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Old 05-23-2013, 11:38 AM   #1
Steve Holt
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Default Race changes that wouldn't bother you

What are race changes that wouldn't bother you.

Personally i could care less if they changed up Wonderman


what are your suggestions?

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Old 05-23-2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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M.o.d.o.k.

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Old 05-23-2013, 12:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

Given that minorities were considered to be outside of the mainstream in US society when many of our most popular superheroes were created, some degree of colorblind casting has to take place. This is not only to be fair to actors and actresses of color, but also to better reflect the viewing audience, and also to attract foreign viewers in a market has become more and more dependent on international box office receipts. Personally, I have a sliding sale from least risky to most:

1) Villain (e.g. Kingpin, Electro, Mandarin, Bane), Supporting Character (e.g. Perry White, Alicia Masters, Harvey Dent, Heimdall), Underused Hero (e.g. Nick Fury, Wonderman) - Go ahead and make the change. No problems here.

2) Fully masked Iconic Hero (e.g. Spiderman, Deadpool) - Riskier than the first group, But given that the look of the character remains the same regardless of the person's race, it's ok so long as you have a damn good reason.

3) Cowled Iconic Hero (e.g. Batman, Captain America, Daredevil) - More difficult than the prior category, and easier for a character like Daredevil who is less well known and has yet to have a successful film.

4) Unmasked Iconic Hero (e.g. Superman, The Human Torch) Casting Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm would change the look of a character that has existed as both human and robot since 1939. You would have to have an extremely good reason to make a change under these circumstances

5) Race or Ethnic Specific Iconic Hero (e.g. Luke Cage, Black Panther, Tonto) Given the dearth of minority comic book heroes, under no circumstances should you change the race of these classic characters.

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Old 05-23-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

That's a pretty good breakdown Zarek. There's nuances in each group. Ie, It's a lot easier to change Human Torch, a relatively minor character who's race is incidental, than it is to change Captain America, a more well known character who is at the forefront of the military in WWII.

I think the most "controversial" changes I'd be up for in the Marvel Universe are:
Any 2 members of the Fantastic Four
Daredevil
Any Done Before in other adaptations
- Janet Van Dyne
Any Aliens Really
- Mar-Vell
- Silver Surfer

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Old 05-23-2013, 01:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

I actually don't think race changes would bother me at all most of the time, or ever probably. I remember hearing that Michael Clarke Duncan was going to play Kingpin, and that Cuba Gooding Junior wanted to play Daredevil, I thought that would have been cool. Plot would have still been bad though. It wouldn't have bothered me if Donald Glover played Peter Parker (Parker being my favorite superhero, and one I relate to the most). The one time I can remember getting upset was when I heard Laurence Fishburne was going to play Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2. I was upset because I thought Doc Ock was this older German sortof fat guy. And I was seeing them change him into Morphius from the Matrix, not necessarily because of his race though.
And seeing how Fishburn looks as Perry White now, and if he did a German accent I would have been fine.
The rare occassions is when the character's ethnicity is a big part of who they are, Black Panther is African, so is Storm (although she grew up elsewhere), Gambit is Cajun, Banshee is Irish, Wolverine is Canadian, The last three maybe their race could change but their accents shouldn't.
With the majority of characters being white I don't mind them changing the race, but I don't think they should change a character's race if in the comics they are "a minority." Because there aren't as many characters like that.

I'm more upset at changes like making Dr. Doom a CEO instead of a dictator, or giving him electric powers and metal skin instead of a suit of armor. Or cluttering up a movie with too much stuff like in Daredevil, making what could have been a good film bad by trying to do everything in the first movie. Or over explaining things like in Ang Lee's Hulk.

I'd be fine with changing the race of Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Ted Kord/Blue Beetle, even Johnny Storm as long as Sue Storm was the same race since they are brother and sister. Batman, Superman, wouldn't bother me.

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Old 05-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

For non-iconic villains and support characters, go ahead. Big deal. The heroes themselves, nuh-uh (I consider Fury to be a support character, not hero).

