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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Slate: Baseball’s First Black Player Lived His Life as a White Man

The William Edward White story…

Until she was contacted last month, White’s only grandchild, Lois De Angelis, said her family had been unaware of White’s role in baseball history, and of his racial background. De Angelis, who is 74 years old and lives in Grayslake, Ill., said she knew that her grandfather worked as an artist and had been published in the Saturday Evening Post or another magazine, and that he was separated from her grandmother, who worked as a secretary for Sears. Beyond that, De Angelis said she knew nothing about William Edward White.

White’s wife, Hattie, lived until 1970. De Angelis doubted that Hattie would have known White was one-quarter black, at least before they were married. “My grandmother was very prudish, very English,” she said. Neither Hattie nor De Angelis’ mother, Vera, ever mentioned why Hattie and White had separated, De Angelis said. Perhaps, she speculated, White left the household because Hattie discovered his racial history. “That’s funny when I think of my grandmother,” De Angelis said. “She would die if she knew it.”

So where does that leave William Edward White? Baseball pioneer or baseball footnote? When he trotted out to first base at Messer Street Grounds in Providence, White may have been the only person who knew that a black man was playing in the big leagues. And even that assumes White thought about the fact that he was black, or even partly black. In the racially bifurcated America of the times, “you were black or you were white,” Hobbs says. If no one else knew—if society couldn’t respond and react—it’s reasonable to question whether White should be recognized as the first African-American major-leaguer.

Or maybe that’s a distinction without a difference. American history and its precision-loving subset of baseball history are filled with the sort of ambiguity that complicates the search for convenient, ironclad “firsts.” This much is indisputable: On June 21, 1879, a man born a slave in Georgia played in a major-league baseball game. A black man named White played for the Grays. Factually and figuratively, that seems right. And it seems worth celebrating.

Repoz Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:57 AM | 740 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   601. simon bedford Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4661765)
fish now you have me thinking of movies where the person portraying the historical character didnt really look like them and yet were good enough that i didnt care. one that i am sure nobody will agree with me, will smith as Ali, i mean i grew up with ali on tv all the time, and will smith didnt really look anything like him ( james toney DID look quite a bit like joe frazier) but he did a good enough job of acting to have me buy into it...
   602. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4661768)
Dinklage isn't inappropriate for Dr. Doom because he can't loom. It's because the character isn't a ####### dwarf.


Well, hell. What if the FF are played by, like, mice?

Or babies?

Or baby mice?

Or really small monkeys? Like, ummm, marmosets?

That would be cool.
   603. Monty Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:48 PM (#4661777)
I guess I just disagree with the idea that there's a coherent "Dr. Doom" (or "Johnny Storm") character that movies have to line up with. The characters have been portrayed in comic books many, many different ways in the decades since he was introduced, and that's not even counting reboots like the Ultimate series.

Take Lex Luthor, for example; he's been fat, skinny, smart, dumb, rich, bald, not-bald, and a bunch of other things. Like that time he was in power armor all the time. So when Jesse Eisenberg is cast as him, I don't get angry that he's not exactly like a particular Lex Luthor (specifically this one, which was obviously the best). I wait to see the movie, and then, if it's lousy, I complain.

Nick Fury got changed from white to black in the Ultimates comic books, and was then black in the movies, and people were fine with it. I don't think the Ultimate version was necessary to justify casting a black actor to play him. The movies are not intended to be prefect translations of the comic books; compare Rogue in the X-Men movies to the comic book character.

The last Fantastic Four movie had a "Galactus" that was a giant space cloud or something. That's a lot farther from his depiction in his comic books than changing a character's race, but only comic book nerds made a big deal out of it. (And even then, not much, since the movie as a whole was so lousy that by the time Galactus showed up, everybody was too sad to fuss)
   604. Monty Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:56 PM (#4661784)
(I also think it's weird that people complain about Idris Elba being in Thor because he's black, but nobody mentions Tadanobu Asano as Hogun the Grim.)
   605. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4661786)
Pah, the White Comanche laughs at your puny examples.

Nobody tops the Shat playing not one, but two half-white/half-Comanche brothers on opposite sides of the law.

William Shatner plays two roles: cowboy Johnny Moon and his ruthless Indian twin brother, Notah. Notah likes peyote and gets the crazy idea that he's the Comanche messiah sent to lead the Comanche nation against the white man but more specifically the dusty desert town of Rio Hondo. Moon, estranged from his brother, decides to stop Notah either by words or by bullets.


And yes, of course Shat fights himself, because ... duh!

In truth, the movie doesn't quite live up to the premise. It's just a plain old boring B western when Shatner isn't around, and he isn't for a surprising amount of the running time. When he is though, it's prime grade Shatner.

See for yourselves!
   606. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4661788)
(I also think it's weird that people complain about Idris Elba being in Thor because he's black, but nobody mentions Tadanobu Asano as Hogun the Grim.)


Didn't see Thor, of course, but Hogun has long struck me (& I'm pretty sure I'm not alone) as looking at least somewhat Asiatic. Or at least that was the case 35-some-odd years ago, which would be the last time I read the comic.
   607. Monty Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:12 PM (#4661790)
Hogun in the comics looks kind of Asiatic, but the actor is straight-up Japanese.
   608. PreservedFish Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:34 PM (#4661798)
I guess I just disagree with the idea that there's a coherent "Dr. Doom" (or "Johnny Storm") character that movies have to line up with. The characters have been portrayed in comic books many, many different ways in the decades since he was introduced, and that's not even counting reboots like the Ultimate series.


And, accordingly, I'm sure that people would be more accepting of a wider variety of characterizations. As opposed to, say, Julia Child or Richard Nixon, where the audience wants virtual mimicry.

But it's a ridiculous kind of false naivete that would argue that Dr Doom should just be played by the best actor available, whether that's Jack Nicholson, Bradley Cooper or Judi Dench. Apologies if I've stretched anyone's point of view into the territory of the ridiculous.
   609. Monty Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4661803)
I think Dr. Doom should be played by the best actor for the role that has been created for the movie. If that character does a lot of pompous speechifying, you get someone with a good voice. If that character beats up a lot of minions, you get someone who's good at backhanding people. And so forth. I think it's possible to create a Dr. Doom that could be played by Jack Nicholson from thirty years ago or Bradley Cooper from today.
   610. PreservedFish Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4661804)
But what about Dinklage or Dench?
   611. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4661805)
Take Lex Luthor, for example; he's been fat, skinny, smart, dumb, rich, bald, not-bald, and a bunch of other things.


