Middle Eastern Actors That Should be in The Rock's Black Adam Movie
Updated: Oct 30, 2020
So with Canadian Egyptian actor Mena Massoud leading the Aladdin film, Rami Malek leads Bohemian Rhapsody as the legend Freddie Mercury, Rami Yousef winning an award and Zeeko Zaki playing the Co-Lead in FBi. It seems there is a chance of Egyptians are killing it in the industry. Likewise it is possible for actors of Middle Eastern descent to actually be recognised for their roles. But unfortunately with every step forward there are still steps back. Ridley Scott once stated the lack of Middle Eastern actors as leads for Middle Eastern films like Gods of Egypt, Exodus, Prince of Persia, the Mummy Franchise and even the upcoming Black Adam is due to the fact Studios will refuse to fund films with the appropriate budget if the lead cast is named "Mohammed so and so from such and such".
This would explain why even when ethnic minority actors are casted for Middle Eastern roles they would cast anyone that isn't a middle eastern actor. Examples include French Cambodian Elodie Yung and Black American Chadwick Boseman in Gods of Egypt. Even Chinese Hawaian Kelly Hu and Black Canadian/Samoan American Dwayne Johnson played ancient Egyptians for Scorpion King. Yet again we have Dwayne Johnson playing Black Adam the first Super hero film with a Middle Eastern character as the lead and the actor is not Middle Eastern. With Marvel casting Chinese actor for Shang Chi and hopefully a Pakistani for Kamala Khan. This feels like a step back. While Dwayne Johnson is passionate about the role of Black Adam and will likely deliver to the best of his abilities. Its not his fault or the fault of any actors working on these films that the industry is systematically Racist against North African and West Asian actors. We do have a duty as entertainers and audience to speak out against such issues in the industry.
So here we wanna name a few North African and West Asian actors that should have been considered for Black Adam. If Netherealm studios are bothered to cast Middle Eastern actor Joey Naber to voice Black Adam with a Middle Eastern accent for their Injustice Video Games. Why can't we get Middle Eastern actor to portray Black Adam in Live Action? Within Black Adam's lore the characters are Teth Adam (Black Adam himself), Khufu (Ancient Egyptian Hawkman), Chay Ara (Ancient Egyptian Hawkwoman), Hath-Set (Enemy of the Hawks), Nabu (The magician behind Dr. Fates helmet of Fate) along with Black Adam's family in modern day Kahndaq which include Adrianna Tomaz, Amon Tomasz and Sobek. Other people that could have been involved in Black Adam's history include Ra's Al Ghul along with his children Dusan Al Ghul, Talia Al-Ghul and Nyssa Al Ghul. So we wanna cover all of them and which actors of North African and West Asian descent should play them.
While we know that Dwayne Johnson is slated to play the character and he is very passionate about doing the character justice except for ethnicity. If we could get a middle eastern actor for Black Adam. Zeeko Zaki would be the perfect choice. Standing at an imposing 6'5" Egyptian born American actor Zeeko Zaki is best known for his lead role as FBI Agent Omar Adom "O.A" Zidan in Derek Wolf's FBI. He has spoken about hollywood changing the stereotypical portrayal of Muslim American men especially those from a middle eastern origin like himself. If he got to lead the first middle eastern superhero film it would be groundbreaking to show that Hollywood is improving. He could also bring his own cultural knowledge to the role and the environment of Black Adam's country Kahndaq (essentially Egypt's Sinai region as its own country) that Johnson wouldn't know about and if he wanted to he can even do an accurate accent like Joey Naber did for Black Adam in injustice. Whilst many may not want Black Adam to have an non-american accent. What difference would it make if compared to Chadwick Boseman pushing for T'Challa to have an African Accent instead of a Posh Royal British one that Marvel intended to? If T'Challa can use an African accent. Then Black Adam should be allowed to use an Egyptian one. Will Dwayne Johnson learn to do an Egyptian accent or use Arabic like T'Challa does with Xhosa? Not Likely. Anyways Zeeko would be the perfect choice.
As with Black Adam, there were other DC characters that were involved in his Ancient Egyptian origin. One of these was Prince Khufu Maat Kha-Tar. He would be the ancient Egyptian Hawkman and the start of Hawkman's reincarnation cycle to become the Justice Leagues Carter Hall (modern day Hawkman). T.J Ramini is a British actor of half Palestinian half English descent, He is best known for roles like DC Zain Nadir in the British police drama the Bill. He has also appeared in 24 as Tarin Faroush, Vikram Desai in Twisted and Cross in Prison Break season 5. He also has appeared in minor roles for superhero genre like Batman Begins as one of Crane's Thugs, Jason Brodeur in Arrow and Mancini in Agents of Sheild. He also has had many voice roles in video games like Siddiq in Tell Tales Walking Dead, Salim in Uncharted 4, Cilve Siddiqi in Tacoma, Habib Ismail in Wolfenstein II and Del Meeko in Star Wars Battle Front II. Standing at 6'1" and being in athletic shape, he would be great addition to play Hawkman. Unlike the previous actor Falk Hentschel. T.J Ramini's Palestinian heritage is perfect for him to fit Khufu's egyptian side and his english heritage can easily fit Carter Hall the modern reincarnation of the character.