Personally, I think the notion that Zarex mentioned that "minorities were considered to be outside of the mainstream in US society when many of our most popular superheroes were created" is a copout. I'm not jumping on Zarex personally; many people have said the same thing, he just brought it up here first. Yes, racial politics in media were a lot different back then. But even today, when most people are color blind, the vast majority of characters created for film, tv, and print are still white. And even when race issues in the media were at their most controversial, we still got great black characters - Black Panther (1966), Falcon (1969), Luke Cage (1972), Storm (1975).

If WB decided they were gonna reboot Harry Potter and cast a black child, the world would throw a fit, even though it was written at end of the 20th century. Why? Because everyone knows Harry Potter is a little white boy. If someone were to make Life of Pi, and use a white kid instead of Indian, people would also be up in arms. Because the kid in Life of Pi is supposed to be an Indian boy.

And isn't it kinda insulting to minorities to change well-known characters to a different race just to placate them? It's basically them saying, "We know there's black, latin, asian superheroes out there. But instead of simply including them, we're just gonna take this white character and make him black, latin, asian so you'll feel special." That's like putting a bunch of hockey players in blackface just to get black people interested in the sport.

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Old 05-23-2013, 01:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

I wouldn't be the least bit shocked or upset by ethnic changes to the majority of characters big or small; it would be easier for me to list the ones I *would* be upset by. And those, as others have stated, would be characters whose ethnicity is central to their character ---- e.g., Luke Cage, Shang-Chi, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Warpath, Red Skull, and the like.

I still find the idea of a "black" Norse god like Heimdall, for instance, to be fairly jarring --- until I stop and consider that the rest of this "Norse" pantheon is composed of Brits, Aussies, and Americans, so....no harm, no foul.

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Old 05-23-2013, 01:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

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Originally Posted by DrCosmic View Post
That's a pretty good breakdown Zarek. There's nuances in each group. Ie, It's a lot easier to change Human Torch, a relatively minor character who's race is incidental, than it is to change Captain America, a more well known character who is at the forefront of the military in WWII.

I think the most "controversial" changes I'd be up for in the Marvel Universe are:
Any 2 members of the Fantastic Four
Daredevil
Any Done Before in other adaptations
- Janet Van Dyne
Any Aliens Really
- Mar-Vell
- Silver Surfer
Personally, I would have much more of a problem with a change in Johnny Storm than either Spider-man or Daredevil. Given their backgrounds, both characters could very well have been black or hispanic if they weren't created in the 1960s. To me, the characters in the FF seems more "white" than either Peter or Matt.

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Old 05-23-2013, 02:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

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I still find the idea of a "black" Norse god like Heimdall, for instance, to be fairly jarring --- until I stop and consider that the rest of this "Norse" pantheon is composed of Brits, Aussies, and Americans, so....no harm, no foul.
Not to mention an Asian.

I think I'm on a similar page as Sam. Upon first look, I wasn't that psyched about the potential Human Torch race change because it could take away from the "family" aspect that helps tie F4 together, but it could easily be changed to an adoption or mixed parents anyway so it doesn't bother me at all.

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Old 05-23-2013, 02:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

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And isn't it kinda insulting to minorities to change well-known characters to a different race just to placate them? It's basically them saying, "We know there's black, latin, asian superheroes out there. But instead of simply including them, we're just gonna take this white character and make him black, latin, asian so you'll feel special." That's like putting a bunch of hockey players in blackface just to get black people interested in the sport.
Including non-white characters that don't actually go in the story just to placate non-whites is even more insulting. However, if I'm doing a story, and I want to tell that story in a way that is relevant to modern times, and so in addition to changing everything else, I also change some of the races, why then would I bring other characters fro a different story to get the same effect?

Black face is for white people. That shows that your issue is not the change so much, but that you view these characters as essentially white. The fact that you view black characters as *for* Black people suggests that you view white characters as for white people... that is *actually* insulting. The truth is, these characters that have existed for so long, that are incidentally white and have affected all of our lives, they're for everyone. Some filmmakers get that. People who don't will continue to try and say they're PC or placating, because there's nothing actually wrong with changing a race, so anyone who's against it has to baselessly assume that it's being done for some evil reason, otherwise... why be against it?

