First off, I'm so excited that we don't have to wait another 5, 10+ years for another Predator film. I thought because of how poorly received the last one was, we'd definitely be looking at a 10+ year hiatus. I feel so lucky to be a Predator fan right now. Both A and P fans have so much to look forward to going into the 2020's
When you guys were talking about the potential mystical angle (portraying the Predator as if it were like a ghost or paranormal figure, rather than a Scifi alien monster), I think this could very well be an angle that they go with. Especially with the way in which they were wanting to keep the involvement of the Predator under wraps. It may be their intent to go back to the roots of the first movie and focus mostly on the characters outruning/out smarting the Predators, with the suspense of the Predator in the shadows/backround. Kind of like the "monster" in It Follows. We get to see it and recognize it's power, but we're always kept at two arm’s length without really ever understanding it, if that makes sense.
I don't think it would be a stretch at all to somehow tie this film into the Predator 2 ending with the flintlock pistol. It seems like it would be more of a hop than a leap, per se. The setting works, loosely, as does the time period (though to be honest, it's hard for me to imagine a Predator movie taking place in the Plains or desert. Won't that have an effect on the mystery? Where will everyone hide?) But going back to the setting/time period, I suppose it depends on what they mean by pre-colonization: pre-contact or pre-colony building (and then, which colonies).
I’d love to see a female protagonist go up against a female Predator. I think this would be the perfect opportunity to finally use one and it feel just natural to the script. My guess is that they’ll go with the portrayal in Hunting Grounds (not my first choice, but eh). I've never really liked the reasoning that because the males are muscular with linear torsos, they are the equivalent to human males. And therefore, the females are supposed to have breasts. I don't buy it.
But as far as casting choices for the female Comanche protagonist, it's too bad there aren't more known actresses to pull from. I do see some potential problems that could impact how the film is received. There’s already a lot of issues with people acknowledging their Native American ancestry, who gets to claim their ancestry and what checkboxes they have to mark in order to do so. Just some quick googling of the actress that you mentioned, Voodoo, already shows some controversy on the subject. I’d hate for this film to be rejected or denounced because of a cultural oversight or something. That was my first thought when you guys mentioned the possibility of somehow tying in the Predators with some of the existing folklore of the tribes.
So also, like what was brought up in the podcast about the contemporary gender politics, it did give me pause when I first read the movie description. Idk, I suppose whenever there's a female main it feels personal. Like I get extra invested in it. I’d like the female main to be taken seriously and be a good character. The last thing I want is to be pandered to or patronized. I truly hope they reach out to experts and give an accurate representation of life within the tribe, and not just superimpose the gender experience of Europeans at the time or in modern times. Though I will say, from what I've read so far, there are similarities. The captivity story of Bianca Babb is an interesting read.