It looks like the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming movie might have a new spin! The beloved superhero’s story created by Stan Lee might cast against race. For months, there were rumors that biracial actress and singer Zendaya would be playing Michelle, the new Mary Jane in Director Jon Watt’s new adaptation. Unfortunately, many fans reacted negatively and expressed that Zendaya was unqualified to play the traditionally white role because of her race. Diehard fans expected the director to choose based on the character’s original race. Some comic book fans posted racist comments online because of her reported potential casting.
Casting against race, or color-blind casting, is not new in Hollywood. Typically, white actors are casted into non-white roles. Some directors believe that race and religion should not be considered when selecting actors. James Gunn, who directed Guardians of the Galaxy, defended the color-blind casting choice, saying, “For me, what makes the character is her alpha female playfulness, and if the actress captures that, then she’ll work.”
Color-blind casting supporters say that choosing acting roles based on talent and not appearance has created success stories such as the Broadway musical Hamilton. In addition, this is not the first film to use color-blind casting. Recently, Will Smith played the role of Deadshot in the movie Suicide Squad, and Noma Dumezweni acted as Hermione in the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play. Stan Lee, Spider-Man’s creator, expressed approval of Zendaya’s casting, stating, “All that matters is that this is the right person for the role.”
Esther Lee For The Teen Times (email@example.com)
1. What were the rumors about the new Mary Jane?
2. What do some directors believe when it comes to selecting actors?
3. How did many fans react to the rumor?
1. Do you think some characters should be casted based on race?
2. Can you think of any movies that used colorblind casting?
3. Why do you think casting actors regardless of their race is important?