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Old 05-23-2013, 02:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

The only changes that bother me are when the background of the character requires the race, such as Blank Panther.

Everything else is fair game to me.

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Old 05-23-2013, 02:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

They recently said something about Dwayne Johnsson playing Luke Cage. That would be a "No, I'm pretty sure that character is supposed to be a lot more Black. That said, he could VOICE Luke Cage, just not embody him physically. I think I heard someone say he's half-black or something, but so Is Vin Diesel, and for the effects of what's basically a Blaxploitation character that's not gonna work out, here.

And for the record, neither Jennifer Love Hewitt nor Bolo Young should play Storm.

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Old 05-23-2013, 03:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

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Originally Posted by BATZARRO WWD View Post
And for the record, neither Jennifer Love Hewitt nor Bolo Young should play Storm.
Halle Berry was a bad choice too. Though for all different reasons.

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Old 05-23-2013, 04:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

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Originally Posted by Zarex View Post
5) Race or Ethnic Specific Iconic Hero (e.g. Luke Cage, Black Panther, Tonto) Given the dearth of minority comic book heroes, under no circumstances should you change the race of these classic characters.
You make very good arguments but I have an issue with this last point.
Why is it not okay to change the race of of an established ethnic Hero, but it is okay to do so for a Villain? Villains can be as iconic as their Hero counterparts, sometimes more so. Yet from your #1 you were okay with the Madarin being played by someone not of Asian ethnicity...

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Old 05-23-2013, 05:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

Race changes in don't really bother me just because I think that there are far too many great minority actors who can portray characters that aren't drawn to be minority. I will say I'm slightly a Hippocrate as I do get a little bit upset when a minority figure be it a fictional or non-fictional character gets changed to be white (also known as white-washing) and the only reason why it bothers me is because there are so many great minority actors and so few great minority roles and even fewer that aren't a stereotype.

Whenever we see a minority (usually black) actor being offered a role that is known to be white, people cry and act like it changes everything and it doesn't (at least not for most characters) they also act like the reverse never happens although it happens a lot even when the characters aren't fictional.

Characters who shouldn't see a race change (off the top of my head):
Tony Stark
Steve Rogers
Red Skull
Dr. Doom
Wolverine
Prof. X
Magneto

So basically as long as it fits in with the times and history of the character I don't really care. I will also say that I understand the desire to see the characters on screen look like their comic book counterpart but at this stage in comic to film adaptions just because a character looks the part doesn't mean that they will be portrayed the same way in terms of personality the x-men films have taught me a great deal about that.


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Old 05-23-2013, 05:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

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You make very good arguments but I have an issue with this last point.
Why is it not okay to change the race of of an established ethnic Hero, but it is okay to do so for a Villain? Villains can be as iconic as their Hero counterparts, sometimes more so. Yet from your #1 you were okay with the Madarin being played by someone not of Asian ethnicity...
I feel the same way about Bane, Electro and The Kingpin. In comic book movies most villains are of the "one and done" category, and the viewer gains little insight into their ethnic backgrounds. Also, villain types have fewer fans who are insistent on racial consistency. An Asian Mandarin is preferred, but I think Black and company provided some solid reasoning for the change.

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Old 05-23-2013, 06:36 PM   #17
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

Any character that isn't iconic nor that important.(IE Heimdall and Perry White) The only ones that would actually complain about their races being changed are uptight comic nerds. However characters such as Superman, Batman, Spider-man(Peter Parker) etc are iconic and I would like whoever portrays them in a live action movie to resemble their comic counterpart as much as possible.

There's been an uproar about Jamie Foxx playing Electro in ASM2. While Electro isn't really a minor villain, he's not A-list either. Norman Osborn and Doc Ock are more iconic and important in the Spider-man mythos. If Shocker appeared in a movie and they made him black I wouldn't care. Because his real identity never really meant anything anywhere else. In the 90s show, Shocker's real name was never even said. And in Spectacular Spider-man they made Montana of the Enforcers Shocker because like the producer said "Who is Herman Schultz?"

