Chromatic casting and other pipe dreams

A new thing I’m hoping to do with Ars Marginal is to introduce and adapt the chromatic casting meme that’s been doing around for a while. The basic gist is to reverse the whitewashing and racebending that happens far too often in film, TV, games, and other media by putting a POC spin on characters who would normally default as White*.  I figure turnabout is fair play. If they can fuck with us, we can fuck with them.

* Case in point: Heimdall. While that is the rare instance in a mainstream Hollywood release that reverses the whitewashing trend, the fact that it sticks out is saying something. And I won’t like – I loved how straightwhitecis fanboys nearly gave themselves aneurysms over it.

Then I saw Aliens at a midnight matinee last weekend and remembered that Ripley was originally supposed to be a man. So I thought, “What if we did this for gender too? What if we busted this shit wide open?”

So let’s have at it! Use the comments of this post to suggest a film, a TV show, a play, a game, or whatever media that you want to see a chromatic and/or womanly spin on. For example, in light of Deconstructing Pointy-eared White Supremacists, we could do a chromatic version of the Elves from LotR or perhaps an all-woman version of The Expendables.

Are you up for this? Just reply to this post with your ideas (and links to your blog, LJ, dreamwidth, etc.)!

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23 thoughts on “Chromatic casting and other pipe dreams

  1. Sounds awesome.

    There are the million obvious examples from film/TV/media that could benefit from this exercise, but then there are also pieces that I thought might actually be progressive, that ended up being somewhat disappointing, like Bridesmaids. I thought it was hilarious, and a step in the right direction, but not close enough.

    – Could this supposed step forward for female-driven comedy have actually been directed by a woman?
    – Instead of the only weird woman in the pack being the overweight one, can she be the only skinny one?
    – Instead of the bridesmaids pack being a group of white women plus half-black Maya Rudolph, can it be a group of non-white woman plus half-white Maya Rudolph?
    – Maybe instead of the ladies’ favourite song being the 1990 hit “Hold On” by Wilson Philips, it could be the 1990 hit “Hold On” be En Vogue?
    – Could Rudolph’s character’s father, who funded the wedding in the movie, have been portrayed as a penny-pinching white man instead of a penny-pinching black man? Or maybe even the wedding was paid for by the bride’s mother? Or even by both the bride and groom’s families equally? Or maybe there could instead be two brides?

    (Am I doing this right?)

    – Nikki http://www.agit-props.com

  2. KING OF Fighters:
    Andy Bogart: Sean Farris (he should of played that part instead of Kyo)
    Kyo Kusanagi: Teppei Koike
    Mai Shiranui: Devon Akoi
    Robert Garcia: Cain Velasquez
    Ryo Sakazaki: Jun Matsumoto
    Yuri Sakazaki: Saya Yūki
    King: Michelle Rodrigez
    Vice: Rosalyn Sanchez (she can out do J-lo anytime)
    Mature: Chiaki Kuriyama
    Geese: Jason Statham
    Rugal: Ray Park

    Street Fighter
    Ryu: Ken’ichi Matsuyama
    Ken: Xiaoming Huang
    Chun Li: Maggie Q
    Gile: Darren Shahlavi
    Balrog: Kimbo Slice
    M. Bison: Gackt (He fits that mysterious and sinister type)
    Sakura: Aya Ueto
    Sagot: Tony Jaa
    Akuma: Hiroyuki Sanada
    Cammy: Elisa Dishku

    Dragon Ball Z
    Goku: Donnie Yen
    Vegeta: Wu Jing
    Gohan: Dennis To
    Piccolo: Michael Jai White
    Krillian: Teppei Koike
    Chi Chi: Michelle Yeoh
    Bulma: Sarah Michelle Geller
    Frezza: Ray Park
    King Kai: Ken Watanbe

    Ok I’m Done for today.

  3. What’s great about Thor is that not only did Marvel Studios not bow to pressure to recast Heimdal and kept Idris Elba, but they also cast Tadanobu Asano as Hogun the Grim. I was pleasantly surprised to see that when I finally saw the movie.

    As for Chromatic Casting… hmmm… I honestly would have loved to have seen Donald Glover as Spider-Man, something which really got the racists’ goat going, even though it failed. I thought it was pretty cool that when asked, Stan Lee said he had no problem with that casting choice.

