Marvel Studios will be introducing a whole new bunch of superheroes in coming years and they’re going be casting an increasingly diverse group of people for these new films and TV shows.
Speaking with Vulture, Victoria Alonso, the studio’s executive vice-president of production, said the move beyond the standard white male superhero characters isn’t just about reflecting our more inclusive culture, but business.
“The lesson with Captain Marvel and Black Panther, where the combined efforts of those two movies is $2.4 billion, is if you don’t do it, you’re leaving money on the table,” said Alonso. “This is show business — there’s a business part to the show. Don’t leave money on the table. Just commit to it.”
She added that a diverse roster of heroes, villains and supporting characters will be Marvel’s top priority moving forward.
“We’re just determined to have it be how we do it.”
“And if we do it, maybe somebody else will do it … I encourage every studio, every indie production company, every filmmaker out there to make an effort.”
Casting director Sarah Halley Finn, who has worked on every Marvel film since Iron Man in 2008, said we’ll be seeing a lot of new faces very soon.
“You’re gonna see even more new faces — and faces from all different backgrounds, all ages, all ethnicities, LGBTQ, people who are differently abled.”
Marvel has been working with Casting Society of America, which has actively been holding open calls for underrepresented actors including transgender actors, those with disabilities and those from the MENASA communities (Middle Eastern, North African, South American actors).
Finn added, “It’s a priority to have authenticity, to increase representation, to give greater representation to actors who have not traditionally been represented in mainstream movies on the big screen.”
Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president, previously told Vulture they are open to changing the established genders, ethnicities and sexualities of their comic characters for the film versions. They have done this already with characters like Heimdall, played by Idris Elba, and Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson.
“There are a lot of other examples, so the answer is yes,“ he said. “You may be asking about sort of major, title characters. The answer to that is probably yes, too.”