Avi Arad describes diversity in superhero films as ‘inevitable’


Diversity in the Spider-Men universe might never happen, but it’s inevitable everywhere else

Avi Arad has recently said that diversity in superhero films is ‘inevitable’ and to be fair to the Spider-Man producer he is doing his part slightly. He cast Jamie Foxx as Electro, a character that until then has always been white in the comic books and in his Fantastic Four reboot the Storms are going to be a multi-racial character. But let’s not forget Arad’s other recent comments suggesting that Miles Morales or Miguel O’Hara would never be Spider-Man on-screen.

Here’s what Arad said on the subject of diversity

"I think, one, we do have diversity, finally. Because when comics were written, late ’50s, early ’60s, the comic book universe, or for that matter the country, they didn’t know there were anybody but white people here. [Laughs] And they’re all white. We had a couple of black characters, which was in the Daily Bugle. The editor-in-chief is a black man. And we have some great stories between him and his son because the son is dealing with not knowing where he belongs, really. But I think we are finally becoming more of one world, and you’re going to see more and more diversity in the selection of characters. That will be — it’s about the actor, it’s about the audition. It’s not about saying, ‘Well, in the comic he was white, so he cannot be…’ You know, Nick Fury was white… It’s all going to change. I think sometimes we consciously look at it. We would love to have a superhero, we would love Marvel to create a superhero — We can create villains, but we’d love to have a Chinese superhero with something that is really interesting and how they got here, and what is their issue, and so on. But it’s coming. And it’s inevitable. It’s really inevitable. But it didn’t come naturally to comics in the days that no one was aware that there were actually other countries and other people."

I’m not sure I like the use of the word ‘inevitable’ it sounds more begrudging than anything. Also the specfic pin-pointing of a Chinese superhero seems to be more out of a need for a cash-cow to reap China’s box-office awards than for positive diversification, otherwise it might as well be a black, Hispanic, Indian, Native American, Japanse or even Danish hero.

But mostly, and the Mary Sue were spot on here, we have the producer of a superhero franchise saying that positive change is coming and is ‘inevitable’ but seems wholly unprepared or unwilling to enact that change himself. Sure superheroes are going to be more diverse in the future, but not my Spider-Man films.

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