This thread has reminded me of the classically bad Superman story where Lois Lane becomes black.
I don't think this is anywhere near the same level of gimmicks, but the opponents seem to feel it might be a similar result.
Personally, I'm still not sold on Peter Parker's race being such a defining aspect of his character. I'll buy his "appearance" simply because he's been depicted in pretty much the same way for so long in comics, but I can't think of a single way his "race" makes a difference.
Peter Parker has a heritage. That heritage includes Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Forest Hills, Empire State University, Grantray-Lawrence Animation, Nicholas Hammond, John Romita Sr., various Marvel Productions series, various computer game series, Todd MacFarlane, Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire, that Universal Studios ride, the late, great "Spectacular Spider-Man" on Kids WB and Disney XD, and a Broadway musical that may or may not make it to the stage.
By and large, throughout most of this heritage I am able to accept that it is one character in all of these incarnations. A black actor might easily create a much more interesting character than Tobey Maguire (it wouldn't be hard); it would not be the same character. At all. If it were a character I cared less about, I might not mind. I do care and I do mind.
My argument is that all of these that you mention are different
versions of Spider-Man(&Peter Parker) already. The Spider-Man from the comics is distinct from the live action TV shows, from the various cartoons, the movies, the Ultimate comics, the video games, etc. The beauty of character continuity like this is that it doesn't matter if in this story Peter has just met Gwen Stacey while in another version he's having a love affair and then fighting her evil clone from the 28th dimension.
I'll continue to argue that what defines Peter Parker is his humor, his intelligence, his tenacity and his never-catch-a-break luck, not the color of his skin, hair, eyes, etc. Those are the things that I think of when I think of Spider-Man. Sure, a black Spider-Man would be unrealistic(ha!) if it was set in the 60s when
Are there similar controversies about Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury? Or is that just so "awesome" that it gets a pass?
Why not just make a film about Power Man? I don't get it.
Because no one knows who Power Man is outside of comic readers. Just look at what a financial failure the straight to DVD "Wonder Woman" movie was for the reason. But I'm glad you mention it. Power Man is a great example of a character who is as much defined by his race as anything else. He dresses as an exploitation movie character for goodness sake.
Or to an Irishman posing under a French name, as it were.
I was actually referring to the other person who claimed to be Ra's Al Ghul in that movie. And no one seems to care that an Australian has made 4 movies playing a character who is inextricably tied to being Canadian. And of all the criticisms of Clash of the Titans
the one I haven't heard is that Sam Worthington is not Greek enough.
I'm trying to think of dramatic race switches that have or haven't worked. The current The Last Airbender
debate is one that keeps coming to mind.
This whole discussion makes me wonder if we should just make culturally specific movies, ie. a German Spider-Man for German audiences. Something like this.