The DC Comics universe could have had the hottest new star… and they turned him down over his race?! WTF?!
OK, so remember that big Hollywood Reporter interview with Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in the Justice League movie? It was mostly about Joss Whedon and his alleged abusive behavior on set, but there was more… a lot more. We told y’all it was worth a read.
One tidbit that flew under the radar was about a Warner Bros show that aired on the Syfy channel. Krypton was the story of Superman’s ancestors on the titular planet, with the protagonist being the grandfather of DC’s strongest hero.
That role was a hot one, with tons of young actors auditioning — including Regé-Jean Page before he became the Duke of Hotness on Bridgerton. And according to multiple sources, he was turned down not because he wasn’t fantastic but because he was Black!
Geoff Johns, who was co-chairman of DC Films at the time, reportedly said it wouldn’t make sense for Superman to have a Black grandfather. In an email responding to the accusation, a rep for Johns admitted race had determined the decision because “Johns believed fans expected the character to look like a young Henry Cavill.”
First off, fans didn’t expect DC to make a show about Superman’s grandpa at all. It was weird.
Second, families are mixed. People understand that. And also… Are y’all really going to pretend casting canon is being treated that preciously over there? When you have two Jokers, yet another new Batman, and a white guy playing South American villain Bane?
Ray Fisher had something to say about that explanation after the article came out, tweeting:
“I appreciate Geoff Johns bringing on a crisis team to try to explain away his discriminatory behavior, but his excuses are WEAK.
If Geoff believed fans expected Superman’s grandfather to look like “a young Henry Cavill”—why was he ok with the Zods not resembling Michael Shannon?”
General Zod, the villain played by Oscar nominee Michael Shannon in Man Of Steel? He was one of the major baddies of the show, too — and Johns was apparently perfectly happy to cast a Black actor (a British one at that, the fantastic Colin Salmon) to play that role. What, the villains can be Black, but the heroes can’t?
As for the Bridgerton breakout star, the report was apparently not the first he’d heard of any of this. Presumably the studio knew well enough not to tell the man he wasn’t white enough to play the lead on their show, but something tells us he’d heard things before.
But the excuses only made it worse. He tweeted:
“Hearing about these conversations hurts no less now than it did back then. The clarifications almost hurt more tbh. Still just doing my thing. Still we do the work.”
And then just to let everyone know exactly what he was talking about, he added:
“We still fly.”
Darn straight! Nothing but upward for Regé-Jean, who has a ton of work coming up — and is even rumored to be in the running for the biggest role a Brit can get: James Bond. Something tells us that, too, will come with a lot of racist pushback.
And you know what? He owes it all to not getting that role. Because let’s face it, who even saw Krypton?? Not as many people as fell in love with Simon on Bridgerton, we’ll tell you that! And he almost certainly wouldn’t have had time to audition for the sumptuous period piece if he was busy punching guys made of rock in front of green screens on Syfy.
What do YOU think of Regé-Jean’s response to all this?? Let us know in the comments (below)!
[Image via Netflix/Warner Bros/YouTube.]