Racebending received a statement Thursday from Marvel stating:
“Thank you for reaching out regarding your concerns over Marvel’s recent casting notice for THE RUNAWAYS. We appreciate your interest in our production and with Marvel Entertainment.
“To address your concern over casting for the role of Nico, as we do with all of our films, we intend to stay true to the legacy and story of the comic when casting these parts. Thus, our goal is to cast an Asian American actress as depicted in the comic series and the casting notice will be adjusted accordingly.
“We thank you again for your correspondence and the opportunity to clarify our process.”
In an original open casting released by smallfacescasting.com, Nico was described as “uniquely beautiful” with no emphasize or prioritization for actresses of color. For those unfamiliar with the character, Nico is a Japanese American and was the series’ predominant heroin who was featured on the cover of the first issue.
Since Racebending and the AA community’s involvement and dialogue with Marvel, the public open casting call website for Runaways has revised to be more inclusive to Asian American actors, and to stress that the best person to portray an Asian American character would be an Asian American actor:
“Girl 1: Uniquely beautiful, nurturing but guarded
Female, Asian-American, must play 16-18
Must be at least 16 by January 2011″
If casting goes as it should, Nico Minoru will be the first Asian American lead character in any Marvel film.
Good job to both Racebending, MANAA and Marvel.