The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Published 5 months ago by , Updated March 11th, 2014 at 9:29 am,

 Comic Book Superhero Movie Casting Controversy Race The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Superhero movies are the big champions of the cineplex these days –  the most steadily reliable big-buck earners Hollywood studios can put out. Casting these films is therefore a big deal; a studio has to both please a core fanbase that is very finicky about the depiction of the characters, and pick someone who can carry a mega-budget film on a global stage, drawing in big crowds all along the way.

When you lay it out like that, superhero movie casting is a really big deal for all parties involved (fans and studio) – and lately, frankly, we’ve been tossed quite a few curveballs. “Race-switch casting” has continued to court controversy, as actor Michael B. Jordan will play a black version of The Human Torch in the new Fantastic Four movie and Jamie Foxx a black version of Electro in Amazing Spider-Man 2.  Even without race-switching controversy, comic book fans have been almost as perplexed about actors like Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and Jesse Eisenberg being cast as characters like Batman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor in DC’s Batman vs. Superman movie; Michael Douglas playing an elderly Hank Pym in Marvel’s Ant-Man; or Channing Tatum possibly playing Gambit in the X-Men movieverse.

Indeed it seems that, at the moment, superhero movie casting involves more twists and surprises than an M. Night Shymalan movie – and those unpredictable choices are causing rifts all over the fanbase. For every person who is intrigued and/or patient for forthcoming evidence of an actor’s performance or a film’s quality, it seems like two more are outraged to the point of boycotting a film they have never seen, based solely on the fact that it does not fit their mold of what that comic book movie should be. But let’s be honest here: superhero movie casting is, at its core, a pragmatic and business-oriented process – one far simpler than the criticisms and conspiracies that many angered fans find catharsis in flinging all over The Internet.

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THE COMPLAINTS

The angry fanboy The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

If you don’t frequent Internet movie sites or their subsequent comment forums, then maybe (hopefully) you’ve been spared a lot of this. In case you aren’t aware, here are the top complaints fans make about Hollywood’s mis-casting of superhero movies:

  1. The filmmakers are idiots who have little knowledge and/or respect for the source material.
  2. Casting directors are idiots who don’t understand these characters – or the obvious casting choices that fans post online everyday (which should be followed without hesitation).
  3. In the case of race-switching, it is political correctness pandering meant to foster the illusion of diversity, which is disrespectful to the tradition of these characters AND the general public.

You hear these three reactions (in slightly varied forms) every time another surprising or canon-altering superhero casting announcement is made; and yet, nearly all of those same complaints seem to miss the simplest and (to me at least) most obvious fact about the casting process: It’s all about business and making the most bucks possible, and it’s a strategy that has traditionally worked.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT MOVIE BUSINESS

Movie Demographics The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

If you’ve never heard the term “demographics” allow me to elaborate: in the eyes of a business (like major movie studios) society is broken up into a pie chart. Children, adults, males, females, minority, non-minority, etc., etc… the divisions vary, but the core idea of the demo pie chart remains the same: know the playing field. Now, some businesses thrive by focusing on one sliver or section of the chart as their target demo – but major tentpole movies are NOT one those businesses. A movie that costs $100+ million ($200+ million in some cases) is trying to take as big a bite out of that demographic pie chart as possible – and casting plays a huge role in that agenda.

I don’t make the rules of human behavior (I sometimes like to pretend I do), but it is not a groundbreaking revelation to point out that things like the race, gender and the age of a cast of actors are major factors in a movie’s appeal. For example: most gross-out raunch-com movies are seen by younger people, while mature rom-coms tend to skew more toward adults. And  before you say race isn’t a factor in all this, ask yourself: how many movies with majority black casts achieve “crossover success” at the box office? (Hint: the fact that the term “crossover success” is an actual term is a sign in and of itself.) For a major tentpole, the filmmakers need to recoup every dollar possible in their race for big profits (a race that now seems to have a billion, not million-dollar finish line) – and that means tapping every pocket from as many demographic quadrants as possible to get it.

