This question has been asked increasingly more in the past decade or so, but where is the Asian representation in our cinema? I don’t even want to get into white-washing, let’s just focus on the fact that with the exception of The Wolverine’s shoddy attempt at Silver Samurai, they’ve been missing. Some of you may not be familiar with a lot of Asian superheroes, and admittedly even the more popular ones tend to play the background in comics. But, it looks like may change very soon. So, this is as good a time as any to play the casting game. Let’s get to know Sunfire:
Sunfire (whose name is Shiro Yoshida) is a mutant with the power to ionize matter (usually air) through a mentally triggered unknown biochemical process so that it is converted to plasma, the super-heated state of matter. Plasma is the state in which matter making up the sun exists; hence, Sunfire refers to his projecting “solar fire.” Sunfire can generate plasma temperatures which match those that can be generated by the Human Torch, reaching about 1,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit at maximum level. Sunfire can temporarily exhaust his power by using it for too long a time, or at too high a level. The amount of the time he needs to rebuild his power depends on the extent to which he has used it. For example, achieving his maximum temperature would immediately exhaust his powers, and he would need an unspecified number of hours to rebuild his powers to their normal level.
Sunfire can use his powers to create super-heated air currents which push him forward through the air, enabling him to fly. Sometimes this super-heated air is visible as a trail of flame behind Sunfire. The upper limit to the speed Sunfire can achieve in flight is not yet known, although it is known to be greater than that of the Angel, who can reach 150 miles per hour.
Now that you’re a little more familiar with Sunfire, check out this casting notice for X-Men: Dark Phoenix (due to arrive in theaters November 2, 2018:
“Hiroshi. Male, early-mid 20s, Japanese, brash Tokyo punk kid with an attitude. Although Hiroshi is young, he can command the attention of a room and is always ready for a fight. Must be able to speak English fluently, but open to an accent (could be Japanese, British…)… LEAD. We are looking for an actor who is actually Japanese for this role.”
So, who do I have in mind to play him? Tim Chiou.
You watch Silicon Valley on HBO? It’s the latest comedy crafted by Mike Judge, famous for Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill, Officespace, etc. You may know him as Ed Chen, venture capitalist. His character on Silicon Valley is pretty “bro-ish”, but he had scenes that were hilarious. And, he’s far from a stereotypical role on Silicon Valley which is why I could see him commanding audience’s attention as Sunfire. He can certainly play mid 20’s (he’s a bit older… he must use lotion), and seeing him next to the new wave of X-Men would make him stand out. Let’s put it this way, Magneto (played by Michael Fassbender) is currently 6’0 and is pretty imposing onscreen next to the rest. Tim Chiou is 6’2, and Sunfire is a good guy.
The bad news is filming on X-Men: Dark Phoenix wrapped in October. It was not announced who they cast. But, maybe this will make it’s way to director Simon Kinberg. Just in case you’re casting.