Him and a bunch of other guys. Hell, I bet the only reason that doesn't apply to the lifespan of a dozen Primates is your offhanded inclusion of "rich".
   612. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4661806)
I think it's possible to create a Dr. Doom that could be played by Jack Nicholson from thirty years ago or Bradley Cooper from today.


Not Jack Nicholson of today?
   613. Monty Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4661812)
Not Jack Nicholson of today?


I think he's retired from acting, hasn't he? He hasn't been in anything for a few years, and he's 76 years old. I wanted to rewind to the point where he was still a really good actor. You wouldn't cast old, terrible Marlon Brando after he'd stopped trying.
   614. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:12 AM (#4661901)
Mickey Rooney is still active.. Everyone knows how much he loves to put on a show.
   615. Lassus Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:57 AM (#4661916)
You wouldn't cast old, terrible Marlon Brando after he'd stopped trying.

ORLY?
   616. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4661938)
Oh that was a stinker. I saw it at a Memphis drive-in the week it opened and couldn't believe how awful it was. Apparently it was even worse behind the scenes. Behold Lassus, a history of the WORST. FILM. EVER.
   617. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4661968)
The fact is that the Human Torch is just not an interesting enough character by themselves to care, whereas Dr. Doom is. Some characters are iconic enough or tied to their appearance enough that physical casting matters, but Johnny Storm is not one such. It does not hurt the character at all to be black.

As an aside I think you could do a very interesting Dinklage Dr. Doom, but you could not just drop him into the role, you would have to customize the story a bit. As for Judy Dench, she played M pretty darn well, and he was a classic male character with a bunch of backstory, and she made it hers.
   618. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4661977)
The fact is that the Human Torch is just not an interesting enough character by themselves to care, whereas Dr. Doom is.


Says you. At least you can see Human Torch's face. They could CGI all of Dr. Doom and give his voice to Dana Carvey.

It does not hurt the character at all to be black.


Which characters would be hurt by being black?

As an aside I think you could do a very interesting Dinklage Dr. Doom, but you could not just drop him into the role, you would have to customize the story a bit.


You could probably make a very interesting Queen Latifah Reed Richards as long as you're willing to customize the story a bit.

As for Judy Dench, she played M pretty darn well, and he was a classic male character with a bunch of backstory, and she made it hers.


M can be played by anyone, it's a code name. A black 007 makes more sense than a black Human Torch.
   619. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4661980)
Lady in the Water was worse than Dr. Moreau.
This is stated as fact, not opinion.
   620. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4661983)
Which characters would be hurt by being black?


Lawrence of Arabia. Richard Nixon. Vanilla Ice. Characters for whom being white is significant on some level*. Like you can't have an ugly super model character, it doesn't make much story sense.

You could probably make a very interesting Queen Latifah Reed Richards as long as you're willing to customize the story a bit.


Sure, as long as you want to go with the Reed and Sue marriage, 21st century single sex style. But as I said before I don't like the FF much, so I am pretty willing to change them around.

A black 007 makes more sense than a black Human Torch.


Why? I disagree, if only because Bond is a very known iconic character. You could do a black 007 (as long as we keep the critical accent), but making a shift with a MUCH better known and iconic character is harder than with a relative nobody like Johnny Storm. Especially since Johnny is really generic, other than being a hot head - get it? Yup, that is the level of depth of him as a character.

* Edit: unless you want to make your new story about the race shift. Like making Hitler black, playing up the self loathing aspect or something. Doing that (or making your supermodel ugly) then makes your story ABOUT that. Where making Torch black, just makes him black, it is just casting.
   621. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4661991)
Lady in the Water was worse the Dr. Moreau.
This is stated as fact, not opinion.


There were parts of Lady in the Water that I liked (I thought the base story and many of the characters were fairly interesting ideas), but as a whole it was a completely miserable experience. A bit like Cutthroat Island or the Sean Connery Avengers Movie. Just terrible.
   622. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 25, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4662022)
A black 007 makes more sense than a black Human Torch.


HOW? The Human Torch's race is wholly irrelevant (although he should share at least 1/2 of it with his sister)

007 is an Englishman- an Englishman who appears to be the living embodiment of an upper class Englishman
Jack Ryan could be black, James Bond I don't think so.
   623. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 25, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4662030)
You wouldn't cast old, terrible Marlon Brando after he'd stopped trying.

ORLY?


He's stopped trying before then, he was good in the Freshman even though he wasn't trying there either- but of course he didn't have to. Old sloppy Marlon Brando dressed up as Don Corleone in a comedy, with no apparent recognition that it was a comedy (apparently he really wasn't aware it was a comedy until after he bizarrely badmouthed it for being jokey and unserious... and it was pointed out to him that, well gee, umm, it's supposed to be?)
   624. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4662087)
007 is an Englishman- an Englishman who appears to be the living embodiment of an upper class Englishman


Well there are Black Englishmen. As to whether Bond is upper crust or not, I guess I am not sure this is the case. Certainly he moves in rarified air, but incarnations of him (including the source books) have him as being very rough and tumble (from what I have heard - I have never read the books), and not very upper crust at all.

Anyway in either event clearly Human Torch as black really does nothing to change the character in a substantive way.
   625. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4662102)
Which characters would be hurt by being black?

Lawrence of Arabia. Richard Nixon. Vanilla Ice.


Three real people. How daring of you.

Characters for whom being white is significant on some level*.


I don't even know what that means.

You could probably make a very interesting Queen Latifah Reed Richards as long as you're willing to customize the story a bit.

Sure, as long as you want to go with the Reed and Sue marriage, 21st century single sex style.


Oh no, the former Sue Storm role would be played by Owen Wilson as The Invisible Dude. It's the wild west for casting now. I'm thinking Melissa Mccarthy as The Thing.

A black 007 makes more sense than a black Human Torch.

Why?


Well I've always assumed that the 007 "title" was simply a code name indicative of a certain role, assigned to whomever the agency assigned it to, and once the previous 007 was retired or otherwise disposed of, they gave it to a new fella. "James Bond" has never really been assumed as the character's real name, has it?

You could do a black 007 (as long as we keep the critical accent)


I don't see the accent being the least bit critical. Sean Connery didn't have the same accent as George Lazenby.

Especially since Johnny is really generic


I don't think any of the Fantastic Four are particularly complex characters but I don't think that excuses casting Bill Cosby as Mr. Fantastic.
   626. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4662105)
007 is an Englishman


George Lazenby was an Aussie and Sean Connery a Scott. Why not cast Eddie Murphy? He could use that accent he took for a spin in "The Golden Child".
   627. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4662115)
Three real people. How daring of you.


