Why movie studios need to include more Latinx actors in superhero roles
While there was a major breakthrough when Black Panther was released, Hollywood still has a long way to go when it comes to casting people of color in superhero movies. Besides the case with Black Panther in which the lead role was an African American, the usual roles are as spare parts.
There needs to be a push for movie studios to start casting Latinx actresses and actors in higher profile roles. It isn’t like there are only a limited number of superhero movies so there aren’t many opportunities to cast them. There are an ever growing number of the genre coming out every year.
And there are also roles which were written by the comics in which the character is Latinx. But, even if the role wasn’t specifically written for a Latinx, it doesn’t mean the actor playing it can’t be from a Latin background.
In this article, we will go over several of the reasons why there should be more Latinx stars in superhero movies.
Latin audiences drive profits
When it comes to blockbuster movies, Latins are very highly represented as a market. They come out in droves for movies and bring in a lot of money in gate receipts. Latinx accounts for 17 to 23% of the ticket sales for theaters in any given year. This is not a small number.
In addition to that, many Marvel movies are very popular with Latinx audiences. If there were a character that represented them on screen then this number would actually be much higher as they want to go to these movies anyway.
Only 3% of the roles in Hollywood are for Latinx actors or roles in which the character is Latinx. This is a paltry number and should be higher even if it didn’t mean that they would get more Latins going to the movies. But the fact that they would like to see more representation would actually make a difference in profits too.
There are already comics with Latinx characters
People sometimes forget that superhero movies are made from the actual comic books. And these comic books are chock full of characters of Latin origins. People of color in general are well represented on the pages of the comics that have inspired movies.
DC has El Castigo and El Diablo in male roles and Hawkgirl. Not to mention that Wonder Woman was rebooted as a character in 2002 as a Peruvian named Maria Mendoza.
So why so many characters in the books when not that many readers of them are Latinx and not in the movies? Hollywood moves slowly when it comes to change. Often, studios like to go with what is tried and true. Which is why so many movies get remade and the same actors are used continually. They don’t like taking too many chances and see casting a major role as a Latinx character as risky.
There is hope
There is a new live action superhero movie coming out soon called Blue Beetle that will have the character played by a prominent Latinx actor Angel Manuel Soto. Even the director is Latinx.
It seems that Hollywood is finally coming around to the fact that the movies they make should be a good representation of the population with more people of color being represented.