Native audiences have been treated to a steadily increasing number of Native actors in popular films. To celebrate this trend, Here are six Native film projects and performances to get excited about.
New Zealand film director, actor and writer Taika Waititi is a Maori skyrocketing to the top of his game as the director in the upcoming Thor Ragnarok.
Waititi has already been nominated for an Academy Award for his 2004 short film Two Cars, One Night and his films Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople are two of the top-grossing films in New Zealand. He is also well-known for his acting and direction of the hilarious vampire spoof What We Do in the Shadows.
According to Waititi, Thor will have a bit of indigenous influence from his perspective and because the film company made it a priority to hire indigenous film crew members. Slotted for a November 3, 2016 release.
Jason Momoa as Aquaman will join Ben Affleck's Batman, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the Flash (Ezra Miller) in DC Comics' Justice League. They all made their cameo debuts in Batman vs. Superman, in March of 2016. Justice League will be released on November 17, 2017.
Though Disney’s trailer for its upcoming movie Moana, in which Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson provides the voice of the demi-god Maui, has received mixed reviews on social media, many indigenous people are still appreciative of the Polynesian shout-out in a film that is slotted for a 2016 Thanksgiving release, and features actress Auli’i Cravalho as Moana.
Though the true role of Eugene Brave Rock was not released as of Summer 2016, he will be playing the role of a yet undisclosed Native superhero in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie to be released in 2017. Brave Rock says he was given massive respect in selecting his regalia and wardrobe, so this is a film definitely worth seeing.
As of 2016, Aquaman is in the early stages of development, with production planned to start in 2017. Jason Momoa will be playing the lead as Aquaman, Amber Heard will play Mera and Willem Dafoe is slotted to play Nuidis Vilko. There is also a rumored appearance to Aquaman's longtime arch-enemy Black Manta.Release date: July 27, 2018.
The Sun at Midnight
Though the film is still in post-production, Mohawk actress Devery Jacobs has consistently delivered A+ performances in such productions as the Mohawk Girls, Rhymes for Young Ghouls and The Land of Rock and Gold. The film also stars Duane Howard of The Revenant. The film follows the adventures of an unlikely pair (Jacobs and Howard) who meet in the Arctic and must overcome a horrible accident.
(Editor's Note: OK - It's Actually Seven ... )
The Magnificent Seven
Regardless of Adam Sandler's disastrous Ridiculous Six ... The Magnificent Seven, which is a remake of the 1960 western film of the same name, which was a remake of the 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai, looks like it might get it right with the performance of Martin Sensmeier.
Martin Sensmeier - The Magnificent Seven
The 2016 remake also includes the diversity and performances of actors Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Byung-hun Lee.
Follow ICTMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wow’s and Sports Editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling