Ethan Hawke: I could never have funded 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.
Hawke 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.
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.
Hawke, 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."
Hawke, 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.
"Geronimo, Cochise, Victorio ... are characters that are 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.