Monday, January 24, 2011

Gail Simone on Bane Casting


With the recent casting news of Bane for the upcoming Batman film, it seems many people have asked Gail Simone, current writer of Secret Six, for her opinion. She posted a general response regarding her feelings over in the Jinxworld forums. It is a well thought out and articulated piece, and I urge you to read the whole thing (and the comments too) as it raises some incredibly good points and questions regarding the casting of the character and his race. 

As Simone mentions, Bane's race is not particularly important to himself (to the point that I had forgotten he is supposed to be Latin at all!), but it is a crucial part of his origin story, and the opposing subtext and parallels with Batman would be lost if the character was changed to have an Anglo origin (though someone made a good point that his father is supposed to be British). At the same time, Christopher Nolan has a pretty good hit rate with adapting previous characters, and it will be interesting to see what he does with Bane. 

In any case, I thought it was a particularly interesting topic, and I wanted to see what readers thought. What do you think about the casting? How do you think will affect the character and his race? Let us know in the comments section below. 

In Pullquotes, we present a quote and related imagery, to provide a source of discussion and/or thought among our readers. Feel free to comment on the above image.


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26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bane is Latin? I have read most of Knightfall, all of Bane of the Demon, Contagion, Villains United and Secret Six and this fact has never popped up.

I think Bane is one of those characters were his background just does not matter, he was a character created for a singular purpose i.e. to break the bat. It is like Doomsday, the more you stress on his origins, the less sense it makes. He should just be portrayed as a master schemer and a force of nature and left at that.

Anonymous said...

Read Vengeance of Bane, his first appearance. It's a key point of his origin that couldn't have happened in the U.S.

Midnight Monk said...

I really never knew Bane was of hispanic decent until that Mystery of the Batwoman movie to be honest. In a way, Bane isn't a character who really has ever spoken with an Hispanic accent or even acted all "Latino Pride" like most minority characters in comics do. Bane is Bane, he's a warrior nothing more nothing less and he never been someone whose stuck to stereotypes so unless they can think of someone who won't overplay Bane's Hispanic background which he rarely brings up. It's not a big deal but...if Bane starts sounding like a British douche then people can riot

Akylle said...

@Anonymous: I disagree Bane's origin story is incredibly important to the character, without it you have no idea why he's after batman in the first place. I can't imagine reading Knightfall without having read Vengeance of Bane first. DC really dropped the ball when they didn't include it in the first Knightfall trade.

Klep said...

Tom Hardy really is an extraordinary actor, and his turn in Branson shows exactly what he can bring to this kind of role. Might it be better if Nolan had cast a Latino to play Bane? Possibly. But Nolan and Hardy have worked together before, and I have a great deal of faith in Nolan to do this right.

And I disagree with Simone that Bane being from South America is all that important to his backstory. It seems to me that the key part of his backstory that she relates at that link is the terrible conditions and the poverty in which he was born and raised. Such conditions are by no means restricted to South America.

The only concern I have over Bane losing his ethnicity is Hollywood's tendency to whitewash characters, as seen in the furor over the Last Airbender casting. If I thought for a second that that was what Nolan was doing here, I would be outraged. But I don't. I think that Nolan found an actor who he thinks will play the character he has in mind, and he doesn't care what that actor's race is.

Anonymous said...

While it's not limited to South America, I think the point Simone was making was that it was a dark reflection of Bruce Wayne. The fact that it's NOT America is the point. Here, you're not going to have a kid grow up in a prison because his father committed a crime. Substitute Latin for other cultures if you want, doesn't change the argument.

Anonymous said...

Again, but it's not like they are whitewashing Aztek or John Stewart.

Plus, plenty of hispanics, and (to be true to the origin story and to Simone's point of view) hispanics living in poverty in the Caribbean, are of caucasian descent. I am therefore not all that concerned, plus I'm trusting Nolan's almost impeccable casting record.

I'm wondering if Hugo Strange is still scheduled to be in the movie and thus involved in the Bane origin story...

Anonymous said...

"Race" does not exist. It's a social construct. Try ethnicity.

Radlum said...

@Anonymous 6: So...Bane can only come from a poor environment if he is Hispanic or in any way not from the US? I kind of get your point but the unfortunate implications make it seem awful

Anonymous said...

@Radlum...I don't think you get the point at all. You're thinking of Bane as some kind of archetype for all hispanics or other ethnicities, when he's clearly not. "We can't write that this group or that group ended up bad because it implies the wrong thing about them..." It's central to HIS character, and his alone. There are other hispanic characters that don't have what you believe is being implied. The fact that he grew up in a decidedly different environment than Bruce is the important part and the twisted reflection that Simone was talking about. The only implication that he is stereotypical of any particular ethnicity is only in your head.
- Anonymous #6 Z. Ramirez

Ivan said...

The problem is that when Anglo-saxon people think "Latino" they instantly picture a brown-skinned dude.

Here's me: http://a3.twimg.com/profile_images/75017998/P1000374comp.jpg

What am I? White? Caucasian? Euro-descendant? Latino? Mixed breed?

Tom Hardy can look like a Latin-american just fine.

sdelmonte said...

I had forgotten this aspect of Bane as well. Maybe it plays into what Gail does, but I never sense it's a major thing.

It's also worth noting that Ra's Al Ghul was not played by an Asian or an Arab in the film, or in any cartoon. The only person who has ever noticed is my wife.

Anonymous said...

@Radlum , He's latin not because he needed to be poor and from another country, it's because of the circumstances of his imprisionment (paying at birth for his fathers sins, being dumped into a hole for most of his life) he's also from a fictional latin american island, so put your P.C. crap back in your pocket and enjoy a good story...I mean damn...

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