WTF: Michelle Rodriguez to Star in Tomboy, an Assassin Film Featuring Forcible Gender Reassignment Surgery

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In a film titled Tomboy, also starring Sigourney Weaver, actor Michelle Rodriguez will play a hitman turned into a hitwoman via forcible surgery. Hollywood, I just…

The Hollywood Reporter describes the film Tomboy, A Revenger’s Tale:

The script, written by [Walter] Hill from a story by Denis Hamill, centers on an ace assassin who is double-crossed by gangsters and falls into the hands of rogue surgeon known as “The Doctor,” who turns him into a woman. The hitman (now a hitwoman) sets out for revenge, aided by a nurse named Johnnie, who also has secrets.

It’s almost as if the term “problematic” was created just for this project. Rodriguez is playing the hitman, Weaver the doctor and THR goes on to say, “The project initially made the rounds at TIFF and had Frieda Pinto involved. Pinto is no longer involved.”

I kind of don’t even know where to begin with this but suffice to say, it’s yet another project I can’t believe got the greenlight thanks to its insensitivity. Gender reassignment surgery (or sexual reassignment surgery) is a big deal for a lot of transgender people. Not all want it, but some can’t get it if they did due to health or financial reasons. To base a film around someone who isn’t even trans (at least from THR’s report) getting the surgery forcibly is a horrendous idea.

The backlash against the Eddie Redmayne-starring The Danish Girl (among several other projects) has proved hiring cis actors to play trans roles is a bad idea. And yet, it keeps happening. And now this? Tomboy just adds a whole new awful layer of bad on top by not having included a trans actor, not even making the character trans, and from what I can see so far, not having anyone behind the scenes who’s trans either. It seems like those involved thought it would simply make for a great idea for a film. It’s not.

[UPDATE 5:00 P.M]

THR got a statement on this from GLAAD’s director of programs for transgender media, Nick Adams, “We haven’t read the script, but it’s disappointing to see filmmakers turning what is a life-saving medical procedure for transgender people into a sensationalistic plot device…We are at a crucial moment in the public’s understanding of transgender issues, and stories like these have the potential to undermine the progress we’ve worked so hard to achieve.”


5 Responses to “WTF: Michelle Rodriguez to Star in Tomboy, an Assassin Film Featuring Forcible Gender Reassignment Surgery”

  1. frodobatmanvader says:

    Well… this makes it harder for me to respect two of my favorite actresses now. What the hell? What part of this concept made either of you two go, “Yup, I want to attach my name to this!”…?

  2. robertskitch says:

    New rule: For every transgender problematic film someone makes they should be required to make two more that are nonproblematic films regarding transgender, to help balance out the sickening stupidity they have unleashed into the world.

  3. Katrien says:

    Hopefully it will flop.

  4. Sherrie Ricketts says:

    This sounds disgustingly exploitative and disrespectful of actual transgender people. I just…I can’t even. You’ve nailed it. It’s an awful idea that I wish would just stop now.