After more than two decades, the 1996 cult classic The Craft returns for its highly anticipated continuation The Craft: Legacy on October 28.
The film drew international media attention when Alex Schmider, GLAAD’s Associate Director of Transgender Representation, shared the casting call for the role of Lourdes on social media, after consulting with Blumhouse on the character breakdown. The call made it clear that there would be a Latina trans girl as a core part of the coven in the 2020 Sony and Blumhouse release, and subsequently went viral, sparking media stories and excitement about trans inclusion in an iconic franchise.
THE CRAFT (REBOOT)
IS CASTING A
LATINA TRANSGENDER WOMAN. pic.twitter.com/1Sfe0DbFW2
— alex schmider (@anderfinn) June 7, 2019
Blumhouse eventually chose Zoey Luna (15: A Quinceñera Story, Pose) to play the role of Lourdes, partially due to Schmider’s recommendation of her to the casting directors. Schmider commended the choice, contextualizing the significance of the casting and character, to The Wrap:
“Since GLAAD began the Studio Responsibility Index in 2013, major studio films have either left out transgender characters entirely or included minor characters that were deeply offensive. By writing one of the four lead witches as trans teenage girl Lourdes and casting Zoey Luna, a talented trans Latina actress, to play her, ‘The Craft: Legacy’ from Sony is charting a new course for inclusion in a major studio release,” Alex Schmider, GLAAD’s associate director of transgender representation said. “GLAAD was proud to help writer/director Zoe Lister-Jones and Blumhouse with this casting, and are so excited for audiences around the world to see Lourdes onscreen, a powerful trans girl on her own and in her witch coven, played by star in the making Zoey Luna.”
In addition to the thoughtful and inclusive casting process, The Craft: Legacy, helmed by writer and director Zoe Lister-Jones, sought out other resources to make the production inclusive across the board. After Zoey Luna was cast, Emmy-nominated actor Scott Turner Schofield was brought on board to advise and provide guidance on Lourde’s storyline. Of his consulting role on the film, Schofield remarked:
GLAAD has been working behind the scenes in Hollywood for decades to create more storylines and portrayals of trans characters that avoid tropes and clichés that harm real trans people. It was so brilliant of the Blumhouse production team, passionately led by writer and director Zoe Lister-Jones, to consult GLAAD for casting help to find the best actor to play Lourdes, which is how they discovered Zoey Luna, who was made for the role. Beyond casting, Zoe (Lister-Jones) put even more care into the character and storyline by hiring me as a subject matter expert to consult on the detailed aspects of the film, from script to screen. Both collaborations empower artists to creatively capture the diverse lived experiences of the trans community. This process which “The Craft: Legacy” instituted from casting through content and filming is a model for how the best stories–and by that I mean, most true and compelling stories–can be told and shared with the world.
Ultimately, Lister-Jones described the driving force behind the film as one to unify people by celebrating diversity and refusing to compromise individuality as fortified power.
“What I wanted to really showcase was the power of women in communities and that each woman’s power comes from her singularity, comes from her stepping into her identity and finding her power in that and how great the collective power is when all of those singular identities unite,” Lister-Jones said. “And I think now more than ever, the world really needs to be living in intersectional communities where we can uphold and uplift each other to subvert the really oppressive power structures that are at play.”
Lister-Jones added in the same interview with The Wrap, the importance of including trans girls and women to this conversation.
“In any discussion of young women, trans women’s voices need to be included. And anything that is looking at feminism or is telling stories through a feminist lens, it’s essential that trans women are a part of that narrative.”
Luna, the self-taught actress and activist, notes that while many stories about trans people are overdramatized with their gender identity portrayed as burdensome and a central source of suffering, The Craft: Legacy presents Lourdes as the teenage witch she is with her being trans as a facet, not a fixture.
The craft legacy is only like 3 days away and I am shaking in my boots… I could not imagine working on my first movie with anyone else but these woman. Going to set everyday felt like a dream, being directed while simultaneously mesmerized by @zoelisterjones and all of her insanely chic attire, that will forever be the greatest gift I have ever received as an actress as well as being given outstanding material to work with that Zoe created in such a timeless and fully thought out way. Seeing @caileespaeny lead this film to new heights in such a protective, devoted, and vulnerable way left me speechless and only more appreciative of the efforts that creatives go through. While also being enamored with the confidence @loviesimone_ held throughout her entire process, she was definitely mama witch on and off screen and learning more about how healing and tasty witchcraft could be only provided more of a realism factor to the entire project. @gideonadlon is such a creative and passionate artist wether it be through her acting, fashion sense, or music taste, she brought so many fresh perspectives to our dialogue, directions, and truly knows how to bring out the love in any project she sets her mind to, going home with her in the cast car was always special especially when she’d sing. The beauty, sophistication, and kindness that lingers around @michellemonaghan is so exhilarating to be around and getting to talk about astrology with her while also seeing her bring her character to life was so magical. Beyond these five amazing women I was surrounded by even more loving, brave, and supportive women as literally most of the crew were women, the DP, producers, assistants, set medic, and the fabulous wardrobe and makeup team! @averyplewes you are my spirit animal. @taylorbyersmakeup you were the breath of fresh air I needed on set to keep me going through all of the quick changes, pickups, and turnarounds. @brandi.boulet you are a visionary with the best makeup inspiration. @shanaveline thank you for always being so grounding and amazing to talk to. We definitely all felt like a clan of badass glamazons and I’ll take these memories to the grave with a smile.
During this cultural moment when some try to argue that including and affirming trans people is somehow a threat to others, the very nature of The Craft: Legacy’s production shows that including trans people, specifically trans girls and women, can be (and, in this case, quite literally is) magical.
The Craft: Legacy will be released widely on PVOD October 28 just in time for Halloween and can be ordered on demand everywhere this witching season.