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Super hero flicks finally tackle diversity

New trailer for Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" released on Oct. 16, 2017.

Is the movie industry finally starting to make a change? Hollywood seems to make a point to cast the same set of faces in big movies leading to movie casts that are primarily white. However, Marvel may be realizing the benefit of casting outside of the box and producing movies that represent more diverse people. For example, consider superhero movies. Two superhero movies released in 2016 show that casting accurate representations of characters can lead to more profit than casting big names.

“Doctor Strange,” which had a budget of $165 million, premiered with a handful of the comic book characters played by white actors. The movie didn’t give Asian, specifically Tibetan, actors the opportunity to portray their culture. In the end, the movie grossed $230 million domestically, for a profit of $67 million. On the other hand, “Captain America: Civil War” was given a $250 million budget and included a variety of diverse roles that the superhero movie industry hadn’t seen before. These casting choices and the decision to incorporate an assortment of characters are likely to have contributed to the success of the movie, leading to a $158 million profit for Marvel.

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Rather than going the potentially “safe” route of only casting well-known actors or casting primarily white characters, Marvel is beginning to illustrate how beneficial it is to produce more movies with a more diverse set of actors. Hopefully, the increased success of Captain America will influence future filmmakers and production companies.

Cosette Miller, Owings Mills

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