    God damn, I feel bad because it feels like she’s my main go-to for leads, but if ever they make a live action Mass Effect movie (which I did hear was in the works somewhere), I’d want the Shepard to be a woman and to be played by Gina Torres. Just from seeing her on Firefly as well as hearing some of her voice acting work on DC’s Crisis on Two Earths as well as Transformers Prime, she has a great range of acting and she has a strong physical presence on the screen, which is something that a character like Shepard needs.

    *snort* Although it does just occur to me that the one real life bit of casting that we’d only seen in movies did come true in 2008, and a black man became president.

    • What’s even greater about Thor is that the fanboys have never complained about Thor being a blond when he should be a red-head. Not that either the comic or the movie has anything to do with the mythology of my ancestors. Cultural appropriation, or something…

  4. “God damn, I feel bad because it feels like she’s my main go-to for leads, but if ever they make a live action Mass Effect movie (which I did hear was in the works somewhere), I’d want the Shepard to be a woman and to be played by Gina Torres. Just from seeing her on Firefly as well as hearing some of her voice acting work on DC’s Crisis on Two Earths as well as Transformers Prime, she has a great range of acting and she has a strong physical presence on the screen, which is something that a character like Shepard needs.”

    If they did cast a female it will be pure Ecchi, But i prefer Rosalyn Sanchez, I don’t know but she is doesn’t fit into the spicy latina stereotype.

  5. Last movie I saw was “Cowboys and Aliens,” and although it was mildly entertaining it reminded me why i don’t go to theaters anymore. Still, the idea of a sci-fi/western is a lot of fun and I’d love to see someone do it right. So apart from re-hauling the characters and plot outright:

    – Gender-bend Jake. Bonus points if she’s the same age or older as Daniel Craig and looks it. Race-bend wouldn’t hurt either.
    – It would be interesting to leave Ella as female and keep her as a romantic interest, IF it didn’t turn into a show for the hetero-dudebros. Then again, sexualized nekkid Daniel Craig/equally hot male scene? Yes plz.
    – Race- and/or Gender-bend both the doctor and his wife. Any other combination would be more interesting than a white guy rescuing his unnamed ten-minutes-of-screen-time hot ethnic wife.

    The worst of it (Nat and the Apache tribe mostly) can’t really be salvaged except through major re-write IMHO. *SPOILERS* Maybe if Harrison Ford’s character had died for Nat instead of the other way around it would make it a minuscule amount better. And only if Nat didn’t have to return to babysitting Percy afterward.

  6. You know when i was watching Battle: LA, why don’t Michelle Rodriguez get the lead role as Staff Sargent?
    Also in the show Friends here’s my idea casting

    Chanler: Black actor
    Ross: Dominican
    Joey: Japanese
    Rachel: Indian
    Phobe: Cherokee
    Monica: Dominican

  7. “or perhaps an all-woman version of The Expendables.”

    That was the one thing about that film that irked me. The Expendables was meant to be an homage to the action genre. Hell, Willis, Ahnold and Sly all in one scene was proof of that in itself. They paid homage to them, the martial arts star, the black badass, and every other avatar or major player in the action genre game. But where were the ladies at? No Cynthia Rothrock? No Michelle Yeoh? No Zoe Bell? Uma Thurman? Carrie Ann Moss? Hell a Pam Grier cameo would’ve been better than nothing. At least it would’ve been an acknowledgment but alas, nothing.

    [smdh]

    Anyway, in regards to the chromatic casting, I’m just gonna leave this post of awesome riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight here:

    http://www.ankhesen-mie.net/2011/07/slayer-exercise-in-dreamcasting.html

    • Dude you forgot
      Rosamund Kwan
      Meiko Kaji (Her and Pam Grier in a movie would be a block buster)

      Speaking of Grier:
      If Bruce Lee had lived, I bet a filmmaker would make a movie with him and Pam Grier making a early version of Romeo Must Die.

