Director James Gunn on Casting Actors for Comic Book Films

I do not believe a [fictional] character is the color of his or her skin.

If a character’s primary attribute — the thing that makes them iconic — is the color of their skin, or their hair color, frankly, that character is shallow and sucks.

For me, what makes [Spider-Man’s Mary Jane] MJ is her alpha female playfulness, and if the actress captures that, then she’ll work.

If we’re going to continue to make movies based on the almost all-white heroes and supporting characters from the comics of the last century, we’re going to have to get used to them being more reflective of our diverse present world.

Perhaps we can be open to the idea that, although someone may not initially match how we personally conceive a character, we can be — and often are — happily surprised.

~ James Gunn

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