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Old 01-16-2014, 08:59 AM   #1
Suzanne78
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Default Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

So, this idea was borne in the multitude of other Marvel movie threads where the discussion would go off onto tangents about racial and gender representation in CBMs. I didn't see a specific thread just to talk about race and gender issues in these movies, so I thought I'd start one.

I love Marvel movies, I love comic books and cartoons. Have ever since I was a child. I didn't think too much about the way women were portrayed in comics back then, either in cartoons or the media, not until I went to college and started to really look at the ways in which gender and race and ethnicity are depicted in television, movies, music…

Decades later, it's rather unimpressive.

Like I said, I do love Marvel movies. I do feel the films, certainly the ones from Marvel Studios themselves, are trying to carve places for women characters and characters of other races that aren't just stereotypical. They're scientists, soldiers, heroes, spies, CEOs… they have their own agency, their own identities. Yet, Marvel still has made no bold move towards a POC-centric movie or a female-led solo project. The current Avengers lineup is a single female without powers, though that's going to change in the next Avengers movie. The people who keep getting the leads in these films are white dudes, with the underrepresented divvied out for the supporting parts. That is, quite frankly, problematic. Though I really enjoyed it, the fact that The Wolverine is probably the closest we'll come to a Asian-centric superhero movie bugs me so thoroughly.

So, I open the discussion up with this article from USC: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/oct...ovies-20131030 and ask what y'all think? How can Marvel do better? Solutions, perspectives, etc.

Bring it on!

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Old 01-16-2014, 09:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

Black Panther please!

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Old 01-16-2014, 09:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

It's super sucky that BP hasn't been put onscreen yet; hopefully with all the rumors about South Africa filming for A:AOU, that's coming soon for Marvel.

I will say though, that MS has been very good about getting female heroes into their movies at least. I just need more from them!

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Old 01-16-2014, 10:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

Its a shame that this Era of highly profitable superhero movies was kicked off by New Line with Blade a POC Marvel property but we'll have to wait till phase 3 at the earliest to see a POC property on the big screen.

Since Ironman solo movies are on Hiatus They should look into doing WarMachine and Or Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel movies

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Old 01-16-2014, 10:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

Agreed. Blade was fantastic. The sequels… eh. But the first one is one of my faves.

Although they have been slow-going and are reticent to announce anything beyond Ant-Man or 2016 and beyond, we've gotten some trickles about Captain Marvel and Black Panther. It's still not enough, though. Considering that the major POC roles in these franchises are the black BFF for the main white guys. It's really time that Marvel stepped up on that end, because I do think that, anymore of that particular formula, and the less people admire their efforts for inclusion and the more like a big cosmic joke.

But yeah, we should wonder what will happen to Rhodey once the IM franchise goes on hiatus? Will he step into Tony's shoes either in an Avengers franchise or as the next IM? What about Falcon? Will they introduce Bill Foster in the Ant-Man movie? Also, doesn't Marvel have Blade back at their studio? What to do about him?

There are so many possibilities for a POC centric film and they won't risk yet.

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Old 01-16-2014, 12:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

Black Panther inspired by Priest's run would be great, you'd not only have a black superhero, but a black king of a super advanced nation who has full of responsibility.

Night Thrasher's origin might be too much of a blatant Batman ripoff but in the end you've got a leader to a cool super team.

Deathlok (Michael Collins) is basically the story of a black man made into the ultimate slave, mind and body, but who overcomes this and becomes a great moral hero, even overriding his system to have a no kill parameter, something so far missing from the MCU. He also had a great Arc involving the Black Panther.

Blue Marvel could be the ultimate powerhouse but there are a few hardships to adapt him, his origin is convoluted being that no one has acknowledged him when it would have been an obvious thing to mention such a force of nature that mysteriously retired, also he might just be too powerful, and he has no compelling rogues.

Asians and Latinos don't have much to hold a movie, I like the following characters though; Bengal, White Tiger, Firebird, Echo.

