This summer, yet another re-imagining of the beloved classic Peter Pan will be hitting our silver screens. It is a fantasy film directed by Joe Wright and already... People hate it. The cast features Hugh Jackman as Captain Blackbeard, Levi Miller as Peter, Garrett Hedlund as Captain Hook, and many more. However, the source of the controversy over the film in wake of the recent protesting and outrage over whitewashed film stems from one character in particular.
Tiger Lily, the Native American Princess of Neverland being portrayed by actress Rooney Mara. Rooney Mara is about as pale as Edward Cullen, the fact that a white actress was cast in the role of a character who has always been identified as Native American has people all in a tizzy and nobody can blame them; Even in the 2003 version, they managed to cast Carsen Gray, a descendant of the Haida tribe, who had no prior acting credits to her name.
What makes it worse is the director's quote that he is “planning to create a world that very international and multi-racial, effectively challenging audiences’ preconceived notions of Neverland and reimagining the environment.”
He could have easily done so by properly casting Tiger Lily to not be a stark white woman with a splash of red over her eyes -- which many have taken offense to -- and instead giving the character some depth while erasing that horribly ear-grating and racist song Disney gave us with their 1953 version "What Makes the Red Man Red". The fact that nearly the entire cast is reportedly as white as virgin snow seems about as multi-racial as that ridiculous Ridley Scott biblical film, Exodus -- which has been banned in a number of countries. I look forward to seeing this tank at the box office, though the sole fact that many will be going simply to drool over the bald and goatee'd Jackman, I'm not sure it will. Still, there is no excuse for this and I expected better from the director of The Soloist.