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Nontraditional casting, integrated casting, or blind casting (short for color-blind/gender-blind casting) is the practice of casting without considering the actor's ethnicity, skin color, body shape, sex and/or gender. A representative of the Actors' Equity Association has disputed the use of the term "color blind", preferring the definition "nontraditional casting". Nontraditional casting "is defined as the casting of ethnic minority actors in roles where race, ethnicity, or gender is not germane". Race-reversed casting is one form of non-traditional casting.
|Doctor Zhivago||1965||Yuri Zhivago was played by Egyptian actor Omar Sharif.|
|Batman||1967||Eartha Kitt was cast as Catwoman on several episodes.|
|Jesus Christ Superstar||1973||African-American actor Carl Anderson was cast in the lead role of Judas Iscariot, successive to Ben Vereen playing the role in the original 1971 Broadway production.|
|I, Claudius||1976||Darien Angadi and Sam Dastor played key roles with Renu Setna and Roy Stewart in smaller speaking roles.|
|Sadat||1983||Louis Gossett Jr. as Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, although Sadat's mother was from Sudan.|
|Never Say Never Again||1983||Black actor Bernie Casey was cast in the role of Felix Leiter. Most other depictions of Leiter, a recurring character in the James Bond franchise, have been white. Jeffrey Wright played the role in Casino Royale (2006).|
|The Mahabharata||1989||Men from distinctly different ethnic groups were cast to play Indian brothers in the epic story of the nation's mythical founding.|
|Batman||1989||Billy Dee Williams was cast as Harvey Dent in the 1989 film. In subsequent films, the character was played by Caucasian-American actors Tommy Lee Jones and Aaron Eckhart.|
|After the Fall||1990||Josette Simon played Maggie at the London National Theatre in 1990. The role is widely supposed to have been based on Arthur Miller's former wife Marilyn Monroe.|
|The Bonfire of the Vanities||1990||Morgan Freeman plays Judge Leonard White, who was described as Ashkenazi Jewish in the original novel on which the film is based.|
|Les Misérables||1993||Filipino singer and actress Lea Salonga plays Éponine in the Broadway production of Les Misérables.|
|The Pelican Brief||1993||Denzel Washington plays a character described as white in the original novel by John Grisham.|
|The Shawshank Redemption||1994||An adaptation of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. The character Red, described as Irish in the novella, is played by Morgan Freeman.|
|Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella||1997||The movie contained a racially diverse cast, with Brandy Norwood as Cinderella, Bernadette Peters as her stepmother (with Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle as Cinderella's stepsisters), Victor Garber as King Maximillian, Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constantina, Whitney Houston as the fairy godmother and Paolo Montalban as their son, Prince Christopher.|
|The Nutty Professor||1996||Eddie Murphy plays Sherman Klump/Buddy Love, previously portrayed by Jerry Lewis.|
|Dr. Dolittle||1998||Eddie Murphy plays Dr. John Dolittle, previously portrayed by Rex Harrison.|
|Annie||1999||Audra McDonald plays Grace, the secretary of Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks played by Victor Garber. At the film's ending, Grace and Warbucks become engaged. No reference is made that McDonald is African-American and Garber is white.|
|Wild Wild West||1999||African-American actor Will Smith plays Captain James West, a character originated by Caucasian actor Robert Conrad.|
|This England: The Histories||2000||British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo played Henry VI of England. Oyelowo was the first black actor to play an English king in a major production of Shakespeare|
|Smallville||2001||The television series cast African-American actor Sam Jones III as Clark Kent's childhood friend Pete Ross. In the decades-old comic books, this character was white. Kristin Kreuk, of Dutch and Chinese descent, was cast for the originally red-headed character Lana Lang; and Allison Mack was cast as Chloe Sullivan, written to have a non-white ethnic background.|
|Daredevil||2003||Black actor Michael Clarke Duncan played Wilson Fisk (AKA Kingpin), who was portrayed in earlier comics versions as a European American.|
|Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle||2003||Black actor Bernie Mac portrayed Bosley, who was previously portrayed as white and was played by Irish-American Bill Murray in Charlie's Angels (2000).|
|Catwoman||2004||Halle Berry portrayed the titular character in the 2004 film.|
|Alexander||2004||Persian King Darius III is portrayed by Israeli actor Raz Degan. Indian King Porus was portrayed by Thai actor Bin Bunluerit.|
|The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy||2005||Mos Def was cast as Ford Prefect. Although Ford's ethnicity was not explicitly stated in the books, he was described as having ginger hair.|
