‘The Suicide Squad’ Director James Gunn Defends Racebending White Characters

James Gunn defends changing the race of characters who were originally white in the comics.

James Gunn The Suicide Squad DC FanDome

The Suicide Squad director James Gunn has defended the racebending of characters who were originally white in the comics.

For some time now there has been an ongoing debate over the casting of characters in superhero films. Sometimes an adaption will feature characters who are traditionally white in the source material but are portrayed by a person of color which has become more and more common as the years have gone on. Some, however, do not approve of the practice and have made their voices on the matter known. James Gunn, however, is one director who does not have a problem racebending traditionally white characters.

Last month, a new featurette for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad was revealed and showed off the full roster of the latest incarnation of Task Force X which also solved the big mystery of who Idris Elba was playing in the upcoming film. At one point Idris Elba was almost cast as Deadshot as a replacement for Will Smith who was unable to reprise the role. He was eventually revealed to be playing another character. Someone, however, had wondered what James Gunn had thought about the casting of Will Smith in the first place given that the character is white in the comics. In his response, James Gunn defended the racebending of white characters, noting how the character’s personality has nothing to do with their race:

“Again, that’s pretty simple – people aren’t making movies about unknown superheroes. In addition, it’s innately discriminatory to think what makes a character a character is his or her ethnicity and not his or her personality. What is it, if not racism, that David Ayer, for casting Will Smith as Deadshot, and John Watts, for casting Zendaya as Mary Jane, got thousands of times more shit for those choices than I did for making Drax and Mantis aliens instead of humans in Guardians?”

What do you all make of James Gunn’s comments? Do you agree with his statements on racebending white characters? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

The first Suicide Squad followed a team of supervillains who were recruited by the government for a dangerous black ops mission in exchange for reduced sentences. The ensemble cast included Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and Jared Leto as The Joker. However, James Gunn is expected to deliver on the fresh take on the team in his upcoming movie.

Written and directed by James Gunn, The Suicide Squad stars David Dastmalchian, John Cena, Jai Courtney, Joaquín Cosío, Nathan Fillion, Joel Kinnaman, Mayling Ng, Flula Borg, Sean Gunn, Juan Diego Botto, Storm Reid, Pete Davidson, Taika Waititi, Alice Braga, Steve Agee, Tinashe Kajese, Daniela Melchior, Peter Capaldi, Julio Ruiz, Jennifer Holland, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, and Michael Rooker.

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is currently set to be released on August 6, 2021. Stay tuned for all the latest news on James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.

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Trey Griffeth

Trey Griffeth

Lover of video games, comics, and movies! Writer of all things that involve them!