So there’s this movie about Moses coming out called “Exodus.” This is the cast:
Joel Edgerton as Pharaoh Ramses, John Turturro as Ramses’ father Seti, Sigourney Weaver as Ramses’ mother Tuya, Aaron Paul as Hebrew slave Joshua (who leads his people to the Promised Land after Moses) and Ben Kingsley.
This a movie set in ancient Egypt where every character is played by a white actor. Well, except for Ben Kingsley, the “exotic” actor on every casting director’s speed dial.
And if you look in the back of that photo, even the Sphinx is looking mighty Caucasian (thanks to eagle eyed ONTDers for that catch).
Like…I can’t. I just can’t with Hollywood. First Noah’s Arc in Scandinavia and now this.
A thing I made. So, I have no plans at all to go see Ender’s Game, ok, for the usual “OSC can’t have my money” reasons. Despite that, I still went “um” when I heard they’d cast Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham. And then I saw a production photo of Kingsley with a moko, and read about how they’d apparently consulted with experts to try and get it to look right, and… really, the Maori heritage of your character is that important, but you can’t cast a Maori actor? So here’s a recasting drawing: Temuera Morrison as Mazer Rackham, mostly because I found a good reference photo of him to work from and thought he looked sufficiently staunch in it. I couldn’t find an unfuzzy photo of the moko for the character, unfortunately, so this is the best I could do with a lot of squinting and I apologise to everyone because it’s not as good as it should be, and it is missing some bits because Tem’s got his hair here. I gave him the beard tho, because I suspected he’d be damned fine with a goatee, and indeed t’is so. But anyway. Maori character, Maori actor, la.
New photo released of Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham, a military commander of Maori descent, in “Ender’s Game” (2013). Regarding the moko, Kingsley says:
“Every gesture in the tattoo carries family history, family struggles – it’s your past,” the actor says. “I was so enthralled. He’s in quite a contained, stylized uniform but then this wonderful face tells his warrior history.”
Rackham is an important character of color in the Ender’s Game novel—and arguably the highest profile Maori character in any upcoming tent pole movie this decade. Roles like this one do not come along often for actors of Pacific Islander descent. While the role is being portrayed by an actor of color, it is hard not to feel disappointed that the production did not cast a Maori actor to play this role.