Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dusty Ayres, Apr 13, 2010.
And the multiracial casting boom continues....
How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard
It shouldn't really surprise anyone familiar with Kenneth Branagh's film work; he's a devotee of casting anyone, regardless of race/period considerations. His versions of Hamlet (set in 19th century Denmark) and Much Ado About Nothing (set in 18th century Italy) have all kinds of minorities, in the latter case with Denzel Washington as a nobleman.
^Seems to be in the tradition of theatrical casting, which is often based more on availability in the troupe and skill as a performer rather than other considerations. I remember in high school our class attended a production of Hamlet where Claudius, Hamlet's biological uncle to all indications, was played by a black actor although Hamlet himself was white.
He's playing a god. They can look like whatever you want them to look like. This isn't like casting John Cho and Chris Rock to play JFK and RFK.
And the point of humor in this is?
Wait? I thought one of the Gods' in the Warriors Three was Mongolian?
On the other hand, that would've really messed up Othello, where casting Iago as (well, firstly someone other than himself) someone also descended from sub-Saharan Africans (not technically correct in Othello's case, iirc, but probably more relevant) would have made the film completely dissonant.
It's not to the same level as that example, but it's an odd choice here too. Would you cast a white guy as Kokou, a Yoruba warrior god?
It's one thing to not pay attention to race if the story is explicitly about race, and another to not pay attention to race when it's entirely immaterial to the story.
Depends on the story, doesn't it? If it's something as wildly fantastical that plays completely fast and loose with Yoruba mythology the way that Thor plays fast and loose with Nordic mythology - then who cares? Thor exists in a complete fantasy world filled with impossible creatures. The filmmakers are supposed to worry about real-world racial conventions in that case?
Personally, I'm much more worried by the vividly red fur Heimdall is wearing in that drawing than the idea of someone with brown skin playing him. What the hell kind of creature did he supposedly skin to get that? Something that is complete fantasy, I'm guessing - pointing up how little reality matters in this fictional world.
These same people had no objection to an Italian Red Skull and we all know how that turned out. Political correctness I say thee nay!!
Yeah, exactly. That's why I didn't mind it.
But let's take another modern Shakespearean production, where race didn't matter (but family was paramount)--Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet. It would have been a problem if the Prince and Mercutio weren't the same race, or at least plausibly related, and it sucked that Paris was this lily white, Paul Rudd-looking dork. Now, I'll grant that Luhrman didn't care that the three were all related, but it sort of bothered me. Paris should've been a black guy, and they should have been related, because the innocent family's body count from the idiocy of the feud should be the same as the Capulets and Montagues (2 for each).
Thinking on it, does Romeo actually even kill Paris in Luhrman's version? I remember something important being left out, and it might've been that.
Well, in full frankness, even though I've generally liked the character and his series(es), the Marvel Thor mythology nevertheless kinda bugs me with its retcons of the source material (Loki, adopted son of Odin? huh?, Thor as a blond, Thor as a doctor, alien Thors like the hammer was a Green Lantern ring, etc.). So I guess it probably is immaterial, given the other issues, if Heimdall's black.
Why not? It worked in Blazing Saddles.
I'm pretty sure he doesn't.
Isn't this the version of the character which runs around making silly Shakespeare quotations? Honestly, from what little I understand of the Marvel adaption they've sort of run roughshod over the Norse mythology anyway; so what of it? It's just another comic book movie where once was white, there now is black, nothing more.
I'm actually against this. Not strenuously, but I would prefer that Asgard not look like modern society. Would have preferred a LOTR-type casting for those sequences (the portions set in the real world, obviously, should reflect real world diversity).
Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
No, I believe Romeo did kill Paris - at least I remember "I am Fortune's fool!" was a big moment in the film and that comes after he knocks off Paris doesn't it?
What is left out is any mention of family relations between the Prince, Paris and Mercutio. Not that that really matters in a Shakespeare production where it has become commonplace not to worry about matching related characters up racially in many productions.
Exactly. Their Thor is so far removed from anything actually Norse how could it possibly matter that not everyone looks Nordic? Though, I do find the blatant tokenism of a lot of this sort of casting to be fairly obnoxious. Then again, considering how difficult it is for anyone of color to pull a role, I'm sure they're happy just to be working.
So I take it there will be no complaining when Carrot Top is cast in the Paul Robeson story?
That's not a retcon, that's a plot development.
You don't like Beta Ray Bill? (and that's also not a retcon; that's a story development perfectly in keeping with the ground rules established for who can lift Thor's hammer)
He says that after killing Tybalt.
Robeson is a little more real than Heimdall.
Stringer Bell in Thor!!!!! Nice!
I just want to know who he's going to get to play me.
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