Alongside Hawkman there is always his lover Hawkwoman or Hawkgirl. During the Ancient Egyptian period, Prince Khufu would fall in love with Chay-Ara. The two would become the flying duo until they were murderd by Hath-Set. This may sound firmiliar and we will cover Hath-Set next. Right now our perfect choice for Hawkwoman is Canadian actress Emeraude Toubia. She is best known for her role as Isabelle Lightwood in the show Shadowhunters. She is very athletic too having train in various forms of dance ranging from ballet, flamenco and belly dance. Her Lebanese heritage is fiiting for Chay-Ara's Egyptian heritage. In the comic's her reincarnation for the modern day is Kendra Saunders a Latina woman which also lines up well with Emeraude Toubia's Mexican heritage. The previous actres Ciara Renee claims to have Native American, Black, White and Indian (Asian) heritage but her portrayal of Kendra does not seem toever reference her latina heritage if she is intended to be Latina at all. Though her ethnic ambiguous background can indicate Kendra is of mixed ancestry and Chay-Ara is of Nubian, Egyptian and West Asian origin which is believable.
Here is a potential villain for the setting. Hath-Set. In the comics Hath-Set is an immortal man from Ancient Egypt who founded the Judas Tribe (better known as the Bat-Tribe historically or Court of Owl in modern day). They were enemies of several other tribes one of which was the Bird Tribe. Guess what happens when he encounters the existence of Hawkman and Hawkwoman? he believes they are members of the Bird Tribe and forges an Nth Metal dagger to kill them only cause a cycle of Reincarnation where the three will reincarnate, the hawks will discover their power and love for each other and die to Hath-Set's reincarnation as a result, then the cycle continues. This storyline was reused for Vandal Savage in Legends of Tomorrow. But in Vandal Savage's case he was jealous of Chay-Ara and Khufu and killed them because he couldn't have Chay-Ara for himself. Mido Hamada is a German Egyptian actor best known for roles like Eammon in Emerald City, Taj Khalid in State of Mind, Samir Mehran in 24, Cyrus in Counterpart, Daniel Maloof in Veronica Mars and will appear as Khalid in upcoming Wildcat. He would be good match for Ramini, Toubia and Zaki on screen. being avid yogi and a muscular 6'1" would allow him stand toe to toe as a threatening villain for this role.
So many of you will be firmiliar with Dr Fate right? Kent Nelson essentiall the DC's equivalent to Marvel's Dr Strange? Well Went Kent Nelson or his successor Khalid puts on the Dr Fate helmet to gain his magic powers he has avoice in his head called Nabu. Nabu is essentially progenitor or original Dr Fate and he was also the advisor and ally of Black Adam during his ancient Egyptian years. Naturally Dutch Tunisian actor Marwan Kenzari looks to be a good chocie for Nabu. He is best known for playing Jafar in Aladdin but before then one of his best roles would be in the Dutch film Wolf where he plays the brooding gangster and upcoming kickboxer Majid. It was this role that he trained in Muay Thai and got extremely ripped hence the "hot jafar" work out video everyone found after he got casted in Aladdin. If the Ancient One of Dr Strange is a kung-fu mage. Why not a kickboxing sorcerror as the ally of Black Adam?
So Black Adam in the modern day had a wife of the name Adrianna Tomaz. Originally concieved as an Anglo-American archeaologist named Andrea Tomas who gets empowered by the Egyptian Goddess Isis. She becomes the Queen of Kahndaq after marrying Black Adam. Legends of Tomorrow used this character as the basis for Zari Tarazi (portrayed by Tala Ashe) But they changed things around by making her an Asian Muslim with her powers from an air totem similiar to Vixen, it was later revealed she is specifically Iranian and that her surname was Tarazi and not Tomaz. Writers claimed Tomaz was used to escape prosecution for being Muslim as the surname Tarazi would give it away. The comics later retconned her as Andrianna Tomaz a Egyptian who Black Adam freed from slavery and demanded how he can improve the country (which impressed him) or Kahndaqi citizen who protested against the American appointed dictator of Kahndaq named Ibac. Either way she like the Shazam family is empowered with god like abilities from the Egyptian goddess Isis though it is unknown if this will be the case for the films. Lebanese American actress Rima Fakih would be the perfect choice for Tomaz. While she stands at a tall 5'9" and does wrestling and modeling too. She would fit the role pretty well. While she has most of her experience in WWE. She has acted as Fatima in Forbidden Fruit and portrayed the titular Yasmine in the TV Series.