|Batman Begins||2005||Colin McFarlane was cast as Gillian B. Loeb in Batman Begins and its sequel, The Dark Knight.|
|Fantastic Four (2005 film)||2005||Mexican-American actress Jessica Alba played the Invisible Woman (Susan Storm), a character traditionally portrayed as non-Latin white. African American actress Kerry Washington played Alicia Masters, a character traditionally portrayed as white. Both of them reprised their roles for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.|
|Grey's Anatomy||2005||During the creation of the television series, none of the characters was assigned a race. Color-blind casting was used to choose the best actors for the roles, resulting in a racially diverse cast.|
|Casino Royale||2006||Jeffrey Wright was cast as Felix Leiter in Casino Royale and its sequel Quantum of Solace (2008).|
|Robin Hood||2006||Kwame Kwei-Armah was cast as De Fourtnoy (Master-at-Arms) in "Who Shot the Sheriff?", the third episode.|
|The Nativity Story||2006||Joseph is portrayed by Guatemalan actor Oscar Isaac. Magi Balthasar was portrayed by Cameroonian-French actor Eriq Ebouaney. Elizabeth and Joachim were portrayed by Iranian actors Shohreh Aghdashloo and Shaun Toub, with the latter being Jewish.|
|Merlin||2008||Several non-white actors play roles traditionally described in the historic Arthurian legends as European, most notably Guinevere and Elyan the White.|
|Max Payne||2008||Ludacris plays the role of Internal Affairs agent Jim Bravura, who is portrayed as white in the video game.|
|Iron Man||2008||African-American actor Samuel L. Jackson played Nick Fury, who was previously depicted as white in a variety of mediums.|
|King Lear||2010||Black British actor Pippa Bennett-Warner played Cordelia in the 2010 Donmar Warehouse production of King Lear, starring Derek Jacobi in the title role.|
|The Karate Kid||2010||In Chinese American martial arts action drama film, black actor Jaden Smith plays main character of Dre. The original 1984 film of the same name had a slightly different story and the main character's name was Daniel LaRusso and he was of Caucasian descent.|
|Death at a Funeral||2010||A 2010 American ensemble comedy film directed by Neil LaBute. The film is an American remake of the 2007 British film of the same name. Most of characters in the remake were black while in the original movie they were of caucasian descent.|
|Thor||2011||The role of the Asgardian sentry Heimdall, based on the Marvel Comics character commonly depicted as white, was played by Black British actor Idris Elba.|
|Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812||2012||Off-Broadway musical based on the Russian novel War and Peace. All of the characters were originally written as white. Natasha was originally played by Phillipa Soo, of Chinese descent, and Hélène was played by Black actress Amber Gray. When the musical transferred to Broadway in 2016, Natasha was played by Black actress Denée Benton and Pierre was at one point played by Black actor Okieriete Onaodowan.|
|Skyfall||2012||The role of Miss Moneypenny, which had previously been cast as white, went to Naomie Harris. She reprised the role in the next James Bond film, Spectre.|
|Steel Magnolias||2012||A contemporary retelling of the play Steel Magnolias and its 1989 film adaptation. The new film stars an all-Black American cast, including Queen Latifah as M'Lynn, Jill Scott as Truvy, Condola Rashād as Shelby, Adepero Oduye as Annelle, with Phylicia Rashad as Clairee and Alfre Woodard as Ouiser.|
|The Great Gatsby||2013||Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan played Meyer Wolfsheim, a character described as Ashkenazi Jewish in the original novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.|
|Man of Steel||2013||The role of Perry White, previously portrayed by white actors, is played by African-American actor Laurence Fishburne.|
|The Sound of Music Live!||2013||Audra McDonald plays the Mother Abbess, a role traditionally played by a white actress.|
|Hannibal||2013||Laurence Fishburne co-starred as FBI agent Jack Crawford. In the previous films of this franchise, this character had been played by white actors.|
|Thor: The Dark World||2013||The role of the Asgardian sentry Heimdall, based on the Marvel Comics character commonly depicted as white, was played by Black British actor Idris Elba.|
|Mary Kom||2014||Priyanka Chopra, who is of Punjabi heritage, portrays Mary Kom, who is of Kuki descent.|
|Annie||2014||Black actors Quvenzhané Wallis and Jamie Foxx played the characters Annie and Will (Warbucks) who have been portrayed as white in the previous productions.|
|The Amazing Spider-Man 2||2014||Jamie Foxx played Max Dillon / Electro, who was commonly depicted as white in the comics.|
|The Flash||2014||Black actress Candice Patton plays character of Iris West. The originating comic book series featured the character as Iris West Allen, who is of Caucasian descent. Wally West was also race-swapped, and played by African Australian actor Keiynan Lonsdale.|
|Fantastic Four (2015 film)||2015||Black actor Michael B. Jordan played the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), a character traditionally portrayed as white.|
