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thorfan




On the Thor msg board there was a post regarding the decision to Cast a black man as Heimdal, now one of the participants on the board couldnt wait to tell everyone why he knew th is was "political correctness" now my question is very simple WHY WHY WHY is it that everytime someone black gets a role or a job or something that someone else doesnt think he or she should have it has to be reverse racism or political correctness, be it a Quarterback ala Limbaugh, or a President, or even an actor, just wondering everyone.


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The Black Guardian

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Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


It's not every time. But when a black actor is playing a Nordic god, something is wrong. This isn't like Sam Jackson being Nick Fury. You're talking about cultural icons. I don't want to see a white guy playing Ogun or Shango or any other African god either. And you know there would be an uproar if that happened. Disney can't even make a movie about a frog without people complaining that one of the characters is too light skinned.

To compound this, one of Heimdall's nicknames is "The White God," and he is described in the Eddas as "the whitest of the Æsir."




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Doom's Doctor




Business wise it's just a decision to try and bring in some of the black audience. It's almost somewhat insulting to cast a black man as a Norse deity - insulting to the African American community that is - almost a bribe.

I'd rather see the Green Lantern movie star John Stewart. He's very popular, due in part to the cartoon; he's established in the comics; the nature of the GL universe itself could lend to a few GL's in the movies. Why stick to the same formula as every other hero movie. Why couldn't GL2 introduce the corps, or just Jordan to Gardner and focus on more than 1 hero? I think it's a better way to get the AA community involved in a super hero movie than patronizing tricks like Heimdall.


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mjyoung





    Quote:
    Business wise it's just a decision to try and bring in some of the black audience. It's almost somewhat insulting to cast a black man as a Norse deity - insulting to the African American community that is - almost a bribe.


It's a common strategy for casting decisions in blockbuster movies to have one or two token racial minorities in the cast. You just aren't going to see many movies costing over $150M with an all white cast. But with that being said, an important thing to remember is that the inclusion of racial minorities has no impact on the commercial success of the movie.

In the Avengers movie, the chances of the Wasp being white are really, really low. I would guess they either go with an hispanic or asian actress.

It's hard to know if Elba's race was an important part in the selection process, but I can easily say it was a factor. I don't think anyone is naive enough to think that an actor is chosen solely due to merit, but there are numerous factors involved.

Right now, and not having seen the movie or knowing what that role in include, it's hard seeing that role selection as anything other than an appointment due to race. That role is like the 10th? most important one in the movie, it's a small role, the actor has nothing in common with the character traditionally, etc.

Personally with this specific example, while I do like Elba, I just wish he would have gotten a better role. For this movie, I'd rather see him as Balder or Skruge, and feel he is a waste as background character. In my mind it also ruins his chances of being any other Marvel movie character.


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atrimus


Location: Saint Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,489



    Quote:
    It's not every time. But when a black actor is playing a Nordic god, something is wrong. This isn't like Sam Jackson being Nick Fury. You're talking about cultural icons. I don't want to see a white guy playing Ogun or Shango or any other African god either. And you know there would be an uproar if that happened. Disney can't even make a movie about a frog without people complaining that one of the characters is too light skinned.


i don't think it was a PC move, but rather one to make money by drawing in a potentially bigger audience. otherwise i agree with you, for the most part. i'd rather see the movie first, to ascertain why a black actor was chosen for the role.


    Quote:
    To compound this, one of Heimdall's nicknames is "The White God," and he is described in the Eddas as "the whitest of the Æsir."


isn't this a bit separate from Thor comics though?





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Omar Karindu


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242


This is a weird case, because it seems to me that the ethnicity of Norse gods is actually important in a way the Wasp's or even Sue Storm's apparent ethnicity really isn't. ("Apparent" is the key word; a non-traditionally cast Sue given some screenwriter's idea of an ethnic dialect would be deeply patronizing and poor adaptation at the same time.)

One possibility is that they're doing a "Lost Gods" arc, as the comics have, which letsw them explain a lot. Where have the gods been between the first century AD and now? Stuck in human forms. Why's tyhere a Don Blake? That's Thor's human body. Why's Heimdall black? He was born into a body of African descent this time around.

That could work, and would make some of the casting decisions a means of highlighting the plot and the strangeness of the situation rather than a head-scratching distraction.

