I spend a large amount of time on social media. I would dare to say at times its an unhealthy amount, since I can easily spend hours and hours enjoying conversation through my various social networks. The photo above started to circulate the internet which was photo shopped by Marvel artist Mark Brooks, of Lupita Nyong’o as the earlier depiction of Ororo Monroe with her hair worn as a Mohawk.
The Mary Sue picked up the photo image and wrote an article on their site asking fans which superhero should Lupita Nyong’o play? Several fans commented on well known comic characters such as Monica Rambeau, Misty Knight, and of course Ororo Monroe herself known as Storm.
I tweeted out the following more in jest but also with good intentions:
I volunteer as tribute to lead a social media charge to get Lupita cast as Storm!
— BlackGirlNerds (@BlackGirlNerds) March 4, 2014
There was an overwhelming response and demand from Twitter followers and fans of the X-Men franchise to help make this happen. Therefore, I decided to create a change.org petition to get Lupita Nyong’o cast as the next Storm.
Is this doable? That depends on whom you ask. There are talks within various social circles that Halle may be leaving the franchise. However, that has yet to be proven as fact. Oscar winning actress Halle Berry is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood, and her name alone helps bring in the box office numbers. I would like to point out that the petition is not a slight on her as an actress nor her ability to carry the role as Storm. Halle Berry is of mixed heritage (African-American and Caucasian) and many fans (not all) questioned why someone with fairer skin and not of the same or similar lineage as Ororo Monroe would be cast in the film? However, for many people—especially women of color I say only one thing:
Storm’s lineage comes from Kenya. Her mother was a Kenyan priestess who descended from a long line of African witch-priestesses with white hair, blue eyes, and a natural gift for sorcery. Although Storm was born in Harlem, NY; she moved back to Cairo, Egypt. It was there where she picked up her African dialect. The image of Storm as the comic intended is a woman of Kenyan descent with dark skin and white hair. Lupita is now an Oscar-winning actress who is ready for a role that will continue to elevate her mainstream status in Hollywood. She’s incredibly gorgeous, a talented actress, can speak with a Kenyan accent (yes, she too is also from Kenya), and has the ‘name-billing cred’ to bring in audiences to the box office.
I remember when I first heard the news myself back in 2005, and I felt disappointed that Angela Bassett (who coincidentally was also born in Harlem) never got the part.
To Halle’s credit, Angela Bassett did turn down the role of Storm.
The linage is not a strong argument per se on the casting of Storm, that is not entirely the point. However, the fact of the matter is that any darker skinned actress regardless of where she is from would look the part.
And I repeat. Images matter.
There are several fans in the nerd community who still rant over miscasting of Storm. I don’t know if Marvel or Fox (who own the rights to the X-Men movies) if they will suddenly change their mind and cast Lupita as Storm, but its time that we take a look and analyze why is it easier to cast someone like Halle Berry, and not someone like Lupita Nyong’o?
And full disclosure here, I personally would love to see Lupita Nyong’o in any capacity as a superhero.
So if you’re on board with me, sign the petition.
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