That pathetic list being compiled and I must say that Jimmy Woo and the Agents of Atlas could make for an acid trip of a movie. Not sure Namora could be included, but 3D man was a potential member and it be cool for the cinematic version to include him.

Cloak and Dagger could make for an interesting combo and does feature both a black dude and a superheroine.

Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) would be such an awesome addition to the Avengers and if well casted could easily have her own movie. She'd fill the Spider-Void of the MCU!

Hellcat and Squirrel Girl both have places in my heart, not sure how well they'd go over film though.

Anyways that was my MCU centric list of diverse characters that I'd love to see integrated into what we have now.

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Old 01-16-2014, 12:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

This is not so much a Marvel Studios problem as it is a Hollywood problem

I honestly believe Feige and his boys would love to do a Black Panther movie, going balls deep into Wakanda and all its awesomeness.

However, i think the powers that be are too nervous to sign a $170 million dollar check to produce a movie that will have a 95% black cast. And sadly enough, the numbers back up that nervousness. Simply put, not enough white people are going to rush to go see this.

If Marvel studios continues to be successful and GOTG and ANT Man pay off, then a BP movie will be truly considered, because then Marvel Studios would have built enough clout ala Pixar, that their label can power any property. They're well on their way but they're not quite there yet.

But hey, we got a Luke Cage series coming up..can't wait!

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Old 01-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

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This is not so much a Marvel Studios problem as it is a Hollywood problem

I honestly believe Feige and his boys would love to do a Black Panther movie, going balls deep into Wakanda and all its awesomeness.

However, i think the powers that be are too nervous to sign a $170 million dollar check to produce a movie that will have a 95% black cast. And sadly enough, the numbers back up that nervousness. Simply put, not enough white people are going to rush to go see this.


If Marvel studios continues to be successful and GOTG and ANT Man pay off, then a BP movie will be truly considered, because then Marvel Studios would have built enough clout ala Pixar, that their label can power any property. They're well on their way but they're not quite there yet.

But hey, we got a Luke Cage series coming up..can't wait!
Pretty much this for me. I am certain Feige and Marvel wants to do it, but not certain Disney wants to do it unless they decide to put in Evans, Hemsworth, Renner and Ruffalo in the movie.

Luke Cage is a much easier sell because his best friend is Iron Fist and his wife is Jessica Jones, both white.

As for women? I am pretty sure there will be a female lead in Ant Man, whether it's Wasp or Erica Sondheim we don't really know yet, although all signs point to Janet than Erica. I think we'll see more women in the Avengers, I don't think though it will be a black woman unless it's Rashida Jones as Janet, but Rashida can easily pass for a white woman which is what she will be as Janet.

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Old 01-16-2014, 01:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

GROOT: Wow. Deep cuts, man. Great suggestions.

I do agree too that it's much more an overall Hollywood problem, rather than solely a Marvel Studio problem. People take Marvel (and Fox and WB/DC) to task b/c because they are probably one of the few studios successfully considered a franchise starter.

Regarding a Black Panther movie… I wonder if they can do some finagling with race roles and demographics. Like, maybe fashioning Wakanda as a more progressive South African city, where it's predominantly African with Caucasian mixed in. The positions of power wouldn't shift (monarchy, T'Chaka and T'Challa would still be king and prince) but it may be an interesting way to comment on racial relations and representation as well as give Marvel/Disney an opportunity to span the spectrum so to speak regarding casting. Look for stars with lots of international appeal. Big names. (AND OMG AT LEAST SET UP A MEETING WITH STEVEN MCQUEEN!!)

The thing is, Marvel has a shot at blazing some trails here with a female and black/POC superhero movie. I honestly if they just did it, put the power of their casting directors and hiring talent and marketing forces at full bore, they'd have a success on their hands.

