Friday, November 18, 2016

Emilia Clarke To Appear In The New Han Solo Movie

So it has just been announced that Emilia Clarke of Game Of Thrones will appear as a female lead in the upcoming Han Solo spinoff movie. I can sort of see why they would cast her. Because she brings plenty of name recognition because of Game Of Thrones and she helped carry Me Before You to a $207m worldwide gross. So she brings plenty of bankability as well.

But this casting is still slightly problematic in my opinion. Not because of Clarke's acting. But because of who she won the role over. According to Variety, Clarke won the role over Tessa Thompson, Zoe Kravitz, Kiersey Clemons, Naomi Scott, Jessica Henwick, and Adria Aronja. All those actresses have one thing in common and that is they're all women of color.

To me, Clarke's casting over all these actresses is another example of the ongoing belief or fear Hollywood has that women of color aren't as desirable as a lead star. Again, I don't blame Clarke. I blame those who did the casting. This is just like the #OscarsSoWhite situation where we all pointed fingers at the Academy even though there's a whole bigger picture at play.

Even though we do have Lupita Nyong'o involved in the latest main trilogy, she's still playing a motion capture role. It even goes beyond Star Wars because when we see actors of color in these blockbuster films, we don't really get to see them. Zoe Saldana is involved in three major franchises and in two of them, Avatar and Guardians of the Galaxy, she's cast as an alien. Paula Patton recently appeared as a lead in Warcraft where she played a green-skinned orc. Idris Elba appeared in about four films this year but in three of them, he only hear his voice but in Star Trek Beyond he played a prosthetic-laced alien. This situation makes you wonder how young colored children are going to see themselves on screen if they're not going to SEE themselves on screen. If we see actors of color constantly hiding behind prosthetics, motion capture, or voice work, then it just reinforces the negative notion that the lighter the skin, the more marketable you are.

So from an acting standpoint, I don't Clarke is a terrible choice. But I really wish they went with another one of the actresses that they considered because I want more people of color to be able to actually SEE themselves reflected on screen. I apologize if I may sound PC. But as somebody who has always loved movies, I think movies should do a better job at reflecting the different types of audiences that see their products.

To be fair, though, Star Wars has taken drastic measures for more diversity in films within its canon. I mean, in Rogue One, we have a female lead, a Hispanic co-lead, a Muslim and two Asians in supporting roles as well as an African American in a supporting role as well. Also, the Han Solo film will feature Donald Glover in a main role as a young Lando Calrissian and there are likely more roles still to be cast.

But I'd love to hear your thoughts on this casting choice. Please sound off in the comments section on what you think of Clarke's casting and the situation over who she won the role over. Thanks for reading!