casters

Trachtenberg has also spoken in recent days about the inspiration for the portrayal and weaponry of the Feral Predator, as Prey’s Predator was known on set, but while talking to Empire he also confirmed that the Feral Predator is hunting without a very specific piece of technology this time around.

“The primary thing that I wanted to remove was the plasma caster. Just because it just felt like such an instant win button. I wanted to make sure that that the fight could be as exciting as possible without stripping it of its advantages. He doesn’t have all the tools that he has in the in newer movies. But he does have awesome new gadgets for people to see.”

Acknowledging the varying opinions on the quality of the films after the original Predator, Trachtenberg discussed his desire to head back to the basic primal, instincts of that original Predator movie” stating that:

“I think all of the movies after the first one have all had really cool bits. I don’t know if there’s ever been one that on the whole was just a fabulous movie, I think they’ve all had varying degrees of awesome parts in them. So, it was very important to me that not only does this movie have to have awesome parts in it, but it also really needed to have a great story and something that was more universal even than in the original Predator.

I wanted to return to the basic primal, instincts of that original Predator movie. I think so many big swings have been taken since that one. And that was a part of this. ‘Okay, let’s do small again. But in a big way.’ And so, hopefully, for diehard fans of the franchise and all its incarnations, they feel like this movie speaking only to them. And for people who have never seen a Predator movie before, they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s a movie? It’s a real movie? I thought it was just a monster movie!’ It’s both!”

 Dan Trachtenberg Talks Amber Midthunder's Casting, French Fur Trappers and No Plasma Casters

Make sure you head on over to Empire to read the entire piece. Trachtenberg also talks about how the look of Prey was inspired by Texan filmmaker Terrence Malick and Macbeth, easter eggs,  bringing a sense of suspense back to Predator,

Be sure to keep your targets set on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for all the latest Prey news! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to get the latest on your social media walls. Be sure to join in with fellow Alien and Predator fans on our forums as well!



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  1. BlueMarsalis79
    Quote from: Highland on Jun 18, 2022, 07:49:58 AM
    Quote from: SiL on Jun 18, 2022, 06:31:16 AM
    Quote from: Highland on Jun 15, 2022, 07:00:56 AMWhich three? Macs got a gun, Poncho's got a gun that Anna picks up. Who's the other one? 

    Trump card - Nolan gets shot by a bad blood ! :P
    Billy, King Willie, Dutch. (I'm taking "unarmed" as in no guns, as the conversation was about them not shooting people who don't gave guns)

    No lie having seen each film 50 times. I can't recall either Billy or King Willy getting shot at from a plasma caster.

    They don't.
  2. Highland
    Quote from: SiL on Jun 18, 2022, 06:31:13 AM
    Quote from: Highland on Jun 15, 2022, 07:00:53 AMWhich three? Macs got a gun, Poncho's got a gun that Anna picks up. Who's the other one? 

    Trump card - Nolan gets shot by a bad blood ! :P
    Billy, King Willie, Dutch. (I'm taking "unarmed" as in no guns, as the conversation was about them not shooting people who don't gave guns)

    No lie having seen each film 50 times. I can't recall either Billy or King Willy getting shot at from a plasma caster.
  3. Highland
    Quote from: SiL on Jun 15, 2022, 04:35:41 AM
    Quote from: Highland on Jun 15, 2022, 04:32:09 AM
    Quote from: SiL on Jun 15, 2022, 04:22:41 AMWasn't Nolan unarmed?

    Not sure, didn't count that movie  :-X
    Then there are exactly three unarmed combatants in the first two movies and one gets shot at a lot.

    And for what it's worth Mac isn't holding his gun when he gets shot.

    Which three? Macs got a gun, Poncho's got a gun that Anna picks up. Who's the other one? 

    Trump card - Nolan gets shot by a bad blood ! :P
  4. Highland
    Quote from: SiL on Jun 14, 2022, 07:22:43 PM
    Quote from: Highland on Jun 14, 2022, 01:19:50 PMI mean, the movie that has a Predator blowing away Natives with a plasma caster sounds fakin boring anyway  :laugh:
    How is it any different to watching a predator blow away anyone else with a plasma caster?

    It's not like they just spam the weapon. They always like to use multiple items.

    Don't quote me on it, but ( in the normal movies anyway) the predator uses the Plasma Caster on people who also have a projectile based weapon.

    The only situation I can think he didn't is when Dutch set his blood boiling with a grenade.
  5. BigDaddyJohn
    Quote from: Highland on Jun 14, 2022, 01:19:50 PM
    Quote from: Master on Jun 14, 2022, 08:18:59 AMExcept the laser was present in very first teaser.