Fast and Furious 6 Cast The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Now, a case can be made for why ‘pandering to PC standards’ or ‘affirmative-action casting’ are the enemies of true progression; but then again, there is plenty of evidence that diversity actually sells when it comes to blockbuster films. The Fast & Furious series is one of the most successful non-superhero movie franchises currently in business, and we’ve already pointed out that having one of the most diverse casts in Hollywood (black, white, Latino, Asian, and everything in between) is probably a strong indicator as to why those films are now inching toward the billion-dollar mark worldwide (key word) with each new installment. Sure, it could be the mindless action and pretty faces selling those tickets, but something tells us that allowing gearheads all over the world to see their segment of the sub-culture represented onscreen doesn’t exactly limit the movie’s appeal.

…Which brings us back to the more recent example of the Fantastic Four reboot.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT MOVIE-MAKING

fantastic four reboot josh trank The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

People like to fantasize that if Marvel Studios held the rights to ALL of its characters (like F4) then all would be well. That’s a nice fallacy, but Marvel Studios is probably the one place where they know better than anyone how problematic it is to sell a modern Fantastic Four - and no doubt Fox has had similar concerns about the overall viability of the property.

According to Diamond Comicsin January 2014 Fantastic Four was number 76 out of the top 100 comics sold for the month – which is more or less the tier it seems to be stuck on, these days. That’s to say: the readership is not all that strong. If the core source material is not scorching-hot with comic book fans, why would a studio gamble on that exact same concept selling as a major blockbuster film? It might seem strange and/or offensive to say this, but a story about an all-white family of superheroes just may not have enough wide appeal to make it in the modern global film market. That concept and setup didn’t attract a large audience to a show like ABC’s cancelled superhero family TV series No Ordinary Familywhich was essentially a re-tooled Fantastic Four. After a one-and-done TV concept and low comic book sales for the “classic” version, it’s fair to say that all-American superhero families aren’t quite the draw they used to be.

Michael B Jordan Responds to Human Torch Criticism The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

As cynical as it may seem, casting Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm has generated massive interest in this project (angry comments ARE interest, remember) – and though it may be regrettable to admit, seeing a Fantastic Four movie with a black actor in a lead role WILL secure a certain audience that would not see the movie, otherwise (“Oh, Human Torch is black now? And it’s the dude from The Wire? I’m in!“) Add to that a respected young British actor (Jamie Bell) as The Thing, and a spunky up-and-coming actress (Kate Mara) to give females a more grounded and relatable Sue Storm (as opposed to super beauty queen Jessica Alba) and already one can see where the filmmakers are going with their demographic reach: all over the chart.

DC’s Batman vs. Superman movie is pulling star-power (Affleck), international appeal (Gadot), indie/greek cred (Eisenberg) – with rumors of more diversity in the works – in order to open up their mega-tentpole to as many people customers as possible. Peel away the makeup and CGI from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy gamble and you’ll find a full-service demographic chart, including popular actors of color (Zoe Saldana, Djimon Hounsou), A-list star-power (Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel), indie/comedy cred (Chris Pratt, John C. Reilly), etc.  Captain America 2 follows the same pattern with Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford in the mix; Amazing Spider-Man 2 has Jamie Foxx and Dane Dehaan to help spread its reach… This wide-net demographic (catering, pandering, servicing – call it what you will) is simply part of the blockbuster movie game plan, and superhero movies are simply the biggest blockbusters of the day.

Meet The Guardians of the Galaxy The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

In short, this is all just Hollywood business as usual: doing what it “takes” to make big bucks.

With a film like Fantastic Four - where there are fewer characters to work with – the deviations in casting are much more apparent than, say, having Bradley Cooper’s voice behind a CGI space raccoon – or a having a character like Electro (who virtually no one has ever nominated for a “Best Supervillain” award) suddenly switch races. Regardless, the underlying principle is the same: a blockbuster film needs to have MUCH wider reach than a comic book, and when hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line, the “obligation” to “honor” the source material comes in at a distant second.

…And why not? After all, in the end, how much is fanboy happiness really worth?

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THE TRUTH ABOUT COMICS & FANS

Callie Cosplay Sue Storm Banner The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Photo Credit: Callie Cosplay | David Love Photography

As stated before: the Fantastic Four comic book hasn’t exactly been a hot seller. Generally speaking, as a modern-day concept, F4 is shaky – whether on the comic book page or the big-screen. But then, this isn’t the first slump Fantastic Four has found itself in – and the “stunt casting” for this property started LONG before Michael B. Jordan came along. In fact, the Fantastic Four comic has been swapping original members for other (often more lucrative) Marvel superheroes for years.

