Being a team that is dedicated to highlighting diversity, we decided to attend the “Hacking the Script: Disrupting Diversity in Hollywood” panel at SXSW. The focus of the panel was on how to challenge unconscious bias in order to create more representation in Hollywood. The panel speakers included Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Yara Shahidi (Black-ish), Wendy Calhoun (Empire), Jon Spaihts, and Courtney McCarthy. It was a great panel from some inspiring voices and we had the chance to speak to some of the panelists after the show.
Jon Spaihts’s is one of the writers for Marvel’s Doctor Strange and during the panel both Gina and Yara expressed their love for the franchise. Gina went as far to say that she’s patiently waiting for Marvel to start a project for a female Latina lead so she can hopefully gain the part. So when we finally got the chance to meet her at the panel’s end, I asked her if she’s aware of America Chavez. She immediately jumped with excitement and pointed to her manager. Gina told me that she’s a fan of the character and iterated that if Marvel ever decides to adapt America to live action her manager already knows to get her an audition right away! She even mentioned Gabby Rivera’s new solo series for the queer Latina heroine, so Gina clearly has some knowledge in the character already.
America Chavez was revitalized in Young Avengers and has received more recognition as of late. Seeing as the Young Avengers team mostly consists of teenagers, some may feel that Gina is slightly too old for the role, but I personally think Marvel/Disney could easily tweak the character to fit Gina, a talented and successful actress right now. What do you guys think? Would you like to see Gina as America Chavez?