Routh takes aim at 'Crooked Arrows'
'Superman Returns' star set for sports pic
By Jeff Sneider
Steve Rash ("Can't Buy Me Love") is directing from a script by Todd Baird.
Story follows a rag-tag Native American high school lacrosse team that is forced to join the local prep school league, which is comprised of better trained and equipped rivals.
Routh will play the tribal chairman's part-Native American entrepreneurial son who is tasked with coaching the reservation's motley lacrosse team in the hopes that he'll reconnect with his fellow tribe members. An unlikely and uplifting journey to the prep league's championship game ensues.
J. Todd Harris and Mitchell Peck are producing, while Sports Studio ("Miracle") will co-produce with a focus on authentic athletic casting, outfitting and choreography. Reebok is the film's first athletic corporate sponsor. Production is scheduled to start this July in the Boston area.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Routh attended the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four in Baltimore, where "Crooked Arrows" held an open casting call. "I was moved by the script," said Routh, whose ancestors hail from the Kickapoo Tribe. "While it has all the ingredients of a classic underdog sports movie, it actually appealed to me on a deeper level. I think the father-son and brother-sister dynamics of the story are compelling, as is [the] more spiritual Native American aspect."
"We couldn't be happier," boasted Harris. "Brandon is a highly recognizable and well-liked actor around the world, and he brings authenticity to the athletic and Native aspects of the film."
Moreover, Routh's main claim to fame is starring in Superman Returns, which is widely considered a disappointment or a failure. So how does a little-known "star" with one flop to his name get a major Native role? It certainly can't be because of his box-office potentially, which is effectively nil.
What's going on here is sadly obvious. Hollywood's cowardly executives have cast someone with a hint of Native ancestry (see Johnny Depp and Taylor Lautner) so they can claim "authenticity." They think a white actor without significant accomplishments is more marketable than a talented Native actor. They've made the character "part Native" in a feeble attempt to inoculate themselves from criticism.
Of course, a tribal chairman's son is likely to be a member of the tribe regardless of his "blood." He's likely to live with the tribe and participate in its culture. All of which leaves the non-Native Routh out. The guy has zero "authenticity" as a Native except in a racist's mind.
Haynes gets criticized
I believe Rene Haynes is the movie's casting director. She's done good things in the past. I think she hired Native actors for New Moon after the Twilight fiasco. But she may have been responsible for hiring Julia Jones, Boo Boo Stewart, and Tinsel Korey also.
I gather she's taking some heat for this casting decision. If so, good. Anyone who thinks Routh is "authentic" shouldn't be involved in casting.
For more on the movie, see Financing Crooked Arrows. For more on casting decisions, see Tavare on Hollywood Indians and Depp's "Dilemma" Over Playing Mexican.