Those who still read the books will tell of recent stories where Spider-Man and even (gasp) Doctor Doom were part of the team;  in the early ’90s, we got a completely  New Fantastic Four that was made up of Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk and Ghost Rider (guys you still see in the movies today, get it?); within the last few years, a “New Fantastic Four 2.0” included characters like Red Hulk, Venom, X-23 and Ghost Rider (again). Those rotations usually help to reinvigorate the property when the core Four have lost reader interest – and such alterations to the team lineup over the years illustrates an important reality:

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Comic books change all of the time.

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Comic fans know the term “retcon” well; it’s a term that refers to the (often drastic) changes that a new comic book creative team makes to existing canon. In terms of creative vision, comic books are like seasons: with each new creative team, a book can change to a whole different climate. Some are harsh and bad climates, others fun and pleasant – but within the medium it is generally accepted that change is not only a reality, but the norm. Somehow, that aspect of comic books is being lost in translation to film.

Fantastic Four Future Foundation and New Fantastic Four The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

The Second “New F4″ and “Future Foundation” teams

When looking at casting choices, story directions, costumes or pretty much any other aspect of comic book movies, it seems there are a lot of fans who demand to see something set in stone within their minds. However, a stone monument to a comic book property is hypocritical when comic books themselves aren’t fixated like stone, but are instead fluid like water. In other words: if comic books can shake things up, change, and present new visions of their characters and stories, why can’t comic book movies?

If Chronicle director Josh Trank drops a trailer for a wildly different (but awesome-looking) Fantastic Four movie, hardcore fans may hold out and boycott it for not sticking to canon, but a lot of average moviegoers – from a wide range of demographics – might be inspired to go see it. The same goes for the new Batman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor of Batman/Superman, or those strange critters from Guardians of the Galaxy. If the new movie version looks cool, the old canon will be quickly forgotten by the masses – if it was ever really known at all. Which brings us to a pivotal point regarding the future of these films.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE FUTURE

amazing spider man 2 trailer electro 1024x576 The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

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Superhero Movie Math: x > y

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At the moment, when it comes to the success of comic book movies, many fans assume “x” to represent “the core fanbase,” and “y” to represent “the general moviegoing public.” However, that’s specious reasoning. A film like this Fantastic Four reboot, if it snags mainstream appeal in a wide net of demographics – but is boycotted by the hardcore fanbase – it could be a solid success, which would forever redefine the equation above. If studios see box office results that prove “x” to be “the general moviegoing public” and “y” to be “the core fanbase”? It will be all-too apparent that radical changes to the material won’t doom a comic book movie’s chances at mainstream success; ergo, catering to fan demands will be seen as a very distant second to creating a version of the property with global appeal as a blockbuster movie.

Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Some fans may not realize it, but we’ve already entered into this transition, and the results aren’t looking good for fanboys: Iron Man 3 pissed a lot of comic book fans off (that whole Mandarin issue) – but that didn’t stop it from reaching a billion-dollar box office payout. To many non-comic book fans, Shane Black’s version of Iron Man was a hit and the anger about the Mandarin was short-lived; Thor: The Dark World showed little sign fan backlash as it clocked over half a billion dollars worldwide. When the money is still on the table – even though fanboy love is not – studios have little motivation to cater and cow to the wishes of a niche group – a realization they seem to be quickly coming to.

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CONCLUSION

Ultimate Fantastic Four Movie Cast 2015 The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

There is no sacred mold to adhere to, anymore. Superheroes have hit the mega-mainstream and like all things in the pop-culture zeitgeist, there comes the obligation to appeal to as many people as possible. That is almost the exact opposite philosophy of the intimate niche worlds comic book writers and artists create for readers of a certain era and context – before the books inevitably evolve and change to create new and different intimate niche worlds for new generations of readers. As comic book movies age, they will carry on in the tradition of their source material inspirations and evolve and change in attempt to meet the different contexts of different eras. Superman may get edgier, Lex Luthor scrawnier, Johnny Storm blacker, or Hank Pym older, but one thing will remain constant:

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People won’t pay to see a crappy movie.

