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Is The World Really Ready For Diversity In Major Film Franchises?

When it was announced that actor Michael B. Jordan was set to take on the role of Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four reboot, the Earth nearly stopped spinning.  There was so much outrage from movie goers and comic readers alike, I though the project was close to being canceled. While I’m not sure how the movie is going to turn out, this seemed like the perfect opportunity where Hollywood could make some real changes. I applaud the casting directors of this film for taking a big risk.

Thankfully, the Jordan casting may have opened the floodgates for giving black actors a bigger platform to play major characters that are known as being Caucasian. I am writing this because I am co-producer of the Black Superheroes Reimagined project. This made me ask the questions and debunk some of the myths. From the pictures you will see,  Not only are we capable but this reimagining is plausible.

I mean would it have really been painful to imagine Wonder Woman being played by this actress?

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Would you decide to skip out on viewing the new James Bond film just because this actor is cast….

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What about Aeon Flux? Its time for a reboot anyway.

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I want to see more ACTORS OF COLOR that are talented, and capable getting major roles such as these.  But there will always be naysayers. They will exclaim:

  • “Don’t change the character’s race! It will change EVERYTHING!”
  • “Theses characters are already established as Caucasian!”
  • “What if we change the race of characters that are already established as black to white!”

I have heard it all. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion,  these are not strong arguments. Here is why:

These characters are already established as Caucasian. Why change them?!  

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Saying this may mean that an individual has got accustomed to sameness. Remember, perception is everything. Think about how things would gave turned out if your favorite cinematic charactelorigin story was written a differently. Think about what attracted you to the character in the first place. Was it because you related to the character’s inner turmoil? Or because of the color of their skin? Or something else?

Well, take already established minority characters, and make them Caucasian. Fair is fair!  

That is understandable, but that the caveat to this is Caucasians dominate almost realms of entertainment as it is. This is not just my opinion, this is fact. If you are a movie buff and interested in movie history you will know what I’m referring to.

A Film like that would flop at the box office! 

Every movie, no matter whom the lead actor is has potential to be a financial failure. Good actors are subject to poorly written scripts, bad marketing campaigns, among other things. Luckily, with iconic film characters, the very name of the character can carry a film to financial success. Fans will see a Batman film, because its freakin’ BATMAN. Love or hate the actor, people will see it . The bottom line is, the only thing that should matter is that the essence of the character is kept intact. Nothing more.

Minority comic book characters aren’t noticed enough. Why not release films of some these already established characters of color, instead of recasting familiar characters?  

Understand there are a lot of popular caucasian characters that exist, many of whom I like. Unfortunately, these characters far outweigh the number of popular characters of color in the mainstream film industry. This is why we need more heroes of color (and females) on the big screen! And those that exist, are marketed enough. The point is to diversify across the board for complete and total inclusion.

Look at what happened to Storm in the X-Men films and look below at what could be.

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She is a major player in the comic books, but was given the back burner to characters like Wolverine, and Jean Grey. Her character is just as important as others yet she was given such poor treatment in the films.

To make things clear, I’m simply pointing out two things: the lack of diversity and risk taking within Hollywood. I don’t think  the Ridley Scott Syndrome should dominate the status quo. I mention Ridley Scott for his comments on not casting lead actors of color in Exodus. According to him,  actors of color don’t generate money.

I don’t suggest casting minorities for the sake of filling some type of quota. However, I question why they are not presented with more opportunities. This is not something that will happen overnight. These things are going to take time. If the ‘big wigs’ in Tinseltown could ever afford to be a little open minded to the possibilities of change maybe things will get better for EVERYONE!

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About Valerie Complex (19 Articles)
Writer, Critic, and passionate about comics, movies and equality on the big screen.
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