I’m gonna jump right into the deep end and state that I have very little faith in how Hollywood casts. Period. Ever since D. W. Griffith cast white men in black-face in 1915’s atrocious “The Birth of a Nation,” casting directors of major motion pictures have consistently screwed up casting for PoC’s, either getting it completely wrong (Exodus: Gods & Kings, I’m glaring at you), or giving us an actor so out of left field that the characters energy is seven kinds of ‘What the fluff?’
Such is the case of the casting of beloved X-Men wind-rider, Storm. When Halle Berry was cast, fans of the comic side-eyed the Oscar winner, knowing that a big name does NOT a character make. Sloppily written dialogue didn’t help matters, as we STILL don’t know what happens to a frog when lightning hits it. We need to know, Halle. We need to know!
Currently, Bryan Singer is testing actresses for the coveted role and thus far, two names are being bandied about, like we should be happy we’re getting Storm at all: Alexandra Shipp (Lifetime’s Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B) and Zendaya Coleman (Shake It Up!). Frankly, I don’t think either of these actresses have what it takes to bring us out of our collective Storm misery and allay the ‘meh’ filled Berry performances.
Anywho, rather than whine, I decided to give you my wee wish list for who should take on the mantle of the beloved Rain Goddess.
Known to most as Missandei, Khaleesi’s right hand, in HBO’s Game of Thrones, this British born actress certainly carries herself in a queenly manner. That goes a LONG way for Storm’s on-screen presence. And let’s face it, she is absolutely S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G. Her ability to portray quiet dignity puts her miles above the ‘other two’ in my opine. She’d kick major booty as Storm.
I know she’s tied up with Sleepy Hollow. I KNOW. But damn it, a man can dream can’t he? Clocking a solid DAYUM on the Fione-o-Meter, Beharie is certainly no slouch in the acting department. With deep, resonant eyes capable of rendering the hardest hearts to mush, she’s a shoo-in for the Silver-Haired One.
Possessed of steely glare and blistering biceps, Greenwood has already shown that she has what it takes to don the tights and cape. Capable of swinging fists as well as the ability to emote entire lines with a single word, Lyndie would be front and center as Storm. Caveat: she just might be outside of the age range Singer and co are looking for at 31. Hollywood’s ageism on women sucks.
Currently starring as Iris West on CW’s The Flash, Patton could easily drape the bangled cape and we’d buy it wholesale. With a bit of muscle tone, it’d be hard to argue that she could indeed trade punches with Apocalypse. She has my vote.
Honourable Mention: Quvenzhané Wallis
Though she is clearly too young for the role at the moment, there is no denying that Wallis has the talent to pull off a young Storm, if only via a flashback scene. Filled with the kind of boundless energy that our favorite mutant must surely possess, Quvenzhané has also displayed the no-nonsense sense bearing of Storm when she corrected a lazy AP reporter who insisted “I’m calling you Annie now,” with a curt “My name is NOT Annie. My name is Quvenzhané.” You ROCK, little one.
So dear Bryan, if you’re reading this, kindly (through gritted teeth) reconsider your criteria for casting Storm. We understand the need for hue consistency, but whatever happened to finding somebody who could actually act? Someone who would care enough about the character to actually read Greg Pak’s take on her? Someone who wasn’t just looking to collect a check? Seriously, we thought that you of all people would have given us our goddess resplendent on-screen. Instead, we got Pitof’s Catwoman in a badly adjusted lacefront. C’mon bruh. If you cared about your black fans at all, you’d recognize that we represent a significant chunk of your audience. We deserve to see the sole black woman on screen treated with the same dignity afforded her less powerful white team-mates.
Make us feel gooood.