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Old 05-23-2013, 06:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

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You make very good arguments but I have an issue with this last point.
Why is it not okay to change the race of of an established ethnic Hero
Isn't everyone ethnic?

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Old 05-23-2013, 08:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

^Boom.

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Old 05-23-2013, 09:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

OTOH, there are a *lot* more white characters than non-white, especially amongst heroes. Hence why I don't think you should change a non-white character to white unless you have an actual compelling reason.

Note, though, that there is a difference between the race of the *character*, and the race of the *actor*. Just because you cast a given actor ( *coughJessicaAlbacough* ) doesn't mean the character is supposed to be the same ethnicity at the actor. Obviously this matters most with Hispanic and mix-raced actors.

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Old 05-23-2013, 10:19 PM   #21
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

I have to admit all race changes annoy me.Even secondary characters.

For example,Alicia Masters was supposed to resemble Sue somewhat in her first appearance in the comic,so why cast an actress from a different race than Sue?

Or Perry White.A character that has existed upward of 70 years.Everybody knows the name.Your grandfather knows who Perry White is.There's no need to change his race.(or Jimmy Olsen's gender,but that's another story)

But as I said in various threads,Heimdall didn't bother me,(since as a non-Thor reader,I didn't know the character from a hole in the ground) and I thought Michael Clarke Duncan was exceptional as the Kingpin.

I kinda don't mind Foxx as Electro since:

A. As a purist I'm not gonna get the goofy looking green & yellow costume anyway.

B. To call Electro a "B list" villain would be generous

C. I had less than praise for the first film,so it's not like it could "ruin" a beloved franchise at this point.

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Old 05-23-2013, 11:10 PM   #22
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

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Race changes in don't really bother me just because I think that there are far too many great minority actors who can portray characters that aren't drawn to be minority. I will say I'm slightly a Hippocrate as I do get a little bit upset when a minority figure be it a fictional or non-fictional character gets changed to be white (also known as white-washing) and the only reason why it bothers me is because there are so many great minority actors and so few great minority roles and even fewer that aren't a stereotype.

Whenever we see a minority (usually black) actor being offered a role that is known to be white, people cry and act like it changes everything and it doesn't (at least not for most characters) they also act like the reverse never happens although it happens a lot even when the characters aren't fictional.

Characters who shouldn't see a race change (off the top of my head):
Tony Stark
Steve Rogers
Red Skull
Dr. Doom
Wolverine
Prof. X
Magneto

So basically as long as it fits in with the times and history of the character I don't really care. I will also say that I understand the desire to see the characters on screen look like their comic book counterpart but at this stage in comic to film adaptions just because a character looks the part doesn't mean that they will be portrayed the same way in terms of personality the x-men films have taught me a great deal about that.
Out of curiosity, why Wolverine?

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Old 05-23-2013, 11:23 PM   #23
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Out of curiosity, why Wolverine?
Because he fought alongside Captain America in WW2. He's old enough that it would be changing his experiences to make him a minority in that time period. He was also raised wealthy in the 1880s.


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Old 05-23-2013, 11:38 PM   #24
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Just a random sample.

Inhumans could easily be played more ethnically diverse, although drawn primarily caucasian looking, some might have a greek influence, that's not an implicit part of their concept.
If anything making them more diverse would add to the seeded Earth premise being potential;ly developed for the film.


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Old 05-24-2013, 06:59 AM   #25
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

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You make very good arguments but I have an issue with this last point.
Why is it not okay to change the race of of an established ethnic Hero, but it is okay to do so for a Villain? Villains can be as iconic as their Hero counterparts, sometimes more so. Yet from your #1 you were okay with the Madarin being played by someone not of Asian ethnicity...
When the ethnicity of a character is important only as a racist caricature, I think it's actually *wise* to move away from that. I'm not a fan of Political Correctness at all, but there are definitely certain stereotypes that are way, way over the line, and comic-book Mandarin was one of them.

IM3 made a good case --- two of them, in fact --- for Mandarin not having to be Chinese at all. And Shane Black wasn't the first to come up with that notion, anyway. Hell, the animated version of Mandarin in the 1990s Iron Man toon wasn't even *human,* much less Chinese.

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