Heimdall was cast!

Discussion in 'Thor' started by Canis Sapiens, Nov 19, 2009.

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  1. piccolo Doom is watching you

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    How important is spiderman being white to the character?

    What elements of Peter Parkers life are so integral to his ethnicity that he couldn't be african-american, or japanese, in a film adaptation?

    If race isn't important to the character, then it shouldn't matter to anyone, even a little bit. Right? So I am to presume none of you would mind in the least.

    Or Iron Man. Or Batman. Or Superman. Maybe Krypton was a black alien planet in DC's universe. Who's to say it couldn't be? Racists who are not invested in the film for the right reasons, according to most of you. Fortunately for some, no one will ever cast these parts as non-caucasian, so none of the posters who have ridiculed people for wanting Heimdall to resemble his comic book counterpart, will ever have to risk the exposure of this hypocracy.

    edit: didn't see your post, wobbly. well said.
     
    #1526 piccolo, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  2. JAK® Upstart

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    Exactly. It's dangerous territory to say that changing a minor character's race is okay but that major characters have to stay white. It seems to me the only fair thing to do is keep white characters white and just make more non-white characters.
     
  3. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    I'm a comic book purist when it comes to main characters but with secondary and background characters I'm far more lenient.

    For example I didn't care much that the Things girlfriend had a darker skin color, I was much more concerned with Dr. Doom being downgraded to a third rate villain who hadn't mastered magic.

    That said after two trilogies with a white Spider-men I wouldn't mind if they changed him to Asian, black or Latino for the third trilogy. It would be refreshing to see another version. Same goes for James Bond.

    The more movies you have with an accurate actor the more flexible you can be with future installments, but those older movies have to be good or they don't count.
     
  4. piccolo Doom is watching you

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    What if Doom was a first rate, magical villain, who was adopted by gypsies from a mexican immigrant family? Its tough to believe you wouldn't care in the slightest, even if you still wanted to see the movie, which I don't doubt you would.

    I'm the same way as far as purism with main characters and leniency with background. Thats why i'm not boycotting the movie. I'm not devastated that Heimdall is black, I simply would have rather-ed he be white. Posters here are labeling this, and thus me, as a racist purely for expressing this as a preference. Not for demonizing the movie - simply for preferring Heimdall resemble his white counterpart in the comics, similar to every other character in the film.

    Which begs the notion: if Heimdall, a native asgardian, can be black, there's really no reason Thor and Odin can't be. I wonder where these posters' moral self-righteousness would be then...?

    As Jaimie Alexander noted, its "just a movie".
     
    #1529 piccolo, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  5. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    I said side characters matter to me much less than major heroes and villains. So of course if Dr. Doom was changed to a mexican immigrant I would object.

    Thor and Loki should be as close to the comics as possible but I don't care if Sif is Asian, Latino or black. Thor and Odin were aggressively worshiped by Vikings so maybe they should look like Vikings but there's no reason all of these aliens should look like Vikings too.
     
  6. piccolo Doom is watching you

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    As Dr. Doom being an ethnic German isn't vital to his character, you would be labeled a racist by parties in this thread. At least you should be, assuming the threat of hypocrisy prevents them from sharing your sentiment. How would you respond to that accusation? Is it fair?
     
  7. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    My reasons for keeping major characters the same is simple. The comics are the reason the major characters are popular so stay as close to the source as possible.

    Minor characters are different. They aren't that popular to begin with so superficial changes to them like skin color don't matter.

    Dr. Doom is a major character. Changes to him are unacceptable.
     
  8. piccolo Doom is watching you

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    I agree, for the most part. I want every film-adapted character to resemble their counterpart, so I do care, though not as much as I would if it were a major character. But at this point, my beef is more with people saying its racist to prefer Heimdall be white, than it is with him actually being black.

    That doesn't change the fact that you are now, by this thread's definition, a racist. Whatever your justification may be.
     
  9. wobbly Occasional Scribbler

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    This comes back to what I said about people having different benchmarks when it comes to what's important with any changes. Like you and Piccolo I'm for keeping as close as possible to the source for the main characters and none too bothered about changes to supporting characters, but I accept and understand those secondary characters are also popular among many fans too.

    For that reason I see no problem in respecting their desire to see them cast more accurately.

    As food for thought and an example more in line with the Heimdall casting...Robbie Roberston in Spider-Man: If they had cast a white actor for the part, and there's no reason why his skin color mattered for his small role in the films, I have no doubt there would have been an avalanche of criticism from comic book fans and non fans alike.

    I also have no doubt that those fans complaining would not have been castigated and asked to take a long hard look at themselves etc, for doing so.
     