Really, though, a female led movie should be much nearer too, what with the success of Catching Fire, The Heat, Gravity, Frozen at the box office.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

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Pretty much this for me. I am certain Feige and Marvel wants to do it, but not certain Disney wants to do it unless they decide to put in Evans, Hemsworth, Renner and Ruffalo in the movie.

Luke Cage is a much easier sell because his best friend is Iron Fist and his wife is Jessica Jones, both white.

As for women? I am pretty sure there will be a female lead in Ant Man, whether it's Wasp or Erica Sondheim we don't really know yet, although all signs point to Janet than Erica. I think we'll see more women in the Avengers, I don't think though it will be a black woman unless it's Rashida Jones as Janet, but Rashida can easily pass for a white woman which is what she will be as Janet.
Cage isn't an easier sell because of his association with white characters. (Actually his marriage might be a drawback seeing how Hollywood still has reservations about interracial relationships/sex in movies). He's an easier sell because he doesnt require a big budget. He has super strength and beats the crap outta bad dudes in New York. You can make a good Luke Cage movie for under 50 mill. That is no problem for Marvel. The Butler and Think like a Man made a 100 mill at the box office. A number like that would be cool for a 40-50 mill movie.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

They should adapt Runaways Volume 1. The leaders of the group are a black male and Asian female.

Also because Runaways is great and should be done anyways even if they were all white.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

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GROOT: Wow. Deep cuts, man. Great suggestions.

I do agree too that it's much more an overall Hollywood problem, rather than solely a Marvel Studio problem. People take Marvel (and Fox and WB/DC) to task b/c because they are probably one of the few studios successfully considered a franchise starter.

Regarding a Black Panther movie… I wonder if they can do some finagling with race roles and demographics. Like, maybe fashioning Wakanda as a more progressive South African city, where it's predominantly African with Caucasian mixed in. The positions of power wouldn't shift (monarchy, T'Chaka and T'Challa would still be king and prince) but it may be an interesting way to comment on racial relations and representation as well as give Marvel/Disney an opportunity to span the spectrum so to speak regarding casting. Look for stars with lots of international appeal. Big names. (AND OMG AT LEAST SET UP A MEETING WITH STEVEN MCQUEEN!!)

The thing is, Marvel has a shot at blazing some trails here with a female and black/POC superhero movie. I honestly if they just did it, put the power of their casting directors and hiring talent and marketing forces at full bore, they'd have a success on their hands.

Really, though, a female led movie should be much nearer too, what with the success of Catching Fire, The Heat, Gravity, Frozen at the box office.
First of all, Wakanda is 99% Black. Making it like South Africa would not happen. Second I doubt McQueen has any interest in a big budget film.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:15 PM   #13
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Well,if there's a positive for the Michael Douglas casting,maybe it'll put an end to the "If you don't want Michael B Jordan as Human Torch you must be racist" thing.Here we have a famous (white) Oscar winner getting the heat from purists because of being miscast.It's not a race OR age thing.It's wanting to see the character translated from the page to the screen as closely as possible.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

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This is not so much a Marvel Studios problem as it is a Hollywood problem

I honestly believe Feige and his boys would love to do a Black Panther movie, going balls deep into Wakanda and all its awesomeness.

However, i think the powers that be are too nervous to sign a $170 million dollar check to produce a movie that will have a 95% black cast. And sadly enough, the numbers back up that nervousness. Simply put, not enough white people are going to rush to go see this.

If Marvel studios continues to be successful and GOTG and ANT Man pay off, then a BP movie will be truly considered, because then Marvel Studios would have built enough clout ala Pixar, that their label can power any property. They're well on their way but they're not quite there yet.

But hey, we got a Luke Cage series coming up..can't wait!
You're right, but I'm thinking a Black Panther movie or the like, would have more mass appeal than something the mass audiences immediately judge as a "black movie".

This isn't the same as marketing a Tyler Perry film, it'll just be a fantastic superhero film coming from the now trusted Marvel brand.

