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Thursday night I had the privilege of being a guest on john_in_boston's nerd culture-themed podast, Roll For It! Our topic was The Best Movies Never Made, as in, movies that were discussed by companies for production but never actually made it to the screen. I spoke about Darren Aronofsky's theoretical adaptation of Frank Miller's Year One, which would have had a slightly unhinged Batman running around in a ski mask beating thugs with his bare fists in a turn that sounds a lot more like Travis Bickle than Bruce Wayne. It was a lot of fun, and though my episode won't be up for a while yet, there are many interesting ones currently on the website, so if you'd like to hear some funny nerds talking about various topics in the culture, I suggest you check it out.


One film that was brought up that really got me thinking was, according to John, a plan at some point to do a Captain America movie starring Will Smith. I PRESUME this would have Smith not playing Steve Rogers, but rather the canon "black Captain America," Isaiah Bradley. While I'm glad they went with Steve's story first to set things rolling, this might be something interesting to include as material for sequel films. I think Will Smith might be too old for a depiction of Isaiah at this point (is he pushing forty by now?) but he'd be a great role for somebody. I like the story itself, I like the inclusion of the character into the Marvel universe. It makes sense in a vaccuum. The only thing that troubles me about it is that the point at which this story was created and introduced into continuity means that it had to be shoehorned into the existing framework of the universe. Which means that in order to justify Isaiah's existence, he basically had to be one huge secret. The rationale, I think, is that at the time people didn't want to hold up a black man as a new national hero, nor did they want the inhumane experiments by which they made him to be widely known.

While that doesn't sound totally unreasonable, I'm not sure I totally buy it, and here's why. Basically everything in the Marvel universe stemmed from one attempt or another to recreate Captain America. Most of them failed, or at least went drastically awry. It seems that Isaiah, until his physical and mental breakdown late in life, was pretty much a success. I know there is a long history of black accomplishments and presences being erased from the historical record, but I still find it kind of strange that nobody would know or want to talk about if they knew that they actually managed to make another Captain America. At the very least, so they could replicate the process on a "more desirable" candidate.

But perhaps that's how it would be. There's a great entry on Gertie' New Blog for Better Sewing called "Retro and Race" that talks about how odd it is that it strikes people as transgressive to see black people in vintage looks. But the reason depictions of black people in those eras are rare is not because they weren't part of culture and society-- as Gertie says, black women "wore clothes and did their hair" --but because of how whitewashed history becomes. People of color people are often glossed over rather than included in recollections of "the way we were." Like the paintings of the driving of the final Golden Spike of the railroad that don't have a single Asian worker in sight despite the huge part they made of the workforce. Just as including a later experimental subject in Project: Rebirth who was a black man helps work against that whitewashing, highlighting the fact of that whitewashing in his story helps people become aware of it. And mindfulness, I believe, is always the first step to handling things better. So it could be a powerful way to tell a cool story in an upcoming Captain America film.


About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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