When last we heard from Jamie Foxx, he was crossing his fingers that he would be cast as Electro in Amazing Spider-Man 2. Foxx’s four year old daughter was a big Spider-Man fan, so Foxx had said she would go crazy if he got the role.
In an unusual move, Sony/Columbia Pictures has officially confirmed that Jamie Foxx is a part of the Amazing Spider-Man sequel, via a press release announcing another actor being cast. While announcing that Dane DeHaan had been cast as Harry Osborn, Columbia Pictures noted that he would be joining fellow cast members Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and Shailene Woodley.
While not clearly stating that Foxx will play the formerly Caucasian character Max Dillon in the Andrew Garfield vehicle, it would be odd if he turned up as, oh, The Rhino (Black Russian?). It is odd for an actor of Foxx’s stature — Oscar winner, box office success in a variety of projects, multi-platinum recording artist and television veteran — to not have gotten an announcement of some kind, but in the allegedly post-racial nation we now live in, perhaps mentioning such an omission is a faux pas …
Foxx’s casting does follow some of Marvel’s race-bending cinematic decisions of recent years, including the brilliant casting of the late Michael Clarke Duncan as The Kingpin (the best part of Ben Affleck’s Daredevil) and Idris Elba taking a turn as the Norse god Heimdall in not just one but two Thor movies. The cinematic cohort at the Mouse House of Ideas has gone farther to include people of color in their visions than their print counterparts — despite a small number of Black artists finding work in mainstream comics, Marvel hasn’t had a Black writer on its comics since Reginald Hudlin left Black Panther in August 2009 and DC’s public purge including Eric Wallace and Marc Bernardin last year depleted their ranks of voices of African descent.
The irony here is that since Tony Isabella created Black Lightning in the 1970s, Black people with electrical powers became almost a cliche, including writer Mark Waid to hang a lampshade on it with his character Volt repeatedly joking about it in Irredeemable.
For Foxx to cement this visually in Electro’s first cinematic outing seems almost fitting, if viewed in that regard.
In any case, this means a new angle on the story that will emerge on silver screens. Amazing Spider-Man 2 is slated for release May 2, 2014.