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Quicksilver X Men Days of Future Past Costume The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

After all this serious talk, that’s really the punchline: much of this deep, social/economical/racial/philosophical debate will ultimately be decided by what these respective movies look like when the trailers and/or other promotional materials are released. If they look badass, the world (including many of the sworn boycotters) will line up to buy tickets to the No. 1 source of blockbuster movie entertainment; however, if the trailers and promo materials look like garbage – faithful to the source material or not – then even the most ardent supporters will turn on the film like Caesar at the Senate. And  if/when the box office returns are low, it’ll be back to the drawing board for the studio.

As always seems to be the case, dollars will decide – so spend wisely, rather than dogmatically.

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Follow movie and talk movies, superheroes and casting, @ppnkof 

TAGS: ant-man, batman, batman vs superman, captain america 2, fantastic four, guardians of the galaxy, iron man 3, spider-man, superman, the amazing spider-man 2, the avengers 2, wonder woman, x-men, x-men days of future past

441 Comments

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  1. Live-action Quicksilver looks seriously stupid.

  2. Overall it’s worse off base operations in the satellite licenses because within Marvel Studios all the decisions were solid. Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury, that’s a no brainer, Heimdall too if you ask me, being worshipped by Vikings gave no guarantee they’d all look just like them, in fact with a rather diverse population on earth it’s only logical our superiors would be similar.

  3. let me start by saying ” i dig the idea of Micheal b. Jordan as human torch !”, he could be awsome . but now i must speak of cannon. human torch and invisible girl(woman), i’ve noticed, have simmilar powers:- one is enveloped in flame and projets flame objects and the other is bathed in invisibilty and can project invisible objects. in my mind, this has always denoted genetic similarity. being brother and sister (by gene NOT ADOPTION has always seemed why that worked. if Torch is black Sue should be black, plus, wouldn’t that make Sue and Reed’s relation more interesting, and not just the crap we got in the first F.F. movies. or is this idea too much for the bean counters.
    my point is, certain cannon change can work for both “x” and “y” but where certain cannon points can be played with to better a story line, some should be held up because that’s what made those heroes who they are: Black panther will always be a proud African leader, Tony Stark will always be a rich, arrogant white boy and Shaft is a bada$$ black cop!(shut yo mouth!). personally i’d like to see a black Peter Parker. that could ROCK!

    • Regarding a relationship of that dynamic I believe Spike Lee covered that it was called Jungle Fever.

    • Black Panther is a proud African leader, but, IronMans an arrogant white “boy”, ur brainwashed worse ur trying to brainwash..when are white boys allowed to be white men? Let us know, thanks.

      • Never..when they’re close they get recast.

        • Give an example of an individual that was close but recast.

          • T’was figurative…Americans downplay white mens role in the infastructure of society even then they have to be portrayed as bad in someway or another by birth perhaps never seen for any of their intelligence as responsible, or architects of the new world..they have to be white boys or crackers.

            • Don’t take me wrong I do all I can to be a good, fair, descent human being so I can sleep at night but, you have to find it a little unsettling that all over these forum threads they are basically saying big deal Johnny Storm is white that’s no culture, make him black, lets add depth.

              • Why not a black Johnny Storm, because the core fan base doesn’t want that, on that token why don’t we reboot “Shaft” and cast Jason Statham or Jet Li in the title role, “it will add depth” and be original.

              • Implication in response to what? I hate that they don’t put responses right underneath the post they are Germain to.

                • Joker I’m not sure what you are referring to when you’re talking to me about setting someone on fire, also your sentence doesn’t it coherent as posted, please proof read and readdress to me, identify which post I said to set someone on fire, thanks.

                  • Joker my prior post I meant “isn’t coherent” not “doesn’t it coherent” I didn’t proof read closely enough.

                    • TO THE MARVEL FANS QUESTION, I keep seeing a lot of mention of Wolverine’s height but has he really been drawn has as diminutive and having height discrepancies w/his contemporaries?

                    • Irrelevant, yo. Wolverine was first cast with Dougray Scott who was then known as playing Prince Henry opposite Drew Barrymore (as Cinderella-like character) in EVER AFTER. By the time he was recast to Hugh Jackman, we MARVEL FANS rather have a TALL bad-ass than NO bad-ass at all.

