Summit Entertainment announced today that Native American/First Nation actors Chaske Spencer, Bronson Pelletier, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Tyson Houseman have signed on to star as the members of the wolf pack in The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
I’m not going to pretend to have interest in this series, but it is nice to see Summit and director Chris Weitz have chosen to honor the original novel/story and have not recast the group with bigger name Caucasian actors. Films like Dragonball, The Last Airbender and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time have recently been criticized for changing or stretching the ethnicity of the characters in an effort to make the films more marketable. Others could argue that the cultural origins of the wolfpack is more important to the story than the previously mentioned films. You can read the full press release after the jump.
SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT RUNS WITH THE WOLF PACK IN THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON
Chaske Spencer, Bronson Pelletier, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Tyson Houseman to Star as Members of Wolf Pack
Los Angeles, CA March 23, 2009 – Summit Entertainment announced today that Native American/First Nation actors Chaske Spencer, Bronson Pelletier, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Tyson Houseman have signed on to star as the members of the wolf pack in THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON. In the film, the wolf pack defends humans against vampires although they have a tribal history intricately entwined with Edward Cullen and his family. The wolf pack members will join Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and fellow wolf pack member Taylor Lautner in the film directed by Chris Weitz which will be released domestically November 20, 2009.
In THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested.
Each member of the wolf pack is of Native decent. Spencer is Lakota (Sioux), Pelletier is Cree-Metis, Meraz is Purepecha (Tarasco), Gordon is Hualapai, and Houseman, who was discovered at an open casting call, is Cree. Casting of the wolf pack was overseen by award-winning casting director Rene Haynes who is well-known for her work on Native projects ranging from DANCES WITH WOLVES to BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE.
The action-packed, modern day vampire love story and blockbuster success of the first film in the series entitled TWILIGHT was released in theatres on November 21, 2008 grossing $69.6 million domestically during its first weekend. To date the film has grossed nearly $380 million worldwide. TWILIGHT was released on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD this past Saturday, March 21st and sold over 3 million DVD units in its first day of release making it one of the top five best first day DVD releases over the past two years.