Rooney Mara to Play Tiger Lily in Warner Bros.’ ‘Pan’

Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Hugh Jackman and Garrett Hedlund also on board

Warner Bros. has tapped Rooney Mara to play Tiger Lily in its Peter Pan origin tale “Pan.”

Hugh Jackman and Garrett Hedlund are also on board with Joe Wright set to direct.

Sources say an open casting is being held to fill the role of Pan, as the character is between 10 and 12 years old.

Jason Fuchs penned the script with Greg Berlanti, Paul Webster and Sarah Schechter producing. Courtenay Valenti is overseeing for the studio.

The film will be a new take on the classic story. It is set during World War II and follows an orphan named Peter who is kidnapped by pirates and brought to Neverland, where he discovers he’s destined to save the land from the pirate Blackbeard.

The world being created is multi-racial/international – and a very different character than previously imagined.

The studio took on an exhaustive search in finding the right girl to play Lily looking at other actresses such as Lupita Nyonog’o and “Blue is the Warmest Color” thesp Adele Exarchopoulos before going out to Mara for the role.

WB dated the film for July 17, 2015, and sees it as a franchise that can appeal to the “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings” fanbase.

Mara just started production on the Todd Haynes pic “Carol” starring Cate Blanchett and was most recently seen in Warner Bros.’ “Her.” She is repped by WME and Management 360.

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  1. Nelson Denton says:

    Peter Pan.
    The story of a middle aged transexual woman who pretends to be a 10 year old boy, who seduces a pre-pubecent girl and lures her and her younger brothers away from their bedroom in the midddle of the night using drugs to do it. Where upon they frolick with a bunch of stereotypical natives and are chased and hunted by a bunch of child molesters and plot a murder. Yup that’s the plot. And you complained about Tiger Lilly being portrayed by a white woman!

  2. Nelosn Denton says:

    So why is Peter Pan almost always performed by a woman in the title role. Some reporters need to do some research before writing silly stories.

  3. Meisha says:

    I LOVE Rooney Mara but this is just ridiculous. Warner Bros must have some Ad guys giving them advice on how to handle this. You know what happens when you start to believe your own press kit. Do they realize how ignorant they sound. I wonder if Warner Bros tried reaching out to the Native Community. Maybe they are so insulated they don’t know how. There are plenty of Native actors that are dying for work. So you’re going for “multi-racial/international” but couldn’t find any Indian/First Nation people in North America, so you reached out. Shame! Shame! Shame! I’m embarrassed for you. You might want to take another look at the staff that said this would be okay.

    • HUBEUSA says:

      Stop with the politically correct BS!!! who cares the race of the actors playing a role!!! The Human Torch is traditionally played by white actors but this time will be played by a black actor in the next Fantastic Four movie. So what? i´m white and i don’t acre if the role is played by a chinese, mexican or other race played the role.

      • BT says:

        The only time it doesn’t matter is when a white person is taking the role of an ethnic person. That’s called making it a “multiracial film.” But when a person of color tries to do a white role its ridiculous and can’t happen because “Cinderella is white!!1” like really? Fuck that and fuck the idea that race shouldn’t matter ONLY when applied to white people doing ethnic roles. And your white ass opinion doesn’t matter one damn bit because it’s not your culture being blatantly ignored in a film.

      • yathina says:

        “I’m white so I’m going to tell people of colour they have no right to be offended about anything, especially not when white people take away a great opportunity for a woman of colour because I know how it is because ONE black actor is taking a role originally designed to be a white character.”

        Great going there, buddy. If you’re white and your only contribution is “QUIT YOUR WHINING PEOPLE OF COLOUR WHO CARES WHETHER THE ROLE THAT DEALS WITH YOUR CULTURE AND ETHNICITY IS PLAYED BY A WHITE ACTRESS WHO HAS A MILLION OF OTHER ACTING CHOICES” then you better keep your mouth shut.

