Photo: Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One. Picture courtesy of Marvel.
There’s nothing like going to the movies and seeing a film you’ve been waiting to see for months and sometimes even years to see. But I’m sure I’m not the only who’s seen the recent trend of recent films such as 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, or even this year’s Independence Day: Resurgence including the film’s stories to be set in China or just to have a token Asian actress (let’s be honest, it’s usually actress) just to be the one that’s able to fix the computer problems or to know Kung Fu.
I think what kicked off the trend was the acquisition of Legendary Entertainment by China’s Wanda for about $3.5 billion. As an Asian-American, and a person who is thoroughly interested in acting and films, it’s definitely a great opportunity to allow Asian actors to be given more leading roles and hopefully eventually leading bill. With the recent casting Jing Tian for the much anticipated sequel, Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, it seems that sometimes they’re just there get the Chinese moviegoers into those seats.
In addition to casting choices to Asian actors, it can be the other way around. Most recent example is the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Tibetan character, The Ancient One in the Marvel’s most recent film, Doctor Strange. Marvel’s decision to cast was explained by the film’s writer, C. Robert Cargill. He goes on to explain, “Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We’re not going to show your movie because you decided to get political.”
It’s an honest reason, Marvel Studios and Disney’s goal to maximize profit seems to be down to a science and hopefully this will create the opportunity to have more Asian actors to be leading characters in multi-million dollar blockbusters, but one can only hope for now.