Friday, April 24, 2015

About mandatory race changes

I read post about diversity of Fast & Furious 7 audience and how it is the reason why movie is doing so well in box office. It is good movie with diverse cast. And it has Vin Diesel, The Rock and Jason Statham. Studios have realized that white people are not only ones who has money. This has lead to more diverse casts. I have no issues with more diverse casts. I have issue when old characters get race and/or gender change in order to make cast more diverse.

So far I have not seen a movie where this has ruined the movie. Mostly it is just the idea that is annoying. Lucy Liu as Doctor Watson in Elementary worked because Sherlock was different too and they even changed the continent and time. Michael Clarke Duncan was good as Kingpin in Daredevil movie. It is hard to imagine anyone else as Nick Fury after seeing Samuel L Jackson in that role.

In upcoming Fantastic Four movie this goes too far. There sister is white and brother is black. I understand that comics where made for white boys and they had mostly white characters. I also understand that studios want characters of color to make movies appear larger audiences but there should be some kind of respect for source material and not change everything.

To be honest Sue and Johnny being sibling is not defining trait of the group in Fantastic Four comics I have read. But making one sibling white and other black feels like it was done to make more money in box office and Johnny was easiest one to have race change. The Thing is orange rock. Richard Reed and Sue are husband and wife. Changing either ones race would have made marriage interracial which would have been bigger thing. That race change just feel so cynical.

You can add diversity to comic book movies where source material has mainly white characters. Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy was good example. Morgan Freeman's character had important role in movies. Character was created for the movie. It wasn't old character which race was changed.

There was no real reason to change Netflix's Daredevil's Ben Urich's race. Only change his name and race change wasn't required. There was no reason to call him Ben Urich. It didn't bring anything to character. All dialog told us that he was good reporter. They changed the paper's name he worked for. Why not his name too?

Why you need to change characters if you are making movies based on something that has done before? Why not create new characters? If there race changes happen were rare it didn't feel as cynical as it feels now. Now it starts to feel like mandatory thing because movies have to be more diverse. Why not make something new with new characters where cast can be as diverse as wanted? Why only make remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels and movies based on older intellectual property?

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