  4. blhues says:

    It’s a continuation of Colonalism, Assimilation and lack of respect of First Peoples Around the World. I’ve read where Walt Disney was a Racist as told by a female relative. It was said he was so based on the time and his generation. The Disney company is no longer what it was or exclusively under Disney control but no matter, this speaks to me of Racism. People need to read about the Colonization of N America by Europeans/British, the Industrial and Residential School System Models they brought with them to Assimiliate First Peoples (children) by shame of their Culture, making them cut their hair which had great meaning, making them speak English (which holds Culture) and all the abuses they experienced, sexual and otherwise. The philosophy which is in historical documents was to “take the Indian out of the child” and a form of control as their land and way of life was stolen from them. NOW WILL THIS COMMENT BE RELEASED?

  5. Desbah says:

    I’ll play Tiger Lily! I’m a Native American actress and I would love to play this role. Cate Blanchett said during her acceptance speech that women sell movies, well why not me? I’m a woman, and I am a Navajo woman who would be proud to play this role. I believe the American audience would love to see a Native American play this part, it’s authentic. Why not? Having Rooney Mara play this part is degrading to Native Americans. Give me the part and I will bring integrity, life, and passion to Tiger Lily. It would also be an honor to portray and represent Native Americans in a new light without the old stereotypes that are so hurtful. And to be honest, they want a multi-cultural person, well I am her. I am not only Navajo, I am Irish. My mother is Zuni Edgewater Clan, which is what I am, and my father is Irish. Here’s my FB page, take a look and see if you would like to see me play Tiger Lily.

  6. Missy says:

    This isn’t the first case of whitewashing in Hollywood. Katniss was meant to have an olive color skin (if some of you read the book, you know that her dad had olive skin too) but in the casting sheet, the director specified “CAUCASIAN ONLY”. Now, Jennifer did a great job, but it’s so fucked up how they didn’t even want to see actresses who could pass for hispanic, or greec, that they just spayed tan on Jennifer and called it a day.
    Same thing with The Last Airbrender. They cast a bunch of white people for the leading parts, and Asians as extras. DIVERSITY!
    The Lone Ranger. Not only did they cast Johnny Depp as Tonto, but the REAL Lone Ranger (it’s based on a true story) was actually African American (you should Google his story, it’s so interesting). Again, the hero must be white.
    In Warm Bodies. This movie based on a book had a character (the best friend of the leading lady)who was black. AGAIN, they cast a white woman to play the part.
    Some shows based in New-York, the MOST DIVERSE CITY IN THE WORLD, only cast white people for the leading parts. Friends, Girls, Sex and the City, How I Met Your Mother, etc. Why, why, why is it so hard to cast Asian, Black, Hispanic actors?
    And these are just few cases in thousand others.
    I know so many stuggling actors who CANNOT even audition for good parts because the casting sheet says “MUST BE CAUCASIAN”. The only parts they can have are the one of criminals and prisonners (looking at you Rock Of Ages). And they MUST HAVE an accent. It’s seriously so disgusting.
    We live in a society where white is the norm. If you’re not white, you’re different, you’re one of “the others”. And the casting in those movies won’t let you forget that.
    Staying silent in those situations, it’s like encouraging those kind of decisions, this kind of mentality.

  7. LadyJedi says:

    Non Native American playing a Native American, no Captain Hook. Again Hollywood just keeps screwing up classics. How can this be multi racial and international when the first three are anything but. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Hugh Jackman, but won’t be seeing this.

  8. elr says:

    A lot of people don’t realize that actors actually do have the power to accept or decline a role if offered. You are always asked that question when you get the offer. You can also choose whether or not you’d like to be considered for an audition. And had it been me, I don’t care how much money is involved, or who my agents are, my sense of integrity would have prevented me from ever walking into the audition room.
    So not only is Ms. Mara overrated, uninteresting and self-satisfied (, as well as the beneficiary of an extraordinary amount of upper class white privilege, she also doesn’t seem to have much of a conscience for someone who claims to be so charitable towards those less fortunate than herself.

