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Battle of the Links

Today's Must Read
Vulture has an amazing profile on Jenny Slate which also gives personal insight into her career and life and, more surprisingly, her former relationship with Chris Evans. He comes off sounding so dreamy which is not what you expect in a breakup discussion!

Variety the tennis film Battle of the Sexes gets a Sept 22nd release date. Will Emma Stone be back in the Oscar race or will there be no need for a victory lap?
Coming Soon there's a project being pitched in Hollywood that unites classic fairy tale heroines in one story (like a superhero team but fairy tale princesses) 
Collider interviews the undervalued Michael Peña about CHIPs and he reveals that he still doesn't know if he's in the Ant-Man sequel (which seemed foolish of Marvel since he totally stole that movie)

lots more after the jump...

IndieWire did you hear that the elusive subject of the recent documentary Tickled (who was accused of relentlessly harassing his video subjects) died suddenly this month? He was only 55. 
Superfi desperate sequels with imaginary movie posters. The M4trix is pretty funny given recent news
Boy Culture Cher almost didn't get Witches of Eastwick for being too old? (That movie turned out so well considering its sordid preproduction!)
AV Club Disney hit with lawsuit about Zootopia's origins
Theater Mania the Mean Girls musical is actually on the way to being a reality. It's got an October start date now for an out of town run before Broadway
Comics Alliance Marvel wouldn't go for it but internet artists are redesigning Iron Fist as Asian. Fun illustrations! 
World of Reel six movies that went from mediocre to brilliant with a director's cut (I wouldn't say Blade Runner was ever mediocre but it definitely did improve) 
/Film before Gary Oldman does Churchill in The Finest Hour arriving late this year hoping for Oscars, there's another Churchill biopic to get through first. The June release stars Brian Cox
Film School Rejects thinks three action films from SXSW: Atomic Blonde, Baby Driver, and Free Fire will be among the best films of 2017 when the year wraps up
Pajiba is justifiably annoyed with how the internet treats stories about LGBT representation in superhero comics versus superhero films (part of the problem, though Pajiba doesn't go there -- is that many online writers are quite young and don't have a grasp of pop culture that arrived before them so to them Iceman being gay is a very very big groundbreaking deal even though he didn't come out until AFTER his last big screen appearance)
Towleroad on two musical revivals about artists on Broadway, Sunday in the Park with George and Sunset Blvd 

A bit more on that recent Get Out casting conversation
Richard Brody has some interesting thoughts over at the New Yorker on the recent mini-kerfuffle about Samuel L Jackson stating that an American actor should have played the lead role in Get Out. Good piece but I must personally note that things have gone too far in this situation online. The impetus for these conversations started from a valid point (representation and whitewashing problems) and have since morphed into this notion that actors should stick to only what they are which is... well, frankly, it's insane. If artists can only write or act their own experiences than goodbye to at least half of all art ever produced. Goodbye all leaps of imagination! I've recently seen people griping about Penélope Cruz being cast as Donatella Versace. Please! There's nothing whatsoever wrong with a white European playing another white European who happened to be born across a couple of borders! Do we need to retroactively remove Meryl Streep from all of her accented roles because she wasn't actually Danish/Polish/Southern/etcetera? Do we need to recast two of the most iconic performances in all of cinema (Gone With the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire) because Vivien Leigh wasn't actually a Southern belle but a Brit who just happened to be a genius at conveying that particular state of being which was not her own? People need to focus on things that actually matter when they grouse about casting and what actually matters is that diversity is happening both to reflect the actual world and because variety in point of view and stories being told is better for everyone (including the people who aren't used to having to imagine themselves in the shoes of other types) and that the best actors are chosen for the roles. Those two things do not actually ever have to be in conflict because there are talented actors of all varieties in the world.

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Reader Comments (34)

Hollywood nor the public stateside views Penelope Cruz nor her husband Javier Bardem as white people.

March 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

The politically correct casting police are out of control

March 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjaragon

/3rtful - don't care. that's not the point of what i was saying.

