A British actor has been cast as Superman which is probably a sign of the apocalypse.

Jazz and comic books. Two forms of art that have the distinction of originating in America. Maybe jazz is a little out of date and only enjoyed by pretentious D-bags but those comic book things are still huge, particularly the film adaptations.

Now, if the fat cats in the United States want to outsource their already wealthy, profitable corporations just to make an extra billion here and there and damn the lower-class working stiffs, that’s fine, but outsourcing your super heroes is one step too far.

Batman, Wolverine, and the new Spider-Man are not played by Americans. It was never that big of a deal, it was forgivable, “the best man for the job,” you may say, but the news has come out today that the new Superman will be played by Henry Cavill, a British actor. That just doesn’t sit right, does it?

But why is it that it’s not that big of a deal when Brits play other super heroes? I could do my homework and write a long winded essay about how Superman was on the scene long before Spidey or Bats ever showed their sorry asses and he became a symbol of hope during World War II, or that his motto is standing for “truth, justice, and the American way,” or that his very origin story is an allegory for the American dream. But I won’t. I’m too lazy to write it and you’re too lazy to read it. Short paragraphs work so much better for both of us.

Richard Donner’s 1978 film, a spectacular classic, was wise enough to embrace all of the Americana associated with Superman. Maybe that’s why his film is the only Superman adaptation to date to be considered a great work of filmmaking.

Why is it cool to not care? I’m Canadian (Superman is a half-Canadian invention by the way), but if I were American I think I’d boycott the movie. Where’s the patriotism? If they got an American to play James Bond I’m sure people would be pissed off, so why not for Superman? Why do people want to insist it isn’t an issue? It is.

But hey, it’s fine if a Brit plays Superman, it’s fine if all the companies move to India, whatever, it’s all good, as long as I have my I-Phone. It’s cool to be open to anything because I’m just so awesome.

Anyway, I think this casting is distracting from the big picture anyway, and that’s that the movie can’t possibly be any good anyway. Zack Snyder is directing it, after all. How good could it possibly be. I liked Watchmen and everything but if ever there was a “style over substance” director it’s Snyder. Seriously, since when did he become the go-to guy for comic book adaptations? I’m sure I’m not the only one who saw the Watchmen trailer and laughed so hard I peed a little when he was described as a “visionary director.”

And that got me thinking. Zack Snyder is an American, I wonder if it crossed his mind if it would be a good idea to cast a non-American for the role. I wonder if he considered whether or  not it may upset people. I’m sure he’ll give some interviews in the future to explain himself. But if he sees it as a non-issue, I can’t imagine the guy having a firm grasp on the character.

Ultimately I think it’s far more ignorant to act like it isn’t an issue at all than to at least acknowledge it. You can agree with this blog or not, but just don’t pretend it isn’t an issue and that anybody feeling uncomfortable about the casting is totally out of line. That’s like saying “When I see a person, I don’t see race or colour, I just see a person.” Yes, that seems all nice and everything but that’s one of the worst things someone can say. It’s our diversities that make us unique and every race, colour, creed, and nationality has its own rich history and ignoring Superman’s impact on American culture is pretty close-minded.

I can’t speak for Americans but if they cast anyone other than a Canadian to play Captain Canuck, I wouldn’t think twice about skipping it.

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1 Comment

  1. I hear ya, Chief. I am very disappointed, not because I have anything against British actors (many of them are very talented…) but I am offended that in all the hundreds of thousands of actors, they did not choose an American for traditions sake. Are we to believe they couldn’t find one actor to don the cape from North America?!

    I am also one of many who also thought Brandon Routh did a great job as Superman and was not to blame for the so-called “failure” of ‘Superman Returns’. If he was not recast, I was hoping Jon Hamm got the role to play to an older, classic Superman view. Jon Hamm would’ve been perfect in so many ways, and it’s unfortunate they probably took his age into account, but that would’ve been part of the lure–an older Superman contemplating his role on earth.

    I’m pretty much done with superhero movies these days, anyway. With the exception of “Batman Begins”, “Dark Knight”, “Spider-Man 1 & 2”, “Iron Man 1”, I’m seeing a basic pattern emerging in these films. Now, I’m seeing an even bigger, mad dash for cash, with no integrity behind any of the casting or stories of late. I wish Henry Cavill, Zack Snyder and company best of uck, but I’m seeking more fresh, original fare in films these days. There’s simply too many sequels, reboots and remakes to waste my time on.


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