And yes, Elba really should get a starring role in something superheroic, not least because the man looks like he could fight crime in reality. Actually, he'd make an infinitely better Jim Rhodes than Terence Howard did, especially if Rhodes is going to be War Machine.

Actually, mentioning the Avengers...CGI Idris Elba as the Vision.

Damn. That NEEDS to happen.




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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Reverend Meteor





    Quote:
    On the Thor msg board there was a post regarding the decision to Cast a black man as Heimdal, now one of the participants on the board couldnt wait to tell everyone why he knew th is was "political correctness" now my question is very simple WHY WHY WHY is it that everytime someone black gets a role or a job or something that someone else doesnt think he or she should have it has to be reverse racism or political correctness, be it a Quarterback ala Limbaugh, or a President, or even an actor, just wondering everyone.


Let me say two things.

1. I love Idris Elba. Loved him on The Wire and The Office.

2. I think he can be a good Heimdall. Heimdall has that icy cool demeanor that Idris has in a lot of things I've seen him in.

However even though I don't mind this one instance I don't like the trend of replacing established white characters with black characters just to make a racially diverse movie. I don't think it's insulting to the white fans...I think it's insulting to blacks. It's saying I can trick you into watching this movie just by changing this character's skin color.

We know the reverse trend would not be tolerated. You could not have a white Falcon if you made a Captain America movie. I freely grant that minorities are under represented...but do you really want black actors to just have roles in comic book movies by making a white comic character black. It seems to say hey we can't find anything else for you so here you go.


off topic but did anyone else cringe when they saw Angelina Jolie played Daniel Pearl's african american wife in The Mighty Heart.


Reverend Meteor (call me racist but James Bond should always be a middle age white british guy)


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Reverend Meteor





    Quote:

      Quote:
      Business wise it's just a decision to try and bring in some of the black audience. It's almost somewhat insulting to cast a black man as a Norse deity - insulting to the African American community that is - almost a bribe.



    Quote:
    It's a common strategy for casting decisions in blockbuster movies to have one or two token racial minorities in the cast. You just aren't going to see many movies costing over $150M with an all white cast. But with that being said, an important thing to remember is that the inclusion of racial minorities has no impact on the commercial success of the movie.



    Quote:
    In the Avengers movie, the chances of the Wasp being white are really, really low. I would guess they either go with an hispanic or asian actress.



    Quote:
    It's hard to know if Elba's race was an important part in the selection process, but I can easily say it was a factor. I don't think anyone is naive enough to think that an actor is chosen solely due to merit, but there are numerous factors involved.



    Quote:
    Right now, and not having seen the movie or knowing what that role in include, it's hard seeing that role selection as anything other than an appointment due to race. That role is like the 10th? most important one in the movie, it's a small role, the actor has nothing in common with the character traditionally, etc.



    Quote:
    Personally with this specific example, while I do like Elba, I just wish he would have gotten a better role. For this movie, I'd rather see him as Balder or Skruge, and feel he is a waste as background character. In my mind it also ruins his chances of being any other Marvel movie character.


I agree with most of your post but if for whatever dumb reason Idris Elba had to be cast as one of the Scandinavian gods...well Heimdall is the right fit for him.

His skills as an actor seem to sort of go with what I assume the role of Heimdall would entail. You need an actor who can speak very little but have so much authority that when he does speak he says more than someone who is a chatty cathy. You need someone who speaks, everyone listens.

I think Idris Elba is a damn good actor...I hate the idea of him playing an Asgardian but if you asked me which Asgardian would suit him the best I would say yeah it's Heimdall without a doubt. Especially if his character is one who gives advice to Odin.

Heimdall is the quiet thinking man. Yeah he can kick ass with the rest of them but he's the guy who can hear grass growing...he sees all the variables at play while the others are too close to the action and distracted by it. I think Idris is perfect for that.


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The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008



    Quote:

      Quote:
      It's not every time. But when a black actor is playing a Nordic god, something is wrong. This isn't like Sam Jackson being Nick Fury. You're talking about cultural icons. I don't want to see a white guy playing Ogun or Shango or any other African god either. And you know there would be an uproar if that happened. Disney can't even make a movie about a frog without people complaining that one of the characters is too light skinned.

    i don't think it was a PC move, but rather one to make money by drawing in a potentially bigger audience. otherwise i agree with you, for the most part. i'd rather see the movie first, to ascertain why a black actor was chosen for the role.

I think the two go hand-in-hand. They feel they have to be PC for purely mercenary reasons.

