Could Ava DuVernay’s New Gods have a predominantly black cast?


Will Ava DuVernay diversify the cast of her big screen adaptation of DC’s New Gods?

Not too long ago, a theory came to me, regarding the New Gods film Ava DuVernay plans to direct for the DCEU. With everything going on lately, is it possible her film may be predominantly black? Or if not predominantly black, than at least diverse?

Ava DuVernay’s Films

Let me begin by saying this is no rumor at all, but simply a theory of mine. Look at her first few independent films, and you have dramas such as I Will Follow and Middle of Nowhere. These are two independent dramas with all-black casts. Can you name the last film drama with an all-black cast and directed by a woman? By no means does the director have an agenda. She simply has stories she wants to tell as an African-American woman. Films like these will never originate from non-African Americans, sorry.

Her more well-known films include the Netflix documentary 13th and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, Selma. Again, two works that touch upon the plight of African-Americans in the United States. No doubt this is an important issue for her. She has more projects in the works dealing with these themes such as a film set in Compton and a piece about Hurricane Katrina. Then we get to A Wrinkle In Time.

In A Wrinkle In Time, the main character of Meg Murry is portrayed by a young African-American girl. Grant you the book makes no real regard of her race. A prior Disney adaptation of the book features a white actress playing the character. Keep in mind this book was published in 1963, which predates the U.S. Supreme Court decision of 1968, legalizing interracial marriages. Therefore, the idea of an interracial couple baring a child in a book published in 1963 is beyond comprehensible. If anything, that book would have been burned.

Can Ava DuVernay Change the New Gods?

Looking at Meg’s character in A Wrinkle in Time, one cannot help but ponder. Plus, there is Ava DuVernay’s overall passion to give her people a voice and representation. Keep in mind Logan Marshall-Green notes that he would love play Mister Miracle. Lo and behold, Ava DuVernay is fine with this idea. Do not run for panic if you fear of her changing the race of your beloved characters. Still, is it wrong to make these changes? A bold and unemphatic no is the answer!

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Remember these are fictional characters, not real life people of history. Changes have been made before, such as Perry White in Man of Steel, Mercy Graves in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Deadshot in Suicide Squad. Yet, these did not wield any huge outcrys at all. Part of this may stem from some of these actors having loyal fanbases and strong resumes of work. Ava DuVernay can spot talent though and knows how to direct her actors. Hence, if she does cast someone against type, she is doing because she has the great actor in mind, not because of their skin color.

Finally, we need to ask ourselves why fictional races of people from other dimensions, galaxies, universes, realities and planets are predominantly white. Here we have The Fourth World, and most of the New Gods characters like High Father, Lightray, Orion, Big Barda and more are all white! Is there not already enough white representation here on Earth alone? Zack Snyder already plays against type by casting Jason Momoa, a Hawaiian as the rather ayran looking Aquaman. Again, another fictional character not really of our world.

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The DCEU as we can see is already showing some diversity with the likes of Aquaman and Cyborg, as well as having a female-led comic book movie. Assuming Ava DuVernay follows, let’s just hope fans will react positively.