Superhero Movies and Race
This post may be a little serious. What sparked these thoughts are what I have read on the internet. There was an article about who should play the next Batman and among those there were suggested one was a black man. Again this question came up on Facebook and someone suggested that Batman could be played by a black actor. Some people did not think that was a good idea and that changing the race of an iconic character was only being done in the name of being politically correct. It was cited that change Nick Fury and Perry White to a black man was for politically correct reasons only.
It is an interesting topic to think about. Does not wanting to change the race of a character racist in itself? I really don’t think so. I tend to not want to view this topic in “all-or-nothing” categoires. I think there is room to change a character and then I think we also run into resistance not because of race as much as how people become attached to certain aspects of a character and race is one of those components.
Let me see if I can explain it this way. I am a huge fan of Godzilla. The 1998 movie changed the character so much that it no longer resembled Godzilla to the fans. I think this is the same issue with changing any iconic character. If you change to much the character begins to take on a new identity separate from the iconic character it is supposed to be portraying.
This happens when you even change a Superheroes costume. Sure, there is room for change but if you go too far fans will say that it is no longer the character. The new Man of Steel movie rremoved Superman’s red undies and many fans were outraged and cried foul! So people do have their limits.
I have them too. For instance, I would be alright with a black Batman, however I may not be so open to a black Superman. I would be open to it if the actor seemed to fit the role and the tone of the movie. I was fine when they cast Laurence Fishburne as Perry White thinking that was a great choice! Marvel Comics crreated a black teen Spider-Man (Miles Morales) and that was well recieved.
Now, all of what I have written doesn’t mean racism doesn’t occur because I think that it can be part of the reason why someone doesn’t want a character changed. Therefore it can be a touchy subject because not many people will want to admit that the motive behind a resistance to change can be racism.
Like all thinks in society these changes do have to happen slowly to allow people to adjust to these changes.