Casting the pronouns

It’s Lia Thomas / Laurel Hubbard / Rachel McKinnon all over again.

Eddie Izzard will lead the cast of Joe Stephenson’s UK feature Doctor Jekyll, a modern interpretation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde which places a woman in the lead role.

That is, Joe Stephenson is rethinking Doctor Jekyll as a woman, but then casting a man in the part, so not rethinking it as a woman at all.

Talk about having it both ways. “I’m making Jekyll a woman! And I’m casting a man as that woman! Am I original and quirky or what?!”

A new and more convoluted way to take away one of the few opportunities women have.

“It’s wonderful to be able to reimagine this classic story in a modern way,” said Izzard.

It’s wonderful to take a female part away from a woman, said Izzard.

Some numbers:

Top-grossing 100 films:

  • 66% of speaking or named characters were male and 34% were female. This is a gender ratio of 1.9 males to every 1 female.
  • Only 28% of all speaking characters in action films were girls and women, which was not meaningfully different. A similar pattern emerged for female characters in animation (33.3%).
  • Only 14 of the 100 top movies in 2019 featured a gender-balanced (45%-54.9% of all speaking roles filled with girls/women) cast.

But hey, no doubt Eddie Izzard plays a woman much better than any woman could possibly do it.

Can you imagine the uproar if someone decided to do a new movie version of The Grapes of Wrath in which the Joad family is African-American and then cast Leonardo DiCaprio as Tom Joad?

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