March 21, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Yes, there is nothing inhererently wrong about white Europeans playing white Europeans from different countries or white Americans, or black Brits playing African Americans (or vice versa), but in some cases (I can't speak to Get Out, not having seen it yet) it can seem "off" or tone-deaf or even insensitive not to cast someone from the actual culture of the material. For example, I found the Hacksaw Ridge casting bizarre for the most part, but I had no issue with David Oyelowo playing MLK.

March 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I saw "Get Out" and thought the actor was perfect for the role- I never saw him as foreigner. Personally I never bought Al Pacino as a Cuban in "Scarface" ( so maybe Jackson might have point) . In a historical movie there is a reason to be as accurate as possible in casting- in classic Hollywood you had actors like Paul Muni who played everything from an Asian to a Mexican- of course now there are ethnic actors would be cast in those roles. And by the way Michael Peña did steal "Ant Man".

March 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjaragon

Beautifully written Nathaniel.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

Penelope Cruz has made at least an italian movie (Non ti muovere) where she spoke italian. She even won awards for it. She is a perfect choice to play donatella.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTelmo

Ali didn't look or sound Cuban at all in Moonlight and he won an Oscar because acting goes beyond mimicing.

Having said that, we all know the perfect choice for Donatella was Gina Gershon. Have you seen House of Versace?

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Firstly whois Jenny Slate and why is she saying vague stuff about Chris Evans primary colours.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

I'm not sure the Academy loves sports-themed movies. Do they?

Anyway, based on that single image I'm going to say YES, Emma will be back next year.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Physically, Emma is not right for the part. she is too small, emaciated, non-muscular. Professional Athletes are strong, muscular, vigorous. Not Emma Stone.

But since Hollywood doesnt allow actresses to look anything other than anorexic and ghastly underweight, I dont know who could play this part nowadays.

Someone once mentioned Swank circa Million Dollar Baby. That would be an apropriate look.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

The release date for that Billie Jean King movie indicates the studio has no faith in its status as an awards contender. Has there been one Best Actress nominee released in September this century?

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Amanda -- You're absolutely wrong. There was a world before Venus and Serena. Google Chris Evert, Billie Jean or Mary Joe Fernández.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Nat: I'm hoping Baby Driver busts out with Oscar in a big way. Some techs, Director, Picture, Screenplay and a lone Acting nod for Jon Hamm. Because, well, Edgar Wright movies at 0 noms is one of the most RIDICULOUS things at Oscar right now.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

This talk is about interchangeability.

Are British and American black people interchangeable?

Hmmm, yes? Denzel Washington was in Much Ado About Nothing!

Are Caucasian and Asian People interchangeable?

Please, no.

Are different kinds of European Caucasian people interchangeable?

No, I think maybe Mediterranean people are. You can cast a Greek as a Spaniard, ou a South French as an Italian if they manage to get the accents right. But you can't cast a German person as an Italian. So, let's do this. But you could cast Germans and Scandinavian together. And Eastern European, too (a Russian as a Moldovian, and vice-versa).

Are Cis and Trans People interchangeable?

They should be! But nobody casts a trans person as a cis person.

Are White American and White British interchangeable? Yes. Except if you are American and you have that Amy Adams in American Hustle accent. I prefer Zellweger as a Brit, as a matter of fact.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Billie Jean King has strong, defined arms and muscular toned legs. Not To mention broad shoulders. Emma Stone's underweight body is not at all fit for a profissional Athlete role.

I know a thing or two about tennis. My parents would go To Wimbledon every year and my father now attends the US Open annually.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Well, Penélope will br playing a Swede in the upcoming murder on the orient express.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Peggy Sue is right (as usual)

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterConchita Martínez

I highly doubt there will be Oscar play for Emma Stone. I have no reason to believe she'd be convincing in a full character transformation. None at all.

The Get Out conversation gets even more complicated when you consider Thandie Newton's recent interview: "I'm great at what I do but I'll never get cast on Downton Abbey." Basically, U.K. actors of color (and so on) don't get to play "themselves" onscreen so there's a whole different level of erasure going on.

