Yesterday, Bryan Singer revealed the new Jean, Scott and Ororo (Storm) for X-Men: Apocalypse. Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) is Jean, Tye Sheridan (Mud) is Scott and Alexandra Shipp is Storm.
Alexandra is best known for playing Aaliyah in the Lifetime biopic. And while I'm happy for her for landing the role of a lifetime (no pun intended), I'm not happy that Hollywood decided not to cast an actress that resembles the "Weather Goddess".
For 40 years, comic book fans have known Storm to be a woman with a strong and mystical African heritage. She has always been a statuesque, regal, Black woman who was very wise for her age and very powerful. However, that memo got lost in Hollywood when they decided to cast Halle Berry in the role. Most of us dealt with it and secretly hoped that if the X-Men films were rebooted, they would cast a more suitable looking actress to play Storm. Well, that opportunity has came and went. Hollywood via Bryan Singer choose a lighter-skinned woman to play the part.
This isn't the first time this has happened in Hollywood.
In the campy film, Josie and The Pussycats, Rosario Dawson was picked to play Valerie.
Then, recently, Aurora Perrineau was cast as Shana in the Jem and the Holograms film.
As you can see these characters are traditionally Dark-skinned women, but Hollywood wanted to 'change it up'. Now, some of you may not see this as a big deal, but seriously, it is.
In my opinion, that type of casting is lazy and tired. It sends messages that Dark-skinned women aren't pretty, or good enough for movies. But if you lighten her skin and go for the 'European look' , she would be 'exotic', 'worldy', and more appealing to the eye.
And that, my friends, is some bullsh*t!
This is a comic book icon, a well-respected character many of us have grown up with. This is also a character many Black comic fans highly admire and cherish. Her image and her heritage are very imperative pieces of who she is. To change that image is purely insulting to the long-time comic readers, her fans and Ororo's culture. It's quite sad that we can get an embodiment of what Superman looks like, but can't come close to casting an actress that represents the image of Storm.