Source: Hollywood Reporter
Warner Bros. and DC Expose Marvel’s Achilles Heel: Diversity (Opinion)
Wonder Woman, Cyborg et al reveal Marvel’s fondness for white men called Chris
In the quasi-arms race of superhero movies between Marvel Studios and Warner Bros.’ DC Entertainment properties that exists primarily in the minds of studio executives and passionate comic book fans, Warners is playing catch-up in almost every way: Marvel has captured the hearts and minds of the audience to a greater extent, as well as having a significant advantage in terms of box office. It’s also the studio that has successfully pioneered the shared universe concept in movies to such an extent that it’s even referred to as “the Marvel method” by most.
When Warner Bros. announced 10 DC movies this week, however, it managed to take advantage of Marvel’s one obvious, awkward weakness — and even though there was no mention of it in the official announcement itself, it was something that was immediately noticed by fans on social media: (Twitter comments at the source.)
In one fell swoop — the simultaneous announcement of Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Shazamand Aquaman, giving Warners one female-led superhero movie and three lead by non-white actors — Warner Bros. managed to stop looking like a Studio-Come-Lately, and instead look like one willing to take more risks than Marvel in terms of diversity.
It seems almost ridiculously obvious to point out that this is far more about Marvel’s problem than any great strides being offered by Warner Bros. Six of the 10 new movies are still anchored by white, straight males, after all — although, if the two Justice Leaguemovies feature Aquaman and Cyborg, they’ll be more diverse than The Avengers orGuardians of the Galaxy; of those two teams, there’s only one person of color on either, and that color is green. Interestingly enough, the response from fans appears to recognize this fact, and instead of being positioned as “Well done, Warners,” it’s far more “Marvel, it’s time to get your act together,” as can be seen in the tweets above.
(It’s worth noting, perhaps, that Warner Bros. isn’t actually the first studio to announce a solo female-led superhero movie for the first time since 2005’s Elektra — that would be Sony, which announced plans for a mystery project with a female lead back in August, potentially for 2017 release alongside Wonder Woman. Of course, with two different studios having announced such a plan, that only underscores Marvel’s timidity on the matter.)
Pointing out Marvel Studios’ lack of on-screen diversity is nowhere near a new phenomenon. As ComicsAlliance’s Andrew Wheeler has memorably pointed out, “If Marvel makes Thor 3 [as its first 2017 release], it will have made ten movies headlined by blond white men named Chris before it makes one movie headlined by someone who isn’t even white.” While not besmirching the talent or integrity of Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pratt, that’s taking lack of diversity to admirably comic levels. (Continued at the source.)