“X-Men Spinoff, “New Mutants'” Movie Cast Sunspot & Moonstar, Amidst Accusations of Whitewashing!

The movie world of Marvel Comics’ X-Men continues to grow as Fox has decided to explore the other X-Teams (splinter teams of mutants related to the X-Men) and more mutant heroes. One of which has been The New Mutants. The film is set to be released on Apri 13, 2018, and it looks like the most of the cast has been found.

Recently, however, two more important roles, those of Sunspot and Moonstar have cast with Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why) and newcomer, Blu Hunt!

As you may already know Roberto Da Costa, AKA “Sunspot” is a mutant with the ability to absorb solar energy, to augment his strength, fly, and fire intense heat. His skin is blackened in the process, hence his code name. Moonstar AKA “Danielle ‘Dani’ Moonstar”, originally called “Mirage” in the comics, is a psychic mutant who can create telepathic illusions of her enemies fears and desires. Eventually she is able to harness her psychic energy into powerful arrows that can harm others similar to Psylocke’s “psychic dagger.” Moonstar is also an excellent fighter. Moonstar’s inclusion on the cast is not only critical to the source material of the movie, but the plot of the film as the director has stated the film will be a horror story of sorts, based off the New Mutants’ Demon Bear story line.

sunspot henry zaga whitewashing

Sunspot in the comics as Afro-Brazilian character (left), and Henry Zaga, a White Brazilian actor who will portray him in New Mutants film (right)

We definitely think this was good casting on the film’s behalf for Moonstar, but we are not feeling their pick for Sunspot. A few fans (this includes us)  are accusing Fox of whitewashing Sunspot’s character.

According to Comicbook.com via Entertainment Weekly, Brazilian actor Henry Zaga has been reportedly been cast as Sunspot (aka Roberto da Costa), a mutant who absorbs the sun’s energy and uses it to increase his own physical abilities as well as to blast enemies and fly. Zaga, who is best known from Teen Wolf and more recently 13 Reasons Why, might be Brazilian like Sunspot, but he’s not Afro-Brazilian. Enter the controversy.

In a Medium post written by Latinx Geeks, the online community explains why racial identity is so important for a character like Sunspot. His Afro-Latinx identity is a central part of his storyline, including the moment when he discovers his powers.

“Sunspot’s powers first manifested during a soccer game where a rival team member hurled racial insults at him calling Roberto a ‘halfbreed,’” they write.  “This was due to the fact that Roberto’s father, Emmanuel da Costa, is Afro-Brazilian and his mother, Nina da Costa, is a white Brazilian.”

“…Henry Zaga, a white Brazilian actor, being cast to play Roberto da Costa is whitewashing pure and simple,” they wrote. “Sunspot’s Afro-Brazilian identity is directly tied to his very origin and the manifestation of his mutant powers. To deny his race is to deny who he is as a mutant, superhero, and as a person; the son of a black man and a white woman.”

jonathan haagensen

We definitely feel Jonathan Haagensen from City of God would have been an awesome addition to the cast. The characters of Cannonball, Wolfsbane, and Magik have all been filled with Charlie Heaton, Maisie Williams, and Anya Taylor-Joy, respectively. We will keep you posted as more new about the New Mutants movie becomes available. What do you guys think of the casting for this film? Sound off below!

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