  10. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    Well speaking to the Robbie Robertson issue, when you lose a black character in a sea of white characters the absence is more deeply felt than if you lost one black character in a sea of black characters.

    Minorities are rare in comics so taking away any of the few ones that exist is adding insult to injury. You can't say the same for losing one white character out of a sea of white characters.
     
  11. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    I don't agree with the idea that everyone who opposes race changes are racist. Some are just comic book purist and there's nothing wrong with that.

    If we were talking about changing a major character I'd be right there with you opposing it, not because I'm racist but because I think major characters made the comics popular and any adaptation should adhere to what made the comics popular among fans. Minor characters had much less to do with the success of these comics, so superficial changes are okay.
     
  12. piccolo Doom is watching you

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    But now you have a fish-out-of-water element. One black character in an alien world of caucasians can beg questions that wouldn't normally exist. What's he doing there? Where did he come from? Where are the rest of the black people? It would be the same way if the asgardians were aliens worshipped by ancient Nigerians, and all of them were black except for the watchman, played by Owen Wilson.

    It makes him look like a token. Which may or may not have been the motivation, but can become the perception.
     
    #1537 piccolo, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  13. piccolo Doom is watching you

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    No major issues here. I'm not 'okay' with the changes to minor characters, but it isn't as significant as it would with a major character.
     
    #1538 piccolo, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  14. wobbly Occasional Scribbler

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    All very true, but how deeply that change is felt, and in that example how extremely insulting that would be, it is still a double standard for anyone to consider fan complaints in that instance as perfectly acceptable and understandable, but fan complaints with this one not.

    The complaint would still boil down to the studio not casting the character accurately to the comics. It's only when people refuse to accept that the basis for a fans complaint can be that simple we get what we have seen in this thread.
     
  15. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    All that is implied is that a majority of Asgardians are white just like the United States. Because we never see the entire Asgard population we can safely assume there are more minorities hidden away.

    The token black is a compromise. You don't want to alienate the entire black audience by having an all white cast of gods. But at the same time you're giving them only one.
     
  16. RockSP MYTH SMITH ˆž∞!!!

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    It's very possible the studio was thinking this which just cracks me up. The "entire" black audience is not going to go see this movie anyway. Those who will were going to see it whether Heimdall was black or not...for the most part. Hell one black dude from another forum I frequent said he won't go see it because of the race change.
     
    #1541 RockSP, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  17. piccolo Doom is watching you

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    An unforced compromise, if that. If black people weren't going to see this movie, Heimdall isn't going to change their minds. All the casting has done is create conflict and confusion.

    These films shouldn't have to "compromise" anything in the first place. That is not a good word when dealing with movies.
     
  18. RockSP MYTH SMITH ˆž∞!!!

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    An unrealistic view. Films in general are collaborative efforts and will therefore involve compromises.
     
  19. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    I think you're underestimating the percentage of black movie goers (12% of the population but 25% of movie goers).

    Also black people go in droves to see superhero movies. I don't have statistics but I know from what I see.
     
  20. RockSP MYTH SMITH ˆž∞!!!

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    Not really. Obviously not all those moviegoers are going to go see Thor anymore than the "entire" white moviegoing audience is. Just sayin'.

    You're kinda making my point for me. Those droves aren't going to these movies because of Robbie Robertson, Lucias Fox...or Heimdall.
     
  21. Wylie Times Registered

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    Except that we've seen that all of the Asgardians aren't white. Hogun is clearly Asian in the film and for all we know there are other non white Asgardians in the film.
     
  22. Franklin Richards Registered

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    Again. In the story, Hogun is an outsider. This also jibes with Nordic history as the Tatars were present in that area at the time. It fits into the complicated storyline that fans have been reading for 50 years.


    Oh and nobody has mentioned that Sif and Heimdall are blood brother and sister. Another dynamic blown because of this oversight.


    :thor: :thor: :thor:
     
  23. RockSP MYTH SMITH ˆž∞!!!

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    When you say story are you talking about the comics or the movie? Because while I know he's an outsider in the comics that may not be the case in this film.


    Actually that's been talked about plenty in this thread. Maybe they aren't brother and sister in this film.
     
  24. Wylie Times Registered

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    And it's been said again and again and again that the film isn't based on the stories fans have been reading for years. They're taking their cue for the Earth X books in which the Asgardians are aliens. So why keep bringing up Nordic history?
     
  25. Wylie Times Registered

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    Black People go in droves to see any major blockbuster just like every other demographic. I'm not sure where the idea has come from that movie studios are actively trying to bring in black movie goers with moves like this. There's never been a case where I wasn't going to see a movie but later decided to just because some black guy was playing a supporting role. There's far more evidence that shows white movie goers won't see predominantly black films than there is the other way around.
     
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