While the whitewashing of Pacific Islander roles continues in movies like the upcoming “Ni’ihau”, it’s nice to know that a new film about Hawaii’s beginnings is searching for Native Hawaiian actors.
“The Islands” will be based on the true story of Captain Cook’s arrival to the islands, King Kamehameha’s unification wars and the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani’s monarchy.
KHON2 reported that casting calls for the role of King Kamehameha is set for June and will last through late-August.
“Whoever plays King Kamehameha will be one who is authentic and will truly know the history and share the blood,” Albert Mossman, a Native Hawaiian adviser to the film, told the station. “The film will also accurately portray the fascinating and incredible stories of four of the most significant figures in Hawaii history.”
Don’t worry if you don’t have any acting experience either as auditions are open to non-actors, as well.
“We totally understand that some Native Hawaiians are not in the industry, yet could possess great acting ability,” said a spokesperson for Los Angeles-based production company RiverRain Studios.
Film producer Tim Chey, director of such films as “Freedom”, starring Cuba Gooding Jr., is helming the $50 million film, Business Journals reported back in August 2016.
Really thrilled about the new film – it’s based on the true stories of Hawaii’s beginnings from Captain Cook’s arrival to King Kamehameha!
— Tim Chey (@TimChey1) January 7, 2016
“It will be an epic film about the history of Hawaii and will be the biggest motion picture in Hawaii history,” Chey said.
“We’re pulling in a lot of resources. It will look like a $100 million film when it’s over and done with. We’re talking to historians from Bishop Museum and the University of Hawaii. We want to make it the most authentic movie ever made.”
While he wants Russell Crowe to play the part of Captain Cook, Chey also desired to see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has lived in Hawaii, to get a part in the movie.
The casting call comes after actor Zach McGowan received some backlash for being cast as Native Hawaiian hero Benihakaka Kanahele in the World War II movie “Ni’ihau”.
Zach McGowan has been cast to play Hawaiian native Ben Kanahele in the upcoming film Ni’ihau. ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME?! #Whitewashout pic.twitter.com/2ONSFCOMuH
— Laura (@lsirikul) May 9, 2017
That’s why this girl from Hawai’i ain’t gonna pay a dime to watch #Niihau #SayBoycott 👊https://t.co/C29fCq3W60
— Tina Mata’afa-Tufele (@TMataafaTufele) May 9, 2017
The choice sparked several protests and criticisms from Pacific Islanders who wanted to boycott the film.
“The Islands” will begin filming this fall and is expected to bring in 2,000 jobs to Hawaii.
The project is still in development status and is expected to hit theaters in November 2018.