|Hamilton||2015||Broadway musical. Historical figures including the Founding Fathers, who were all white in real life, are played by people of multiple different races.|
|Quantico||2015||Indian actress Priyanka Chopra portrays Alex Parrish, who was originally written as white. Eventually, the character become half-Indian.|
|Supergirl||2015||In American television series, based on DC Comics character Supergirl, black actor Mehcad Brooks plays the character Jimmy Olsen and another black actor David Harewood plays the character Hank Henshaw. The originating comic book series featured the characters as James Bartholomew "Jimmy" Olsen and Hank Hendshaw, both as of Caucasian descent.|
|Harry Potter and the Cursed Child||2016||Black actress Noma Dumezweni played Hermione Granger, a character who was portrayed by white actress Emma Watson in the Harry Potter films.|
|Suicide Squad||2016||African-American actor Will Smith played the supervillain Deadshot, a character traditionally portrayed as half-Hispanic.|
|The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again||2016||This remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show stars black transgender actress Laverne Cox as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a role originated by white cisgender actor Tim Curry. Victoria Justice, who is of Puerto Rican descent, portrays Janet Weiss, a role originated by Susan Sarandon. The film also features black actress Christina Milian as Magenta, a role originated by white actress Patricia Quinn.|
|Doctor Strange||2016||British-Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor played Karl Mordo, who is a Transylvanian baron in the comics the film is based on, and British actress Tilda Swinton played the Ancient One, traditionally represented as an old Tibetan man.|
|The Promise||2016||Guatemalan actor Oscar Isaac plays the Armenian protagonist.|
|The Girl with All the Gifts||2016||In British post-apocalyptic zombie horror drama film, based on a novel by M.R. Carey of the same name, black actress Sennia Nanua plays main character of Melanie, who is of Caucasian descent.|
|Dynasty||2017||Based on the 1980s series of the same name where both of the lead families are white. In this reboot, the Colby family is portrayed by African-American actors.|
|Riverdale||2017||Based on the characters and setting of the long-running Archie Comics series, multiple characters traditionally depicted as white in the comics are portrayed by non-white actors in the show. Most notably, Veronica Lodge is portrayed by Camila Mendes, who is of Brazilian descent: indeed, the entire Lodge family has been depicted as being of Latin-American descent in the series. Reggie Mantle is portrayed by Asian-American actors Ross Butler in season 1, and Charles Melton from season 2 onwards, Pop Tate is portrayed by black actor Alvin Sanders and Josie and the Pussycats, a band originally consisting of one black member and two white members in the comics, are converted into an all-black group: Josie and Melody, both previously white, are portrayed by Ashleigh Murray and Hayley Law, respectively.|
|Spider-Man: Homecoming||2017||Anthony Revolori, of Guatemalan heritage, plays Flash Thompson, a white character from the comics previously portrayed in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3 by Joe Manganiello.|
|Beauty and the Beast||2017||Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Plumette, a castle maid who was represented in the 1991 animated film as a white woman. Similarly, Audra McDonald plays Madame De Garderobe, an opera singer who was also white in the animated movie.|
|The Dark Tower||2017||Black actor Idris Elba plays Roland Deschain, a character who is described in the Dark Tower series as white and is said to have been inspired by white actor Clint Eastwood.|
|Frozen the Musical||2017||Black actor Jelani Alladin plays the character Kristoff, a Scandinavian ice harvester.|
|Thor: Ragnarok||2017||The role of the bounty hunter Valkyrie, based on the Marvel Comics character commonly depicted as white, is played by African American actress Tessa Thompson. The role of the Asgardian sentry Heimdall, based on the Marvel Comics character depicted as white, was played by Black British actor Idris Elba.|
|Justice League||2017||Aquaman/Arthur Curry was portrayed by Jason Momoa in this 2017 film.|
|Troy: Fall of a City||2018||The BBC/Netflix co-production, which retells the Iliad, depicts Achilles and Zeus as being black, with the respective roles played by David Gyasi and Hakeem Kae-Kazim.|
|Deadpool 2||2018||The character Domino, drawn in comic books as an albino Caucasian with a dark patch of skin in a diamond surrounding her left eye, is portrayed by African-American German actress Zazie Beetz; the anomalous skin patch was instead lighter than the rest of her complexion. The film also features Māori actor Julian Dennison as Rusty Collins / Firefist, a white Oklahoma native in the comics and biracial actor Lewis Tan (of partial Chinese descent) as Shatterstar, an extraterrestrial who in the comics has the appearance of a white human.|