Like you say, this film even being considered will hinge on the successes of obscure properties like Guardians and Ant-Man, but I honestly feel those will do much better than most think.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

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Cage isn't an easier sell because of his association with white characters. (Actually his marriage might be a drawback seeing how Hollywood still has reservations about interracial relationships/sex in movies). He's an easier sell because he doesnt require a big budget. He has super strength and beats the crap outta bad dudes in New York. You can make a good Luke Cage movie for under 50 mill. That is no problem for Marvel. The Butler and Think like a Man made a 100 mill at the box office. A number like that would be cool for a 40-50 mill movie.
The Luke Cage Netflix series can be a lure for any actor who isn't already in the MCU. My top three picks are Chadwick Boseman, Morris Chestnut and Taye Diggs.

Of course, it's much cheaper to make Luke Cage, but don't count race out as a factor either. Think Like a Man sold to White Audiences because Turtle from Entourage was in the movie. Same thing for the Butler because the trailer showed Jane Fonda, Robin Williams and Alan Rickman (to name a few).

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

BTW, if Dwayne Johnson does become John Stewart Green Lantern, I think we'll see a GL reboot with Johnson as Stewart.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

X-Men have handled multiculturalism the best IMO.

In that franchise there has been

Caucasian, Black, Asian, Blue, Yellow & Red Races.

American, English, Polish, German, Canadian & Japanese Nationalities.

--

I'd love to see a Cloak & Dagger movie.

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Well,if there's a positive for the Michael Douglas casting,maybe it'll put an end to the "If you don't want Michael B Jordan as Human Torch you must be racist" thing.Here we have a famous (white) Oscar winner getting the heat from purists because of being miscast.It's not a race OR age thing.It's wanting to see the character translated from the page to the screen as closely as possible.
Correct, it's stubbornness for accuracy that takes the form of racism when skin colour is different and sexism when the actress isn't hot or muscly enough.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:32 PM   #18
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First of all, Wakanda is 99% Black. Making it like South Africa would not happen. Second I doubt McQueen has any interest in a big budget film.
That's why I was speccing on whether MS would deviate from the comic book origins of Wakanda and diversify its population but keep the country a monarchy. I think it's a valid speculation.

Although I also like the suggestions in the Black Panther thread about adding someone like Jeremy Renner into the mix.

Re. McQueen. Why be so dismissive outright? All I can say about someone not doing a CBM movie, don't count out Marvel to be persuasive. He may just want to stick with his own work, that'd be perfectly understandable, but if the right script/offer came along....

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:38 PM   #19
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X-Men have handled multiculturalism the best IMO.

In that franchise there has been

Caucasian, Black, Asian, Blue, Yellow & Red Races.

American, English, Polish, German, Canadian & Japanese Nationalities.

--

I'd love to see a Cloak & Dagger movie.



Correct, it's stubbornness for accuracy that takes the form of racism when skin colour is different and sexism when the actress isn't hot or muscly enough.
That's been a part of MS's problem too, is that a lot of their more multicultural characters are in the X-Men. And their most famous female characters as well.

But that also brings up another point: isn't DoFP minimizing Kitty's story in the original story and focusing more on Wolverine? Understanding that Wolvie is Fox's most profitble character, but that's still problematic minimization of Kitty Pryde.

Still, I am interested in seeing the X-Men movie though I have some issues with the prior ones.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:43 PM   #20
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It's fitting that the X-Men would have such a diverse cast considering the allegorical nature of the X-Men in the first place. But how many Wolverine movies will be made before they'd make one Storm movie? Not that I'd want one if Halle Berry was the lead...

Anyways I still think BP could really break ground and draw a large audience despite being 90%+ black African, without having to cast Will Smith.

It would have to be a spectacular movie though.
Put the socio-political goodness of BP in the movie but keep it out of the trailers, make a breathtaking Wakanda, shoot jaw dropping action, cast a charismatic African actor, and make it clear that this is another chapter of the MCU.