You asked and I answered. Not my problem if you did not like the answer. Next time ask a better question.

I don't even know what that means.


Well I gave plenty of examples and even counter examples of characters for whom race was important and how it could be subverted for the purposes of the story. At some point your lack of understanding becomes your problem and not mine. That said I will clarify if you can frame your question in a more helpful manner than "I don't get it".

It's the wild west for casting now.


It always has been. That is kind of the point. Movies are - on some level - art. Casting is fulfillment of that art, just like lighting, script, and so on are. Just because your vision of a character might be defined by race does not mean that is the only appropriate vision for that character.

Race can matter to the vision, but so can physicality, gender, attractiveness, accent, height, weight, and so on. You want to ascribe primacy to one aspect (race), but the rest of us don't necessarily share that vision. More to the point the person in charge of the FF movie in question doesn't.

If you think it is stunt casting then level that charge. If you think there is a specific aspect of the artistic vision that should be part of an FF movie, feel free to detail that out. "Black dude, OMG" is not exactly a compelling argument though.
   628. Greg K Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4662118)
Characters for whom being white is significant on some level*.


I don't even know what that means.

I think it means that being white is part of the narrative for that character. Like, if you take Peter Berg's character in The Great White Hype and make him black, it causes all sorts of problems for the movie. If you take Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character from 50/50 and make him black, it doesn't really change the movie much. Somewhere in the middle is something like Ordinary People , so much of the movie revolves around the upper-middle class white suburban Chicago Timothy Hutton lives in. You could tell a similar story I think about a kid with a different background, but it would probably be a different story.

Alternatively, I haven't seen I Am Legend, but I imagine you could have pretty much the same movie if it starred Tom Cruise. But if you subbed in Val Kilmer for Cuba Gooding Jr. in Boyz in the Hood, there'd be a problem with your casting.

Edited to make sense.
   629. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4662125)
YR, you must really hate the show Elementary, where Watson is an Asian female. Personally I like the show and while I was afraid it was stunt casting, it has turned out to be an interesting take on Sherlock Holmes. I think it would be interesting to have a female Sherlock also, but it sure seems like all those variations are somehow taboo for you.
   630. BDC Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4662126)
Othello is always an interesting example here, given that race is so prominent and so explicit in the play, and given the centuries of casting white men in the role (and allowing as how in some of those centuries in England, finding a black actor would have been a tough proposition. The play lends itself to all kinds of manipulation, as in this famous instance.

   631. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4662131)
. one that i am sure nobody will agree with me, will smith as Ali,


Irene Ryan would've been the greatest Ali ever, if not for the twin evils of racism & sexism.
   632. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4662133)
If you take Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character from 50/50 and make him black, it doesn't really change the movie much.


The best example is - the story I heard anyway - Nick Fury in the Marvel Universe. Some writers decides Fury would be cool if modeled after Samuel L Jackson, so they did in one line of comics. Mr. Jackson loved it and when the movies came along there the part was for him.

Nick Fury was kind of boring as generic tough white dude(I liked him and everything, but compared to Sam Jackson, no contest), and so in most minds Nick Fury is Samuel L Jackson, bad ass.

One of the successes the Marvel movies have had is in their very good casting. I can't think of a character they have miscast. From Tony Stark to Nick Fury to Loki, they have done a really good job. Maybe Hawkeye is the weakest, though I like the actor, but that might just be a character so far thing and not really casting.
   633. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4662135)
Nick Fury was kind of boring as generic tough white dude


Shut your filthy lying whore mouth! He's (well, the original WWII commando incarnation) my favorite comics character ever!

Uh-oh ... a split in the Varmint Caucus ...
   634. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4662140)
Characters for whom being white is significant on some level*.


I don't even know what that means.



In To Kill a Mockingbird Tom Robinson had to be played by a black man


In Bonfire of the Vanities the Trial Judge had to be white, it was part of the dynamic of the story. Bonfire the movie was stunning in that literally every significant role was badly miscast. Bruce Willis kind of resembled the main character as described in the Book and is quite good at acting arrogantly obnoxious, but in the Movie he was cast as someone else. Tom Hanks probably could have played the ADA character or the political aide, instead he was miscast as the main character. Morgan Freeman could pass for the book's description of Reverend Bacon, but was [mis]cast as the Trial Judge...)

   635. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4662143)
Alternatively, I haven't seen I Am Legend, but I imagine you could have pretty much the same movie if it starred Tom Cruise.


Well mostly, though if'd been Cruise I would have been actively rooting for the zombie vampires...
   636. Ace of Kevin Bass Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4662148)
YR, do you think that repertory Shakespeare companies should never cast black men or women in any role other than Othello? What do you think of a black Hamlet or black Shylock, for example?
   637. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4662162)
What do you think of a black Hamlet or black Shylock, for example?


You can do a black Hamlet- or Asian, but in which case you should move the setting from Denmark.

the Shylock character is a horrible anti-Semitic stereotype anyway, you might as well recast it as someone dressed up as a Star Trek Ferengi
   638. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4662178)
Three real people. How daring of you.

You asked and I answered.


I asked and you chickened out.

I don't even know what that means.

Well I gave plenty of examples


Bwak bwak bwak. You can't have a black man play Richard Nixon. Edgy!

At some point your lack of understanding becomes your problem and not mine.


Sounds like someone is getting their feathers ruffled. I've been pecked at by spike roosters and fat hens, and you ain't no spike rooster.

It's the wild west for casting now.

It always has been.


So Peter Dinklage for Dr Doom?

Frankly I'm fairly open to all sorts of bastardized permutations of established characters, as I referenced "The Wiz" earlier, but it's the obvious tokenism of the casting, and the automatic denial and concurrent defense of tokenism in casting that follows whenever it's pointed out. They could do a Fantastic Four reboot with all black characters, all female characters (save Owen Wilson as The Invisible Dude) or even all dwarf characters, and it wouldn't be as ridiculous as this transparent attempt at PR buzz.

Just because your vision of a character might be defined by race does not mean that is the only appropriate vision for that character.


I like how 40 years and a thousand issues of canonical publications featuring an identical characterization are suddenly *my* vision of a character.

Race can matter to the vision, but so can physicality, gender, attractiveness, accent, height, weight, and so on. You want to ascribe primacy to one aspect (race), but the rest of us don't necessarily share that vision.


So, Peter Dinklage as Dr. Doom?