  9. guest says:

    complain to Dixie Chassey, Joe Wright’s long time British casting director!

  10. yathina says:

    What you are writing is also problematic. Many people are aware of the whitewashing which is exactly why we are commenting. Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, the entire Last Airbender film… In the first two instances I actually like the actors in question, a lot, and I like their way to portray the characters but it doesn’t change the fact that they have been cast in roles that would have been brilliant opportunities for non-white actors and actresses.

    I have no doubt Rooney Mara is a fantastic actress and may as well do a great job here but it is still wrong giving this role to a white actress.

    People cry out about Michael B. Jordan (was it B?!) being the new Johnny Storm in the new Fantastic Four movie but not one person bats an eyelash when the exact same thing happens the other way around because they are used to seeing this.

    As for no Native American woman wanting to play the role because it is stereotypical and offensive – EXACTLY. It is Warner Bros. responsibility not to make it a horrible basic and stereotypic character by relying on tropes and whatnot. Any Native American actress should be proud to be able to play a character and should proudly be cast as such without her having to fear whether she’s playing a role that is offensive to her ethnicity!

    • Mallory says:

      Katniss’ whole family was white. The only way she could have been another race is through adoption.

      • Jane Lane says:

        Katniss Everdeen was always meant to be white. Unless you think millions of Greeks, French and Italians with similar coloring are not white. That said, I agree with your base principle.

  11. AnonymousAudience says:

    There are a few things that are more messed up than the casting of this role the comments above. Do you know why? Most of the people screaming outrage over this casting choice for TigerLily either are not Native American themselves ( like I am actually) or could not name two Native American actresses of appropriate age for this role off the top of their head (Using google or IMDB to find out does not count) .
    You act outraged yet probably watch many movies each year new and classic where the “right” person wasn’t cast into a role. Are you going to boycott those too? If you were being honest with yourself you already know the answer here.
    Those behind films don’t pick girls like Rooney Mara in an attempt to offend anyone they pick someone like her in an attempt to make a movie successful so maybe the viewing public and those screaming outrage in the comments above should consider they are creating the supply and demand system for this kind of casting. Honestly it doesn’t offend me that she is playing the role at all. It’s offensive to ASSUME NATIVE AMERICANS WOULD WANT TO PLAY A ROLE THAT HAS BEEN LONG SINCE PLAGUED with stereotypical portrayals in film….. What was most offensive that comes to mind…. the Disney animated Peter Pan……any one remember this song from the film… So I would say Hollywood has come pretty far after reading these lyrics below. Very far, Maybe are just waiting for you to catch up.
    Why does he ask you, “How?”
    Why does he ask you, “How?”
    Once the Injun didn’t know
    All the things that he know now
    But the Injun, he sure learn a lot
    And it’s all from asking, “How?”
    Hana Mana Ganda
    Hana Mana Ganda
    We translate for you
    Hana means what mana means
    And ganda means that too
    When did he first say, “Ugh!”
    When did he first say,
    In the Injun book it say
    When the first brave married squaw
    He gave out with a big ugh
    When he saw his Mother-in-Law
    What made the red man red?
    What made the red man red?
    Let’s go back a million years
    To the very first Injun prince
    He kissed a maid and start to blush
    And we’ve all been blushin’ since
    You’ve got it from the headman
    The real true story of the red man
    No matter what’s been written or said

    • na says:

      Well said

      • AnonymousAudience says:

        Well The Lone Ranger was an awful move on Disney’s part for many reasons other than casting. That movie was just awful. Although it probably would have done even worse at the box office ( if that is even possible considering how badly it bombed) without Depp in the role of Tonto.When a huge studio like Disney is risking endless amounts of money on a film like The Lone Ranger they will always go with a name. Regardless of race. Again though it was a Disney film….maybe they aren’t so far away from their questionable past after all. I hate to point this out but Twilight also did not use only Native American actors for the roles of their “werewolf” characters either and there wasn’t a huge outcry about that either. I think in the case of Tiger Lily vs Tonto. Tiger lily is obviously even more so a fictional fantasy representation of a “native” than Tonto was. She lives in Never land which of course is complete fantasy ….where as at least Tonto is closer to a fictional representation of a real Native American. At least as close as anyone will get in a big budget film. So I could see why Tonto would be more offensive than lets say the casting of Tiger Lily. Depp though at least has been rumored to be part Native American and his grandmother in Kentucky did attempt to raise him around the culture or raise him with some sort of respect for it.
        The white washing as so many people enjoy using today will probably continue though until the viewing public is willing to not only make actors of other heritages not only successful in small films but MOVIE STARS in huge budget films as well There is a difference between an actor and a movie star.. Hollywood has tried before and no one really showed up opening weekend for those attempts. Maybe someday they will. The best way to hold Hollywood to an higher standard that you don’t think they are currently meeting is with your wallet not just your comments. They will make movies however they think the audience will consume it.

      • Jane Lane says:

        It’s just as offensive to assume that a Native American wouldn’t want to play the role (because I can count on one hand how many there have been in the past ten years or so) because Disney wrote a horrible song about it 60 years ago. Keep in mind, Johnny Depp just played Tonto, a role that I know Adam Beach, who is an actual Native American, auditioned for.

  12. Amanda Leigh says:

    I don’t care if this movie is amazing, if it looks like the best movie ever. I’m sick of Hollywood’s inability to cast minority actresses in minority roles. I’m over it. I’m boycotting this movie.

  13. Devin says:

    If they’re touting this as being “multi-racial”, WHY THE f@(k WOULD YOU CAST ROONEY MARA as a Native American?!?!?!?

  14. Cc says:


  15. Lee says:

    Is “considering” Lupita (who doesnt fit the role at all!!!) supposed to be justification for deciding on the whitest actress they could have considered????

  16. J says:

    this is so gross. sososo gross “The world being created is multi-racial/international” YEAH OK i think u mean white as hell. what the actual fuck disney. maybe for once actually cast an actual aboriginal american in the role of an aboriginal american ??????????

    • Well, it’s not Disney, it’s Warner Bros. But still, it’s unsurprising and infuriating at the same time. In major film projects, there are virtually no roles offered to native american actors and then the few roles that would demand one get given to whites. Blatant racism. Simple as that.

  17. This is so embarrasing. Are they going to paint her? Will she get a tan, like the Last Airbender guy?

  18. Missy says:

    Typical Hollywood. It’s not like they don’t have hundreds, if not thousands of struggling Indian actress there. It’s not like this is one of the few roles that DEMAND an Indian actress. It’s not like Whitewashing was not a problem in Hollywood. It’s not like Rooney Mara will be able to go audition for other parts, for other projects because the casting sheet will say “CAUCASIAN ONLY (no other ethnicities)”.
    “The world being created is multi-racial/international – and a very different character than previously imagined.”

    “Hugh Jackman and Garrett Hedlund are also on board with Joe Wright set to direct.” + Rooney Mara.
    Yup, A+ for the divesity. White, white and white.
    People who support those movies (so happy that Lone Ranger flopped) are not helping the situation.

    • audience says:

      They’re probably going to paint her a darker colour like they did with those white actors portraying black people in that movie “Birth of a Nation” …Blackface.

  19. jrmacclure says:

    Well, having Rooney Mara as Tiger Lilly sure SOUNDS multi-racial/international, doesn’t it! YIKES!

  20. Adam Cross says:

    “The world being created is multi-racial/international – and a very different character than previously imagined.”

    yeah, any excuse to whitewash stories even further. Rooney Mara ffs, you have got to be kidding.

  21. Kit says:

    I agree that Rooney Mara is super talented, but they couldn’t find an actual Native American girl to play the one character whose race/ethnicity is ACTUALLY stated? Ridiculous.

  22. Trafalgar says:

    Lawd have mercy, another case of white washing again Hollywood?! Have you learned nothing off The Last Airbender?!

    Like seriously, the minds up there are just getting NOWHERE. I think they need some serious vigilante justice. Geez.

  23. nia says:

    Absolutely ridiculous. All those undiscovered or severely underused Native American actresses out there and they cast ROONEY MARA as Tiger Lily?! I swear, Hollywood is moving backwards.

  24. Aa says:

    Why are they doing this. Tiger lily is suppose to be native american. There are so many wonderful actresses out their, and yet Hollywood chooses to stick to only white actresses in the mainstream media.

  25. Sabrina says:

    “The world being created is multi-racial/international – and a very different character than previously imagined.”
    If that is the case, why is the Native American girl played by the whitest white girl out there? This is stupid and wrong!

  26. J says:

    “The world being created is multi-racial/international – and a very different character than previously imagined.” So yknow, white.

  27. Theresa says:

    This is just bad business. Especially on a political level as the United Nations has recognized that there is a serious issue of Murdered and Missing Aboriginal women happening in Canada right now.

  28. J.M. says:

    I am a Native American actress, and this is very discouraging to see. I was really hoping to see an awesome breakdown from my agent and having the opportunity to audition with all of my fellow wonderful and TALENTED Native American/First Nations actresses. Rooney Mara is a great actress, but this role seriously should have been properly casted. It’s a sad day.

    • B says:

      Thank you for voicing your disagreement. The fact that you nor any of your friends who are of Native American descent did not even get a chance to audition, speaks volumes. I’m sure they didn’t even really try to look for anyone of an ethnic background unless they were with the top 4 talent agencies. Everyone really should boycott this film and hope it ends up in the dumps like The Last Airbender did.

      • J.M. says:

        Well, even though it is unfortunate about the Native casting decision, it will be interesting to see what he does with principal casting for the “multi-racial” roles. At the end of the day I’m a huge Joe Wright fan, so I’m sure this movie is still going to be amazing and beautifully shot.

  29. Emily says:

    How is the film being envisioned as “multi-racial” if everyone they’re casting is white. They even replaced an important POC role with a white actress! How is an American more international or multiracial than a Kenyan or French actress?

    And, furthermore, why is the role that’s already supposed to be a person of color being changed? How about casting Peter Pan or the Darlings as something other than your standard white hero? Call me back if they do that, because otherwise I’m not watching another one of Hollywood’s excuses to speak over minorities.

  30. Charles says:

    Officially no longer a fan of Joe Wright. I had no idea he was a racist.

  31. E.V. says:

    Don’t worry, they’ll have the token Black, Asian and Hispanic Lost Boys thrown into the mix.

  32. Jessica says:

    I agree with Cara. At the VERY LEAST, cast a “multi-racial” lead actress. So far it’s all Caucasians casted. I cannot help but think that some studios are still stuck in the “all white” Hollywood past. COME ON PEOPLE, represent our world properly! And what an insult to all the talented Native American actresses out there.

  33. Alex says:

    “The world being created is multi-racial/international…” Lol. Sometimes I think Hollywood can’t get any worse and then they prove me wrong. You can’t even use the excuse that she’s racially ambiguous. I now hope this goes they way of The Lone Ranger.

  34. Cara says:

    I thought the character was supposed to be ethnic? If they want to great a “multi-racial” world they should cast a multi-racial actress.

    • blhues says:

      Multi-racial world is a nice concept if you have not had to go through Assimilation in your own land through Colonialization. It’s like people thinking a racist can suffer racism from the people they were racist against. Impossible a thought and concept. We are not at a multi-racial society until those whose culture was robbed from them regain in full their cultural identity. Only First Peoples of the world can determine when this time is right for them. Namaste

  35. Emanuel says:

    Really Warner Brothers? Was it THAT difficult to actually cast a Native American?

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