Is Zoe Saldana being overlooked by the media?

Allison Samuels of entertainment blog the Daily Beast asks a pointed question: Would Zoe Saldana be on the cover of major magazines if she were white?

Poignant examples that beg an answer include the fact that Ms. Saldana was suspiciously absent from Vanity Fair magazine’s 2009 Hollywood issue…even though she had three (count ’em, three) major films in the top 20 earners –including the over the top “Avatar”. (Yes, she was animated, but that’s besides the point.)

“A brown face just doesn’t resonate with nonminorities when it’s on the cover of magazines.” –Bethann Hardison

Other examples include the ever present (read: annoying) full court press whenever someone like Angelina Jolie is in a film. Even fellow Latina Jennifer Lopez is plastered, promoted and marketed, when she’s doing a film –even though she arguably hasn’t made a good film since Selena.

“(W)hile both Beyoncé and Rihanna appear on Instyle and Glamour magazine covers this month, both women are singers, which is a more traditionally accepted role for women of color. Dominating the box office is not.”

The article gets into some basic missteps regarding race and ethnicity, but overall it’s fairly well covered. A note: Zoe Saldana has never implied that she wasn’t Black. She said that she’s not African American and she’s emphasized that her race should not matter when it comes to roles, though she’s built a solid career on Hollyhood (“Drumline,” “Guess Who,” and “Blackout” to name a few). An ethnicity is land-based, not race based. Any “race” can be an American, just like any “race” can be Latino/Hispanic. Zoe Saldana is Domincan (yes, the other side of the island is Haiti) and Puerto Rican –both places with a sizable Black/African-descent population.

Aside from the ethnicity versus race comments in the article, it’s an insightful look into the politics of image, media and race.

Read more at the Daily Beast

TRAILER: Colombiana starring Zoe Saldana

The trailer for the new movie Colombiana is out. From the director of Taken, Colombiana is set for release in the fall of 2011 and stars Zoe Saldana as Cateleya Restrepo, a hired assassin. Amandla Stenberg will play the young Cateleya Restrepo.

Amandla Stenberg will star alongside Dayo Okeniyi and Lenny Kravitz for futuristic thrilller

Young, rising star Amandla Stenberg is already busy lining up her films. As a relative newcomer, she’s already  got some top roles in major motion pictures.

Lions Gate, in conjunction with producer Color Force, is bringing author Suzanne Collins’ book (“The Hunger Games“) to the big screen. The cast is made up primarily of newcomers and unknowns, but the buzz is that this futuristic thriller will make the careers of some cast members whose roles are anchored by some of Hollywood’s elite.

Amandla Stenberg will play the role of Rue alongside Dayo Okeniyi, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, and others. According to IMDB.com, “The Hunger Games” is:

(i)n a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’ young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.

Amandla is also starring as the young Cataleya Restrepo (starring Zoe Saldana), an assassin in the film “Colombiana.”

Colombiana is will be released this year, and The Hunger games will be released in 2012.

Who Would You Cast? THE UNTITLED BATMAN MOVIE

THE UNTITLED BATMAN MOVIE

Release Date: 20 July 2012
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman

Who can forget the slinky Eartha Kitt in the campy television series “Batman”? She personified the role of arch super-villain Catwoman. Other actresses dimmed in comparison with her, but that didn’t stop Hollywood from casting Lee Meriwether, Julie Newmar (who got close, but not quite), and Michelle Pfeiffer. Arguably, Halle Berry portrayed the Catwoman in the film of the same name, but the movie was nothing compared to the actual comic book character.

The new Batman movie is slated for release in 2012, but there’s been no mention of the Catwoman character. Maybe if the creators thought hard enough, they would surprise us by casting one of these sultry sisters in homage to the late, great, Eartha Kitt… purrrrr…

Two Top Grossing Films Feature Black Women

Well, people said it couldn’t be done. After Halle Berry’s Oscar(r) win in 2002, people questioned if it was just a fluke, and if a Black woman could get movie-goers into the theaters.

[picappgallerysingle id=”7403564″ align=”center”]After the summer success of PRECIOUS, two more films have exploded stereotypes and myths about Black women and their place in film.

[picappgallerysingle id=”7132203″]Granted, one movie completely masks the fact that it is a Black woman (AVATAR), but the other actively promotes the fact that she’s a “first,” that is, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG which features Disney’s first Black princess in their loooooong line of princess-like films. (Yes, we’ve had American Indian, Chinese, Middle-Eastern, et al.)

[picappgallerysingle id=”7058013″]THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (starring Broadway and DREAMGIRLS star Anika Noni Rose) grossed $44+ M, with an opening weekend of $12.2M. AVATAR (starring Zoe Saldana as the lead alien and love-interest) grossed and opened at $73M.

Wake up, Hollywood. Black women are ready for you…are you ready for us?

The Losers gain Zoe

Step aside Uhura! Zoe Saldana is back with yet another sci-fi role that’s fit for the big screen. Aside from her role in the 3-D spectacle “Avatar” (due out in December 2009), Ms. Saldana will star as the character Aisha, alongside heart-throbs and alpha males Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Watchmen”) and Idris Alba (“The Unborn,” “The Wire”). The name of her new film is named “The Losers,” and is Warner Bros.’s adaptation of the comic book series from Vertigo Comics –written by Andy Diggle and drawn by Jock.

Look for “The Losers,” coming out April 2010.

Related Story: http://www.ibwff.com/2009/09/shes-an-alligator-woman-and-she-dont-care/

She’s an alligator woman, and she don’t care.

Zoe Saldana

Keeping on her sci-fi roll, actress Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Drumline) will star as Neytiri in director James Cameron’s new, 3-D, sci-fi thriller Avatar.

Avatar is in post-production, and is scheduled for release in December 2009. It’s already generating a buzz, and judging by the trailer, it’s sure to keep you guessing!