- Title: Marvel may see an Asian lead Superhero only "when the time is right"
- Date: 25th April 2016
- Summary: SINGAPORE (APRIL 21, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** LOCAL COSPLAYER SHOWING OFF HIS IRON MAN COSTUME ON STAGE DURING BLUE CARPET EVENT PEOPLE TAKING PHOTOS COSPLAYER ON STAGE
- Embargoed: 9th May 2016 12:15
- Keywords: cinema character Asia superhero Marvel
- Location: SINGAPORE
- City: SINGAPORE
- Country: Singapore
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA0034EV88JX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: While Marvel's 'Captain America: Civil War' promotional caravan stopped in Singapore last week, pulling all the strings to please its local fans, it also hinted at the possibility of seeing an Asian Marvel superhero taking an important role in their cinematic universe in the future.
Marvel Vice President of Asia Brand Management and Development, C.B. Cebulski, said Marvel may see an Asian superhero leading a film in the next few years and is also looking for Asian creators to produce content for its thriving Asian market.
There has been an increasing pressure for diversity in entertainment in the past year, with some celebrities boycotting the latest Oscars ceremony after complaints of a lack of diversity in the nominees' list.
Recent controversies also include the casting of Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson in the role of Major Kusanagi in the remake of classic Japanese anime 'Ghost in the Shell'.
Cebulski said Marvel must wait for the "right time" to see an Asian Superhero lead in a Marvel film.
"Things have to happen naturally, that's what Marvel is about you know, it's about finding to right character at the right time and we knew it was the right time for Black Panther and we know it's the right time for Captain Marvels, hopefully in the next couple of years it will, be the right time for the proper Asian superhero, you know be it Miss Marvel or Sunfire or someone to really pop and take centre stage in one of the films," he said.
Cebulski, who will be based in Shanghai in June, would like to see Spiderman's Asian female superhero, Cindy Moon play a lead role in Marvel films.
"I would love to see her take a role in one of the films now that Spiderman's back in the Marvel Universe. It'd be great to see him have a female hero supporting him and bring her to the audiences," he added.
The web-slinging character is owned by Sony Pictures but Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege negotiated an agreement where Peter Parker could be introduced in Disney's 'Captain America: Civil War' before headlining Sony's 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' in 2017.
Marvel also plans to expand into Asia by creating both new content from Asia for the global audience and content to cater to the Asian market. Having local creators develop content is one of their strategies and South Korea's locally created White Fox's success has been highly encouraging.
"We've had a couple of experiments with local creators creating local content. In Korea we had a Korean creator create a new Marvel hero called 'White Fox' who got very popular in Korea so we moved her over to the actual Marvel universe in, you know, the comic book series, so taking a step from that we're going to be doing that in different countries here in Asia, we're looking for Chinese creators to create some Chinese Marvel heroes, we're looking for a Singaporean creator to create a hero based here, you know the same with Japan or with Malaysia or with the Philippines," said Cebulski.
While the creative Asian power houses for Marvel are Indonesia and the Philippines, Cebulski, who travels the world to scout for talent, is also looking for content from underrepresented Asian countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.
"Creatively, Indonesia and the Philippines right now are extremely, they're goldmines for us, we've hired so many new artists out of those two countries that we're definitely going, you know, putting some of our focus there, but my job would be not to just find where it's easiest to go for talent, it's to find the talent that might not normally get discovered so I'll be going to some of the smaller countries as well, you know be it Malaysia or here in Singapore where we've had some success but we want to find more creators who are more in tune with kind of what Marvel is doing," he said.
Cebulski says Marvel wants to build a "level of authenticity" by having local creators create content and characters in their own countries.
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