    Quote:

      Quote:
      To compound this, one of Heimdall's nicknames is "The White God," and he is described in the Eddas as "the whitest of the Æsir."

    isn't this a bit separate from Thor comics though?

Perhaps, but if you ask me if I think it should be, my answer would be no. Heimdall's whiteness is central to him, as god of light, imo.

And I dislike Thor with blond hair and Sif with black hair, too. Just saying.




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atrimus


Location: Saint Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,489



    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        It's not every time. But when a black actor is playing a Nordic god, something is wrong. This isn't like Sam Jackson being Nick Fury. You're talking about cultural icons. I don't want to see a white guy playing Ogun or Shango or any other African god either. And you know there would be an uproar if that happened. Disney can't even make a movie about a frog without people complaining that one of the characters is too light skinned.



      Quote:
      i don't think it was a PC move, but rather one to make money by drawing in a potentially bigger audience. otherwise i agree with you, for the most part. i'd rather see the movie first, to ascertain why a black actor was chosen for the role.



    Quote:
    I think the two go hand-in-hand. They feel they have to be PC for purely mercenary reasons.


not necessarily. unless my understanding of the term is wrong, PC means to minimize offending a certain group by whatever means. i don't think blacks would take offense that a white Norse god wasn't black in film. with Heimdal they're attempting to attract a black audience through inclusion, not placate blacks to minimize an offense.


    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        To compound this, one of Heimdall's nicknames is "The White God," and he is described in the Eddas as "the whitest of the Æsir."



      Quote:
      isn't this a bit separate from Thor comics though?



    Quote:
    Perhaps, but if you ask me if I think it should be, my answer would be no. Heimdall's whiteness is central to him, as god of light, imo.


yeah, i agree, and i did scratch my head upon learning a black actor (albeit, a good actor) was playing him. it just doesn't seem to make any sense. however, i would like to see the movie first to see how they explain it all.


    Quote:
    And I dislike Thor with blond hair and Sif with black hair, too. Just saying.


agreed.





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atrimus


Location: Saint Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,489



    Quote:

      Quote:
      On the Thor msg board there was a post regarding the decision to Cast a black man as Heimdal, now one of the participants on the board couldnt wait to tell everyone why he knew th is was "political correctness" now my question is very simple WHY WHY WHY is it that everytime someone black gets a role or a job or something that someone else doesnt think he or she should have it has to be reverse racism or political correctness, be it a Quarterback ala Limbaugh, or a President, or even an actor, just wondering everyone.



    Quote:
    Let me say two things.



    Quote:
    1. I love Idris Elba. Loved him on The Wire and The Office.



    Quote:
    2. I think he can be a good Heimdall. Heimdall has that icy cool demeanor that Idris has in a lot of things I've seen him in.



    Quote:
    However even though I don't mind this one instance I don't like the trend of replacing established white characters with black characters just to make a racially diverse movie. I don't think it's insulting to the white fans...I think it's insulting to blacks. It's saying I can trick you into watching this movie just by changing this character's skin color.


this was actually my first thought.


    Quote:
    We know the reverse trend would not be tolerated. You could not have a white Falcon if you made a Captain America movie. I freely grant that minorities are under represented...but do you really want black actors to just have roles in comic book movies by making a white comic character black. It seems to say hey we can't find anything else for you so here you go.



    Quote:
    off topic but did anyone else cringe when they saw Angelina Jolie played Daniel Pearl's african american wife in The Mighty Heart.



    Quote:
    Reverend Meteor (call me racist but James Bond should always be a middle age white british guy)






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thorfan




Let me be clear, I don't think that Heimdal should be played by Elba. Im not going to boycott the movie because of it, but a character is a character is a character. I didn't care for the black kingpin, or the black alicia masters, or the black nick fury. Why? Because that is not who the characters were intended to be, I think that it is a business decision to try and reach out to more audience, you know the whole "Isdris Elba is going to be in a movie lets go see it". Having said that this is not the first time marvel or those representing them have not followed the origins to the letter when doing movies.

My thing was WHY did it have to be called a "politically correct" move as i've heard that it is? And why is that always the norm in these instances?


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mjyoung





    Quote:
    not necessarily. unless my understanding of the term is wrong, PC means to minimize offending a certain group by whatever means. i don't think blacks would take offense that a white Norse god wasn't black in film. with Heimdal they're attempting to attract a black audience through inclusion, not placate blacks to minimize an offense.


