Superhero movies have gone from niche interest to multi-billion dollar franchises with enormous global reach. Yet, many of their leading characters don’t reflect that multi-national appeal and don’t often cast ethnic minorities. But that appears to be changing. CCTV America’s Owen Fairclough reported this story from Washington D.C.
A remake of the “Fantastic Four” out this summer stars Michael B. Jordan as the fire-wielding Human Torch. The original character was white.
Fans have taken to social media to demand the next Spider-Man who swings across the big screen is a black hispanic successor to Peter Parker. They say broadening the palette of what’s supposed to be a multifaceted universe can’t come soon enough.
Casting an ethnic minority actor in a leading superhero role isn’t new. Halle Berry played Catwoman, however that movie bombed. But the Blade trilogy, starring Wesley Snipes, did much better, making more than $400 million worldwide.
But those movies were more than ten years ago.
The lucrative blockbusters of recent years such as “Captain America” and “Iron Man” feature ethnic minority stars as sidekicks rather than leading men.
One new leading lady in print is Ms. Marvel – a Muslim-American of Pakistani origin. There’s also another Asian-American hero: Tony Chu.
If superheroes are opening up to ethnic minorities, another famous franchise is also under pressure to diversify. James Bond fans are demanding the next 007 be played by Idris Elba, a Briton of African ancestry.
Can’t wait for the Asian WonderWoman!