Pan, the upcoming live-action film based on the Peter Pan story, may have lost some of its magic with the casting of Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) as Tiger Lily.
The decision has sparked tremendous debate online over the fact that Tiger Lily (as written by J.M. Barrie) is Native American and Rooney is Caucasian.
In his original 1904 play and 1911 novel, J.M. described Tiger Lily as an "Indian" princess living with a tribe in Neverland. A 1907 illustration by Oliver Herford and the classic 1953 Disney movie both depicted Tiger Lily in stereotypical Native American garb.
Whenever a minority role goes to a non-minority actor — whether the minority be race, gender, sexuality, ablebodiedness, or otherwise — controversy flares, especially online. Jared Leto's involvement in Dallas Buyers Club is a good example. As admirable and Oscar-winning as Jared may have been in the part, many were upset that his role — a trans woman named Rayon — didn't go to a trans actress.
Still, as Entertainment Weekly notes, we still don't know much about how the Peter Pan story will be reinvented in Pan by writer Jason Fuchs (Ice Age: Continental Drift) and director Joe Wright (Anna Karenina). It's possible that their version of the character is Caucasian, too.
For what its worth, the other cast members announced for the 2015 film are Garrett Hedlund as Hook and Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard.
We love Rooney, but we hope there's an explanation for her casting that will appease everyone. We guess we should remember that all the world is made of faith, trust, and pixie dust, right?
Source: Entertainment Weekly