Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Marvels and Panthers

Alright my geek brothers and sisters... now that marvel has announced their movies, who should play T'Challa (Black Panther) and Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel/Ms. Marvel/Warbird/Binary)?

Supposedly, a relative unknown, Chadwick Boseman, has already been cast as T'Challa (who will be introduced in the third Captain America movie, due out in 2016 I believe). Frankly I've seen the guys work and I'm not impressed thus far.

Marvel has been known to recast... I can see them doing so here, so the game is open on both characters.

First, Black Panther.

If he wasn't already Heimdall, I'd have said Idris Elba was the perfect T'Challa. Similarly, Don Cheadle and Djimon Hounsou are already in the Marvel cinematic universe, or I'd say either of them would be decent possibilities.

You've got to have someone who is physically impressive (not necessarily big, though most artists have drawn him that way; but definitely fit and with great physical presence) yes... but more importantly, you've got to have someone who can project the same air of genius that Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner), and Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark) have. T'Challa is supposed to be the intellectual AND emotional AND spiritual superior to almost all in the marvel universe. He's specifically noted as the "eighth smartest man in the world", and is wiser, and more spiritually connected than any of those who are his equal in intelligence.

There aren't a lot of actors who can pull that off... and as I said, most of them are already playing characters in the MCU.

Maybe Chiwetel Ejiofor? He can do it physically, and emotionally, and intellectually. Hell, he's even an ethnic Igbo (his parents were Nigerian, though he was born and raised in England).

How about Captain Marvel?

Carol Danvers is actually much tougher.

First thing is, you can play around with looks a bit... but you can't completely change her entire physical presence, it's actually very important to the character.

Carol is a VERY BUSTY LADY... Even by comic book standards.

Not only that, but she's not some willowy little thing. She's tall (in universe she's 5'11"), and she's muscular, and she's STURDY.

She's bigger, taller, stronger, and tougher, than almost all of the male heroes, even without her powers (with her full powers, she is by canon, the most physically powerful Marvel hero. Only Hulk is more physically strong and damage resistant, and he doesn't have the energy powers that she has). Think of a near 6 foot tall womens fitness competitor... not a tiny little gymnast or hollywood actress type. That's really very important to who she is.

Basically, she is the second biggest (and second bustiest), of the main human (or human-ish anyway... it gets complicated...) female heroes in the Marvel universe (both behind Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk... and actually in "human" form, Walters is shorter than Danvers by 1"... Though if you want to count Psylocke as a main hero, she's pretty much exactly the same size as Danvers, and some artists draw her just about as busty... The asgardian women are taller, but they're aliens... and Valkyries... so... you know...)

Note: If you think Marvel are ridiculous about their female heroes breasts, DC are FAR FAR worse... Four words: Power Girl Boob Window.

Yes, really, it may seem shallow and sexist, but honestly her physique really is an important part of her character, as is her sexuality. In particular, the fact that she was a tall and good looking but not either ridiculously muscular nor super busty woman before she was transformed and received her powers; and that her transformation made her into this "turned up to 11" body, as well as changing her personality (and these changes took her years to integrate and resolve, and accomodate)... it's really important to her character, her personality, her emotions, her psyche etc... and they are very relevant to the stuff that happened to her over the course of her career as a hero.

Importantly, she's incredibly competent, capable, and well trained; a veteran of the Air Force, NASA and SHIELD (sort of... it gets weird...), even before she received her superpowers.

Emotionally and personality wise, she's tough, she's hard in many ways, brittle in some, and insecure in many ways. She can be quite cruel and heartless, but she can also be overly emotional and irrationally sentimental... and VERY funny, sometimes in a cynical, sarcastic, and biting way, sometimes in a goofy way.

Most importantly by far though, is that she is VERY VERY BADLY DAMAGED.

Carol Danvers is one of the most screwed over women in the history of comics... and that's REALLY saying something. I won't go into it here because... really I couldn't... it takes too long to explain and is way too screwed up... but trust me (look up her full back story and the various controversies therein if you want to know).

This a woman with PROFOUND PTSD... for VERY GOOD REASON

Oh and she's a (just barely) recovering alcoholic on a scale so epic that TONY FRIKKEN STARK thought she was hitting the bottle a little too hard.

So... who the hell can play that?

Honestly... I'm not sure who I'd pick... I suppose the most important variable is what age they decide to make her at introduction.

If they go for a younger Carol, either an origin story, or relatively recently  come into her powers... Canonically, that would make her 31 years old or thereabouts.

Maybe Yvonne Strahovski?

She's still too small (only 5'9-1/2" and very fit, but not very muscular, and she's quite slim), and she has the "look" except being a bit too small breasted (not an insurmountable problem in hollywood). but I think she's got the chops for it.

If they went a little older, Julie Benz would be nearly perfect if she wasn't so small. She's only 5'4" though she's actually quite fit and muscular (and rather busty for her size).

Both play tough and competent very well, and both play badly damaged very well.

Charlize Theron might be good. Maybe Anna Torv.

Jeri Ryan, Peta Wilson, Tricia Helfer, Lucy Lawless, Dianne Kruger, Kristianna Loken, Abbie Cornish, Ali Larter... all physically right, but not right as actresses.

Lots of folks like the idea of Katee Sackhoff, who I love... but she just doesn't feel right for Carol Danvers to me. Also a lot of folks are speculating about Emily Blunt, who I also love... but again, she doesn't feel right to me.

Really, without knowing how old they want to go, it's impossible to figure out the right casting choice.

So... drop dead choices?

I'm gonna go with Yvonne Strahovski, and Chiwetel Ejiofor... but I'm really iffy on both. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.