More to the point the person in charge of the FF movie in question doesn't.


Well that bit of wisdom can be used to justify every single bad casting decision in the history of cinema.

If you think it is stunt casting then level that charge.


#540, 565.
   639. BDC Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4662188)
I haven't seen I Am Legend, but I imagine you could have pretty much the same movie if it starred Tom Cruise

It's a remake, or at least from the same source, of a film (Omega Man) that starred Charlton Heston.

Shakespeare is a pretty open field, and productions rarely adjust for or remark on the ethnicity of a given actor. Adrian Lester, one of the biggest stars on the current London stage, played Othello last year – but his first major Shakespearean role was Henry V, with a mostly white supporting cast, about 10 years ago. He was good in Henry V (I saw that one, but not Othello), though it was an uneven production (a contemporary Gulf War setting which didn't quite add up and was heavy-handed).

   640. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4662190)
YR, do you think that repertory Shakespeare companies should never cast black men or women in any role other than Othello? What do you think of a black Hamlet or black Shylock, for example?


Shakespeare's been done a million ways in the centuries since it was written. My wife is the theater scholar but I don't even think there were many race-specific descriptions of characters in the folio. We assume the characters were white in the absence of characterizations otherwise. I suppose several of the characters aren't even explicitly noted as men. I've heard there was an all-female version of Julius Cesar running somewhere in New York. I've already said I'd enjoy an all-black imagination of the Fantastic Four akin to "The Wiz".

We certainly know beyond any doubt what the main characters of The Fantastic Four are supposed to look like, and one of their creators is still alive. We also know two of the four main characters are siblings by blood. We're supposed to ignore this obvious "stunt casting", to use The Mouse's term above, because it's considered untoward to notice that they've made an incomprehensible race-based change to the character. If Reed Richards were played by Cher, or The Thing played by Verne Troyer, then it would be more acceptable to point out the obvious.


   641. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4662191)
I asked and you chickened out.


Look I get it, you have something personal invested in being outraged over the casting of a B list super hero. I don't get it and you seemingly can't articulate it, but now you are just attacking to attack. Articulate an actual argument. Ask an actual specific question.

If you don't want real life examples of important racial casting then ask that. And hey look some examples of that very thing were given by others. But once you start throwing around the insults (without even the guise of trying an actual argument any more) you are acknowledging you have lost. DOn't do that. Fight on. Explain yourself.

Why is it important boring Johnny Storm be white? What reason? Is it only tradition? Because multiple examples throughout history of characters evolving and changing race, gender and so on have been given. And i don't think it is stunt casting, because at this point if they think it will incite passion in anyone (other than a hard core set of FF fans) they clearly did not pay attention to the numbers the first couple of (terrible FF) movies got.
   642. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4662195)
We're supposed to ignore this obvious "stunt casting", to use The Mouse's term above, because it's considered untoward to notice that they've made an incomprehensible race-based change to the character.


So other than dude is black, what evidence do you have it is stunt casting? Have you seen press releases of marketing materials or a plot synopsis that would lead you to believe it?

on a logical level it would have made sense to keep the siblings the same race, but there could be several reasons other than stunt casting to do what they did. You are assuming the worst, unless you have info I have not heard.
   643. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4662212)
Look I get it, you have something personal invested in being outraged over the casting of a B list super hero.


Not really.

I don't get it and you seemingly can't articulate it, but now you are just attacking to attack.


Not really.

Ask an actual specific question.


Do you really think Vanilla Ice qualifies as "white"? At best he's a minstrel version of white.

If you don't want real life examples of important racial casting then ask that.


Why would you think that was an appropriate answer to my very straightforward and honest question? I think it's generally accepted that's you don't drastically change the racial makeup of a biographical character still-living or only recently deceased. You wouldn't cast a black man as Richard Nixon, well that really furthers the discussion here, good job my forward-thinking Mouse. I'll meet you halfway and agree that I wouldn't cast Neil Patrick Harris as Nelson Mandella.

And hey look some examples of that very thing were given by others.


I can only address one post at a time. If you weren't intending a serious answer worthy of a serious response, as I suspect was the case, you should have been a bit more clear.

But once you start throwing around the insults (without even the guise of trying an actual argument any more) you are acknowledging you have lost.


Oh you'll have to do a bit better than that to claim victory by abdication.

Why is it important boring Johnny Storm be white? What reason? Is it only tradition?


Johnny Storm is white. I have a thousand issues of canonical evidence written by living authors, drawn by living artists, with nary a deviation - until some Hollywood PR guy got together with Marketing and schemed to get some press by making an "edgy" casting decision designed to generate discussion for the reboot of an awful comic book franchise. The transparency of this tokenism is beyond serious debate.

And i don't think it is stunt casting


And I don't think it would have made a difference if you remade "Cool As Ice" starring LeBron James despite your claims to the contrary. So there! TTHHHBBTBTTT!
   644. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 25, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4662247)
Why would you think that was an appropriate answer to my very straightforward and honest question? I think it's generally accepted that's you don't drastically change the racial makeup of a biographical character still-living or only recently deceased.


Dude your question was what characters was it important that a character be white. I answered. Just as you did - "you don't drastically change the racial makeup of a biographical character still-living or only recently deceased". I used examples and you used a textual description. Though I would argue that Lawrence of Arabia was recently deceased, since he died nearly 80 years ago.

But hey we agree, it is important to cast racially appropriate actors for living or recently deceased real people. I also mentioned where it was thematically important and someone else mentioned characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. Race is kind of important there because it is a racial story.

Johnny Storm is not a living or recently deceased person. His story is not (typically) a racial story (ignoring Kree Skrull hijinx). So who cares what race he is. Presumably they will address why he and his sister are of different races, but if not it won't bug me any.

until some Hollywood PR guy got together with Marketing and schemed to get some press


Do you have any evidence of this? Because if so it is repugnant, and more to the point stupid because almost no one cares as far as I can tell. I don't even see it as particularly edgy. If anything your reaction is what they were going for (what you claim so anyway).

At any rate I am willing to let it play out and see if their casting decision works or doesn't and evaluate it on that basis and not because OMG, dude is black.
   645. BDC Posted: February 25, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4662270)
I just realized that I'm OK with a black actor playing Henry V or Iago or any number of comic-book characters, but it drives me out of my mind that in Field of Dreams they had a right-handed batter play Joe Jackson :-D

Much depends, of course, on whether the genre and theme make it plausible that someone won't notice or care about color. Shakespeare is so classic that you can cast Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves as brothers and nobody in the cast ever asks why; it's the seacoast of Bohemia or somewhere anyway.

