Thor Movie Controversy

Coming soon to a theater near you is the new Marvel Comics movie “Thor”. Thor, the Norse ‘God of Thunder’ will be portrayed, inaccurately, by a clean shaven blonde guy. Well, to be fair, that is how Marvel Comics has always done him in the comics. In actual mythology, Thor was a fiery red-head with a flaming beard. In fact, Thor was forbidden to cross the rainbow bridge, Bifrost, for fear that his great heat would destroy it. Instead, Thor had to swim across to Asgard. Some things are just going to be ignored in movies and comics.

The current gripe is that the part of Heimdall will be played by a black man. Well, I am about as non-racist as I can be, but this annoys me. The Norse people had no concept of a black man, and certainly wouldn’t have put one in their pantheon of deities.

But that is only a myth, you say? Myths are not fiction, as many people seem to think. Myths were belief systems and a way of explaining the world around the people who believed in them. You know, like Christianity?

Another thing that bothers me is the imbalance in this sort of thing. If ‘Harlem Nights’ was remade with white actors in place of Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor (which, admittedly, would be a monumentally stupid thing to do) people would be up in arms. Make a movie about African gods and slip in a white guy, you would have a riot in the works! Percy Jackson slipped in a black god in the Greek pantheon. Nobody worried about offending the Greeks, I guess.

Look, Norse gods would be damn near fish-belly white. That comes from being worshipped by people with the same complexion. Try doing “The Passion of the Christ” where Jesus is played by a black man and you’ll never hear the end of it. The same should go for other pantheons. Gods worshipped by white people would naturally be white. Gods worshipped by black people would naturally be black. We tend to make our gods in our own image (well, the Hindu Gods are a bit different, ummmm…)

There are plenty of parts for black actors in and out of the Thor movie. Let’s not re-invent the gods just to be politically correct. And let’s be clear, I would be just as much against casting the part of Shango, the Yoruba god of thunder, with Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenagger. That’s a part for Christopher Judge (Tealk from Stargate SG1.)

I just want things to be faithfully represented in the movies.

This was a Wolf Rant.


2 Responses to “Thor Movie Controversy”

  1. CW64 Says:

    Hey Wolf,

    That’s Hollywood for you. They aren’t as concerned with remaining faithful to cultural accuracies or the belief systems that embody them; they are in the business to make money, so they will do what ever will attracted the widest audiences possible. That’s why most movies, say, based on historical accounts are not entirely factually, even when the facts ARE known; producers target the wants of the audience.

    An example of the latter, for me, would be the numerous movies accounting the story of the Titanic. None are 100% accurate, although some more than others and each successive effort getting closer, in line with newly ascertained conclusions from the ongoing research. There was no way that steerage and first-class would have become romantically involved in the era of the Titanic (i.e. c. 1912), a ship whose design was modeled on the social class structure of the time, yet the idea of youth breaking the boundaries of social and legal protocols for the sake of “love” and freedom is appealing to the younger crowd. The fact, too, that Leonard DiCaprio, a young heartthrob, was thrown into the mix could only help. Hence, the movie won 11 Academy Awards, despite the story’s glaring missteps with regards to reality, and, as a result, is considered a popular triumph.

    But I can relate with your gripe. Certain things, if they are to be taken seriously, should be true to their origins. The actual Titanic and the people involved were enough to create real drama without the need for added fiction. Other belief systems, such as the Greek culture and Christianity, are the same way. As writers, you and I know creative liberty is important, but should it be at the expense of established legends? When we mess with stories revolving around cultural icons, quality is reduced to mere nothing and the necessary respect for those other cultures goes out the window.


  2. Sparrowhawk Says:

    Happy New Year, old friend.

    It is as CW64 says. Hollywood tends to be (deliberately) inaccurate whenever Hollywood wants, for the sake of suspense, reaching a wider audience, or for the latest mental cancer called political correctness.
    Take Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: No Tom Bombadil. Instead, Arwen’s role in the movie is much bigger and more important than in the book (e.g. when she takes the injured Frodo to Rivendell – Glorfindel does that in the book). No scouring of the Shire (as in the book), instead, Saruman is killed on Orthanc, and Grima is killed by an elven archer (and not by the Hobbits, as in the book).

    Take Mel Gibson’s Braveheart. I recall one of the final scenes being shortly depicted as the Battle of Bannockburn. OK, bit in that scene, Scotsman and Englishman rund towards each other in a wide green plain.
    I visited Bannockburn over 13 years ago, and it’s as far from being a wide plain. It’s an anrea full of hills, and the armied didn’t clash in the middle of a battlefield, but Robert the Bruce waited on one of those hills, and King Edward did him the favor and attacked, even after days of heavy rain.

    You can also take Dune, although, to the defense of David Lynch, the book is too huge to be accurately squeezed into one single movie.

    BTW, political correctness: I’ve read in an article that “Tom Sawyer” is to be re-written, i.e. the word “nigger” is to be replaced by the word “slave”

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