"Whispers Like Thunder" tells the story of Lyda, Ida and Helena Conley, sisters who fought for more than 60 years to protect a Wyandot Nation cemetery in present-day Kansas City, Kansas, where their mother, sister and ancestors were buried.
"These sisters gave their lives to make sure their Indian burial grounds were not sold to a developer," said Moro by phone recently from his Los Angeles home.
Moro, 45, said the project took root after a colleague met the chief of the Wyandot Nation of Kansas, Janet English, who expressed an interest in finding a filmmaker to tell the Conley sisters' story. The colleague referred English to Moro, who was quick to sign on.
After he finished writing the script, Moro set out looking for production support. After his wife became friends with a colleague of Kingsley's, he was introduced to Kingsley and gave the British actor the script for "Whispers Like Thunder."
With Kingsley's support as a producer of the film, Moro is hopeful the movie will find a major distributor and an all-star cast. But he's also hopeful the project's cultural value will not be lost in translation.
Moro hopes to finish the movie in time for the 2010 movie award season.
Please don't tell me Moro is planning to cast non-Natives to play the Conley sisters. Who? Summer Glau, Lynn Collins, and Vanessa Hudgens? Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, and Lucy Liu? Spare me from more ridiculous and racist casting decisions.
Ben Kingsley, Native?
And of course casting Ben Kingsley as Charles Curtis, vice president and Kaw Indian, is bad. Here's Curtis's ancestry according to Wikipedia:
Anyway, I wouldn't bet much money on seeing an "all-star" version of a movie about three women defending a cemetery. This has "independent art-house movie" written all over it. I suggest they forget about finding an all-star cast or a major distributor and just make the movie.
For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.
Below: Charles Curtis and Ben Kingsley. (Not a bad match, physically speaking.)