Ethan Hawke reveals the reason he abandoned plans for an Apache movie

Ethan Hawke has revealed he scrapped plans for a film about the Apache over concerns he would be unable to raise funds for a big-budget movie "that doesn't star a white person".

The Training Day actor co-authored the graphic novel Indeh: A Story Of The Apache Wars, which tells the story of a young Apache warrior during the group's conflict with white settlers in 19th-century America.

Ethan said he originally wrote the story as a film script but abandoned plans to make the movie after working out the massive cost of production.

Ethan Hawke (Joel Ryan/AP)
Ethan Hawke (Joel Ryan/AP)

Appearing at New York Comic Con, he said: "I had this 900-page document. I had it budgeted at like 240 million dollars.

"I started realising, 'Wow, this is not going to happen' - a 240 million-dollar movie that doesn't star a white person."

His remarks follow the ongoing debate about diversity in the film industry, after the Oscars faced criticism this year for failing to nominate any non-white actors for acting awards.

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Ethan, 45, said he was partly inspired to write his graphic novel because of the casting in the 1993 film Geronimo: An American Legend, which starred Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Matt Damon, Jason Patric and Cherokee actor Wes Studi.

He said: "I remember thinking, 'God, would they ever make a movie called Malcolm X that starred Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Jason Patric, Matt Damon ... and Denzel Washington'.

"You wouldn't do that and I thought, 'God, this is just totally being accepted'. So we've got to get these stories out there."

Ethan Hawke and his Training Day co-star Denzel Washington
Ethan Hawke and his Training Day co-star Denzel Washington (William Conran/PA)

Ethan, who wrote his graphic novel with Greg Ruth, admitted it was "dangerous" to give himself permission to write the story from the perspective of the Apache.

"Cultural appropriation has created a lot of pain," he said.

"These characters are part of American history now. We as Americans have a responsibility to tell our stories.

Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke (John Shearer/AP/PA)

"Geronimo, Cochise, Victorio ... are characters that are a large part of the historical fabric of what it means to come from here. If we don't tell the story, they're in danger of being lost.

"It's a dangerous thing to do to give yourself permission to do it. I felt entirely secure that I was coming at it from a place of love. I felt that would guide me safely."

New York Comic Con runs until Sunday.

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