Whereas if Lawrence of Arabia was some Jamaican guy running around in the desert, I'd expect the locals to comment.

Sometimes authors take this stuff very seriously. The late August Wilson IIRC ordered his executors not to allow white actors to play the black roles (i.e. almost all the roles) in his plays. Those too are classics, but it rubbed him the wrong way that they would be interpreted as colorblind.
   646. Monty Posted: February 25, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4662361)
And I don't think it would have made a difference if you remade "Cool As Ice" starring LeBron James despite your claims to the contrary.


There's only one way to find out. Let's get a Kickstarter going!
   647. Ace of Kevin Bass Posted: February 25, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4662393)
You can do a black Hamlet- or Asian, but in which case you should move the setting from Denmark.

the Shylock character is a horrible anti-Semitic stereotype anyway, you might as well recast it as someone dressed up as a Star Trek Ferengi


Shakespearean repertory companies ROUTINELY cast mixed-race productions of every single one of his plays. People suggesting that the plays should either be lily-white or the setting should be moved are, quite frankly, insane.
   648. Ace of Kevin Bass Posted: February 25, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4662399)
Shakespeare's been done a million ways in the centuries since it was written. My wife is the theater scholar but I don't even think there were many race-specific descriptions of characters in the folio. We assume the characters were white in the absence of characterizations otherwise. I suppose several of the characters aren't even explicitly noted as men. I've heard there was an all-female version of Julius Cesar running somewhere in New York. I've already said I'd enjoy an all-black imagination of the Fantastic Four akin to "The Wiz".

We certainly know beyond any doubt what the main characters of The Fantastic Four are supposed to look like, and one of their creators is still alive.


So if there were illustrations of Romeo and Juliet in contemporaneous documents and they were white, would it be your position that only white people could ever play Romeo and Juliet?

I'm not talking about "all-black" or "all-female" -- I'm talking about productions that are cast without regard for race whatsoever. I spent a ton of time around the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the preeminent repertory companies in the world, and I can tell you that (1) a significant percentage of the company was non-white, and (2) nearly every production of Shakespeare they put on involved both black and white (and Asian, and whatever) actors in prominent roles. And the shows were ****ing amazing, because the actors and everyone else involved were ****ing amazing. Which is all that matters.
   649. Lassus Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4662425)
Regarding the bug that has clamped itself into your rectal canal regarding the Human Torch, YR, I'm confident in my opinion that what is tokenism to you is inclusion to more than you.

You'll also be happy to know that I was altogether and totally meh on this whole altered FF casting (I've always loved the FF, Byrne's influence from back in the day) until the relentless anvil-like hammering of your less-than-compelling reasoning. Now I'm vocally in favor of the entire thing. So, you at least had that effect, congratulations. (Also, I'm pretty convinced the whole thing is going to suck anyhow, irrespective of this piece of casting. Johnny Storm needs to be a young, confident, well-meaning goofball. I'm confident in Jordan's ability to project that. Mara's seriousness will probably work wonders for Sue, but that dude is not Reed Richards.)
   650. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4662429)
Johnny Storm is not a living or recently deceased person. His story is not (typically) a racial story (ignoring Kree Skrull hijinx). So who cares what race he is.


I've been assiduously avoiding this thread, and now I click over and I get Kree-Skrull hijinx? Dammit, people.
   651. Srul Itza Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4662430)
Given how terrible the first two FF movies were, if they can make a decent movie, it won't matter if they make Johnny Storm black, or give the role to Peter Dinklage or Brendan Gleason.

But I doubt it will be a good movie. The FF was a boring comic. The X-Men reboot (when they first brought in Storm, Wolverine, etc.) totally eclipsed it. Spider-man was always more popular. Even Hulk was better.

About the only hope for a watchable movie would be to have a really great Dr. Doom. I'm not holding my breath.
   652. Monty Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4662432)
Also, I'm pretty convinced the whole thing is going to suck anyhow, irrespective of this piece of casting. Johnny Storm needs to be a young, confident, well-meaning goofball.


Chris Evans was the only good part about the last two Fantastic Four movies. But they can't keep him around for a reboot, especially since he turned into Captain America since those other movies. Still, at the time, he was practically the only movie superhero character who seemed happy about having superpowers. (I'm looking at you, mopey movie Spider-Man)
   653. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4662434)
Do you really think Vanilla Ice qualifies as "white"?


he's the whitest ####### dude on the planet, aside from the fact that he's you know, "white," his "character's" essence is his irredeemable cultural whiteness- if he was black he'd be just another mediocre [bad] rapper long forgotten.

Johnny Storm OTOH is just some guy who can fly and spontaneously ignite, his ethnicity is unimportant, his skin color is unimportant to the character, he's a random dude who acquired superpowers.

Hamlet can be black, because what's important is that he's Prince whose father was murdered, the fact that in the original story he's Prince of Denmark is not and was not important to the story, he could have been Prince of Livonia or Persia or Ethiopia...



   654. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4662437)
But I doubt it will be a good movie. The FF was a boring comic.


And therein lies the heart of the problem. The source material is crap. The only way to make Reed Richards interesting is to make him a villain.
   655. Srul Itza Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4662444)
You've just described Dr. Doom -- Genius Reed Richards as the villain. To make the movie good, Dr. Doom has to be the center of the film, and he has to be live up to the role.
   656. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4662445)
Has anyone seen Roger Corman's version of Fantastic Four? I've heard that it isn't actually any worse than the 2005 version. I've heard several versions of why it was never released, 1: That it was never intended to be released, it was created to protect the film rights or something (Stan Lee's claim); 2: Corman actually did film it with the intent of releasing it, but he and the producer were paid by Marvel to not release it, because Marvel saw FF as having "franchise" potential and thought a "B" movie version would harm that- Marvel's former CEO Arad, kind of confirms that version.

   657. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4662451)
I like how 40 years and a thousand issues of canonical publications featuring an identical characterization are suddenly *my* vision of a character.


There are no less than 13 Marvel Universes in addition to the standard Earth-616 continuity. There's one where all of the various Marvel characters are zombies. The live action films released by Marvel Studios are generally understood to abide in the same continuity, called the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The cinematic universe, quite notably, does not include the movies released by Marvel partners - the X-Men movies, Spiderman movies, or Fantastic Four movies. Only those released by Marvel Studios directly.

