As Wonder Woman continues to explode with popularity with just over $700 million in earnings worldwide this past weekend, the conversation about Eugene Brave Rock as the Blackfoot demi-god Napi in Wonder Woman continues to gain traction.
In the five weeks since Eugene Brave Rock first revealed to ICMN that he introduced himself as Napi, the Blackfoot demi-god to Wonder Woman in the Blackfoot language, comic movie news sites and nerds galore have been speculating on Eugene Brave Rock’s possible continued role in further DC films.
The original ICMN article posted on the morning of June 4th revealed that Eugene Brave Rock was Napi:
The news went viral on social media and on news sites and many of the news sites referred to ICMN as the source of information. Io9 / Gizmodo correspondent Beth Elderkin sought to double-check with Gene Brave Rock on Twitter as to his name od Napi in Wonder Woman, who confirmed ICMN’s report.
Beth Elderkin wrote in io9.gizmodo.com, about her first impression and interaction with Eugene Brave Rock:
Indian Country Today previously reported a little-known detail about Wonder Woman’s first encounter with Chief, one of the men recruited by Steve Trevor to help Wonder Woman on her mission. The two of them first addressed each other in the Blackfoot language, a native language of the Americas spoken by about 8,000 people in northern Montana and southern Alberta, Canada. It was the only language that wasn’t subtitled in the film, which makes this next part kind of amazing. During their chat, Chief introduced himself as Napi, a Blackfoot demi-god.
This could’ve easily been an inside joke for the audience, but Brave Rock told io9 on Twitter that Chief is, in fact, Napi. And even though director Patty Jenkins gave Brave Rock a lot of creative freedom with the character, Chief’s introduction wasn’t improvised. Brave Rock said his reveal as Napi was a bonafide part of the script.
Following Elderkin’s inquiry regarding Napi in Wonder Woman, combined with the language verification by ICMN of what Chief said to the DC heroine, a flurry of news sites began to share the news. Among the sites were Cinema Blend, Nerdist, CBR.com, The Daily Dot and MoviePilot.com to name a few.
Though there has not been a verification if Eugene Brave Rock’s role in the DC Universe will continue, his line to Wonder Woman identifying himself as Napi was not ad-libbed. Brave Rock has confirmed the name Napi was part of the script.
But no matter the outcome, Eugene Brave Rock has made an amazing Native impression on DC’s arguably best movie to date as Napi in Wonder Woman.
As Eugene Brave Rock told ICMN in regards to speaking his language to Wonder Woman, “It is great to represent my people. It’s tough working in the movie business. Sometimes they are telling you how to speak a language or something else. It is so often a non-Native interpretation of how Native people are or were.”
Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) – ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor