06 May 2021 1244 Views

There is nothing wrong with a Black SUPERMAN. But..

by James Murphy

How about considering these points, too?

So a while back I did that Superman: Blackface piece. I maybe lost friends, contacts, even stalkers possibly gave up at that point. I won’t take it down  because the point stands. People now find ‘black-face’ (ie, actors using make-up to portray ethnicity, be it for comedic or dramatic purpose?) offensive. Good. It is.

And I played on that, in post modern, ironic slant. Because I find it just as offensive for corporations to use race as simply another faddish product. #BLM as logo rather than genuine movement; ‘diversity’ as a promise yet beyond fulfilment as a happily ever after reality and so on. (IMHO, BTW).

And it is for THAT reason / in that rationale spirit..that I opposed the idea of ‘black’ Superman as a kind of USP. Tough. They are making it anyway. 

That said? There is NOTHING wrong with simply casting a black actor as Kal-El. Nothing. The character is an alien. From outer space. He could take on any human form, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and still be true to the spirit of the lore.

As always with me, there are caveats:

  • STORY. Where is the PITCH? If your sole idea is that the character changed race? Then you do not have a film worth making. 
  • SUPPORTING CAST: If Clark Kent is now black, be brave! Lois should probably stay white. Perry..er..White..I leave to you. Lex Luthor has been black in the cartoons and definitely should now be that on film, especially if he is to match the Man of Steel, thematically?
  • ACTION is ESSENTIAL. MAN OF STEEL had great action. Do NOT lose it!
  • HENRY CAVILL MUST BE ALLLOWED to stay on as Superman in other iterations. THAT is the DCEU /Warner take /answer to Marvel now. No cohesion or shared universe, just multiple graphic novel pitches on film, co-existent yet separate.
  • Make it visually exciting. Period piece? Colourful. Upbeat. Need not be dour (and I include the Reeve movie legacy in that; Donner’s movies are great but they are way too serious imho..I actually love Superman 3!).

Best of luck to all involved! 



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