"Whitewashing," the practice of casting of white actors to play characters who were other ethnicities in the source material, has been a highly controversial Hollywood practice over the past several years. But what about when the reverse happens, and someone who isn't white is cast to play a character who has long been portrayed as white?
Well, at minimum it can help correct an historic imbalance in superhero comics; in the specific case of Aquaman, it may also make him a lot cooler. The actor who plays Aquaman in DC's upcoming slate of superhero movies is Jason Momoa, who was born in Hawaii and is of partly Polynesian descent -- and Momoa fully intends to embrace his Polynesian heritage in his portrayal of the character.
The Warner Bros. announcement on Wednesday of ten upcoming movies based on DC Comics properties neatly fills in a calendar of dates that the studio previously provided -- and help flesh out an extraordinary timetable of DC and Marvel superhero movies over the next six years from Warner Bros, Marvel Studios, Fox, and Sony Columbia.
ComicsAlliance's own graphics maestro Dylan Todd put together a timeline that reveals what those six years look like, including 29 confirmed release dates between now and the end of 2020, with several dates and titles still to be announced. For anyone who remembers the days when just one Spider-Man movie seemed an impossible dream, it's an astonishing representation of how comic book superheroes now dominate popular entertainment.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder apparently has a superpower: The ability to know when radio DJs are talking smack about Aquaman.
Last week, after the on-air personalities on Detroit's sports-talk radio station The Ticket spoke somewhat disparagingly about the character, who will reportedly be played by Jason Momoa in the upcoming Batman V Superman, Snyder called in to school them about Aquaman's "cool abilities."
Changing the racial identity of characters has become a contentious issue amongst fans of superhero comics and their adaptations in other media. The awful practices of casting white actors to play people of color, or of turning previously non-white characters into white characters, is all too common in movie adaptations of books, cartoons, TV shows, or even real life stories -- but rather surprisingly, superhero comics and their adaptations have mostly avoided this problem.
In comics, the controversy takes a different direction. Several white characters have become non-white, mostly in movies, and sometimes in reboots. Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm in the new Fantastic Four; Helena Bertinelli aka the Huntress in the New 52; Nick Fury in the Ultimate Comics line and on screen. These are changes that agitate some readers -- but realistically, the changes don't go far enough. Superhero comics have a cultural bias towards white characters that has everything to do with their institutional history and nothing to do with what makes sense to the stories.
Here's the thing about making a movie about Conan the Barbarian: his creator, Robert E. Howard, is such a definitive creator in the sword & sorcery genre that he's influenced and been imitated in countless stories. As
Conan: The Barbarian has been a pretty easy movie to overlook this summer. It's not that Robert E. Howard's testament to manliness isn't awesome, it's just that compared to icons in the costumed crowd Conan can come across as more of an archetype than a character to the untrained novel/comic reader. It also hasn't helped th
Crom's devils! Conan the Barbarian has a full movie trailer at last over at Yahoo! Movies and it's looking pretty beefy. There's Jason Momoa slashing things with a huge sword, Lovecraftian monsters, ruthless bandits, a fantasy-looking army and a prin
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