How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dusty Ayres, Apr 13, 2010.

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  1. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

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    Ahem!!!!
     
  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Why is it they never cast a Kryptonian?
     
  3. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Much ado about nothing. When I first saw this, I must admit, I did have an incredulous reaction -- these are Norse gods, after all. However, here's how you could explain it, if you must.

    As I recall, in Norse mythology, there were two sets of gods, the Aesir and the Vanir. Now, it's true the Vanir are depicted as fair, but I also recall that the death goddess Hela's body is half black. Maybe Heimdall is a Vanir.

    Now, perhaps it's possible that the Norse gods, while worshipped by fair-skinned people, might have a broader color palette, but can appear as white to those who worship them to make them feel comfortable. After all, the Hindu gods are represented with different color skin (blue, for example).

    I also recall there were light elves and dark elves. Is it truly beyond the realm of possibility that in a mythical kingdom like Asgard there could, figuratively speaking, be "light" gods and "dark" gods?

    I know I'm reaching, but hey, I think you can justify anything. (I was developing a character based on the Incan gods, and had the idea they were all a different, non-human color, like gold, but were able to appear to humans to have ordinary human hues.)

    The fact Dusty and duckwing are all bent out of shape about this actually pleases me, and I think TPTB make casting decisions like this to piss people off and get them talking about their projects.

    Now, it would have been preferable for a film about Norse gods to cast more Nordic looking folks -- but I'm sure several of the white actors who will be cast in the roles aren't exactly Nordic. Some will have -- gasp -- brown hair and brown eyes!

    Also, look at Kevin Sorbo from the Hercules TV show. He's not Greek, yet played a Greek demi-god.

    I also recall some gasps when George Perez worked on Wonder Woman in the '80s and he had the nerve to draw -- gasp -- black Amazon sisters of Princess Diana! Oh, teh noes!

    So, BFD.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  4. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, let's, that's not a bad idea. Superman is after all a migrant (from OUTER SPACE) and it wouldn't be hard to draw comparisons with that and the Latino experience in the States.

    Yes, Englishmen playing the French isn't remotely the same.
     
  5. matthunter

    matthunter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Plus, the guy spends a LOT of time in the sun (quite literally, in some cases...) and has flowing black locks. ;)
     
  6. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There's nothing innately wrong with any of those suggestions...why do you imagine that there is? Certainly there can't be any reasonable objection to a latino Superman.

    Hell, the Will Smith idea may be the only way to get a WW movie actually made. :lol:
     
  7. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Don't be silly now, Kal-El is clearly Jewish. :p
     
  8. Theodore Jay Miller

    Theodore Jay Miller Commodore Newbie

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    Right. For a character like the Black Panther, say, it's a significant part of the character concept that he's an African prince; a white actor would be very dissonant. But for a lot of white comic book characters, their race is not really significant; the comic book writers just tended to make everyone white by default. So using black actors for some of them would not be a big dissonance.
     
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Exactly. Well put.

    First off, Heimdall is not an exactly an iconic figure like Superman or Sherlock Holmes. Second, and more importantly, he's never been defined by his skin color. I don't recall Thor ever greeting him with "Hail, Heimdall, whitest of the Gods of Asgard! Truly, thine pale complexion speaks well of your Nordic heritage!"

    Heimdall's defining characteristic in the comics was that he was a staunch and vigilant defender of Asgard. His skin color was irrelevent. It has nothng to do with his function in the story.

    And, yeah, if and when they finally get around to making a modern WONDER WOMAN movie, Paradise Island had darn well better be an utopian rainbow nation of multiracial Amazons!
     
  10. C_Miller

    C_Miller Captain Captain

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    Has anyone actually mentioned yet that the actor in question is Idris Elba, who happens to be the man? Seriously, get Elba to play Thor or even Superman or Batman. He kicks ass. If it has been mentioned, I apologize, I tried my best to wade through the comments from the person with the confederate flag as an avatar and a location stating he's fro the unreconstructed south saying that a black person can't play a white person...
     
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, really. :lol:

    It's an important point, that many characters in popular literature and culture are white simply because in the minds of the creators or marketers white=generic human being. Precedent in casting is a pretty weak argument as well, and joking aside gender-switching is a completely different issue - "Wonder Woman" is, by definition and very specific backstory, a woman. "Superman" is male, but he's not called "SuperWhiteMan."
     
  12. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, let's not do that.

    I sincerely hope that he does not "kick ass" as otherwise he'd be too busy serving time to play characters he's wrong for.

    In the meantime, carry on arguing for casting actors who are wrong for the parts you're suggesting for no reason other than stunt casting.
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    The point is not that it's "just" a comic book book movie. The point is that the THOR comics, in particular, have never been terribly faithful to the original myths, so why start now?

    We're not talking about a real, historical Norseman. We're talking about a fantastical comic book character that's already several steps removed from anything resembling actual history . . . .

    And if the casting means that the film looks like a modern film, and not an all-white relic from the early sixties, so much the better. That's a net gain in my book.
     
  14. Vonstadt

    Vonstadt Captain Captain

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    You know this doesn't bother me at all, I think he is gonna make a strong Heimdell.

    Who cares what the man's race is?

    Vons
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Will Smith as WW? That's ridiculous!

    Zoe Saldana, on the other hand . . . .
     
  16. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm so there. Has anyone at the studio seriously proposed this yet?
     
  17. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    Was the confederate poster on here back when Michael Clark Duncan was cast as Kingpin? THIS ISN'T A BIG DEAL!!!!

    On the flip side though, casting a white actor as Spawn would cause some groups to go postal.
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Believe me, people complained about Duncan, too. Sometimes vehemently.

    Which was silly. The essence of the Kingpin is that he is massive, manipulative, and menacing.

    Duncan fit the bill, perfectly
     
  19. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Heck I totally missed those signifiers, must've been particularly dense that day. One wonders now what he thinks of that William Shatner/Nichelle Nichols kiss.

    Oh, yes. Do that and I'd actually watch the Wonder Woman movie.

    Well, I'd say I might watch it.

    ...

    That said, Will Smith wouldn't have been too bad a Superman.
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    How do you know he's wrong for the part before we've even seen the movie?

    I once saw James Earl Jones play King Lear on stage. Trust me, he was great.

    Don't tell me Heimdall is more iconic is Lear!
     
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