And we’re back for another Mighty Marvel Monday!
Just as a reminder–this column will remain spoiler-free this week even though Captain America: Civil War has premiered internationally. My review should be out this Friday, and I’ll be linking to other reviews next week in a special Captain America: Civil War column.
Also a reminder that starting yesterday and continuing through Wednesday, WWAC is hosting #4DaysofCap as we rewatch Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron in preparation for the release of Captain America: Civil War. Last night we watched The First Avenger, and tonight–The Avengers. Join us!
But before that, let’s get caught up with the rest of the Marvel news, and a few things I’ve let slip through the cracks.
Marvel has a couple interesting headlines relating to technology lately. You may remember Marvel and Disney teaming up for a STEM challenge for teenage girls, and the winner has finally been announced. Maia Dua created a seeing-eye robot for the visually impaired, and she’s my new hero. Check out the link for a very cool video about the story and her robot.
Another Marvel tech partnership in the news involves former Mythbuster and all-around geek Grant Imahara, who will be working with Mouser Electronics to create a series in which Imahara and others will basically reverse engineer technology as seen in the MCU, including a working version of Cap’s shield and an Iron Man gauntlet–which is pretty damn cool.
Back to the MCU! There’s been quite a few casting and other announcements related to Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is the new Spidey film that I’ve mostly been ignoring because, another day, another Spider-Man movie with a white Spider-Man. I’ve been watching Spider-Man since the Tobey Maguire era, so it would take something pretty special to get me interested in this new movie.
And here she is.
Zendaya confirmed on Ellen back in March that she’s going to be playing a yet-to-be-named role in the new Spider-Man movie, and I adore this girl so much that I will probably go see it just to see her.
Another piece of MCU casting news that I’m ecstatic about is Tessa Thompson in Thor: Ragnarok. I’ve been watching Tessa since Veronica Mars, so I’m incredibly excited to see her in the MCU–and playing Thor’s new love interest, no less.
Marvel also announced this past week that The Punisher would be getting his own Netflix series. Based on the popularity of the character and his role in season two of Daredevil, this really isn’t that much of a surprise. Although I did enjoy Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle, I’m more excited for Luke Cage this fall, and season two of Jessica Jones. Hannibal fans might be excited to note that Steve Lightfoot will be the showrunner for the new series. Check out the teaser trailer below.
And after quite a lot of outrage, Marvel finally made an official statement regarding the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One re: whitewashing. It was not a good statement, as one might suspect.
Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life. The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic. We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.
That’s it. That’s the full statement as posted on Mashable, and it seems as though Disney/Marvel is taking a page out of Warner Bros’ Pan playbook and trying to avoid dealing with certain characters by recasting them with white actors, rather than addressing the racist roots of that character. It’s not a good strategy.
There have been a few articles in response, but I want to steer your attention towards this one from Nerds of Color featuring Lexi Alexander and Shaun Lau as part of the new hashtag campaign #whitewashedOUT. I’ve been enjoying their Hard N.O.C. Life videos, and you should be too! Read, share, subscribe.
You may have seen gifs of Chris Evans’ horrible dancing on Ellen (you’re the son of a choreographer and an actual dancer, Chris, I don’t understand this) but in case you’ve missed the video, trust me, it’s worth the watch.