Author Topic: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak  (Read 4876 times)

Offline True Father 7

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Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« on: May 20, 2016, 05:01:32 pm »
first we had Billy Dee Williams playing Harvey Dent, at one point Marlon Wayans was to be Robin, we also got Sam Jones playing Pete Ross in Smallville, Idris Elba played Heimdall, Kerry Washington played Alicia Masters, Michael Clarke Duncan played Kingpin, Vondie Curtis Hall played Ben Urich, Fishburne played Perry White, Michael Jordan played Human Torch and Sam Jackson and Keiynan Lonsdale play less popular versions of Nick Fury and Wally West, Jaime Foxx played Electro and now we have Tessa Thompson ( fine....as.....HELL) playing Valkyrie in the next Thor ( about time we got that character in a movie) Can't wait to see the fanboys start crying over this one now, lol. Now just give me Will Smith playing Kal-El and Beyonce playing Princess Diana and I'll be good
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Offline Battle

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 03:00:06 am »
 :)

Offline KIP LEWIS

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 05:42:26 am »
I've come to the conclusion that there are three groups of people who dislike changing a character's race:

1) The racists.  These are the guys who have no problem with Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, because of race, but might have a problem because of gender.

2)  Those who just hate changes, all changes from the source material.  This can go from the purist who hate every little change (change the costume--hate it; change elements of the original story--hate it, change the person's hair color--hate it and so on.) To them, every (technically unnecessary) change means you don't respect the source material.  But this category also includes those who aren't purist, but accept change only if it works, it's good or they just like it.  (I have to admit being like that.  If I watch it, like it, then I'm fine with the change.  If I watch it, and don't like it, I then wish they didn't change it.)

3)  And then there is this group, who might just think too much.  They look at changing an very old Tibeaten Male into a middle age Celtic woman means, it's not the same character.  They ask the question, "doesn't a person racial identity effect their identity?"  They are asking, if you change Johnny Storm into a Black Man, but leave everything else the same, aren't you saying that being Black has no impact on his identity?  But if you do include those changes like Tilda Swinton's Ancient One, then it's not the same character.  (I say these people think too much, because they're forgetting a movie only last a short period of time and we are only seeing a snapshot of that person's life.  We don't know what their lives are like.)

(Of course, some people can belong to more than one group at a time.)

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2016, 06:05:08 am »
^
With Michael Jordan as Johnny Storm, they did change things. For one, Dr. Franklin was also black. Kate Mara's Sue was adopted. Johnny's personality was similar with Chris Evans and Michael Jordan, though it is noticeable that white Johnny got women or was at least flirtatious, and I don't recall black Johnny getting any play, so there were changes. And I think that's one of the problems of inserting black or non-white characters into traditionally white roles, I think there is a danger that the non-white character will be less than on some level. That's why I don't want Idris as Bond.

Offline KIP LEWIS

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2016, 06:38:58 am »
^
With Michael Jordan as Johnny Storm, they did change things. For one, Dr. Franklin was also black. Kate Mara's Sue was adopted. Johnny's personality was similar with Chris Evans and Michael Jordan, though it is noticeable that white Johnny got women or was at least flirtatious, and I don't recall black Johnny getting any play, so there were changes. And I think that's one of the problems of inserting black or non-white characters into traditionally white roles, I think there is a danger that the non-white character will be less than on some level. That's why I don't want Idris as Bond.

That is what I mean by two hours.  Just before we didn't see him womanizing, didn't mean he doesn't.  We only saw snapshots.  Really a two hour movie isn't enough time to explore everything, especially in an ensemble cast.  So just because we don't see things, didn't mean they aren't there.

Offline Hypestyle

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2016, 02:03:33 pm »
hopefully Tessa's hair will be really gorgeous and she needs to be given an impressive costume.
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Offline Kimoyo

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2016, 06:35:24 pm »
^
With Michael Jordan as Johnny Storm, they did change things. For one, Dr. Franklin was also black. Kate Mara's Sue was adopted. Johnny's personality was similar with Chris Evans and Michael Jordan, though it is noticeable that white Johnny got women or was at least flirtatious, and I don't recall black Johnny getting any play, so there were changes. And I think that's one of the problems of inserting black or non-white characters into traditionally white roles, I think there is a danger that the non-white character will be less than on some level. That's why I don't want Idris as Bond.

That is what I mean by two hours.  Just before we didn't see him womanizing, didn't mean he doesn't.  We only saw snapshots.  Really a two hour movie isn't enough time to explore everything, especially in an ensemble cast.  So just because we don't see things, didn't mean they aren't there.

