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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Donald Glover 4 Spiderman

This meme has burned up the internets over the weekend. See, Spiderman is being rebooted (in this case the Hollywood to English translation is "we couldn't get anyone back and need the franchise's money.")

This has caught on in part because Glover is a rising star due to his role on community, as well as a killer stand-up routine, and some major improv cred. Why Spiderman?

Seriously, who wants to see more Spiderman anyway? The twist for this new reboot? It takes place in high school! (yawn). I'm already bored, and the names being tossed around are pretty boring as well. But since Spiderman is the quintessential New York superhero why not make him more like the city he protects? A city in which you'd be pretty hard-pressed to find a whole lot of white folks. And hey, Spiderman is the most urban superhero there is: he lives in the city with his Aunt. as opposed to Bruce Wayne (playboy Billionaire) and Superman (guy with a Christ Complex and fortress of Solitude).

So, let's make a deal Hollywood. You get a quasi-exploitative way to draw in an audience, and we get a superhero of color.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes before Hollywood recognizes the changing face of America, and gives us characters who are not upper-middle-class white folks. Hollywood tends to be a decade behind in social issues, so I'll say 2060?

To those who say, "but wait isn't Spiderman white?" I say, that's also in a comic book where he got bit by a special spider and can now have superpowers, and second, that was in the comic book, this is in the movie which is not the same thing. And third, Hollywood has, and this is just in recent history, had Ghandi played by Ben Kingsley, Catherine Zeta Jones play a Mexican, and all sorts of Asian swapping. The best Arab role in recent memory, Sayid on Lost, was given to a British born actor of Indian ancestry.

People like to see themselves on screen. The US has been able to ignore this fact long enough, but as the US becomes more diverse, eventually the money will dictate that Hollywood should probably start doing something.

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