Lucasfilm is casting its first openly transgender actress in the form of Baptiste’s Talisa Garcia in their upcoming series Willow on Disney+.
Lucasfilm has cast its very first openly trans actress, Talisa Garcia, in their upcoming willow the series is set to debut on Disney+. Designed as a sequel to the original willow film released in 1988, the first film was designed by star wars creator George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard. Starring Warwick Davis as the titular hero, Willow Ufgood, the story follows the aspiring farmer and magician as he seeks to protect a toddler from a tyrannical queen.
After the release of the original film, Lucas first hired novelist Chris Claremont to write a trilogy of novels set 15 years after the events depicted in the film. nicknamed the Shadow War Chronicles trilogy, the books featured the now-teenage child, Elora Danan, as the central character and were based on story plans developed by Lucas himself. Then, after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, rumors of a potential sequel project began to surface. Finally, in 2019, Howard announced that a spin-off series was in development, and the willow The series was officially greenlit by Disney in 2020.
Currently the new willow series currently in post-production, but it looks like Lucasfilm is still making some last-minute additions to the cast. New reports from Deadline say that British actress Talisa Garcia, who stars in the BBC drama, Baptist, joined the cast as a queen and the mother of Tony Revolori’s character. While Garcia’s role is only noted as a small speaking part, it’s notable because it’s the first time Disney-owned Lucasfilm has cast an openly trans actor in one of their productions. It’s also the first time a trans actor has portrayed a cisgender character in a Disney+ movie or series.
This latest move from Disney follows last year’s casting of actress Patti Harrison in Raya and the last dragon, the first known trans actor to voice a character in a Disney animated feature. In 2019, Marvel Studios also cast its first openly transgender actor, Zach Barack, in Spider-Man: Far From Home. These decisions, however, appear to run counter to Disney’s recent response to controversial “Don’t Say Gay” legislation in the state of Florida, which prohibits teachers from teaching classes about sexual orientation and gender. gender identity to students under the age of 9. . The studio’s initial silence on the matter drew widespread criticism, including from its own employees.
By moving towards a more diverse model of representation, this latest casting move will hopefully continue to pave the way for more transgender actors in major productions. While seemingly a small role, it inevitably brings Disney audiences closer to the habit and normalization of LGBTQ+ representation in popular culture. Although no exact release date has been announced for the new willow series, it is expected to arrive on Disney+ later this year.
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