Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News


Hey folks, Harry here... A couple of days back I received a call from a Fox Executive that refused to give me his name, but he wanted to secure my opinion and thoughts on who, according to Mr Voice, 'they' had decided upon to play ELEKTRA in the upcoming DAREDEVIL movie.

From what Mr. Voice was telling me, everyone working on the film... from Execs down to the Producers and even Mark Steven Johnson and his Casting Director they were all firm as hell on casting LUCY LIU as ELEKTRA. There was only one question he said, "What you, representing the fans, and Marvel would think about that?"

My first reaction, "Well, ya know that Lucy Liu is not Greek?"

"Oh yes, we know that, but is that really integral to the part?"

Wiping the shocked look off my face, "Um, yeah... This character wasn't called ELEKTRA and made GREEK by the writers and Marvel just because of a wild hair up their asses. Being Greek is absolutely integral to the character, that name, the drive of the story and the story of Daredevil in and of itself."

Mr Voice followed by telling me that the problem was that there was nobody that fit the part in the physical demands and the training necessary to physically embody the character as written. That Lucy Liu was coming off of ECK VS SEVER, which required tons of martial art training, and before that she did CHARLIE'S ANGELS where she did lots of training. That she was the best physical performer for the part.

I agreed that for the physical demands of the role, that Lucy Liu was wonderfully adept... and how inevitably they'd change or modify the story to make a 'reasonable' excuse for ELEKTRA being Asian... But I wondered out loud.... Why not just create a different character and a different story for the female character opposite DAREDEVIL... Why call her ELEKTRA?

Mr Voice didn't really have an answer for this, but told me he was calling to get my reaction, and more to the point, what fans would think of Lucy Liu being cast as ELEKTRA.

Well, I told him, "I understand the practical reasons for casting Lucy Liu, that you have a relatively short amount of time for pre-production and training for an actress to play the part of ELEKTRA. Lucy Liu is in excellent physical shape, she's hot and she's a pretty fine actress when given the chance... BUT I tell you now... When the fans hear that she's been cast as ELEKTRA, they are going to totally go apeshit angry over this. That no amount of make-up can make Lucy Liu to look Greek. That they will take this as a direct betrayal of the source material. But who knows how they'd react to the final product. I know if I went to a theater and saw Lucy Liu as Elektra... and let's say she nails the acting, that she's endearing, tragic and beloved by me.... That she kicks tons of ass literally. No matter how good she is, she would never be the ELEKTRA that I grew up reading and crying over in the comics."

After that I tried to get Mr Voice to reveal who he was. No dice. I tried to get Mr Voice to tell me where things were with Lucy Liu, all he said was that basically it was now in Avi Arad's boat and that he was hesitant about casting Lucy Liu in the role.

After that he was gone... being curious as to when I would be writing about our conversation... I said... after some follow up.

Well, some follow up has commenced. Turns out that BIG SUPRISE, Mr Voice wasn't telling me the whole story...

After further following up, we here at AICN found out through various sources all over the place that everyone BUT Avi Arad were not on board with the casting of Lucy Liu as ELEKTRA.

Turns out that apparently, Mark Steven Johnson, the film's casting director and apparently even the studio's development VP have all been delighted upon finding a complete unknown in the United States... Greek actress that has some level of fame in Europe.

That apparently according to one second-hand source, that an executive arguing for Lucy Liu said, "Well, maybe if the Greek Ambassador ADOPTED an ASIAN BABY...." This is Hollywood folks...

The Studio apparently has Penelope Cruz as a 'compromise' that they could settle on, but that they want a NAME in that part.

I've also heard that Avi Arad may be meeting with this unknown Greek Actress that the production team believes to be the absolute perfect personification of the ELEKTRA character very soon... And that it is basically up to MARVEL to make the call.

Now, I'm not angry at the unnamed alleged Studio Executive for lying to me about the current situation with the casting of Elektra... But to Mr Voice out there... You really should try exploring the whole situation. ELEKTRA... like the part of TRINITY in THE MATRIX is a star-making character. The part has all the earmarks of being a stunning debut character for an actress of remarkable talent, beauty and poise to play.

The most important thing that the actress playing ELEKTRA needs to be is ELEKTRA in the minds of the audience. It is important that she be Greek first. It is important that she be convincing as a Greek too. It is paramount that she be a stunning beauty and is physically statuesque. She must be exotic and erotic and deadly. We need to believe hatred and love and a bottled and unleased bloodlust for revenge in her when the need arises. And if she can't yet do the martial arts necessary for the part... TAKE WHATEVER TIME IS NECESSARY TO GET IT RIGHT.

You can rush shit teen comedies into release and no one will care two shakes about it, but this... this the audience cares about... The audience that you are making this movie for that cares about a DAREDEVIL movie being made... CARES ABOUT ELEKTRA BEING GREEK.

Look at the level of fan support that movies like LORD OF THE RINGS and HARRY POTTER currently have... Movies where the directors and the studios cared enough to cast THE RIGHT PEOPLE THAT EMBODY THE CONCEPTS AND VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS THAT EXISTED PRIOR TO A FILM'S PRODUCTION.

Also when I talked to Mr Voice I asked if the production was still on track to go for an R-rating as the script was written to be, and he said, "we're still exploring that, but maybe not."

Again I told him that this film is an Adult story. That this isn't some teeny bopper lite fare... That this is ultimately a tragedy. DAREDEVIL has one thing over SPIDER-MAN from the get go as a film... Mark Steven Johnson's screenplay. It is absolutely the best comic script currently in production (reports on X-MEN 2 is that the script is a mess and nobody I know knows how Ang Lee's HULK is coming along, but Hayter's draft sucked balls) and is something more than just an average action comic book film. Some comics are aimed at children or have been. DAREDEVIL, specifically the story of DAREDEVIL and ELEKTRA was one of the most ADULT stories ever told in the medium. To whitewash that, to water it down, to make it without Adult Supervision, is to make it generic and to lessen its impact. This is a DRAMATIC STORY first, that is what makes this superhero unique.

DAREDEVIL has the chance to be the comic book equivalent to CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON... the material is literally that strong. It has the ability... the possibility of making the comic book film medium truly respectable. ELEKTRA is the heart of the story. Right now, it is a very vital time in the future of this project.... If you go with Lucy Liu, you are saying FUCK THE SOURCE MATERIAL... You are changing the basic nature of the story. Scarlet O'Hara was a Georgian Belle... that's important, sure they cast Vivian Leigh, who was British, but she BECAME THE DEFINITIVE SOUTHERN BELLE not making the character British!!! Harry Potter is an English Boy, they cast a British lad, but if they had cast an American, the crime would have been making Harry Potter an American... That's Important. With Lucy Liu, you can no longer convincingly act or pretend that she is Greek. Characters and Races of those Characters are not really negotiable when the initial creation of those character were so inherently tied to where they came from.

ELEKTRA is Greek. That's my opinion. Every time the character's name is mentioned and somebody calls out, "Elektra" and Lucy Liu answers, my mind will say, "That is not Elektra," every time.

If Mark Steven Johnson and crew have found a stunning talented Greek unknown that is perfect for the part... CAST HER!!! If he hasn't, FIND HER!!! At the very least cast someone who can believably play a Greek woman. And if you can't find the perfect person to play ELEKTRA, then DON'T MAKE THIS MOVIE.

Of course the people below may feel otherwise... but I wouldn't count on it.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus