Chromatic Casting: Remixing ‘Birds of Prey’

It was recently announced that Christopher Nolan’s 3rd Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises had cast one of the villains, Bane with British actor Tom Hardy. As this information hit Twitter, I saw fanboy comments that both praised and blasted the casting. One comment from a fellow comic book fan, Arturo R. Garcia,  made me think about the casting. Since I can’t find the exact quote I will say his comment just noted this casting being very white. Tom Hardy’s casting of Bane makes me wonder about his transition to film from comic. Art had his own ideas and wrote a great post about it.

I tweeted back and forth with Art about this. I made the comment about John Stewart being in Green Lantern. Maybe it was the way the words come across on the web but he’s wasn’t thrilled about this casting as if to satisfy the want and need for “people of color” in super hero films and TV.

I thought about this and emailed him. I thought it would be interesting to see a comic book property cast with nonwhite actors and actresses. He knocked one out of the park with the complete recasting of Nolan’s Batman films. So I took it upon myself to step up to the plate and try. I decided to go with ‘Birds of Prey’. If you don’t read ‘Birds of Prey’ the book follows Barbara Gordon, also known as Oracle, through adventures with a varied team roster that’s mainly woman. Since this roster changes so much, I stuck with what I felt were the core characters. I also went with Batman’s female villains, the Gotham Girls as the key nemesis of the group. I want to say the same thing Art said on his post, “Let me say up-front that this, ultimately, is an exercise in casting for fun”. Finally I saw this as an on-going TV series more than a film.

First up, Barbara Gordon, also known as Batgirl and Oracle.

I went with Tamala Jones for Barbara. I’m a fan of hers. Currently, she’s playing Dr. Lanie Parish on Castle. I’m hoping a show like this can do flashbacks to Babs days as Batgirl before becoming Oracle. Tamala can easily play Barbara in her 20’s. Oracle is the heart of this series and it’s no reach for an actress like to Tamala to carry.

Dinah Lance, also known as Black Canary.

Dania Ramirez has already been in the super hero genre by playing Callisto in X-Men 3 and Maya in the TV series Heroes. I had a tough time casting this one. Dinah means so much to the heart of Birds of Prey. I also considered Nia Long and Angela Bassett.

Helena Bertinelli, also know as Huntress.

I think this one is obvious. Grace Park has played a Cyclon and a cop and kicks ass as both. Huntress is the muscle of Birds of Prey.

Zinda Blake, also known as Lady Blackhawk.

I have never read a comic with Lady Blackhawk. I just started seeing her recently in the covers. I want ahead and had some fun with this one because I don’t see her as a regular in the series. I’ve watched a couple of episodes of Outsourced and it’s only worth watching to see Rebecca Hazlewood. I’m a Gail Simone fan so I’m going to hunt down some issues she wrote with Lady Blackhawk and see what this character is about.

Pamela Isley, also known as Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is all about sexuality. Google Kelly Hu and look at just the images. Done deal.

Harleen Quinzel, also known as Harley Quinn

Harley is a wild card. I wasn’t sure what direction to go with her. She’s codependent on Poison Ivy. She’s also insane. I went with Jasika Nicole from Fringe because I feel we’re about to see her weird side. If you are currently following the show you see her from the “other side” and she’s not all there. The other thing was I wanted to go with someone young that Poison Ivy so that she appears to look up to her.

Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman

The last of the Gotham Girl is the most dominate. She’s the leader of the Gotham bad girls. Gabrielle Union is Selina Kyle.

And finally I threw these 2 in for some dream casting. Yea, I’m already dream casting but anyhow.

Barbara Gordon isn’t the only Gordon in Gotham. GCPD needs great representation by Clarke Peters as Jim Gordon.

Birds of Prey takes place in Gotham. Gimme 1 cameo of Bruce Wayne played by Idris Elba and I’m happy.

Now to credit some of the artists I used. I wouldn’t have been possible to pull this together without their incredible work.

Gail Simone – Writer of my favorite Birds of Prey work. Follow her here and here.

Adam Hughes

Alex Ross

Bruce Timm

Ed Benes

Jim Lee

Phil Noto

A Day in the Life Part 2

I head home a little after 3. This is the other nice about my job. Leave early. Home early. Little to no traffic at this time too.
At this point I get home and take care of the dogs and this blog experiment falls apart.
I attempted to take a picture every hour but that failed cause work got crazy.
I let other people frustrate me so then this project got harder. Also I actually had plans that night so it was going to get harder. I got home and got busy and lost it.
I couldn’t finish.
I had to meet Terry for dinner and then get in line an hour ahead of it’s start. Oh, I had passes for Green Hornet which didn’t open until Jan 2011. We met at Gloria’s for Mexican and drinks.
Lots of drinks.
So many drinks that we were late to our own deadline. Too late to get into the movie.
I want to see this movie. I’m kinda excited. I’ve only heard bad things so my expectations are pretty low. I only knew Green Hornet from the show. I recently started reading the Kevin Smith run, from his unused script. Damn shame because I’ve lost a little respect for Kevin lately but really enjoyed his take.
We get in line. They count off the people and we are so late and so far back at the end of the line it seemed pointless.
Terry wants to leave.
I want to stay.
He took off to go watch something at home and I’m sure I can get in and just sit in the isle.
No fucking way. As little regard as most theaters have for what customers do in the theater, the companies that put them out had tough security. Guards were at the end of the line and at the door. Your phone was taken and bagged and tagged. I gave up quickly.
Since I had spent so much time and was in already I ducked into Black Swan.
Wow, not a movie you want to see all fucked up but great flick.
Anyhow, I hope to follow this up again at some point and just note what I do the remained of the day. Not that it’s exciting or anything. All in all it’s pretty boring but it forces me to look at things and that’s the interesting part.
I see that I let other people bother me. I bet it’s just a blip in their day but I let it get to me. Also, I tend to let my stuff slide to the back instead of finishing it. This being a part of it but also this follow up post to explain it. It’s forced me to write so I like the exercise of writing a day down.

A Day in the Life Part 1

12/21/10 –
Mesquite 60 degrees.
Wake up at 4:53, 7 minutes before my alarm goes off.
DEXTER THEME plays because it’s my alarm, every morning.
I get up at 5:16, shower and grab a left over Diet Coke in the fridge for the morning medication. I pour a left over Diet Dr. Pepper in the Arby’s cup and mix the 2 drinks.
In my 2002 Jeep, I bought a few months ago, and the first song of the day is The Cure on “80s on 8”.

The Cure – Friday I’m In Love
Uploaded by manon42. – Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

At work, 6:12.
38 personal emails. 11 work emails.
The first call I take is for a password reset to our financial system. User have had the capability to do this themselves for about 2 years. They still call. They still think they type it in correctly. They are always wrong. I waste most of my day taking this very call. I describe where to go to do it themselves. I will always get called back when they have to do it again.
I clean out work email which is an avalanche of passed work. One employee quit recently and I inherited his work. A new employee finally got his vacation this week and is using it so I get all his dumped work.
I play Howard Stern in my left ear while I work.
User calls back because he can’t reset his won password. 75% of these calls are Sales people. 25% are just dumb people that don’t know how password resets work. They are usually older and don’t use the Internet. This guy is a Sales guy. I hate Sales guys.
Breakfast continues from the desk. Low sugar Pop Tarts that sit in a drawer.
I attack the new employee’s work that has been passed to me.
Install a new hard drive for a user. Windows 7 image. Never worked. Stuck between repairing and booting normally and neither worked. This now becomes working with my manager on another fix for this user. My manager is pretty easy going and that’s what I love most about my job.

First tweet of the day, “@sarahEmagee @kyle1point0 @mcgaritydotme Bubbles? Michael Jackson’s monkey?” I was replying to
“@kyle1point0 @mcgaritydotme @clay_harrison Y’all. Srsly. Me = bubbles.” from @sarahEmagee

First call out of the day is to an Office Manager. She’s an over-laugher. I have to turn the volume down. She’s one of the older users. She needs me to copy documents from a DVD to her hard drive. I know a lot of my job is hand holding and walking users through the easy stuff. The easy stuff is unknown to them and really anything you don’t know now a days is something you fear.

Most of my morning is booked with calls and tickets to resolve. I get one calls that takes a long time and allows me to browse through my Tumblr account. Tumblr appears to be where all the kids are. It’s neat and the haters are few. It’s full of optimistic views. By kids, I mean 20 somethings. I find a lot of humor there as well as movie references. I love the comic art that is posted. I have very little to say there but enjoy the peace and quite. I am just an observer.

Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. Need more than a Pop Tart now but talking to too many people and it seems rude to eat and talk on the phone. I do however deal with this on occasion and people will eat while talking to me. I hate it.

Off the phone and eating a banana. I got a second to post my first Tumblr post.

I love Gremlins. It’s also required viewing for the Holidays.

I also find time to share this on Facebook. I also see it’s a friend’s (from high school) birthday. I click on his name, copy/paste “Happy Birthday!” from someone else’s post. (Just because it’s quick and I fear misspelling it.)
Normally, it’d be more involved but this is someone I haven’t seen since the day of graduation. Doubtful I will again. I just kinda maintain that online friendship and go on.

At this point of the day I try to cut back the tabs open in Chrome. I have a bad habit of opening things I want to read or do when I get on long calls. Current tab count, 5. Threadsy, this post, Google Calendar, Tumblr reply and an article on Randy Quaid. Lots of time waster’s there? Yea, I know.

Calls slow down and I’m able to actually work. I do a scan on a hard drive. I pop over to a website to vote for friend’s charity. “Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance” She too is a high school friend but was at the reunion. I don’t really talk to her now but did at the reunion and read about her daughter’s illness. It sounds awful.

Slow day on Twitter. Mainly reading. I think because I’m focusing on this, I don’t have much to say there.

Day filled with lots of random work. Tuned into the Marvel Press Conference about Fear Itself. Great promotion and looking forward to it. Might be my first monthly digital book. I can’t go back to buying then in stores.

I end up pausing the Marvel conference a couple of times to get deliveries. For some reason the back door phone doesn’t ring to me anymore. So after delivering mail, yes I went to college for this, I have to get my phone fixed. For lunch, I choke down left over ribs Lori made and back to work.

Made time to do an email to cover X-Mas activities. It had to be done. UGH! Family shouldn’t be work.

So now I spend time in the back receiving old hardware and doing inventory. I notice now that I’m writing all this down how much I eat and drank at my desk. Some tea and another Pop Tart disappear. All the work in the back kicks my ass. People sending in the wrong things. Boxes with no paperwork appear. Most of this is a guessing game.

Remember the laptop I worked on this morning? Well now I get another one that has been imaged and is a complete replacement for the user. I go to swap them out. I hate this part. Small talk while the wheels of Microsoft crank. Slow and tedious as I move docs/shut down/swap laptops and boot back up. So his office neighbor stops by to chat. He loves to fucking talk. BLAH BLAH BLAH. I slowly start to push a bullet into my head hoping he gets the message but nope. While talking we discuss the programs he runs. One program I know for sure doesn’t run on Windows 7. Talky office neighbor insist that it does. He should know. He is busy standing in the doorway talking. He works in Finance. He should know shit about IT. So after all the slow sluggish computer shit I head back to check on this program. I walk into a discussion about how people that use this program are NOT to get Windows 7. Feeble attempts are made for a work around but in the end I take his new laptop and replace it with his old laptop. Time in the morning and afternoon were wasted because no one just asked the user what programs he uses. Fuck all to hell.

Back to desk to work security tickets. Short and boring but this is the heart of what I do. I like this stuff better. I turn more Stern on and clean out the tickets I can do.

It’s currently 82 degrees in Dallas when I leave work. Fuck.