Ignoring an essential, well documented aspect of a character's character, (especially one like the racially taboo aspect of sexual prowess/attractiveness), which has made it into every other iteration of that character, but is conveniently left out of the only iteration in which that character happens to be presented as a member of another race (black) is a problem.  Even if only left out of a "snapshot."

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Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2016, 01:40:51 am »
^
With Michael Jordan as Johnny Storm, they did change things. For one, Dr. Franklin was also black. Kate Mara's Sue was adopted. Johnny's personality was similar with Chris Evans and Michael Jordan, though it is noticeable that white Johnny got women or was at least flirtatious, and I don't recall black Johnny getting any play, so there were changes. And I think that's one of the problems of inserting black or non-white characters into traditionally white roles, I think there is a danger that the non-white character will be less than on some level. That's why I don't want Idris as Bond.

That is what I mean by two hours.  Just before we didn't see him womanizing, didn't mean he doesn't.  We only saw snapshots.  Really a two hour movie isn't enough time to explore everything, especially in an ensemble cast.  So just because we don't see things, didn't mean they aren't there.

Kimoyo broke this down but I will add my two cents. Think about what you're saying here, if its not in the film it essentially doesn't happen, despite whatever endless speculation fans can and often engage in. The original FF movies found time to show parts of Johnny's  love life but the new film couldn't? And the original films also explored the other characters love lives as well, so its not like this is impossible in a two hour film to do. Its an issue of priorities. And when you look at within the history and context of films and television shows that basically never or rarely explore black men's sex lives, at least if they aren't dysfunctional, then I'm not surprised that we didn't get that with Jordan in this film.

And to be real, this is a common reply to whenever a film or show underdevelops a non-white character. Or the 'next time' carrot is trotted out. No, if its important they put it in the film, but healthy black sexuality and specifically healthy black male sexual prowess is not something I feel a lot of white audiences are comfortable looking at, or white producers even consider when they make films or shows. I think its a bit more easy to show black female/white male relationships in a bit more depth, with the idea that white males maintain control.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 01:49:01 am by Emperorjones »

Offline KIP LEWIS

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2016, 04:58:46 am »
^
With Michael Jordan as Johnny Storm, they did change things. For one, Dr. Franklin was also black. Kate Mara's Sue was adopted. Johnny's personality was similar with Chris Evans and Michael Jordan, though it is noticeable that white Johnny got women or was at least flirtatious, and I don't recall black Johnny getting any play, so there were changes. And I think that's one of the problems of inserting black or non-white characters into traditionally white roles, I think there is a danger that the non-white character will be less than on some level. That's why I don't want Idris as Bond.

That is what I mean by two hours.  Just before we didn't see him womanizing, didn't mean he doesn't.  We only saw snapshots.  Really a two hour movie isn't enough time to explore everything, especially in an ensemble cast.  So just because we don't see things, didn't mean they aren't there.

Kimoyo broke this down but I will add my two cents. Think about what you're saying here, if its not in the film it essentially doesn't happen, despite whatever endless speculation fans can and often engage in. The original FF movies found time to show parts of Johnny's  love life but the new film couldn't? And the original films also explored the other characters love lives as well, so its not like this is impossible in a two hour film to do. Its an issue of priorities. And when you look at within the history and context of films and television shows that basically never or rarely explore black men's sex lives, at least if they aren't dysfunctional, then I'm not surprised that we didn't get that with Jordan in this film.

And to be real, this is a common reply to whenever a film or show underdevelops a non-white character. Or the 'next time' carrot is trotted out. No, if its important they put it in the film, but healthy black sexuality and specifically healthy black male sexual prowess is not something I feel a lot of white audiences are comfortable looking at, or white producers even consider when they make films or shows. I think its a bit more easy to show black female/white male relationships in a bit more depth, with the idea that white males maintain control.

Keep in mind they also don't show Ben's sexuality, even though that is as much a part of the character as Johnny's is.  The only difference between the two is Johnny is serial, Ben is monogamous.  Shot, this movie barely showed Reed and Sue's sexual interest.

You state "healthy black sexuality" but Johnny is the LAST person on earth to have HEALTHY sexuality.  My problem with Johnny is, as a Black Man, he's a classic stereotype--womanizing, fast pace life, getting in trouble with family, law,reckless, etc.  (I always thought Johnny was the worst character on the team to make Black.  It should have been Reed.)  Johnny would not show Healthy Black sexuality, Johnny would show the negative "love and leav'm" stereotype of any man.  (Actually, i could see this being why they didn't show Johnny's sexuality, to lessen the stereotype of a character he already was.)