The problem with that line of thinking is that realistically the casting choice of Elba as Heimdal is not going to have any effect on box office success. The black demographic of 18-35 year old males isn'tt going to suddenly go see this movie just because a tertiary(?) character is black.

We don't know for sure what Marvel Studios was thinking with this decision, but it's a safe bet they didn't want to have an all white cast and allow some to have the perception of racism. Hence the thinking that many have here, that Elba was picked just to be the token black character in the background.






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Reverend Meteor





    Quote:
    Let me be clear, I don't think that Heimdal should be played by Elba. Im not going to boycott the movie because of it

    Even if I despised the idea I wouldn't boycott the movie. I don't care enough about anything to boycott anything. I'm a very apathetic person by nature \:\)


      Quote:
      but a character is a character is a character. I didn't care for the black kingpin, or the black alicia masters, or the black nick fury. Why? Because that is not who the characters were intended to be, I think that it is a business decision to try and reach out to more audience


    No I agree with Atrimus's point that it was a financially motivated decision. I don't even mind the decision in this one instance because I think Elba is awesome and has the perfect persona to play that role. But I don't like the trend as a whole. A part of it is financial...a BIG part of it but I think that the reason why it is a financial reason has its roots in being a PC issue. Why do movie studios decide to make white comic book characters black...because something be it some producer or focus group or study or studio executive whatever has boiled it down to the fact that minorities are more likely to watch a movie that has someone that is in their minority in a movie.

    The idea that we get multiculturalism in movies like this is great but is done for the wrong reason (or rather a reason I simply don't like). I like it when it is organic to the plot and when it makes sense. I don't like pretending a movie shows multiculturalism when it only really done as a ploy to get minorities to see a movie they may never see otherwise and thus seperate them from their money.

    Granted an example in a comic book movie escapes me off the top of my head but one example of using a black character instead of the established white character that I thought made sense was when John Stewart was the Green Lantern of choice in the Justice League cartoon (awesome series and I say that as someone who has never bought a DC comic). There have been multiple Green Lanterns and John Stewart was a established character and he was black.




      Quote:
      you know the whole "Isdris Elba is going to be in a movie lets go see it". Having said that this is not the first time marvel or those representing them have not followed the origins to the letter when doing movies.


    It isn't and I can cut a lot of flack for that truth be told.


      Quote:
      My thing was WHY did it have to be called a "politically correct" move as i've heard that it is? And why is that always the norm in these instances?


    My contention is that it is a shady financial move disguised as a politically correct move. In a perfect world an actor would be chosen because they are the best for the part. Some people will see it as a black actor who was cast to be PC and include blacks. I maintain that the movie has a black actor as a white character in order to exploit his fan base and make more money for what will probably be a lame movie (but I say that because I tend not to enjoy Marvel's movies or cartoons...I don't like DC comics but their cartoons and movies are superior IMO).



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atrimus


Location: Saint Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,489



    Quote:

      Quote:
      not necessarily. unless my understanding of the term is wrong, PC means to minimize offending a certain group by whatever means. i don't think blacks would take offense that a white Norse god wasn't black in film. with Heimdal they're attempting to attract a black audience through inclusion, not placate blacks to minimize an offense.



    Quote:
    The problem with that line of thinking is that realistically the casting choice of Elba as Heimdal is not going to have any effect on box office success. The black demographic of 18-35 year old males isn'tt going to suddenly go see this movie just because a tertiary(?) character is black.


said demographic would probably be indifferent to an all white cast because they have no interest in the subject matter itself. but i'd be willing to bet that Elba's name would at the very least stir their interest.


    Quote:
    We don't know for sure what Marvel Studios was thinking with this decision, but it's a safe bet they didn't want to have an all white cast and allow some to have the perception of racism. Hence the thinking that many have here, that Elba was picked just to be the token black character in the background.


what we know is that Marvel didn't select an all white cast. everything else (be it due to monetary reasons, or due to PC) is just speculation. i tend to think monetary reasons simply because i don't see where Marvel would fear any claims of racism being aimed at them. there have been planty of all-white movies that blacks didn't claim racism towards. Marvel's own Hulk had a virtually all-white cast...that i can recall.






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Omar Karindu


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242


For that matter, some of Marvel's biggest superhero films to date -- the Spider-Man movies -- are virtually all-white casts, with the comics' Robbie Robertson as essentially an extra with a line or two in each outing.




