This weekend, Ron Howard teased us with the casting of Han Solo movie: Paul Bettany, the guy who has given voice for JARVIS and reason behind The Vision. The news excited fans and celebrities alike, and that was quite expected! Bettany is a top class performer who has been seen in most unexpected scenarios. However, he is generally a part of an ensemble cast.
There is no doubt that being a part of MCU has enhanced his star appeal and he also happens to be someone in the good books of Ron Howard as he has worked with him earlier in The Da Vinci Code and A Beautiful Mind. Disney is also keen to retain things internalized for this Star Wars movie.
Bettany is going to get the role in all probability, and this would be a ‘dream come true’ sort of a thing, but, what is upsetting about this news is that it means that once again we are going to see one actor playing parts in multiple franchise movies. That brings forward the question as to why do we have to continue seeing the same names being part of various franchises? Another bad news is that this one has come shortly after Michael K.
Williams left the Han Solo film because of schedule related conflicts which cropped up due to the long spells of reshoots that the film has been subjected to after its original directors got fired. There is speculation that Bettany is going to take over the role left by Williams. That is quite a disturbing scenario as now the film’s leading cast doesn’t offer much variety at all:
Ignoring all those conspiracy talks, Bettany joins a league of actors who seem to be almost in every franchise:
- His latest co-star, Donald Glover plays Lando and had also played a part in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- Zoe Saldana is Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy and has also played Uhura in the recent Star Trek movies.
- Her Star Trek co-star Chris Pine played the role of Wonder Woman’s lover Steve Trevor, and he is also going to star in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time version.
- Soon J.K. Simmons will return to the comic book world, as James Gordon, Commissioner of Gotham City Police Department. He has earlier played the role of Spider-Man’s boss J. Jonah Jameson
- Michael B. Jordon will also once again be seen in and as Black Panther in 2018. We just hope that this time the film will be a treat and not a forgettable venture like Fantastic 4 was.
- 2018 will also see Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War as well as in Deadpool 2 as Cable.
We are just listing some of the names that instantly come to mind. However, the thing is that a select bunch of actors seems to be repeatedly bagging major roles in various franchise films. To make it uglier, when you see the different roles being ‘in-universe’ then it appears to be an insult for all those other talented actors who wish to be a part of these multi-part projects. It is understandable that the reason why casting directors prefer bringing back the same names are – star power, fear of losing money, and saleability of the venture, etc. are important.
However, this causes an awkward situation. Studios always want to stay safe, and if they wander off towards the unconventional as we saw when Michael B. Jordon appeared as The Human Torch (typically a white guy), they face the wrath of the fans. In fact, Disney also took a chance with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when they cast Daisy Ridley and little known John Boyega as the leading characters in the film. They had continued the philosophy of Geroge Lucas which was to cast unknown faces as new characters so that there was a distinct identity to each character and also creating a diverse cast. The idea was a hit, and the film earned billions.
There is always plenty of fresh faces to appreciate especially as diversified casting. It can be said that there is not that much money on the line. However, this is more the reason why big studios need to be a little more adventurous while going all out to make grand movies out of comic books. It is pretty much acknowledged that fans will go to the theaters to watch a Star Wars film or a Marvel film or for that matter even a DCEU film. Therefore, the big guys at Hollywood should consider roping in new actors for roles in such projects. Let’s hope that once the currently under works lot is completed, the future Disney galactic explorations or for that matter expeditions on planet Earth as well, will not see such repeated faces again.