AceShowbiz - Filmmaker Brenda Chapman has blasted critics of her groundbreaking new movie "Come Away".
The film imagines "Peter Pan" and "Alice in Wonderland" - from Lewis Carroll's classic tale - as siblings who are part of a multi-racial family, with their parents played by Angelina Jolie and David Oyelowo.
However, Chapman, who also helmed Pixar's "Brave", has fired back at negative comments from reviewers who have not seen the film yet criticised the casting of non-white actors to play the literary favourites.
"It just made me sad, like so much of our society these days, the last four years," the director told IndieWire of the ignorant, uneducated responses to "Come Away". "It just makes me sad that we haven't risen above all this."
Brenda added: "People are people and we all have our hopes and dreams and disappointments, and to have someone just purposely go out because they're racial bigots to destroy something, it's just hateful and it just makes me sad."
While Chapman admitted she initially skipped past David's name at the start of the casting process, because of the film's historically white context, she soon realised she had an opportunity to break barriers with colour-blind casting.
"Then I sort of went back to his name like, 'Wait a minute, why not?' And then, going through the story in my mind, it was like, I don't need to change anything. It would open up the story so much more."
She added: "I didn't choose David for political reasons, I chose him because I thought he was the best person to play Jack, because he's got such a warmth and a presence on screen that it just felt like I looked at the story and I thought this would just add so much depth to it. It was an artistic choice."