    You mean the targeting laser? I think that's a bit different. He's still got gadgets.

    I mean, the movie that has a Predator blowing away Natives with a plasma caster sounds fakin boring anyway  :laugh:

    In P2 City Hunter could've used his plasma caster way more. But he choose to get more up close and personal probably for thrills and fun.

    If he had overused his caster, wouldn't it have been way more easier for him ? To the point where armed cops and druglors would have posed almost a non-existant challenge for him. I think it's pretty much the same with Comanches.
  6. Highland
    Well there can be a few things that we don't know yet. For one throwing a Spear means you've got to get it back.....not like the plasma caster.

    Maybe the bolt is meant to mame and not kill, Maybe there's a limit on the bolts....

    Maybe he just didn't want lasers in a movie set in 1700  :laugh:
  7. BlueMarsalis79
    You can say that about nearly anything in a script, that's saying the obvious, you know that's why I used the phrase "more relativity" as well.

    As for gearing up, I certainly hope not, I'd rather stay with the story.

    And not be reminded of AVP or AVPR.
  8. BlueMarsalis79
    Quote from: Lefty on Jun 13, 2022, 04:50:19 PMYeah I mean, then plasma caster is an advantage no matter what time period the predator hunts in. It would ruin an Alien Queen's day IMMEDIATELY. A predator with a functioning plasma caster seems only outmatched if he acts stupidly, is horribly outnumbered, or just doesn't see the threat coming.

    Also yes, I've been hoping that the thing protruding off Feral's back turns out to be a brutal machete type weapon ever since we got the teaser poster  ;D

    You're right it is, and again I don't believe anyone's said otherwise, certainly not the director.

    I'd love a sword, or machete, but part of me expects perhaps an Atlatl considering the theme of the film.

    Quote from: Kailem on Jun 13, 2022, 05:11:18 PM
    Quote from: BlueMarsalis79 on Jun 13, 2022, 04:49:59 PMEven an arrow head or spear has more real world relativity than plasma that can do whatever the writer requires.

    Oh yeah, whatever/however that weapon is used it'll be a good fit visually with the world of this film, and it should fit well with this more primitive-looking Pred. I've just never bought into the idea (which was floated on here when this movie was first revealed) that Predators can't/shouldn't use plasma casters once they get beyond a certain point in history for some reason.

    Oh yeah it's absolute nonsense but I don't think that's what Dan Trachtenberg was putting across.
  9. Kailem
    Quote from: BlueMarsalis79 on Jun 13, 2022, 04:49:59 PMEven an arrow head or spear has more real world relativity than plasma that can do whatever the writer requires.

    Oh yeah, whatever/however that weapon is used it'll be a good fit visually with the world of this film, and it should fit well with this more primitive-looking Pred. I've just never bought into the idea (which was floated on here when this movie was first revealed) that Predators can't/shouldn't use plasma casters once they get beyond a certain point in history for some reason.
  10. Lefty
    Yeah I mean, then plasma caster is an advantage no matter what time period the predator hunts in. It would ruin an Alien Queen's day IMMEDIATELY. A predator with a functioning plasma caster seems only outmatched if he acts stupidly, is horribly outnumbered, or just doesn't see the threat coming.

    Also yes, I've been hoping that the thing protruding off Feral's back turns out to be a brutal machete type weapon ever since we got the teaser poster  ;D
  11. Kailem
    He doesn't say anywhere that this Predator is going to be using a bow though, let alone a bow that functions the same as the ones humans use (for all we know it could be another shoulder-mounted, auto-targeting weapon that just shoots small spears rather than plasma bolts), so I don't see how that applies here either.
  12. Kailem
    Quote from: BlueMarsalis79 on Jun 13, 2022, 04:14:22 PMYeah I think you all sound crazy for discussing something Dan Trachtenberg did not say personally, he never said it's more deadly in the past than in 1987 or 2022 or somehow more fair, but he's completely right in that it is an instant win button potentially whereas a bow requires a arrow to function for a start but as he said the Predator still keeps it's advantage.

    A plasma caster though has only the restrictions of imagination.

    How is a bow any different to a plasma caster though? The one scene where we've seen the Predator firing a projectile weapon plays out identically to if it had fired a bolt of plasma. I'm not really seeing much difference there other than cosmetics.
  13. Mornstar
    Trachtenberg remembers exactly how he first encountered the Predator story – and like many of us, it was at a much younger age than its 18-rating would suggest...

    "Predator came out when I was in third grade. I was not allowed to see it, and rightfully so! But I was in the van on the way to a karate tournament with a bunch of sixth graders. And they described the entire movie to me, including a beat where Billy, the Native American scout (Sonny Landham), carved into his own chest and fought the predator on a waterfall. And then I saw the movie, and that scene is not really in it! But that always captured my imagination. I always wanted to see that movie, you know. And that is also a part of the genesis of this."
    Focusing on Native American hunters as the ideal counterpoint to the extraterrestrial menace was something that Trachtenberg had in mind from the start.

    "That was my initial pitch to Fox [before it was purchased by Disney], the notion of how cool it would be to make a movie that focuses on a Native American story, to make a Western that has no cowboys in it," says Trachtenberg. "That's a movie which really does not exist. It shockingly doesn't. And I just I wanted to make a movie that would be told primarily visually and through action."

    Which brought up a challenge for the filmmaker. "How do you engage in a very economical way, and still tell an emotional story? I'm not an athlete in any way, I do not follow sports, but I love sports movies, primarily because they feel like action movies that you don't need laser guns for. But they always feel warm and hopeful, you know. And so, I thought, 'if I could have the engine of a sports movie, tell a real underdog story inside this action movie, it could feel really gripping and moving.' Part and parcel with that underdog story was, 'what if we make it about someone, and a people that also, in media, are the underdog? Who are the people that never have a light shined on them?'"
    https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/prey-trailer-breakdown-director-dan-trachtenberg-on-thwarting-expectations-generating-suspense-and-targeting-new-characters/
  14. BlueMarsalis79
    Yeah I think you all sound crazy for discussing something Dan Trachtenberg did not say personally, he never said it's more deadly in the past than in 1987 or 2022 or somehow more fair, but he's completely right in that it is an instant win button potentially whereas a bow requires a arrow to function for a start but as he said the Predator still keeps it's advantage.

    A plasma caster though has only the restrictions of imagination.
  15. Kailem
    Yeah I get wanting to stick to "less advanced" weaponry by and large for this film's Pred since it's going be be set in a more primitive era, but I completely agree that the plasma caster is no less of an insta-win back then than in any of the other modern day movies we've seen it used in. You could one-to-one swap it for that speargun/bow weapon we see used in the trailer and the outcome there (Naru saving that one guy when she sees the targeting laser) would be exactly the same.

    And you could still easily make it work just by showing that this Predator doesn't always want to use it, the same way City Hunter only used his a very few times throughout the course of the film.

    But regardless, as long as they don't try to imply that they just haven't invented plasma casters yet (which I'm not sure how the movie could, same as how I can't really see any way they could explicitly state that this was the Predator's first time on Earth) then it's cool. It's going to be different seeing one that doesn't use one for the first time in a film, but it fits with the more "primitive" look of this new Predator, and potentially gives us a little more character to him that this one's choosing to forgo that particular weapon.
  16. The Shuriken
    Quote from: GreybackElder on Jun 12, 2022, 05:36:44 PMThe more and more I hear about this the more it seems like Dan Trachtenberg understands what it takes to make a good Predator film.

    I also approve of the idea of Feral not having a plasmacaster. It just seems so unfair against humans in the 1700s.

    It's not really fair against anything honestly. Be it in 1987 or 1719. There's also the unfairness of being completely invisible and ambushing your target. The whole unfairness reason for ditching the plasma caster doesn't pass the smell test for me.
  17. GreybackElder
    Quote from: Lefty on Jun 13, 2022, 02:09:08 PMI dig it because I always prefer them using blades, anyway. It's just so brutal to imagine those wrist blades going into you. Although I hope it isn't played off as "they haven't invented the plasma casters yet" or anything that limits the predator world building. They don't all have to use one, I imagine they select their preferred gear before a hunt, and this one might just prefer to go without it.

    Blades, spears and nets ftw. I'd love to see something akin to Greyback's "alien machete" getting some use, too.

    If you look at some of the scenes, there appears to be a hilt of some kind on Ol' Feral's back. Possibly a machete or sword of some kind.
  18. Lefty
    I dig it because I always prefer them using blades, anyway. It's just so brutal to imagine those wrist blades going into you. Although I hope it isn't played off as "they haven't invented the plasma casters yet" or anything that limits the predator world building. They don't all have to use one, I imagine they select their preferred gear before a hunt, and this one might just prefer to go without it.