                      To answer your earlier question, FOX only owns rights to Fantastic Four (and X-Men) characters but not other MARVEL characters. So, “blackening a traditional hero of the Marvel canon” is an option for FOX to diversity the leads, but not make “one of the many historically black characters the next Tony Stark” unless you can convince MARVEL to give away their pool of black characters to FOX (and SONY) for free.

                    • Here you go sir:

                      http://screenrant.com/marvel-comics-movies-characters-carl-6766/

                    • I changed the link above – we answered this a WHILE ago. ;-)

            • Americans down play “white men’s” role in the infrastructure of society? Are you sure that’s what you meant?

            • How??? White men are on our currency! It doesn’t get more manly and respected than that. All bow down to the mighty dollar! Stop being insecure and enjoy the movie!

      • Come on this whole Marvel Universe is for arrested adolescents, most of these storylines are for “boys” why not have characters that can live “rock star” lives that’s what sells and appeals to the core fan base. I enjoy it because on a smaller level than Tony Stark but larger level than an average fan I live that “rock star” life.

    • this article was spot on! At the end of the day…we are living in a world of diversity….and $$$$$$ talks and everything else walks!

      People who are bent out of shape over the switching of races in characters such as Human Torch or Electro….need to simply relax! The Last two Fantastic 4 movies sucked! Bottom Line…and I agree with the author of this article….no one really wants to see a movie about an “all white” family of superheroes….especially when 85-90% of the population on this planet of 7 billion people are “brown-of color”

      The movies theater production companies know what they are doing….they are making blockbuster movies that appeal to “EVERYONE”! They are looking to bring in the most bang for the buck! Who cares if a few thousand comic book “purist” have a problem with an established black actor playing a Norse god, a comic villain made of electricity, or an young up and coming actor playing a black human torch! If the movie brings in 9 figures or more, then guess what……its a hit!

      • This whole page is like a movie prior to 1939 it’s black and white, apparently the Marvel universe is monochrome. Everyone is up in arms about Anglo Saxon canon being changed which bothers me, but the only choice to alter them is which negro is going to be cast as the new version, where does it say black equals diversity,why doesn’t someone sound off and say they want an Asian to portray the Thing or Antonio Banderas as Tony Stark, they’re all kinds of support as long we negrofie some historically Anglo Saxon character. Marvel has black heros grant it they are tokens and kind esoteric, but they don’t have to be, look at Capt.Amer.Winter Soldier, Falcon I’m sure is not just the token negro and War Machine is being portrayed by an Academy Award nominated actor, quit changing things and GO FORNICATE YOURSELF!!

  4. Instead of blackening a traditional hero of the Marvel canon why can’t they make one of the many historically black characters the next Tony Stark. Iron Man was not a huge draw prior to the films, it was Hollywood that made the I.P. the phenomenon it is today, are these people saying that only way a black hero can anchor a film is if the commit identity theft? Of course there is the argument that art imitates life.

  5. I have followed this story since it all started with the announcement of Michael Jordan being cast. Most of what I see in the comments can be summarised as follows:

    Marvel fan: “I don’t like the idea of changing a character that has been a well established character for decades. Johnny Storm should be a carefree young blonde blue eyed kid because that is who he is”

    Response: “You racist white piece of sh*t!”

    White people are not the only racists lurking the internet. My stand on the issue is that I am not going to watch this film. I do not want to see a black torch. I would enjoy seeing another run at Blade, or a Black Panther movie, or Nightwatch. I am a fan of many black characters in the 616. As for the fantastic four, Jordan is going to be all “gangsta” and it’ll ruin the whole thing.

    Those of you who now wish to insult me for posting my opinion may feel free to. It’ll only prove my first point.

    • Hit the nail on the head.

      I’d like to see another Blade too. Also I happen to be partial to John Stewart as the Green Lantern (from the Justice League and JLU animated series).

    • I agree and disagree with you at the same time. I’d much rather see them take or create black heroes and develop them as their own properties rather than race change a central character like Johnny Storm.

      That said, we don’t really know what factors went into play in selecting a black actor. I suspect they didn’t go into this thinking “hey lets make Johnny Storm black” so much as “you know who would make a good Johnny Storm – Michael B. Jordan” and then went from there into the auditioning process to make he was the best choice for their vision.

      Finally, Jordan isn’t going to “gangsta” it up. If he does that is going to be a choice Trank and the creative team makes. So we don’t know how Johnny Storm will be portrayed.