Maybe the smart thing to do would be to introduce him in an awesome way in the Avengers and then tell his story thereafter.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:43 PM   #21
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Adding Jeremy Renner is better than hiring an actor to play Everett Ross. Hawkeye is already established in the MCU and he needs something to do in between Avengers movies.

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Old 01-16-2014, 02:46 PM   #22
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It's fitting that the X-Men would have such a diverse cast considering the allegorical nature of the X-Men in the first place. But how many Wolverine movies will be made before they'd make one Storm movie? Not that I'd want one if Halle Berry was the lead...

Anyways I still think BP could really break ground and draw a large audience despite being 90%+ black African, without having to cast Will Smith.

It would have to be a spectacular movie though.
Put the socio-political goodness of BP in the movie but keep it out of the trailers, make a breathtaking Wakanda, shoot jaw dropping action, cast a charismatic African actor, and make it clear that this is another chapter of the MCU.

Maybe the smart thing to do would be to introduce him in an awesome way in the Avengers and then tell his story thereafter.
Will Smith is one of those stars who doesn't need a Superhero movie to sell tickets, even though he already played a made up superhero known as Hancock. His name sells any movie he's in, or it did before he took a four year break from movies.

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Old 01-16-2014, 03:00 PM   #23
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

I'm also loving how my Hawkeye idea has started to catch on but I wonder if that would be enough for Marvel.
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Well,if there's a positive for the Michael Douglas casting,maybe it'll put an end to the "If you don't want Michael B Jordan as Human Torch you must be racist" thing.Here we have a famous (white) Oscar winner getting the heat from purists because of being miscast.It's not a race OR age thing.It's wanting to see the character translated from the page to the screen as closely as possible.
There is heat and praise for Douglass though...


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Old 01-16-2014, 03:00 PM   #24
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That's why I was speccing on whether MS would deviate from the comic book origins of Wakanda and diversify its population but keep the country a monarchy. I think it's a valid speculation.
That would just feel like pandering to me, sort of like how they sprinkled a handful of arbitrary black people in Lake-town without any historical context.

Wakanda isn't the type of place traditionally big on immigration.
I mean, I don't want Wakandans to be portrayed as xenophobic racist, but given the nasty history of violent colonization, slavery and general exploitation of Africa it is justifiable that they'd be very cautious about the outside world, especially when they hold one of the worlds most valuable resources in vibranium.
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Wakanda should be no more peppered with whites than Japan is.

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Old 01-16-2014, 03:07 PM   #25
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Default Re: Race and Gender in Marvel Movies - an all studios discussion

All the talk of Inhumans and Captain Marvel confirms that Marvel Studios is going to do a female lead soon. That and Black Panther is also being talked about, Luke Cage is confirmed and Black Widow and War Machine are getting larger roles now. Blade also has a script that was greenlit last year. I approve of the job that Marvel is doing but I can't help but feel that these films are being name-dropped by Marvel as the only bankable properties starring white guys that they have left to film are Ant-Man, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, Punisher and Doctor Strange.

Keep in mind that if Marvel was considering spin-offs, then Black Widow, Winter Soldier and War Machine have two out of three being white guys and there's always hope for She-Hulk popping up at some point.

Regarding Fox, they have a wide range of characters to use and may have changed nationalities but haven't changed the race of anyone so far with the two exceptions of Blink and Human Torch. The fact that Fox is creating a new timeline with Psylocke getting rebooted in X-Force and Bishop, Warpath and Sunspot getting introduced is a step in the right direction. X-Factor or Alpha Flight could bring in Northstar or Rictor to be in the first tentpole film with a gay superhero assuming that Fox's properties do well.

Sony choosing to do Sinister Six over Black Cat, Spider-Woman or Silver Sable convinced me that they're scared of a female protagonist which is a shame.


Last edited by Dasher10; 01-16-2014 at 03:14 PM.
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