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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Omar Karindu


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242


Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin tends to get less of this grousing because, as the filmmakers said at the time, no one else had the physical chops to play that role and could act at a level above "pro wrestler yelling a little more quietly than usual."

Heimdall's a bit different, IMHO, as the character's relative unimportance in the plot -- he's not the main villain or hero, unlike the Kingpin -- takes a lot of the weight off of his casting. And in any case, with the armor and all, there are quite a few actors who could carry the part well enough for the rest of the movie to work.

As I agreed with mjyoung below, my bigger beef here is that this is a waste of Elba's talent.




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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Superman's Pal

Moderator

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,804



    Quote:
    I don't want to see a white guy playing Ogun or Shango or any other African god either. And you know there would be an uproar if that happened.

No one cared when they got a white guy to play Raiden in Mortal Kombat. Twice, actually. Isn't he supposed to be a Chinese deity?

What if they make a Green Lantern movie where Hal Jordan is black and John Stewart is white? And Guy Gardner is a woman? Who cares, it's the millennium, all bets are off right?



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TheForgottenOne




Sorry if I missed it, but it seems that the argument is consisting of whether or not this is a PC move and overlooking the obvious point that maybe this gentlement is the best of all the people who audtioned? Isn't it possible that for such a small part the producers didn't feel like going through that much anxiety over who to pick and just cast the first guy with talent?


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TheForgottenOne




"Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin tends to get less of this grousing because, as the filmmakers said at the time, no one else had the physical chops to play that role and could act at a level above "pro wrestler yelling a little more quietly than usual."

Personally I think James Gandolfini would be an awesome Kingpin. I doubt he'd ever take the part over fear of falling into another role like Tony Soprano, but I still think he'd be perfect.


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mjyoung





    Quote:
    said demographic would probably be indifferent to an all white cast because they have no interest in the subject matter itself. but i'd be willing to bet that Elba's name would at the very least stir their interest.


I don't think Elba is a known "name". I don't think his name is going to have any real effect on this movie. It's not like someone is going to be sitting on the fence on whether to see the movie, then say "Oh, Elba is in this movie, then I have to go see it".


    Quote:

      Quote:
      We don't know for sure what Marvel Studios was thinking with this decision, but it's a safe bet they didn't want to have an all white cast and allow some to have the perception of racism. Hence the thinking that many have here, that Elba was picked just to be the token black character in the background.



    Quote:
    what we know is that Marvel didn't select an all white cast. everything else (be it due to monetary reasons, or due to PC) is just speculation. i tend to think monetary reasons simply because i don't see where Marvel would fear any claims of racism being aimed at them. there have been planty of all-white movies that blacks didn't claim racism towards. Marvel's own Hulk had a virtually all-white cast...that i can recall.


I can certainly understand it's primarily a business decision with the thought that Elba would cause in an increase in the black demographic, I just don't think that idea as a business practice holds up. This casting decision is going to have no real effect on the box office sales. There would be no difference in this movie's performance whether it was Elba or say Jeremey Renner (guy currently rumored for Hawkeye) in the role of Heimdell.

Hence why I don't buy this decision as being a business one with regards to box office sales. Movie studios wouldn't make that kind of decision unless they had actual evidence, and I can't see any. Look at successful and mostly white movie franchises like LOTR, PotC, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, etc. None of the main casts members of those movies had any black actors, and none of them had any established characters switching races.

On the other hand, let's look at movies that had established characters that switched races: Fantastic Four, DragonballZ, Daredevil, GI JOE. All of those movies are generally failures, or at least didn't live up to their expectations. To be clear, I'm not saying that those movies failed because of casting decisions like Kerry Washington, only that those type of casting decisions are made by bad producers, who in turn produce bad films.

And we can go even further. International audiences pretty much hate black actors. (http://popwatch.ew.com/2007/03/01/why_arent_afric/). So if movie studios wanted to increase the potential for box office sales, it seems they would want to decrease the roles given to black actors. Interesting enough, Universal Studios removed two black cast members from the international poster of the movie "Couples Retreat" and many suspected Universal did that to increase sales for the movie overseas (http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/movie-talk-couples-retreat-posters.html).

So in summation, I don't think this decision was made with the thought that it would increase box office sales by increasing the black demographic. And if it was, I beleive that decision is one that is the wrong one to make. I think the decision was made primarily because the actor was black, but also for other reasons as well (good actor, British, cheap, available for shooting, etc).