Of course, I have to chuckle in that we're arguing about the failing of a Black character in movie that was so poorly done that it did most everything wrong.   

My point in this was actually in defense of changing a person's race.  There are those who say, "You made them Black, but a White person could have played that character without changing one line."  (i.e., they wrote the character as color-blind, rather than as a Black character).  My point is, just because on-screen the character looks color-blind, doesn't make it wrong to cast a minority in the role, if there was time, you might have seen more.  (I don't know if i'm being completely clear here.)

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2016, 06:24:56 pm »
Come on Kip. Don't bring Ben into this conversation, and I say that because I'm looking at this not as one movie, but another movie where a black male is desexed. All people see all varieties of white men, and many of them in romantic relationships-functional, dysfunctional, and in between, but also white male sexual prowess in enough films so you can have some other white male characters in a film who aren't romantically-linked or sexually active but it's not the same compared to black characters where there is a dearth of those kind of depictions period. And Ben is countered within this film by Reed. Granted there was really no romance in the new FF film, just the inklings of a romance, but still the white male, Reed, was sexually desirable here, he was the main one that would get any play out of this group of males in this film. (But I will point out Tim Story's FF films again where all the FF were involved in relationships; so its not an impossibility for this to happen).

I also wouldn't have minded Jordan playing Reed. It would've went against type. I saw it too easy to slot Jordan into the Johnny Storm role, not for the womanizing, but more so for the cocky, hothead side of Storm. I'm fine with showing black male sexual prowess, which there is a dearth of, unless its something that's lampooned.

I don't believe in color-blind casting. I think its folly to think you can just put people of color into a white role and expect there to be no difference and for that character to be organic. Granted its done all the time. And for a long time I supported it, but in my old age, I don't see the relevance of it anymore. It erases some of the unique racial/ethnic/cultural things that a color change to a character might bring to the role. And instead of doing away with the idea of whiteness as normative, it reinforces it by pretty much saying all people of color are just like white people. They can't be respected on their own, their histories or cultures can't be respected. They have to be made to fit into a white mold for acceptance. I was perfectly fine with Jordan not being cast in the role, but since he was, I wish Trank had went whole hog like I read he was thinking of doing and cast black actress Samira Wiley as Sue Storm, so we could at least see a black superhero family.

What is a "black" character? I think we have a limited idea of what black is, or what it can be. And I think white writers and creators have a limited, stereotypical idea of what is 'black' and in their nobility they want to transcend that, but in the process they make white black characters which aren't organic. And black actors want to work and they are likely tired of playing stereotypical roles so they go for this 'color-blind' casting, which is really nothing of the sort.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 06:26:51 pm by Emperorjones »

Offline daingermouz20

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2016, 03:40:53 pm »
I have always considered myself a comic book purist. So wondered why cast Billy D.Williams as Harvey Dent, Marlon Wayans as Robin. But now I don't care. I like the CW's Flash Iris,Wally, Captain Cold, Hawkgirl,  and Jimmy Olsen's race doesn't bother me. Just tell a good story.

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2016, 04:28:47 am »
^
One thing I would note is that Captain Cold on The Flash is played as a white character, despite Wentworth Miller's biracial heritage. On the show his father and sister are white. I don't think they showed his mother, but still I would argue until disproven otherwise that Miller's Cold is a white character, and Miller is so fair-skinned that a vast majority of people, myself included, would not know he was biracial unless they were told.

As I said before, I'm not the biggest fan of the color change, though all the actors you mentioned I think do fine jobs. And I do see a lot of validity in the pro-change argument that many comic book characters are white by default because of the time periods in which they were created. Still I am concerned about the black body in a white space and I think that's where these shows too often go. Yes the actor is black, but the character is still white. To some extent The Flash starts to get around this, a little with the music. But also with Barry being part of a black family. Generally its one black character, like Jimmy Olsen or Diggle, in a sea of whiteness, but Flash is different.

Offline MindofShadow

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2016, 04:55:43 am »
Race bending still opens doors for black actors and actresses that would normally be closed tight though. There is still something abotu just being on screen

How many doors will open for Tessa after Thor 3? how many doors will open for other black women if she nails the performance like she likely will?

I believe that is important. Just the opportunity is important. It is progress... Im sure most people want "break the doors down!!!" progress but that rarely happens. Baby steps are still important. Chipping away at the all white male brigade is important.

