Hollywood has again entered the indigenous platform with a new project on the legendary athlete Jim Thorpe, which has been titled after his traditional name Wo-Tho-Huk which means “bright path.”
Well-known face, humanitarian and actress Angelina Jolie will produce the film Bright Path: The Jim Thorpe Story, and Martin Sensmeier from Wind River who is of Tlingit, Koyukon-Athabascan decent is set to star as Thorpe.
“I have had the privilege of spending time with Bill Thorpe, and will be listening to and guided by the Tribes and the Thorpe family in the making of this film,” said Jolie.
The upcoming film is being viewed as an opportunity for correct indigenous input in Hollywood, and Sterlin Harjo, who is of the Seminole Nation with Muskogee heritage, wrote the original screenplay.
“It’s not up to Hollywood to change Native representation in the media,” he wrote on his website. “They have failed at it for decades — it’s up to us.”
And the pride in the accomplishments of the phenomenal athlete still rings true in his descendants.
“Our father’s accomplishments in life are a great source of pride to us,” said Bill Thorpe. “Our family has heard of dozens of attempts to bring this story to modern audiences, but we have never shared the vision of a movie until the authentic portrayal in Bright Path,” said Thorpe.
The portrayal of the Sac and Fox Nation athlete is hoped to be both an authentic addition to all biopic films and an accurate capture of his athleticism.