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mjyoung





    Quote:
    "Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin tends to get less of this grousing because, as the filmmakers said at the time, no one else had the physical chops to play that role and could act at a level above "pro wrestler yelling a little more quietly than usual."


The thought process was that they needed someone to be physically imposing (the body of a wrestler) but who could act. I don't think Gandolfini fits that first requirement. And just in case you come back with "but you could use special/visual effects" then the same could be said about any actor then.

The role of the Kingpin is extremely difficult to cast, and I think they went with the best possible solution with MCD.




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The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008






City of Heroes is BACK!
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TheForgottenOne




Have you ever seen the Sopranos? He's not only a big guy but he's VERY imposing.


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TheForgottenOne




I admit I've never been a part of the casting process, but I can imagine that sometimes there are roles that people don't really try out for. This could be one of them.


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mjyoung





    Quote:
    Have you ever seen the Sopranos? He's not only a big guy but he's VERY imposing.


He's shorter than Ben Affleck. He certainly isn't bigger than MCD.


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TheForgottenOne




Actually I'd say he's a inch or two taller-

[IMG]http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j284/Stash_2006/172752__surviving-christmas_l.jpg[/IMG]

I forget his name, but whoever played Kingpin in the movie wasn't much taller than Affleck either.


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mjyoung





    Quote:
    Actually I'd say he's a inch or two taller-






    Quote:
    I forget his name, but whoever played Kingpin in the movie wasn't much taller than Affleck either.


Per IMBD:
Affleck: 6'2
Gandolfini: 6
Duncan: 6'5

Per Marvel:
Kingpin: 6'7

Five inches is a huge difference at this height. I'd wager Duncan probably has at least 50 more pounds than Gandolfini, who I'd wager doesn't actually have that much muscle. Of course there are going to be other factors involved, the role required a physical actor since it would require fight scenes, salaries had to be considered, availability, etc.

Gandolini doesn't have the physical presence that the role required. You can't argue that he does.



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TheForgottenOne




I'm not sure what makes you think you can tell me what I can and can't argue, but I assure you that you underestimate my ability to argue just about anything \:\-\) . It seems to me that there's a lot more to physical presence than size. There's certainly a lot more to characters than their size. Gandolfini has a history of playing physically intense characters with far more presence than Duncan had in Daredevil (in True Romance, the Juror, and the aforementioned Sopranons). I don't even think Duncan did all that great a job as the Kingpin. In that photo Gandolfini appears taller, in Daredevil Duncan and Affleck appear to be the same size (watch the part where Daredevil is punching Kingpin as the water is coming down on them) so I would vehemetly disagree that the height difference is as huge as you think it is.


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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689



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      said demographic would probably be indifferent to an all white cast because they have no interest in the subject matter itself. but i'd be willing to bet that Elba's name would at the very least stir their interest.



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    I don't think Elba is a known "name". I don't think his name is going to have any real effect on this movie. It's not like someone is going to be sitting on the fence on whether to see the movie, then say "Oh, Elba is in this movie, then I have to go see it".



If you are talking about across the board then no he probably isn't a "known name" to all demographics...but to the black demographic he is more likely a known name which correct me if I'm wrong is Atrimus's point. \:\)




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        We don't know for sure what Marvel Studios was thinking with this decision, but it's a safe bet they didn't want to have an all white cast and allow some to have the perception of racism. Hence the thinking that many have here, that Elba was picked just to be the token black character in the background.

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        what we know is that Marvel didn't select an all white cast. everything else (be it due to monetary reasons, or due to PC) is just speculation. i tend to think monetary reasons simply because i don't see where Marvel would fear any claims of racism being aimed at them. there have been planty of all-white movies that blacks didn't claim racism towards. Marvel's own Hulk had a virtually all-white cast...that i can recall.



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    I can certainly understand it's primarily a business decision with the thought that Elba would cause in an increase in the black demographic, I just don't think that idea as a business practice holds up. This casting decision is going to have no real effect on the box office sales. There would be no difference in this movie's performance whether it was Elba or say Jeremey Renner (guy currently rumored for Hawkeye) in the role of Heimdell.



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    Hence why I don't buy this decision as being a business one with regards to box office sales. Movie studios wouldn't make that kind of decision unless they had actual evidence, and I can't see any. Look at successful and mostly white movie franchises like LOTR, PotC, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, etc. None of the main casts members of those movies had any black actors, and none of them had any established characters switching races.