If the U.S. film market is letting black actors down, it's partially because overseas markets are letting their "own" black actors down as well.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

There's been a terror attack at Westminster UK.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

I have such a crush on Michael Pena it's not even funny! I will see CHIPS this weekend!!

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

I have such a crush on Michael Pena it's not even funny! I will see CHIPS this weekend!!

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

See the upcoming "Guerrilla" on Showtime where Black Brits get to play Black Brits (minus Freida Pinto). I get Jackson's point perfectly well, but I found Oyelowo thrilling in "Selma" and Kaluuya excellent in "Get Out." Maybe there is something to be said about them "taking" work from American actors, but the same argument can be made about white Americans and white Brits? Did two white Brits in a row really need to be cast as the quintessential American superhero Spider-Man? No shit, they certainly did not, and Garfield did some of his worst and least-interesting work there too. Let's see what Holland does, but I'm not expecting much. I'm not really advocating a "do what you know" approach, because that's ultra limiting, but it is perfectly apt in some cases. Other times, it's really not. In another year, Naomie Harris could have won that damn Oscar, and no one would have blinked an eye saying she wasn't "convincing" enough as an African-American drug addict. It's about context, role, timing, actor, and so many other intangible factors in the end result.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDorian

Dorian: Um...SPIDER-Man as a "more American than apple pie" figure? Superman and Captain America, sure, but the only interpretation of Spidey I've seen that ever played up a jingoist angle was Raimi's. And as far as Holland goes? I don't know what performance you saw, but, just on the back of Civil War, I'd say that, though Maguire is a much better Peter Parker and Garfield a slightly better Spider-Man, Holland's probably the best overall film performance of the full character.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Dorian: Um...SPIDER-Man as a "more American than apple pie" figure? Superman and Captain America, sure, but the only interpretation of Spidey I've seen that ever played up a jingoist angle was Raimi's. And as far as Holland goes? I don't know what performance you saw, but, just on the back of Civil War, I'd say that, though Maguire is a much better Peter Parker and Garfield a slightly better Spider-Man, Holland's probably the best overall film performance of the full character.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Note: Brain fart, delete one of those comments and this.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Macguire was better "Spider Man" who is suppose to be a kid from Queens.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Jaragon: Okay, you didn't exactly read my comment closely or think about what it really meant, did you? To pull out other heroes as examples of what I'm talking about: Adam West is the best live-action Bruce Wayne (no matter what else you may think of that series), but Christian Bale is the best live-action Batman. (Yes, in spite of...the voice.) Or: Christopher Reeve is amazing as both Clark Kent AND Superman.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

That's what the hell I said. You can read. Not changing one single damn word.

March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDorian

Mark Gordon, if you *genuinely* don't know who Jenny Slate is then get on that. Obvious Child.

March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

I don't understand why if you're making a tennis movie that focuses on the tennis matches, why you don't cast tennis players? John McEnroe or one of his ilk would be way more fun as Bobby Riggs than Steve Carrell.

Emma Stone demonstrated in her dancing in La La Land that she has no spatial awareness. She doesn't understand line, texture, or timing in movement. Her physical reaction time is also very slow. Her face responds but her body remains inert.

Billie Jean King fought for equal pay, better conditions, more respect for all women tennis players, not just herself. She was intense, focused, implacable, quick, and intimidating. She demanded respect for gay athletes.

But King is just going to be played as though she's cute and unthreatening?

And de-fanging feminist heroes is going to be considered a good thing?

March 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenteradri

I don't think it was a good idea for Jenny Slate to discuss her love life so openly. Celebrities who have in the past always say that they regretted it.

March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

Cubans come in all colors just like every other Latin group.

March 23, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Adri, she just doesnt Look like somone who trains for hours a day, seven days a week, for years. She doesnt have the presence, the muscular strenght, the bone structure, the posture.

But on this site we cant say anything about actresses other than "GODDESS"

March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

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