With rumours about Lewis Tan’s casting as Batman on DC’s Titans, the debate has again caught fire over whether or not a non-white person should play the Dark Knight. Earlier’s Michael B. Jordan’s involvement as the next Superman attracted similar discussions among comic book movie fans.
As expected, fans have been vocal about not wanting DC to alter the traditional depiction of Bruce Wayne being a white man, something that has been around since the character’s debut in 1939.
However, Titans does have a fertile testing ground for such a major change to a hero. Bruce Wayne has been fighting crimes since years, using his money to safeguard the world. Tony Stark has done the same, not to mention Iron Fist and other characters from both the universes.
It’s about time that we get to see someone donning the cape and reflecting another perspective into the world. We could make the same case for other heroes like Superman. This will surely gather some buzz around the topic of representation in Hollywood.
People of colour are not usually considered for big superhero roles, as at the time of the creation of the industry, it was run mostly by white people. Luckily, this has changed over the years and we have seen characters like Valkyrie and Electro been played by actors of colour.
Casting a black actor for Batman wouldn’t just be a bold experiment, but it would also give fans new perspectives of exploring more narratives. DC has a lot of interesting stories for Batmen of colour to narrate like Batman Incorporated, which will give a unique storyline to facts, something that hasn’t been seen yet.
This decision would undeniably be huge, especially on the big screen. But perhaps the best testing ground for such an experiment would be television. The television audiences are already used to see alterations in characters and although ethnicity hasn’t affected any of these shows, we feel that TV would be the right ground to test a Batman of colour.