Loaded 20: (London) Contract negotiations were tense on both sides of the pond today as SAG-AFTRA and its British equivalent, Equity, tried to come to a civilized agreement on which country’s actors would have the right to play iconic American superheroes in upcoming live-action major motion pictures and TV series.
The controversy was sparked several months ago when Henry Cavill, a British actor, was cast in the Warner Brothers Man of Steel reboot. However, the amount of protest was small and widely overlooked because most Americans weren’t aware of the fact that Mr. Cavill is not, in fact, a United States native.
But it was recently drudged up again when Rupert Grint landed the starring role in the upcoming CBS superhero/sitcom/comedy Super Clyde about a young man who decides to turn his sizable inheritance into his own personal superpower. Despite the series airing in the United States, the main character will reportedly be using his unearned fortune to benefit the “common good” and reward those who adhere to ethical business practices, which conflicts drastically with American culture. Mr. Grint’s publicist has also released a statement saying that he will not make any effort to develop a state-side accent for the role.
Naturally, this has American viewing audiences railing against the production despite the fact that the pilot has yet to be filmed, much less picked up by CBS.
But the final straw came when Equity led a major campaign to cast several British actors in the upcoming Justice League. Some of the heavier names that were dropped included Mr. Cavill (to reprise his Superman role), Clive Owen as Batman, and Jason Statham as The Flash, to name a few. It was decided that American actors could keep the roles of Green Lantern and Aquaman for whichever actors they saw fit.
The SAG-AFTRA counter-offer involved some choice words followed by a recommendation that they produce their own International Justice League stand-alone. It almost goes without saying that the suggestion was not taken well by Equity.
As of this writing, negotiations are still ongoing and may not settle themselves any time soon. This morning, Equity proposed a compromise which involved allowing Christian Bale to re-don the batsuit in exchange for either Simon Pegg or Darren Boyd to be cast as Aquaman. Mr. Pegg preemptively declined the role on the grounds that it would conflict with his production of a similar acquatic-themed superhero blockbuster Jet Bike Steve and the Bikini Thief.