|Fahrenheit 451||2018||The character Guy Montag, who was portrayed by Caucasian actor Oskar Werner in the 1966 adaptation, is portrayed by African-American actor Michael B. Jordan. Additionally, the character Clarisse McClellan (portrayed by Julie Christie in the 1966 film) is played by Algerian actress Sofia Boutella.|
|Titans||2018||African-American actor Anna Diop plays the superhero Starfire (Princess Koriand'r). An alien who is drawn in comics with orange or golden skin, Starfire has been previously portrayed by white performers and drawn in cartoons with light tan skin, despite originally being black-coded.|
|Colette||2018||Saudi actress Aiysha Hart plays the character Polaire. Polaire is a French woman.|
|Pokémon Detective Pikachu||2018||Biracial actor Justice Smith plays the main human character Tim Goodman, who was a brunette Caucasian male in the 2016 video game.|
|Mary Queen of Scots||2018||A British historical drama included Gemma Chan as Elizabeth Hardwick and Adrian Lester as Lord Thomas Randolph.|
|The Witcher||2019||Yennefer is played by half-Indian actress Anya Chalotra, who was white brunette in the original, similarly done with Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu). White character Fringilla Vigo is played by black actress Mimi Ndiweni; Istredd (Royce Pierreson) and Triss Merigold (Anna Shaffer) are also white in books, yet are played by actors of color.|
|The Personal History of David Copperfield||2019||Director Armando Iannuci described his approach as color-blind when casting Dev Patel as Charles Dickens' titular character. Patel described the casting as "representative of a modern Britain – the one that I grew up in". Nigerian actress Nikki Amuka-Bird plays Mrs Steerforth and Benedict Wong plays Mr Wickfield.|
|Birds of Prey||2020||Biracial actor Jurnee Smollett-Bell plays the character Black Canary who is Caucasian in the comics.|
|Artemis Fowl||2020||In the novel, the character Butler is described as Eurasian, specifically Russian-Japanese; in the film he is portrayed by British Nigerian Nonso Anozie. Anozie's casting, combined with the character's physical description of terrifying anyone in his presence and backstory of his family having served the Fowl family for centuries, had been criticised for embodying several stereotypes of African Americans, in particular the "scary black man" and "black servant" tropes.|
|The Great||2020||Elle Fanning who stars as Catherine the Great in the series spoke of using color-blind casting from the very beginning to make "people from now to be able to relate to the show" and "have everyone represented". Sacha Dhawan, a British-Indian actor, plays Count Orlo, and Abraham Popoola plays Rostov.|
The Non-Traditional Casting Project
Debate and "Color-Consciousness"
In the theatre community, there is significant debate over the concept of color-blind casting vs "color-conscious casting".
"Colorblind casting is an aberrant idea that has never had any validity other than as a tool of Cultural Imperialists who view American culture, rooted in the icons of European culture, as beyond reproach in its perfection... We do not need colorblind casting; we need theatres." - August Wilson
In 2017, Associate Editor of American Theatre magazine Diep Tran declared "color-conscious" to be a preferable term. "Color-conscious means we’re aware of the historic discrimination in the entertainment industry... and we’re also aware of what it means to put a body of color onstage.". The idea promotes intentionality and race-conscious affirmative action to avoid racially homogeneous casts, and has been supported widely across the theatre community.
In 2018, the Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law published the article "There’s No Business Like Show Business: Abandoning Color-Blind Casting and Embracing Color-Conscious Casting in American Theatre". The article discussed the implications for US employment law and mooted that color-blind casting has not produced its intended result. "Race is still a determining factor in American society, and it is “counterintuitive to argue that problems related to race can be fixed by ignoring race altogether". The Broad Online calls a color-blind casting "a superficial solution to a deeper problem." 
Popular shows that employ color-conscious casting include: Hamilton: An American Musical, the BBC’s Les Misérables, and the film Mary Queen of Scots (in which the black actor Adrian Lester plays a 16th-century ambassador). In 2017, director Michael Streeter made a color-conscious casting decision for his production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" - believing "the decision would add depth to the play". Edward Albee’s estate denied permission for the production, stating the casting "would fundamentally change the meaning and message of the play". 
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JK Rowling tweeted this morning that she'd never specified Hermione's skin colour in the books
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