Recasting Johnny Storm as a black guy breaks with the traditional casting of the 616 universe, but it's not like Marvel doesn't recast and rebuild characters from scratch all the time. They re-wrote the Cinematic Universe's Iron Man to come into existence in Afghanistan rather than Vietnam. They re-wrote the Hulk's creation myth in order to fit with the film universe - Banner is searching for the lost Super Soldier serum, not saving a lousy teenage from a gamma-ray bomb in the desert. They rewrote Thor's appearance in modern times to work with the larger universe at play. The only major character they *haven't* modified in the MCU is Captain America. Getting out of joint because Johnny Storm might be a black guy is just stupid.
   658. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4662455)
You've just described Dr. Doom -- Genius Reed Richards as the villain.


Yeah, but you have to get rid of that "Prince of Latveria" crap. The problem is that Dr. Doom is just a variant on Norman Osborn, or Tony Stark as the bad guy. At least until he starts using magic and ####. If Marvel Studios reboots the FF and the trailers look good, I'll give it a go, but the underlying problem is that the source material is weak. Stretchy Tony Stark and his invisible wife + Johnny Storm + a knock-off orange Hulk wannabe. Meh.
   659. Srul Itza Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4662474)
He wasn't a Prince. He was a usurper and a dictator, the son of sorceress.

You can do a lot with that. I'm thinking a Putin or Milosevic type. But with horrific scars. And a penchant for particle physic, black magic and exo-suits.
   660. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4662475)
But since you've mentinoned "the source material," you're portraying things ass-backwards. The FF comic came out before Iron Man in Tales of Suspense; Reed Richards predated Tony Stark. Ditto with The Thing, of course -- he preceded the Hulk.

Leave the source material out of it ... which you might as well, anyway, since the movie-going public is even more stupid than comics fandom is, I suspect.

   661. Monty Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4662478)
Has anyone seen Roger Corman's version of Fantastic Four? I've heard that it isn't actually any worse than the 2005 version.


I've seen it, and I kind of liked it. It's made on zero budget, so the special effects are comically bad. But right after their spaceship lands back on Earth, Reed comments that his stretchiness is "interesting." That's a really cool character moment that, for a moment, makes the character seem like he might be a genius. That's better than either Reed or Sue do in the expensive movies, even though they have a much more expensive laboratory set.

They re-wrote the Hulk's creation myth in order to fit with the film universe - Banner is searching for the lost Super Soldier serum, not saving a lousy teenage from a gamma-ray bomb in the desert.


At this point, I think pretty much every non-mutant origin in Marvel is tied up with either the super-serum (or someone trying to recreate it) or the Weapon X Project (and attempts to recreate that).
   662. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4662479)
You can do a lot with that. I'm thinking a Putin or Milosevic type. But with horrific scars. And a penchant for particle physic, black magic and exo-suits.


Like I said, at this point I'm willing to give M Studio the benefit of the doubt. I just find the FF material to be weak and boring, though. Of course, I also hate Spider-Man.

But since you've mentinoned "the source material," you're portraying things ass-backwards. The FF comic came out before Iron Man in Tales of Suspense; Reed Richards predated Tony Stark. Ditto with The Thing, of course -- he preceded the Hulk.


Sure. Okay. But at this point shooting a family into space and having them get all wonked up by "cosmic rays" isn't going to fly. And character timeline notwithstanding, the source material for the FF is still weak. Perhaps because it's older. There's a reason the only character in the MCU to maintain 616 continuity is Steve Rogers. You can't tell the broad-appeal story that Marvel Studios is trying to tell with a nuclear family of astronauts from the 50s.
   663. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4662480)
At this point, I think pretty much every non-mutant origin in Marvel is tied up with either the super-serum (or someone trying to recreate it) or the Weapon X Project (and attempts to recreate that).


In the MCU, definitely. The deep narrative arc of the MCU is the question of technology and humanity, America that is and the myth of America we tell ourselves we are supposed to be. Tony Stark and the Hulk vs Steve Rogers.
   664. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4662488)
Ditto with The Thing, of course -- he preceded the Hulk.


I always regarded Dr. Banner/the Hulk as a comic book takeoff on Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde

of course I finally saw League of Extraordinary Gentlemen on cable a few weeks ago (it's not a good move btw)
and... Mr. Hyde is essentially portrayed as a non-green version of the Hulk...
   665. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4662527)
Sure. Okay. But at this point shooting a family into space and having them get all wonked up by "cosmic rays" isn't going to fly. And character timeline notwithstanding, the source material for the FF is still weak. Perhaps because it's older. There's a reason the only character in the MCU to maintain 616 continuity is Steve Rogers. You can't tell the broad-appeal story that Marvel Studios is trying to tell with a nuclear family of astronauts from the 50s.


No argument here; just playing chronology cop, is all.
   666. Lassus Posted: February 26, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4662711)
Sam, have ever actually read any Fantastic Four, ever?
   667. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4662717)
until some Hollywood PR guy got together with Marketing and schemed to get some press

Do you have any evidence of this? Because if so it is repugnant


Read 557. It's being defended on such grounds. It's on-screen reparations for the fact that there was no market for black comic book characters.

and more to the point stupid because almost no one cares as far as I can tell.


That would be consistent with the reviews of the last FF movie. Haven't seen it, but Metacritic has it at 45%.

But of course people DO care about this particularly nonsensical casting decision, as any bit of Googling will show you. It's the only casting decision for the reboot that anyone is talking about.
   668. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4662718)
And I don't think it would have made a difference if you remade "Cool As Ice" starring LeBron James despite your claims to the contrary.

There's only one way to find out. Let's get a Kickstarter going!


I'd donate to a kickstarter raising money to have Vanilla Ice beaten with an oversized bat, like MC Serch did in that 3rd Bass video.
   669. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4662723)
Regarding the bug that has clamped itself into your rectal canal regarding the Human Torch, YR, I'm confident in my opinion that what is tokenism to you is inclusion to more than you.


One an honest word, the other studiously PR-burnished.

You'll also be happy to know that I was altogether and totally meh on this whole altered FF casting (I've always loved the FF, Byrne's influence from back in the day) until the relentless anvil-like hammering of your less-than-compelling reasoning. Now I'm vocally in favor of the entire thing.


Be sure you wait in line to see it opening night. You didn't do so for any of the movies starring authentic black superheroes like Steel, Hancock, and Spawn, but there's something mysterious that shades this one just right for you.

