This Week in WWAC History: Casting Decisions and Our Thoughts

Thor: Ragnarok, John Buscema, Tom Palmer Roy Thomas, Marvel Comics

If you have any investment in the MCU, you will have paid attention to the recent casting decisions for Thor: Ragnarok. Most notable is the anticipation and excitement over Tessa Thompson who will be playing the role of Valkyrie. I’m hoping my squee was not drowned out by the collective squee of Thor fans everywhere. In the past, the WWAC staffers have been known to have strong opinions on movie character and voice casting, and I’m happy to comb through our archives and provide you with a sample of those thought provoking articles. Enjoy!

X-Feels: X-Men Casting Feels, To Be Specific, January 15, 2015,

I’ll be honest with you, X-Men: First Class was where I tapped out for good on this franchise, but the WWAC crew is full of feels.


Lupita Storm

Lupita as Storm.

I assume Sophie Turner wasn’t just cast because both she and Jean Grey have red hair. Because we wouldn’t want to cast an actor just because they look the part, right? We want them to know how to act the part too, right? Actually, I’m perfectly fine with Sophie Turner and am currently rolling in my Sansa Stark and Jean Grey feels. I’m sure she’ll do just fine, assuming the character is well written (please do not give me another Emma Frost wasted experience). I have not seen this Alex Shipp person act, but the word on her roles in Drum Line 2 and the Aaliyah movie is not positive. I thought I could give her the benefit of the doubt and just pray that she won’t Halle Berry this. But it looks like I’m out of luck on both a good actress and one that actually looks the part of an African goddess. My only hope now is that, as a young actress eager to prove herself, she will at least make the effort to review the source material to find out just how incredibly powerful Storm is as a person, not just as a mutant superhero, and what she means to her fans. Perhaps Shipp will approach the character with much less contempt than her predecessor. As for Cyclops? Meh. Anyone can play Cyclops. The actor doesn’t have to be good. He just has to show up. (I’m just kidding. Sort of. Okay, I just don’t like Cyclops, so I really don’t care.) READ MORE

Why Marisa Tomei As Aunt May Isn’t a Big Deal, July 10, 2015,

It was just announced that Marisa Tomei will be playing Aunt May in the third Spider-Man reboot in thirteen years. This news wasn’t particularly interesting to me beyond “How IS Aunt May related to Peter?” because Marisa Tomei is definitely the most drastic change from the original depictions of the character in comics, television shows AND the original Sam Raimi films. However, the internet had a lot of things to say about the casting, from how hot the new Aunt May is, to how inaccurate the casting is, to being another example of Hollywood patriarchy. It’s hard to argue that Marisa Tomei isn’t an attractive woman but I will tackle the other two claims.

The Amazing Spider-Man King-Sized Special #5 (November 1968). Script by Stan Lee. Pencils by Larry Lieber and John Romita, Sr. Inks by Mike Esposito (as Mickey Demeo). Letters by Art Simek. Marvel Comics.

Uncle Ben is the considerably older brother of Richard Parker, Peter’s dad, which is probably why both he and Aunt May look like his grandparents rather than his aunt and uncle. Now we all know the story: Uncle Ben is killed and Aunt May is left to not only raise a teenager by herself but also (unknowingly) the superhero known as Spider-Man. She’s been depicted up until recently as a frail old woman both in comics and in television, and when Spider-Man first became a live action film, they honored those depictions by casting Rosemary Harris as Aunt May in the 2002, 2004 and 2007 Spider-Man films by Sam Raimi. READ MORE

Rage Against the Shell: Questionable Casting for Kusanagi, January 7, 2015,

A Ghost in the Shell live action film is going ahead; Scarlett Johansson has been cast as the lead. We’re not joyful about this. Let’s take turns blasting out our initial reactions, and then form up to answer some of the questions that will come out of that.

Claire: I’ll go first, as I’m right here. I don’t think I need to see Johansson as another superheroine. I don’t think I need to see a white woman in this role — maybe the script will make a point of explaining (condemning? seems unlikely!) white supremacy in cyborg production modelling, I guess — and I don’t think I need to see Ghost in the Shell in live action. In fact, I know I don’t. I one hundred percent actively desire for a world in which this does not happen. OH WELL.

Jo: I’m no GiTS devotee, and I love ScarJo as an action heroine. The Japanese versions of The Ring and Dark Water were different in flavor, and I think their American equivalents told separate stories. I feel like I’m willing to hold out and see the context of the film and what kind of worldbuilding the American team is going for before strictly condemning a casting decision.

Another scattered thought: this feels different to me from The Last Airbender and Exodus: Gods & Men, which were trying to retell stories based around non-white folks, casting white folks in prominent non-white roles. I’m willing to see what kind of world the production team wants to make, but second the idea that GiTS never needed to be live action. READ MORE

Melinda Pierce

Melinda Pierce

Contributor for WWAC, mother of 2 mini-geeks, writer, and girl geek. Dreams of having enough time to write Veronica Mars fanfiction. @melindabpierce