  8. I have already mentioned this before; Tamara Taylor for Catwoman/Selina Kyle and Jeniffer Beals will make for a pretty kick ass Sarah Essen Gordon; (http://yaseen101.livejournal.com/41838.html)

    Other than that though, I have always thought that if given the chance Helena Bonham Carter would be a great Bruce Wayne/Batman if they ever switched around Batman’s gender. I always wince whenever fan artists and creators makes their fem!Bruce look Selina Kyle and her brand of sexy or petite like Barbara Gordon, it’s fucking Batman (I mean woman!) dammit! If you want to properly convey the character’s stature through a feminine then she has to be a Big Beautiful Woman. Oh no! And now I have to do *another* casting list; CCH Pounder would make for one hell of a Commissioner Gordon and now I have to find a to fit in AJ Cook, Paget Brewster and Kristen Vangsness.

    From what I have seen of him; Cliff Curtis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff_Curtis) can also wonders for the character,

    I also want to second Donald Glover as Peter Parker/Spider-man though I think Donald’s co-star on Community, Danny Pudi (the guy that plays Abed) can also play a great Peter Parker. I mean goddman, just look at him on the wiki page picture: (http://community-sitcom.wikia.com/wiki/Abed_Nadir). Does that not scream Peter Parker to you?

    Considering that I am a huge Aamir Khan-fanboy, now I have to find a character that some of my favorite Bollywood actors can play….

  9. *reposting with better grammar. * [Umm, would you mind deleting my previous comment?]

    I have already mentioned this before; Tamara Taylor for Catwoman/Selina Kyle and Jeniffer Beals will make for a pretty kick ass Sarah Essen Gordon; (http://yaseen101.livejournal.com/41838.html)

    Other than that though, I have always thought that if given the chance Helena Bonham Carter would be a great Bruce Wayne/Batman if they ever switched around Batman’s gender. I always wince whenever fan artists and creators makes their fem!Bruce look Selina Kyle and her brand of sexy or petite like Barbara Gordon, it’s fucking Batman dammit! If you want to properly convey the character’s stature through a feminine body then she has to be a Big Beautiful Woman. Oh great, now I have to do *another* casting list; let’s see CCH Pounder would obviously make for one hell of a Commissioner Gordon(as will Jeniffer Beals) and now I just need to find a way to fit in Shemar Moore, AJ Cook, Paget Brewster and Kristen Vangsness into this.

    From what I have seen of him; Cliff Curtis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff_Curtis) can also make for a great Bruce Wayne/Batman.

    I also want to second Donald Glover as Peter Parker/Spider-man though I think Donald’s co-star on Community, Danny Pudi (the guy that plays Abed) can also play a great Peter Parker. I mean goddman, just look at him on the wiki page picture: (http://community-sitcom.wikia.com/wiki/Abed_Nadir). Does that not scream Peter Parker to you?

    Considering that I am a huge Aamir Khan-fanboy, now I have to find a character that some of my favorite Bollywood actors can play….

  10. My brain cannot contain this: what if the LotR elves were CJ Cherryh’s atevi? 🙂 They could just File Intent on Sauron’s behind and the whole lot of ’em would fight to get in the first shot! :::rubbing hands in glee:::

  11. It actually just occurred to me, mainly because I love John Barrowman and think he almost stole the show on the first season of NuWho, but if ever they do a remake of Star Wars, John Barrowman should totally be Han Solo. I could see him having LOTS of fun with that role.

    (And yes, it would annoy and enrage the FUCK out of the morons.)

    Hell, continuing on in that vein of a Star Wars remake, I’d like to see Anjili Mohindra from the Sarah Jane Adventures in the role of Luke. Anyone who’s seen the show can easily see her as a star-gazed young adult who is eager to get out and explore the stars. It would be a natural extension of the curiosity that drives her character in SJA.

    • “Hell, continuing on in that vein of a Star Wars remake, I’d like to see Anjili Mohindra from the Sarah Jane Adventures in the role of Luke. Anyone who’s seen the show can easily see her as a star-gazed young adult who is eager to get out and explore the stars. It would be a natural extension of the curiosity that drives her character in SJA”

      Anjili as Luke
      Michelle Yeoh Or as Obi Wan (originally Obi Wan was suppose to be played by Toshiro Mifune. Look it it up)
      Selma Hayek as Darth Vader
      SHIN KOYAMADA: As Price Leila
      John Barrowman as Han Solo

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