      Casting Johnny Storm as black actor is one that I disagree with. While I am sure “diversity” was part of the decision the do so, I’d like to think it was largely because they feel he fits the vision what they want to portray on screen. It isn’t a reason not to see the movie and ultimately it probably will not be the reason the movie sucks if it doesn’t succeed.

    • 1st of all, no disrespect but we are talking about Johnny Storm here…not a major headliner type of superhero like Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman etc it’s Johnny Storm….ok? better yet…it’s the Fantastic Four so please take a deep breath and relax… in the Marvel comic book world these 4 just really aren’t pulling their weight these days…be it in the comic books or on the big screen.

      And that’s the main reason why the “shake up” is in place……and guess what…it’s working! Because U have the “purist” who are in a uproar over the switching of MB Jordan who is now playing the part Chris Evans formerly had. As for your comments about a black panther movie? Well that movie concept is doomed from the get go…I mean lets call it for what it is….the movie will not generate cross-over appeal…there’s nothing popular-appealing about the name “black panther” especially considering the racial implications-history behind such a name.

      How many white movie goers are going to sit thru or carry a movie based on an African King-superhero???? U have a better chance of getting struck by a meteor…its just not going to happen, even if they added him to the Avenger line up….U thought the complaints about the Human Torch were tough… as for Blade? a reboot could be possible…whose going to be the badass to fill Wesley Snipes shoes for the role?

      • You don’t think a Black Panther movie could be a success, in a country where an octoroon is the figure head and he’s about as much of an American as Mel Gibson. Yes they can snow the entire country but they’ll never get support for this superhero from us cinephiles.I beg to differ everyone wants to be black, til the cops show up,lol.

  6. Just started reading all this I was introduced to comics through the movies I now prefer comics to movies and find movies annoyin with the race change nick fury purely cause I cant stand samuel l jackson!! Guy played spawn woulda been better in my opinion if doin the change!! Have no love for ff begin with nor marvel movies for that fact lol. Red comment earlier bout ledger joker wasonly good thing bout that movie only movie I liked from the trilogy its self was batman begins!! Change of banes race has never been mentioned here maybe this is all bout black and white on this thread!!

    • What race is Bane supposed to be, his bio says he was born on a mythical Carribean island, he shaded as Anglo Saxon, could he not be of descent from the U.K.?

      • He’s of white/hispanic descent. His mother was a native of Santa Prisca and his after white. Can’t remember if his father was American, British or whatever.

    • The Ultimate version of Nick Fury was inspired by Samuel L. Jackson and Since the Marvel Studios films are based on the Ultimate Universe it only made since to cast the man to play a character built on his likeness.

  7. Generally santa prisca prison was south american/spanish/latin type not english/british

    • That doesn’t mean he has to be of indigenous descent, example Charlize Theron is South African and Mel Gibson was born an American.

      • I know this but its changin race which as far as I read hadnt been mentioned just thought id throw it in there lol no spanish accent or anythin bout bane in it except the being brought up in a prison I hated the trilogy cause they made it too realistic no venom or nothing that was annoyin ashell reallt hated it lol

        • Mel gibson not australian??

      • And yes this page’s focus seems to be on black and white, because the studios only seem to want to Negrofie the Anglo Saxon canon, nobody wants Ken Watanabe as Nick Fury or Cliff Curtis as Perry White. Some how black equals diversity, never mind Asian, Native American and Middle Eastern, oh you changed some of the historically Anglo Saxon canon to Negroes, bravo mission accomplished diversity.

        • No Mel was born in New York while his parents visited the U.S. on vacation or business.

          • Yeah seems to be the onlt two races to exist in that aspect dont see the need for it though its like yes this story is great give it a movie deal then tear it apart change everythin spend millions and hope it works I prefere fan movies less of a budget but do better stories even if short!! Ah I thought he was australian lol

            • Well it’s the whole wet foot, dry foot law immigrants make it ashore we help them they’re still in the ocean we tell them to turn around, a pregnant woman makes it here gives birth, suddenly she’s no longer an illegal, she’s a citizen by association. But getting back to the Trilogy, the realism was what I loved, gave the whole story verisimilitude, Nolan made the Dark Knight Shakespeare, drama tragedy it was almost possible, even if it wasn’t plausible.

