Actress Jessica Alba starred as Sue Storm in the 2005 film Fantastic Four and the 2007 blockbuster Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, at a time when the comic book film genre was dominated by white actors. In recent years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown more diversity.
Their first Muslim superhero was seen in the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel, which released in June, 2022. The Oscar-winning film Black Panther in 2018 was described by director Ryan Coogler as probably his most personal film to date and Japanese American director Destin Daniel Cretton brought an Asian American superhero to the big screen with the 2021 Marvel film Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings.
But Alba says there is still a way to go when it comes to representation in Marvel films. “Even if you look at the Marvel movies – that’s the biggest driver of fantasy and what’s happening right now in entertainment … it’s still quite Caucasian. I would say I was one of the few back in the day … and it was before Marvel was sold to Disney … but it’s still quite … more of the same,” she told Glamour magazine.
“I just think more for the younger people who are coming up, who are going to be our future leaders, it’s important for them to see the world on screen, or in stories, in the dreams that we create as entertainers; it reflects the world that they’re in,” she added.
Variety reported that this is not the first time Alba has spoken out about having limited roles as a Mexican American, especially in the early 2000s. “They couldn’t figure out my ethnicity. You’re not Latin enough to play a Latina, and you’re not Caucasian enough to play the leading lady, so you’re going to be the ‘exotic’ one. Whatever that was,” she told PopSugar in 2017.