    Blades, spears and nets ftw. I'd love to see something akin to Greyback's "alien machete" getting some use, too.
  19. Mr.Turok
    I think people miss the point that it takes more skill in using a bow then a futuristic aimbot plasma based shoulder weapon that has the capacity to punch a hole into a tank. Have to have strength in pulling back the bow, keeping it steady to launch a successful shot, keep tight groupings for have consistent accuracy, taking account of wind, elevation, getting close enough range to make successful shot without alerting your prey due range limitations of a bow, ect.

    I don't know much on the speargun's performance seeing as we have the games to go with and that one scene in Predator 2, so we don't know the true canon function of the weapon will be like the other media or something else new. It came in pistol and rifle form, and for all we know it could have been a wrist weapon that is short ranged due to the ambiguity of the scene in P2. Lets not forget that the speargun's function during gameplay is not an accurate translation to film function due to said being gameplay. 

    As for cloaking device, I mean we humans use camouflaged suits to blend in the environment for our hunts or warfare operations and this is an advanced version that crumbles before being splashed by water, in comparison to our camosuits that simply get wet but in no means disrupts the suit's function at all. Might rain in the forest but I still blend in said trees in bushes, but just sucks that I'm wet and now a simple wind can get me cold. So its a trade off of strengths and weaknesses.
  20. Highland
    Quote from: Immortan Jonesy on Jun 13, 2022, 12:23:11 AM
    Quote from: SiL on Jun 12, 2022, 10:37:36 PMDan explicitly said he took out the shoulder canon because he thought it was too much of an instant win button. It's the first line of the quoted text, what's the confusion?

    If he really wanted to make the premise fairer, he should have removed the cloaking device instead.  ;D


    Quote from: Highland on Jun 13, 2022, 12:13:04 AMHumans use guns, he uses a gun, humans use bows he uses a bow. I think it's probably as simple as that.

    Humans use weapons to kill animals that they couldn't beat with their bare hands. We are smart omnivores, and we don't have the strength nor the natural weapons to prey on whatever we want. Humans use intelligence to create mechanisms. I guess with the Predator it's similar and mankind represent a challenge in technological terms. They can kick human butt with their bare hands after all. :P

    True, but the Predator has to hunt things much worse than a human. Can't see him taking on an Alien hive with a tomahawk  :laugh: 
  21. GreybackElder
    I think people are splitting hairs when it comes to what the director said in regards to the plasma caster. Take "predator hunting rules" and what they deem as fair and noble Out of the equation for a second. I'd say like 85% or 90% of the time the plasma caster was a one shot one kill. I think that is way more unfair than a spear or bow and arrow that may only possibly wound on first hit. 

    Plasma cannon > than spear.
  22. Immortan Jonesy
    Quote from: SiL on Jun 12, 2022, 10:37:36 PMDan explicitly said he took out the shoulder canon because he thought it was too much of an instant win button. It's the first line of the quoted text, what's the confusion?

    If he really wanted to make the premise fairer, he should have removed the cloaking device instead.  ;D


    Quote from: Highland on Jun 13, 2022, 12:13:04 AMHumans use guns, he uses a gun, humans use bows he uses a bow. I think it's probably as simple as that.

    Humans use weapons to kill animals that they couldn't beat with their bare hands. We are smart omnivores, and we don't have the strength nor the natural weapons to prey on whatever we want. Humans use intelligence to create mechanisms. I guess with the Predator it's similar and mankind represent a challenge in technological terms. They can kick human butt with their bare hands after all. :P
  23. Highland
    Quote from: Master on Jun 12, 2022, 11:31:55 PMFuturistic speargun or bow is as much capable of killing Blane with or without minigun as plasmacaster. The point is moot. Predator does not play fair and the difference in killing it's pray unfairly in one way or another doesn't change anything.

    I'd rather would make it personal preference.  One takes good ol rifle into the woods and other likes to play with sophisticated bow and arrows.  It dosent change a bit for intended animal.

    That's like saying to a fisherman, why take a fishing rod when you can just take a bunch of grenades.

    Humans use guns, he uses a gun, humans use bows he uses a bow. I think it's probably as simple as that.

    Unless fans actually want the Predator running around with a normal bow and arrow....
  24. Master
    Futuristic speargun or bow is as much capable of killing Blane with or without minigun as plasmacaster. The point is moot. Predator does not play fair and the difference in killing it's pray unfairly in one way or another doesn't change anything.

    I'd rather would make it personal preference.  One takes good ol rifle into the woods and other likes to play with sophisticated bow and arrows.  It dosent change a bit for intended animal.
  25. Highland
    Blane was holding a mini-gun. There's zero chance he's getting himself killed from a bow and arrow.

    The original movie even touches on this when Dutch kicks the gun out of Anna's hands.
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