              • Ah kool kool I love batman for being realistic but I just thought was too relistic begins was my fav the dark knight was only bareable because of joker and lets just say tdkr is only batman movie I have seen less than 5 times lol. Evolution of bats costume awesome but batnans great bein hunan with lots tech and fightin skills etc a human bein defeating supervillains with all there powets etc bane with his strength on venom. Say the trillogy took that away made it less intersting

                • Well he’s not really fighting “super villains” he’s fighting organized crime, graft, corruption within society’s infrastructure. Nolan’s Dark Knight is a stand alone piece, I only regret that Heath died and that it’s over. I seriously doubt if Nolan wanted to continue his Gotham, that Warner Bros would be pushing the JLA thread. Rises was a way to wrap up the story, not the original vision, that’s why the Joker lived unfortunately Heath did not.

  8. After I saw the Scarlet Witch and QuickSilver in Age Of Ultron X-Men looks lame.

  9. I don’t get what all the fuss is about. Things like this happen all the time. Did anyone see 300? I didn’t know the Spartans were of English, Scottish, Irish, and Australian heritage. And the leader of Persia was a Brazillian? Who would have thunk it?

    Ben Kingsly played a pretty good Ghandi. Pretty sure he’s not Indian.

    And those were actually real people.

    Most people seemd fine with Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine. You know, that 5’3ish Canadian who was played by a 6’2 Aussie. But in fairness this isn’t a race thing. If they had made Johnny Storm a blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman people still would have had a fit. It’s just a matter of people wanting things to be a certain way and not being willing to accept something different.

    Ok so in this one interpretation of FF Johnny Storm is black. Whoop-dee-doo. He’s still the same as always in the comics, is he not? These outraged fans, are fans because of the comics, are they not? So the version their fans of hasn’t changed, and they’re complaing, why?

    Things change. Things are sometimes done differently. And yet look, the universe did not collapse in on itself. Funny how that works.

    • You are a real tard. First you say you dont get what all the fuss is about, then you say EXACTLY what all the fuss is about!

      IT’S ABOUT THE FACT THAT JOHNNY STORM ISN’T JOHNNY STORM!

      Also your 300 analogy is totally screwed. I have a friend who’s father is from Greece, and believe me when I tell you the actors had the correct skin tone for the part. A native american, middle eastern, latino, african, etc. would NOT HAVE FIT THAT ROLE! Understand? The fact they used English doesn’t mean jack either. They used the language of their key demographic. Dur!

      I can suspend disbelefe enough to picture an oiled up Australian with spray on abs as a Trojan, but no way in Hell are you going to convince me that Johnny Storn is a black guy.
      Am I supposed to pretend he burned himself or something?
      Oh and just wait until mass media get a hold of this one. The headline will be “Is new Super Hero movie inspiring hate crime?”
      Or watch Al Sharpton get all up in a hissy, since that’s exactly what that con-artist does for a living.

    • Micheal B. Jordan exist Johnny Storm does not.

    • This!

  10. Let’s face it’s driven by financial gain, and trying to get an additional demographics Almighty dollar. But yes, I agree it’s a terrible idea.

  11. Honestly I’m not a big F4 fan if they go w/this cast I won’t buy a copy, I see about 2 films a year in theatres, I built my own theatre w/ 103″ inch plasma screen, I’m a huge cinephile I’ve 700+ blu-rays and I’ve put a fortune into sound as well as visual, I don’t go to theatres because it robs me of it being novel to me when I buy a copy. If I go to a theatre, it’s midnight premiere night, last year was Desolation of Smaug and Man of Steel.

    • Roger Corman I’m intrigued, I know John Boorman was going to do Lord of the Rings but used much of it in Excalibur, but I know nothing of Roger and the Hobbit.

      • Joker that I’ve heard of, Coleman’s F4 as I’ve said I’m not a big fan of F4 I’m just glad nobody as of yet is doing this w/the big draws at the box office. Joker we should chat via email Dnyss 1 at yh.

  12. Considering Universal’s production comparatively as one of the original big six, Marvel could buy back Namor cheap, they had the Hulk right up to Edward Norton’s go around, I’m sure they had to buy back the Hulk on some level because Ang Lee’s was Universal too, they owned that I.P. all the way back to 70s through CBS.

