Yes, it happens also that Hollywood choose actors “Blacks” for characters “Whites”
Can we call it “Blackwashing”?
Considering the very fiery comments that followed our article on “whitewashing”, this practice of choosing white actors for “color” characters, it seemed to us a logical step to find counterexamples. And we speak of counterexamples, which serve as exceptions in an industry, still undermined by the problems of representativeness of minorities. But yes, whitewashing can also work upside down.
Will Smith => Robert Neville (I’m a Legend)
There are several adaptations of Richard Matheson’s novel SF. But the 2007 version is the first that sees a Black actor in the skin of the last survivor , alias the scientist Robert Neville.
Morgan Freeman => Red (The Evadés)
Again, in the original work of Stephen King (“The Redemption of Shawshank”) , the character in question is White . Even red-headed with freckles and blue eyes, considering his Irish origins.
With Chris Evans, we held more or less a human Torch physically faithful to the comics. The reboot “Fantastic Four” made the choice to innovate by granting the role of Johnny Storm to Michael B. Jordan.
Idris Elba => Heimdall (Thor)
He is the guardian of the Bifröst, the passage that connects Asgard with the other planets. Heimdall has two radically different faces according to the comics and MCU : in the first case, he has a big boom and is rather Viking, while it is Idris Elba who ensures the taf to the cinema.
Dwayne Johnson => Hercules
It will have escaped anyone that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is far from resembling the average Greek, let alone Hercules, despite his physical half-God.
Pam Grier => Jackie Brown
If Quentin Tarantino remained faithful enough to the original novel “Punch Creole” in his transcription of the characters, he allowed himself a little freedom as regards that embodied by Pam Grier : in the book, Jackie is White, with short hair And blond.
Will Smith => Agent J (Men in Black)
You ignore perhaps, but before being brought to the big screen, “Men in Black” is a comic book series of the 90’s , originally published by Aircel Comics, before falling in the Marvel catalog. And J as K, were two Caucasian characters. After the success of the film in 1997, Marvel released new issues, this time with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith headlining.
Michael Clarke Duncan => The Caïd (Daredevil)
For the coup, the series is a chouia more faithful to the comics in regards to the character of Wilson Fisk aka Le Caïd. In fact, the production of the film “Daredevil” has tried to enlist a white actor for the role of the godfather of Hell’s Kitchen , but the tests with different wrestlers proved inconclusive. And Michael Clarke Duncan took the opportunity.
Halle Berry => Catwoman
She is one of those lucid actresses who have trashed their own film . Halle Berry nevertheless marked the fans forever in his latex costume , despite the little resemblance to the original version of the comics.
Samuel L. Jackson => Nick Fury (The Avengers)
The story here is a little more complex than for the other examples. Originally, the SHIELD boss was one-eyed, but also white, with a nice gray-haired cut on the temples. But in the early 2000s, Marvel decides to reboot the character via the Ultimate arc, and wants to redesign it to the image of … Samuel L. Jackson . On learning the news, the actor’s agent threatens to file a complaint, before changing his mind. Samuel L. Jackson is indeed excited by the idea, to the point of negotiating a possible role to come on the big screen. He may not have both his eyes but he’s got pif!