But... having "blackness" on screen is why Luke Cage series is so god damn important. And gettign Black Panther ons cree is so god damn important. If those are well received, if avenues of revenue open up for Marvel that they just aren't getting right now, we may get that "break the doors down!" moment.

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2016, 06:18:50 am »
I don't think just having a person in a movie is progress that much anymore. Yes, back in the 50s-70s, perhaps even the 80s, but today, I don't think its progress. It's tokenism. Especially if you have so many black characters divorced from their heritage, except for the 'black' characters that are steeped in racial stereotypes. It maligns and warps what it means to be black or what a black person is like. It's a fine line to be sure, I mean there is no one way to be black, however I don't get much these days from slotting black person into a 'white' role. How does that advance the culture or the people?

Another thing too is that its a lot of white people controlling the process, and even if black creators are putting out work it is often under the authority of a white person who they have to get funding and distribution from, so white ideas about black people are still a part of it. And also to be real, blacks often believe what whites have told us about ourselves so our mass entertainment can and often do reflect those sometimes distorted views, at least going back to black minstrels and black coon songs.

I just thought of Avery Brooks' and his Captain Sisko on Star Trek. That role could have been color blind, though they might have decided at some point, it not initially-I haven't looked back to check-that Sisko would be played by a black actor.  Brooks' decided to take the role once he realized how beneficial it would be for black kids to see a black man in the future. And Brooks's racial sensibilities infused that character even until the finale, where he altered Sisko's fate because of the negative impact of seeing a black man leaving his pregnant wife. There are some fan boys that did whine about Brooks/Sisko's racial consciousness but it was heartening. And it wasn't 'in your face'. It was small things like having African art in his quarters, to more pronounced things like Sisko not liking a 60s holographic recreation because of historical segregation to the "Far Beyond the Stars" which tackled racial discrimination directly.

For me it doesn't have to be the biggest thing but just something that roots these 'color blind' characters to their black heritage. Movies, art, books, history, or something. Because to me, color blind is just another word for white. Because these 'black' characters will listen to white music, date interracially more than likely, and be 'black' only in skin color.  Black actors/actresses are just tacked on to a role that wasn't made for them, so they are squeezed into it.

As for opportunities, I don't know if that's a guarantee. It has been a struggle for many black actresses. The doors of Hollywood aren't open to them like they are for a Jennifer Lawrence, etc. Tessa Thompson, being light skinned and if she has that willingness to be a white man's sidepiece in films she might get more work because that's where it will likely go (i.e. Zoe Saldana). If Hollywood finds a use for her they will, but she will never be on a Jennifer Lawrence level, and that has nothing to do with her talent. Zoe is coming along, but right now the only black female megastar I can think of is Halle, and her acting ability is questionable. I don't think Hollywood could handle a total package black actress megastar.

To be far, due to the success of Scandal and Empire, etc. there are more doors opening on the small screen for black women, and black people in general. Though the quality of those roles remains debatable. And back to the bigger point, is it better to have no representation or negative representation? I think negative representation can be just as damaging, perhaps more so than no representation. I'm not speaking about Thompson and this role but just in general when I look at how media has been replete with black misery and dysfunctional stories. Is just having a black face there enough?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 06:27:55 am by Emperorjones »

Offline daingermouz20

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Re: Tessa Thomson to play Valkyrie in Thor Ragnorak
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2016, 02:53:35 pm »
^
One thing I would note is that Captain Cold on The Flash is played as a white character, despite Wentworth Miller's biracial heritage. On the show his father and sister are white. I don't think they showed his mother, but still I would argue until disproven otherwise that Miller's Cold is a white character, and Miller is so fair-skinned that a vast majority of people, myself included, would not know he was biracial unless they were told.

As I said before, I'm not the biggest fan of the color change, though all the actors you mentioned I think do fine jobs. And I do see a lot of validity in the pro-change argument that many comic book characters are white by default because of the time periods in which they were created. Still I am concerned about the black body in a white space and I think that's where these shows too often go. Yes the actor is black, but the character is still white. To some extent The Flash starts to get around this, a little with the music. But also with Barry being part of a black family. Generally its one black character, like Jimmy Olsen or Diggle, in a sea of whiteness, but Flash is different.



I'd like to add this race swap thing has been going on for awhile. Maybe not as often but I don't recall Billy Dee Williams cast as Dent being that big of a deal but I could be wrong. Others are Eartha Kitt as Catwoman, Cesar Romero as Joker. I think he was Latin.Will Smith as James West, D.B. Sweeny as Terry Fitzgerald in Spawn. Colin MacFarlaneas as  Commissioner Loeb etc.