Then you can take everyone out for Chick-Fil-A afterwards to complete your reverse boycott. Fight the power!
   670. BDC Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4662724)
I dunno about vox populi sometimes. Weren't people upset when they cast a black actress to play a black character in The Hunger Games?
   671. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4662727)
Do you really think Vanilla Ice qualifies as "white"?

he's the whitest ####### dude on the planet, aside from the fact that he's you know, "white," his "character's" essence is his irredeemable cultural whiteness- if he was black he'd be just another mediocre [bad] rapper long forgotten.


The fact that he can walk down public streets without being pelted by garbage disgusts me. There's simply no shame in entertainment anymore - one of Mili Vanilli was so distraught he committed suicide, but a clown like Vanilla Ice gets to sell macaroni and cheese in national campaigns. There is no justice in this world.

We need Judge Dredd more than ever. Speaking of a comic book movie that truly deserves a sequel (and looks like it may get one).
   672. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4662729)
You've just described Dr. Doom -- Genius Reed Richards as the villain. To make the movie good, Dr. Doom has to be the center of the film, and he has to be live up to the role.


Peter Dinklage would listen if they called.
   673. Greg K Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4662736)
I dunno about vox populi sometimes. Weren't people upset when they cast a black actress to play a black character in The Hunger Games?

That one was fascinating (to me anyway) because apparently the character was non-white in the book, but because of her purity and innocence many readers read her as white, and were shocked and appalled by the casting.

Of course, I've neither read the book nor seen the movie, so I'm getting this entirely from a few articles I read about it.
   674. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4662744)
Read 557. It's being defended on such grounds. It's on-screen reparations for the fact that there was no market for black comic book characters.


You are being dumb, perhaps on purpose. 557 says nothing about the actual reason they cast black dude as Torch. Do you have any actual evidence, or just your assertions?
   675. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4662782)
You are being dumb, perhaps on purpose.


Once you start throwing around the insults (without even the guise of trying an actual argument any more) you are acknowledging you have lost, or so I've heard sneered.

557 says nothing about the actual reason they cast black dude as Torch. Do you have any actual evidence, or just your assertions?


Just my assertions. Marvel has made a concerted effort to blackwash characters for its movies for marketing purposes, such as casting Michael Clark Duncan in Daredevil, Idris Elba in Thor, and the aforementioned Sam Jackson. You're free be as cynical or naive as suits you.
   676. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 26, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4662794)
The fact that he can walk down public streets without being pelted by garbage disgusts me.


He had a reality show a year or two ago... which was [allegedly] about how Vanilla Ice was buying high end homes, fixing them up and flipping them... My wife watches such shows so I watch such shows every now and then, Vanilla's Ice's DIY/Flip this house show was a trainwreck even by the genre's standards.

The idea is that he's this great businessman/contractor who knows how to buy/fix and sell homes- but it's painfully apparent that he's an incompetent moron who can barely handle a hammer and simply gets in the way of the workers he's allegedly supervising- Vanilla Ice is worse at faking being a home re-modeler/renovator than he was at faking being a "gangsta" rapper- at least when Vanilla Ice "raps" you can squint and tell yourself, "oh this is a parody, right?"
   677. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 26, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4662798)
That one was fascinating (to me anyway) because apparently the character was non-white in the book, but because of her purity and innocence many readers read her as white, and were shocked and appalled by the casting.

Of course, I've neither read the book nor seen the movie, so I'm getting this entirely from a few articles I read about it.


I read half the book (I was in Borders for 2 hours and really bored) my impression from the book's description of the heroine was that she was hispanic, but from the description of her family that perhaps she was bi-racial (Black father/white mother)

one of her primary [female] friends who I assume is a character in the movie was definitely described as being black...
   678. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 26, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4662802)
Just my assertions. Marvel has made a concerted effort to blackwash characters for its movies for marketing purposes, such as casting Michael Clark Duncan in Daredevil, Idris Elba in Thor, and the aforementioned Sam Jackson. You're free be as cynical or naive as suits you.


Sam Jackson IS Nick Fury
he owns that motherloving character now, period.

A black nordic warrior is kind of odd on the other hand.
   679. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 26, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4662824)
Just my assertions. Marvel has made a concerted effort to blackwash characters for its movies for marketing purposes, such as casting Michael Clark Duncan in Daredevil, Idris Elba in Thor, and the aforementioned Sam Jackson. You're free be as cynical or naive as suits you.


So casting as they see fit is automatically "blackwashing"? Based on nothing but your assertions. Ignoring the fact that the vast majority of their casting for their movies has been incredibly spot on, including near universal praise for Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury.

So even though it has been wildly successful, the actors have nailed it, it is blackwashing and done only for marketing purposes, because you know it to be true. Their success has been mere happenstance? Has it occurred to you they know what they are doing, and are casting using criteria other than just race?

A black nordic warrior is kind of odd on the other hand.


I am not even sure about this, seeing as how Asgardians are not actually Nordic or even earthlings. They are funky aliens with super technology/magic from another world/dimension. I agree on earth it does not make a huge amount of sense (except you know in a modern context where there are blacks living in the Nordic countries), but on Asgard? I am not convinced black dude (or asian dude) is any more out there than a guy flying because his hammer (which he throws) pulls him through the air.
   680. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4662844)
Sam Jackson IS Nick Fury
he owns that motherloving character now, period.


#### that ####. If Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, John Severin &/or Jim Steranko didn't draw him, he ain't Nick ############# Fury, ############, the abysmal idiocy & ignorance of history of the average ########## moviegoer notwithstanding.
   681. Srul Itza Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4662866)
Marvel has made a concerted effort to blackwash characters for its movies for marketing purposes, such as casting Michael Clark Duncan in Daredevil, Idris Elba in Thor, and the aforementioned Sam Jackson.


Ignorance or deliberate dishonesty? In Marvel's Ultimate Marvel series, the character was actually based on Jackson -- it looked like him and "sounded" like him. This was long before the movies. So when they started making the movies, it only made sense to cast him.

   682. Monty Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4662872)
It's on-screen reparations for the fact that there was no market for black comic book characters.


I thnk the studio's goal with these movies is to make money, not correct social ills.

Marvel has made a concerted effort to blackwash characters for its movies for marketing purposes, such as casting Michael Clark Duncan in Daredevil, Idris Elba in Thor, and the aforementioned Sam Jackson.


The Fantastic Four movie is not being made by Marvel Studios.
   683. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4662873)
So when they started making the movies, it only made sense to cast him.


