We were just as surprised to you to hear that Marvel Studios is planning a Runaways movie, but we highly support it. Why? Because we’re all BKV fanboys and Runaways is great. Duh! But when casting calls came out for the movie, a lot of fans began to get upset over the fact that Niko’s Asian American heritage was not called for in the call. Hollywood itself has been guilty of two heritage changes recently, with Jake Gylenhall starring in Prince of Persia as well as the lead in Avatar The Last Airbender not being Asian.
Marvel in turn released a statement to RaceBending.com in response to this issue: “To address your concern over casting for the role of Nico, as we do with all of our films, we intend to stay true to the legacy and story of the comic when casting these parts. Thus, our goal is to cast an Asian American actress as depicted in the comic series and the casting notice will be adjusted accordingly.” Since then, the casting call has been fixed.
I think it’s a good move on Marvel’s part to address and adjust as such. To a certain extent, the most basic element of Runaways is that it’s a very diverse group coming together against a common foe. We’re not talking diverse in the way of just male or female, but of age and race and even social demographic. These were all incredibly important factors into how the story of Runaways played out. With Marvel adapting a story like this, I can only hope they really stick to the core issues of the book and it’s plot because Runaways should be rather simple to adapt correctly.
And don’t forget: Gil already cast the movie once, so the work is essentially already done! Marvel just has to call these people up, and there ya go. Bam. Movie made. ….wait, what? Huh? Gil didn’t cast an Asian American in the role of Niko either? …oops.