  13. I always found that Superman and Batman are polar opposites when it comes to casting.
    Because Superman always gets the best actors for the role no matter if they famous or complete unknowns, But Batman always relies on a well known cast and that’s why before the reboot the actors egos kept getting in the way of the best possible movies.

  14. Those 3 main complaints? Accurate, also 3 of mine, and despite how one might try to argue against those points, those 3 complaints are very legit.

  15. Excellent article. You have elaborated the points completely and correctly. It’s just business.

  16. I understand that some people might be taken aback by the casting decision of Johnny Storm (and trust me I was too), but seeing as how there is no way of stopping it, we might as well get used to it – at least until they reboot the franchise again. Since there is no stopping the filming of the movie, all I can hope for now is that it is good, and I think the cast, although odd, are talented enough to carry this movie on their own.

    I do hate however when people say that the only reason Johny Storm got picked was for political correctness, which is about the dumbest argument ever.These same people will then go to vehemently deny having any prejudices. Well assuming that political correctness is the only reason a black actor could get picked for a traditionally white roll would seem to be the underlying racist assertion. The director is good friends with Micheal B. Gorden and Micheal B. Gordon embodies the characteristics of Johnny Storm. I think both of those heavily played into the decision to cast Micheal B. Gorden. I won’t deny that Fox hopes this will net them a larger demographic, but I’m certain Micheal B Gorden’s acting abilities and his relationship with the director are far more important than him being black. The demographic thing seems more like an unintentional bonus in addition to casting a great actor.

  17. the last FF movie was so awful that it completely turned me off of the idea to ever make another. They ruined one of my childhood favorites, the silver surfer, and jessica alba is just an awful actress, which unfortunately made sue storm all too similar to her useless comic counterpart.

  18. Wolverine has always been 5’3″.
    Check Marvel.com and various Marvel related Wikia.
    Fact is fact.
    Even in this case with a fictional character. These details exist.
    http://marvel.com/characters/bio/1009718/wolverine
    http://marvel.wikia.com/James_Howlett_(Earth-616)
    Stop just changing sh*t to suit your argument.
    That kind of BS logic is what makes the various studios making these films even LESS inclined to take “fans” into account when making films based on comics.

  19. http://marvel.com/characters/bio/1009718/wolverine

    FACT: Wolverine has always been 5’3″.
    Marvel says so.
    Artists have just been lazy at times and drew him whatever height they felt like. That’s what gives way to the discrepancy.

    As for the Fantastic 4…
    REALLY?
    Most of the people complaining don’t buy the book for the VERY REASON the studios want to change Johnny in any way.
    The book sometimes has interesting stories…SOMETIMES.
    But if it’s always ranked at the bottom 100, I believe #76…
    …there’s you’re sign.
    Something needs to change.
    I personally have never really dug the FF. They’re corny as hell to me.
    REALLY CORNY.
    I’ve read good and bad stories starring the team.
    BUT…
    Nothing written about Mr. Storm says in EVERY REALITY he has to be caucasian.
    Nothing.
    Comics love to deal in Multiverses.
    If you have been reading for a long while you have to have come across at least a few of these kinds of stories.
    In one universe all males are females.
    In another everyone is insane.
    Shoot! In one universe the Marvel heroes…HEROES, are Zombies!
    So it’s not a stretch that in this “film universe” Johnny Storm is Brown.
    Just don’t see the film if it bothers you sooooooo much.
    Vote with your wallet.

  20. They were going to cast Tom Hiddleston as Thor, but let’s face it they found a better actor to portray Thor. It’s not just about having the right attitude for your portrayal you have to look the part, no where does it say after “flame on” Johnny Storm looks like a burnt match.

  21. Glad you liked that Joker.

  22. Sir Ben Kingsley is in fact Indian ….. he’s one od two actors to hold two knighthoods. The other is Derek Jacobi.
    Personally I’d rather have a Marvel movie about Issiah Bradley. And interestingly there’s one charcter that Marvel Studios, Sony (Spiderman) and Fox (X men/FF) and that’s Brian Braddock aka Captain Britain

  23. I’m a big comic fan and enjoy the movies. I know there was a lot of backlash when the original announcements were made of Race-switch casting. But what did you think of Samuel L Jackson, or Lawrence Fishburne, Michael Clarke Duncan etc? I honestly didnt notice the difference. (Although Daredevil sucked)

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