Last week, while we were a little preoccupied with the idea of casting an Asian American actor as Iron Fist, Hollywood — as if on cue — once again proved cross-racial casting is really a one-way street and announced Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara will be playing Tiger Lily in Warner Brothers’ upcoming live action Peter Pan adaptation.
In describing the film, the Variety piece, seemingly without irony, actually said the following about this new take on the Peter Pan mythos:
The world being created is multi-racial/international — and a very different character than previously imagined.
The studio took on an exhaustive search in finding the right girl to play Lily looking at other actresses such as Lupita Nyonog’o and “Blue is the Warmest Color” thesp Adele Exarchopoulos before going out to Mara for the role.
And before the naysayers can interject that casting Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily is comparable to casting Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch, I’ll leave you with the Internet’s favorite actress Felicia Day and some real talk from her tumblr:
Tiger Lily, in the book, is actually portrayed in an EXTREMELY racist way. But hey, it could be a great opportunity to re-invent the character as a Native American to be proud of, rather than dodge the issue entirely, and take the role away and give it to a white woman.
Why NOT re-imagine Tiger Lily so that the audience can fall in love with and admire a woman of color? Or reimagine a superhero as an African-American, one among a TON of white ones we see every day? Let’s show the audience that they can live through anyone’s eyes!
On the other side of the coin, J.J. Abrams is ramping up production on Star Wars Episode VII, and there’s a strong possibility that the galaxy far, far away might not be so (tiger)lily-white after all.
The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed the rumors that have the Academy Award-winning Lupita Nyong’o circling the project in a starring role. In addition, Variety is reporting that Attack the Block star John Boyega is on the short list of actors being considered for the much coveted lead of the next Star Wars trilogy.
That’s right. Not a peripheral character (sorry, Lando and Mace), but as the lead. This is a big deal. Let’s just hope it happens.
Over on blastr, Krystal Clark looks back at the “unsung hero” of the comic book superhero movie renaissance, Blade.
Blade was everything De Luca and Frankfort were looking for. De Luca had an option on it for New Line, and they’d found the perfect writer for it in David S. Goyer. Everything was starting to fall into place. But their small comic-book movie slowly turned into a blockbuster.
Her answer: Yes! And she proves as much by describing 20 titles that should be on anyone’s to-read list.
[B]lack women have long been a part of the industry as avid consumers and creators. The dynamic work of Afua Richardson and C. Spike Trotman, along with this list of over 50 black women comics artists and writers from the Jackie Ormes Society models the kind of creative freedom that can empower any girl who picks up a comic.
Check out the rest of the post here. It’s a great read.
On the most recent episode of Hard N.O.C. Life, Nelson led a panel discussion about the diversity (or lack thereof) in the video game community. One title that was oft-cited by the panelists was Capcom’s Street Fighter II.
Coincidentally, Gene Demby at NPR Code Switch came to the realization that Street Fighter II is “racist as hell.” But it isn’t the only classic Nintendo game with that problem.
The landscape of popular games from the late 1980s and early 1990s was littered with crazy ethnic caricatures. In Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!!, a classic from the early Nintendo days, your fighter, Little Mac, took on a constellation of opponents from around the world — note the theme — whose defining traits were somehow always linked to their putative ethnicity.
Finally, Adult Swim recently announced Boondocks creator Aaron MacGruder was developing a new live action series for the network called Black Jesus. In fact, it’s not only developing, it’s actually already in production — with Gerald “Slink” Johnson, Charlie Murphy and John Witherspoon starring — and due to premiere later this year. If you can’t wait until then, don’t worry. The Boondocks is coming back to Adult Swim on April 21. Here’s the official teaser.