Was the movie version of the Avengers (assuming that's the one in which Jackson appears as "Fury" ... as previously noted, I've seen only the Captain America & first Spider-Man flicks) based on the Ultimate version ... assuming there was/is an Ultimate version of the Avengers? Or mabye they were/are called the Ultimates? (I've read only a handful of issues from the entire Ultimate line, namely the Ultimate FF issues that started the inevitably overplayed Marvel Zombies theme.)
   684. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4662877)
#### that ####. If Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, John Severin &/or Jim Steranko didn't draw him, he ain't Nick ############# Fury, ############, the abysmal idiocy & ignorance of history of the average ########## moviegoer notwithstanding.


lol @ "history" being used to mean "comic books."

Neeeeeeeeeeeeerds.
   685. Lassus Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4662879)
The Fantastic Four movie is not being made by Marvel Studios.

Which - notwithstanding Sam's complaint regarding the source material - why it has sucked and will most likely continue to suck.
   686. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4662884)
I thnk the studio's goal with these movies is to make money, not correct social ills.


This is where I depart with YR, who I otherwise agree with - we don't know why the studio's making this choice. Perhaps they think that having one black actor will open up the African-American market and make them a few more bucks. Or, hell, maybe they think it'll make them a few bucks on the actual continent of Africa. Maybe they are doing it to be risk-averse, avoid negative publicity of having an all-white cast. Maybe they think that the black actor is the best guy for the role. I don't know. It looks like tokenism but we don't know what it actually is.
   687. Monty Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4662886)
Which - notwithstanding Sam's complaint regarding the source material - why it has sucked and will most likely continue to suck.


Be fair; Marvel Studios is perfectly capable of making a terrible movie on its own.
   688. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4662892)
lol @ "history" being used to mean "comic books."


The characters have a history, you ####### fuckwad; the fact that they appeared in comics is beside the point. ####### moron.

FF #1 came out in '61. That was 53 years ago. That's history, pretty much by definition.

Jesus ####### christ.
   689. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4662897)
The characters have a history, you ####### #######; the fact that they appeared in comics is beside the point. ####### moron.


Can't we set aside our comic differences and listen to Swans together? Way more fun.
   690. Lassus Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4662898)
Be fair; Marvel Studios is perfectly capable of making a terrible movie on its own.

Hey, sure. Iron Man II (and, to me anyhow, Iron Man III) is right there in suck. At the moment, however, they have built up quite a cache of goodwill. They make a winner out of Guardians of the Galaxy, I'm willing to throw my money at them whatever they put out.
   691. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4662899)
the abysmal idiocy & ignorance of history of the average ########## moviegoer notwithstanding.


Sorry, this is indeed an absurd and hilarious comment.
   692. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4662908)
Jesus ####### christ.


Hell hath no fury like an infuriated fanboy it seems
   693. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4662917)
Hey, sure. Iron Man II (and, to me anyhow, Iron Man III) is right there in suck.

I didn't like Iron Man 2 at all. Iron Man 3 was a good movie, but had some very annoying problems.

Iron Man has a problem that Captain America, Thor, Fantastic Four, and X-Men don't have, but that it shares with Spider-Man, and to some extent, Hulk. When the superhero is on the screen, the actor is not. Chris Hemsworth gets a ton of screen time in Thor. But with all of the CGI involved, Robert Downey isn't on the screen when he's in the armor. Sure, they show some close ups of his face, but all of the big action scenes have the armor fighting the bad guy. X-Men got around this problem by not putting them all in face-concealing costumes.

But from a money and ego perspective, you have to have a lot of scenes with Downey in them, which means less scenes of Iron Man. There's a video on You Tube about Iron Man 3 which is pretty good at pointing out the flaws, but one of its things is how little Stark is in the suit.
   694. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4662923)
So casting as they see fit is automatically "blackwashing"? Based on nothing but your assertions.


Based only on my observations. These sorts of considerations do exist in that there movie business ya know. I wonder if you'll feign shock if the posters for this movie show Invisible Girl with her very visible Spandex-clad keester pointed towards the viewer.

Ignoring the fact that the vast majority of their casting for their movies has been incredibly spot on


We can agree to disagree. Their films have been fairly uneven on several levels. Still, note that when they make these significant changes to the canonical character, it's never to replace those boring white dudes with women or Asians or Arabs. You may mutter "coincidence," and I can smile and nod kindly. Marketing dictates so much of the content of these sorts of movies that your incredulity is actually comforting, damn my jaded heart.

I am not even sure about this, seeing as how Asgardians are not actually Nordic or even earthlings. They are funky aliens with super technology/magic from another world/dimension. I agree on earth it does not make a huge amount of sense (except you know in a modern context where there are blacks living in the Nordic countries), but on Asgard? I am not convinced black dude (or asian dude) is any more out there than a guy flying because his hammer (which he throws) pulls him through the air.


Well it's a comic book universe, they could make all the Asgardians into anthromorphic animals to appeal to furry fans and it wouldn't be more impossible than magic hammers forged from neutron stars and Tony Stark's self-assembling flying piecemeal suit. The Hulk's pants alone defy all known physical laws.
   695. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4662925)
Hey, sure. Iron Man II (and, to me anyhow, Iron Man III) is right there in suck.


Iron Man III was much worse. It made "Fantastic Four" look like the sequel to "Fantastic Four." All of the ridiculous technology in Robert Downey's closet, the super suit is the least impressive thing there.
   696. Lassus Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4662930)
When Groot ends up as an oak instead of a maple YR is going to go ballistic.
   697. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4662937)
Hell hath no fury like an infuriated fanboy it seems


More like a worried-as-hell cat owner whose oldest is at the vet's for what should be utterly routine reasons, though the last time this happened it was the first symptom of what turned out to be a very untimely but fatal case of kidney failure in his older brother. *sigh* My apologies for my intemperance; I'm clearly not in a good mood.
   698. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4662939)
Can't we set aside our comic differences and listen to Swans together? Way more fun.


And now you're rubbing in the fact that I sold my copy of the Burning World CD (& maybe the vinyl, too ... can't remember) on eBay when times were even tighter than usual a few years ago, aren't you?

Monster!
   699. Lassus Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4662940)
Still, note that when they make these significant changes to the canonical character, it's never to replace those boring white dudes with women or Asians or Arabs.

Say hello to Ms. Marvel. (Replacing a white woman.) The character has been around for 37 years.
   700. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4662945)
Say hello to Ms. Marvel. (Replacing a white woman.) The character has been around for 37 years.


Marvel Studios just greenlighted a Black Widow stand alone, so apparently in addition to casting an eye toward black comic book fans, they have also noted that sometimes girls like superhero movies too. No one is sure how this is a sine of cultural decline, but TGF is working on a rant regardless.
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