As Idris Elba prepares for the release of Thor, in which he plays the all-seeing Heimdall, he’s also gearing up for battle with the film’s “purist” fans who feel that a Black man shouldn’t play the character rooted in Norse mythology.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Elba said the reason behind such disapproval goes beyond fan appreciation. “Purist comic-book fans are one thing,” said the 38-year-old actor, “Out-and-out racism is another… Of course, the more I speak on this topic, the more I fuel it. But, look, if people have a problem with me playing the character, just don’t go see the movie, you know?”
There’s even a website calling for fans to boycott the Marvel film for inserting “left-wing social engineering into European mythology” with the casting of Elba. The back-and-forth between The Wire actor and the Thor fans has been going on since last year, much of it covered in the British press.
Elba recently finished filming Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance which is slated for release in 2012.
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