The 21st Century And The Revamping Of Classical Characters

captain americaAlthough I was born in the swinging sixties and lived my teens throughout the New Romantic era, I like to think of myself as one of those people who embrace moving with the times. However, in a modern day world where the pressure to create something fresh and exciting is becoming increasingly predominant, more and more creative artists are looking at successful classical characters to revamp.

Last year Sophie Hannah was commissioned to write Agatha Christie’s, Poirot. This caused a big hoo-ha at the time, with readers up in arms stating that no one could ever take the place of their most revered and favourite author. It was certainly not a case of ‘out with the old and in with the new’ because readers were horrified that anyone from the 21st century would think themselves worthy of such a feat; openly criticizing the relatives of Christie on their decision.

These people are not the only ones who like to keep things just as they once were. Not so long ago we saw William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet starring Leonardo Dicaprio make it to the big screen. Set in a modern day America with cars, guns, drugs and music it was a film that defied everything which a thespian would expect and it caused a lot of controversy at the time. Looking back was it really that bad? Probably not, it was just that we are set in our ways and are comfortable at seeing characters of a certain era, depicted in a particular way.

falconAs TV and film producers struggle to develop new ideas, they are turning to old and trusted characters to revamp for greater diversity.  Marvel comics are no different and have decided to have a female Thor whilst Captain America will hang up his shield to give his stars and stripes to his co-star, Falcon. This superhero has a winged suit that allows him to fly and has a telepathic link with birds. The most important fact about Falcon is that he will be played by a black actor. You may not bat an eye at this, but the fact remains that black superheros are still relatively rare. This could be seen as a huge risk. Personally, I think this is a great idea and who cares about the colour of your skin. As long as the character lives up to everyone’s expectations then for me, that’s all that matters.

He will witness crime, poverty and how the lack of social structure will affect the community. He will be a modern day man wearing a rather tight fitting outfit. For me, if he can save the world and create a little escapism at the same time then I’m all for it. However, the interesting fact is that like classic cars, these characters are getting an overhaul. The dust sheets have been removed and now it’s time to get out the turtle wax.  I believe resurrecting these old characters and giving them a new lease of life is definitely what’s needed and I can’t wait to see how they portray the new female, Thor.

I would really like to hear your views on the subject. Do you like these modern day characters or do you still prefer the originals?