Retro-casting superhero films and shows

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JRoss, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'd say the problem was just the opposite -- that Astin was trying to mimic Gorshin's intense, menacing performance and just couldn't do it as well as Gorshin. If he had played to his own quirky strengths instead, made the role his own, then he would've done a better job.
     
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  2. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    True enough, but Teresa could handle that, too-- she was Christie Love!

    I absolutely love John Astin, but it was painful to watch him as the Riddler. He's just not Frank Gorshin and his performance was terribly inconsistent with what had been established. Somebody should have said, "Who's this new Riddler guy."
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Eartha Kitt's Catwoman was completely different from Julie Newmar's, but it still worked, because she made it her own. I still say the problem with Astin wasn't that he was different from Gorshin; it was that he was trying too hard to act like Gorshin and was bad at it. He should've done what Kitt did -- embraced his difference from Gorshin and redefined the Riddler to fit his own strengths. That's how you take over a role -- not by being "consistent" with a different person's performance, but by making it so completely your own that nobody's even comparing it to their performance anymore.
     
  4. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Kang, now with ridges Premium Member

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    Not a selling point for me. We used to say "Get Christy Love!" off the air! ;)
     
  5. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is a bit off topic, but I can't help but find it hilarious that nowadays when they cast a nonwhite in a usually white role there's complaints but no one ever raised a fuss over Romero as the Joker or Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.
     
  6. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    that casting has now become a meme.
     
  7. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How do you know there wasn't a fuss? There was no internet to spread the fuss around back them.

    I know that I was disappointed with Eartha Kitt taking over the role of Catwoman. But that was because, like most other guys my age, I had a crush on Julie Newmar. I came to appreciate Ms. Kitt as I grew older.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Cesar Romero was the son of an immigrant from Spain, so I don't think he really counts as "non-white." Anyway, he built his career as a "Latin lover," a category of male screen idols admired for their "exotic," Latin or Mediterranean good looks (Rudolf Valentino being the template; Ricardo Montalban was another prominent example). So his ethnicity wouldn't have been seen as a negative.

    As for Kitt, I tried to search for any articles about a backlash to her Catwoman casting, but any such controversy was overshadowed by the controversy she raised the following year when she spoke out against the Vietnam War and was blacklisted by President Johnson and the CIA and forced to leave the country. But it's certainly worth noting that the ever-present sexual tension that Newmar's and Lee Meriwether's Catwomen had with Batman was completely avoided in Kitt's Catwoman episodes.
     
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  9. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    Sexual tension is good.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, but in the view of 1960s TV censors, it wasn't good between white men and black women, so bye-bye Bat/Cat. (You can't make a good shipper portmanteau out of "Batman" and "Catwoman," since you just end up with "Catman" or "Batwoman," and those are different characters.)
     
  11. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    Truthfully, Astin trying to mimic Gorshin's performance and doing badly at it was more likely because, as both myself and author Joel Eisner pointed out, he had no idea what to do with the character to play to his own strengths, and mostly floundered about trying to see if he could pull off Gorshin's schtick. Which ended up looking like he was playing Gomez as a criminal, because he couldn't get a handle on what exactly Gorshin's schtick was.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I just don't buy the "Gomez as a criminal" comparison, because that would've been a lot more fun than what we got.
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Kang, now with ridges Premium Member

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    Whiteness often contracts and expands with the observer.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which is basically the point. By the standards of the era, "Latin lovers" were an "acceptable" ethnic type.

    And while Romero played many Latin, Italian, and other "ethnic" roles in his career, notably the Cisco Kid and Hernando Cortez, he also played plenty of characters with names like Chris Jorgenson or Tom Palmer or Jerry Richardson or Steve McQuinn.
     
  15. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Say what?! :eek: She was fantastic. Did I mention my deep and profound love of Teresa Graves of more than half a century? :rommie:

    Anyway, here is my partial casting for the All-New, All-Different X-Men. Once again, it's hard because some of them are supposed to be so young or have such odd body types.

    Professor X - Yul Brunner
    Cyclops - Kent McCord
    Marvel Girl/Phoenix - Lori Saunders (in a wig)
    Storm - Teresa Graves (in a wig)
    Nightcrawler - Ernest Thomas (in blueface)
    Colossus - ?
    Banshee - Michael Ontkean (with a dye job)
    Wolverine - ?
     
  16. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commander Red Shirt

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    How about Lou Ferrigno painted silver as Colossus and maybe Burt Young for Wolverine?
     
  17. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    If you can get past his accent, how about (recently deceased) Franco Columbu as Wolverine?
     
  18. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    How about 6' 4" Peter Lupus as Colossus?
     
  19. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Peter Rasputin is supposed to be an 18-year-old hunky hunk, so I don't think Lou Ferrigno would be quite right.

    I was trying to think of people who could play the parts at the time that the books came out, but other than that he'd be perfect. He's already playing Thor in my universe, anyway. :rommie:
     
  20. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    Peter Lupus, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, would have been far too old to be believable as a high school age teen in the late '70s, as RJDiogenes notes above. I was actually wondering if Ralf Moller, had he come to the US earlier, would have been more suited to the role, as he's a decade younger than Arnie or Big Lou. And he's 6'7".
     
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