Prey Will Give Viewers The Option To Watch The Film In The Comanche Language

It's hard to overestimate how popular the "Predator" series is, which means Dan Trachtenberg ("10 Cloverfield Lane," "Black Mirror," "The Boys") had his work cut out for him when tackling the highly-anticipated "Predator" prequel, "Prey." The film takes place 300 years ago on the land of the Comanche Nation and follows Naru, an impressive warrior who does all she can to protect her tribe against the threat of the alien predator. The titular alien being has tormented people for centuries, establishing a trend that only the toughest and most skilled can make it out alive. Producer John Davis previously declared "Prey" as going back to what made the original "Predator" film work, by centering on "the ingenuity of a human being who won't give up, who's able to observe and interpret, basically being able to beat a stronger, more powerful, well-armed force."

/Film's own Ben Pearson recently spoke with director Dan Trachtenberg and producer Jhane Myers about "Prey," and specifically about the usage of the Comanche language. Myers is Comanche and gave some incredible insight into how the film will be made accessible to audiences around the world. "That's really important to me being Comanche and working with our Comanche language department, also with working with Comanche language speakers," said Myers. "But just the fact that people will have a choice, the world will have a choice to listen to the whole film in Comanche is amazing." 

You read that right. Audiences will have the opportunity to watch "Prey" in Comanche, and hear the characters speak as they would have 300 years ago.

Prey is making history

According to Myers, "Prey" will be the first film made available in Comanche.

"That's never been done for my tribe, ever. There's only a couple of movies. I think 'Star Wars,' which was 30 years old when they transcribed it into Navajo, and then there was Navajo again for 'Finding Nemo,' which was 20 years old when they did that. But this is the first time for a brand new film to come out and have that option to hear it all in the whole language. So that not only inspires the young language speakers of my nation, but that inspires a lot of other people and shows them, and like I said, shows the world what our language is about. Which is thrilling for me."

Trachtenberg clarified and emphasized, saying the creative team did struggle with what he called the "'Hunt For Red October' thing," where the characters speak Russian before transitioning into English. He said they never quite came up with a way to make that work, so instead, the film was shot in English and Comanche. "Both languages are spoken, but when you hear English, it's as if it's Comanche," he said. "But what Jhane is speaking to is on Hulu, there will be a Comanche dub of the movie, so you can watch the entire movie in Comanche with the original actors returning to perform their roles."

Going the whole mile

Myers hopes that what "Prey" is doing with the Comanche language will inspire other directors to follow suit and that the decision to shoot the film in the tribe's native language will reset the paradigm, "so when other directors and people are producing films that have a native narrative, they'll go the whole mile and do the film in that language." Languages of Indigenous tribes across America have been dying out for 400 years, with over 200 languages declared extinct. A film like "Prey" prioritizing the use of the Comanche language is not just important for the authenticity of the storytelling, but because it keeps a language alive that's at risk of disappearing.

"When I first read the script I was so excited and I talked to Dan I'm like, 'Dan, I can't wait to hear ... !' because I'm a big 'Predator' fan, and I wanted [the Predator] to push that little language thing and get the Comanche language and then play it back," said Myers. "I thought that would be so cool, and that was in one of my first conversations with Dan because that's just what popped into my head."

"Prey" will be available on Hulu on August 5, 2022.