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    On the other hand, let's look at movies that had established characters that switched races: Fantastic Four, DragonballZ, Daredevil, GI JOE. All of those movies are generally failures, or at least didn't live up to their expectations.

    I hate the trend as well but those movies are also bad movies for a variety of other reasons like special effects, bad acting, bad writing etc \:\)

    To be clear, I'm not saying that those movies failed because of casting decisions like Kerry Washington, only that those type of casting decisions are made by bad producers, who in turn produce bad films.






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    So in summation, I don't think this decision was made with the thought that it would increase box office sales by increasing the black demographic. And if it was, I beleive that decision is one that is the wrong one to make. I think the decision was made primarily because the actor was black, but also for other reasons as well (good actor, British, cheap, available for shooting, etc).







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atrimus


Location: Saint Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,489



    Quote:

      Quote:
      said demographic would probably be indifferent to an all white cast because they have no interest in the subject matter itself. but i'd be willing to bet that Elba's name would at the very least stir their interest.



    Quote:
    I don't think Elba is a known "name". I don't think his name is going to have any real effect on this movie. It's not like someone is going to be sitting on the fence on whether to see the movie, then say "Oh, Elba is in this movie, then I have to go see it".


well, i'm not saying he's the most known black actor on the planet, but he is known. he had a starring role in The Gospel and This Christmas, and has been featured a number of times in Essence and People. i agree that i don't think he's an absolute draw (even amongst blacks), but he is known enough to garner the interest of blacks, who probably would have no interest in the movie otherwise.


    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        We don't know for sure what Marvel Studios was thinking with this decision, but it's a safe bet they didn't want to have an all white cast and allow some to have the perception of racism. Hence the thinking that many have here, that Elba was picked just to be the token black character in the background.

      Quote:

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        what we know is that Marvel didn't select an all white cast. everything else (be it due to monetary reasons, or due to PC) is just speculation. i tend to think monetary reasons simply because i don't see where Marvel would fear any claims of racism being aimed at them. there have been planty of all-white movies that blacks didn't claim racism towards. Marvel's own Hulk had a virtually all-white cast...that i can recall.



    Quote:
    I can certainly understand it's primarily a business decision with the thought that Elba would cause in an increase in the black demographic, I just don't think that idea as a business practice holds up. This casting decision is going to have no real effect on the box office sales. There would be no difference in this movie's performance whether it was Elba or say Jeremey Renner (guy currently rumored for Hawkeye) in the role of Heimdell.



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    Hence why I don't buy this decision as being a business one with regards to box office sales. Movie studios wouldn't make that kind of decision unless they had actual evidence, and I can't see any. Look at successful and mostly white movie franchises like LOTR, PotC, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, etc. None of the main casts members of those movies had any black actors, and none of them had any established characters switching races.


that's not a fair comparison though. LotR, Spider Man and Harry Potter (sorry, don't know what PotC stands for \:\-\) ) dwarf Thor in both marketability and public awareness. they can sell on their names alone. Thor really can't.


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    On the other hand, let's look at movies that had established characters that switched races: Fantastic Four, DragonballZ, Daredevil, GI JOE. All of those movies are generally failures, or at least didn't live up to their expectations. To be clear, I'm not saying that those movies failed because of casting decisions like Kerry Washington, only that those type of casting decisions are made by bad producers, who in turn produce bad films.


well, i'm not sure what the gauge is for a film to be considered a success, but both FF movies and GI Joe each earned $350+ million worldwide. as for DBZ, that's based on a source that's niche everywhere outside of Japan. Daredevil was just a horrible movie. neither of these are as popular as the aforementioned LotR, Spider Man or Harry Potter.




i don't think black actors are hated internationally; more likely the stereotyped roles they're given in Hollywood don't appeal to international audiences. casting Elba as Heimdall is as far from a stereotype as you can get.

i don't have anything to back this up, i admit; it's just my opinion.


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    So in summation, I don't think this decision was made with the thought that it would increase box office sales by increasing the black demographic. And if it was, I beleive that decision is one that is the wrong one to make. I think the decision was made primarily because the actor was black, but also for other reasons as well (good actor, British, cheap, available for shooting, etc).


it's pretty safe to assume that race was a factor. i just don't think the decision was based on political correctness.





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