Younger brother of Adrianna Tomaz. Amon was separated from his big sister as slave. It was only until Black Adam and Adrianna began a crusade against slave driver in Africa and Asia did they free him and grant him access to the powers of Egyptian God Osiris. He would then go on to join the Teen titans to become a hero of his own. Initially shunned for his connection to his brother in law Black Adam. Osiris was optimistic things would be fine until he went over board fighting the suicide squad and tore Persuader in half lead to the public to turn against him. Seeing him as too violent to be a reliable hero. Amon turned to Shazam to rid himself of his powers. Luckily Adam arrived to reassure his little brother in law that his powers are not a curse and to learn to better control them. This heartwarming characterisation would be perfect to see in live action. Legends of Tomorrow changed Amon Tomaz into Behrad Tarazi (portrayed by Shayyan Shobhian) an Iranian American Muslim hippy with a love shisha and uses the air totem to be a superhero. He coincidently more simiilar to Khalid aka Sirocco an Iranian metahuman in DC comics with aerokinesis. For an actor to play Osiris? Arab Canadian actor and fitness model Ahmed Mesallati would be an intersting choice. He has had many smaller roles in the Taken (TV Series), The Boys and as Habib in The Target. But he does have a very popular social media following for his modelling career.
Sobek is well... an odd addition to the Black Adam family. According to the comics he is not empowered by the Egyptian God Sobek. He is in fact one of Dr.Sivanna's (from the Shazam film) handy work. He decided to make a mutant crocodile as the horseman of the apocalypse called Famine. however Yurrd befreinded Amon and became part of the Black Adam family. He was essentially Mister Talky Tawny (a talking Tiger from Shazam family) but for the Black Adam. He did however betray Amon when he revealed his true nature as Famine. It is possible that Black Adam may feature the Four Horsemen of Apokolipse as the main villain with Sobek betraying and wounding Amon as a result. To play Sobek I can see 6'4" Belgian Moroccan kickboxer and actor Mohammed "Michel" Qissi. He is best remembered for the villain Tong-Po in Kickboxer. He will be appearing in the upcoming film series Out for Vengeance as Tarik El-Yuzdi alongsdie British martial arts actor Silvio Simac.
Ra's Al Ghul is best known for being the leader of the League of Assassins and one of batman's greatest enemies and mentors. Well he is also an Immortal arab assassin that has dealt with Black Adam through out history. We can see them having a Batman and Superman sort of relationship. Much like Superman, Black Adam is beyond Ra's physical power and paragon of power and hope for Kahndaq (at least). Whilst Ra's is able to keep Adam on his toes. He is a master martial artist and a genius strategist which would earn him Adam's respect. For a live action version of Ra's it would be interesting to see Lebanese Australian actor Simon Elrahi take the role. Simon Elrahi is best known for roles like Bahman Nobakht in Janet King, Ismail Rexhaj in Deep Water, Karim Ghaznavi in Australia Day, Adil in Street Smart and Ufa Sabri in Harrow. On top of this Simon is fluent in English and Arabic, he won best actor award for his role in Top of the Town, holds a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Anatomy and Physiology. He also holds a Masters in Chiropractic and is a Doctor of Chiropractic and is martial artist with black belt in Karate and did amatuer boxing as a hobby all of which would fit Ra's Al Ghul.
Son of Ra's Al Ghul and brother of Nyssa and Talia. Uncle to Damian. Dusan aka the White Ghost was generally the unfavourite in many ways than one. Due to being born Albino, Ra's was ashamed of his son's disfigurement and Dusan was desperate for his approval. He did eventually leave his father. Only to come back and offer his own body for possession which Ra's refused but declared he did truly love his son. Dusan could easily be reinterpretted into the Batman lore as the one to recruit Bruce to the League of Assassin's and disagree with Ra's extreme methods, making Dusan the White sheep of the family. Just an idea. Either way if Dusan was to appear in live action, my personal choice for the role would be Iraqi Australian actor Osamah Sami. Best known for his award winning lead role in Ali's Wedding as the titualar character. He is fluent in English, Arabic, Farsi, French and Spanish. Also much like fellow Australian Arab actor Simon. Osamah Sami is a Black Belt in Karate fitting for Dusan's martial arts training as an assassin.
Many of us are firmiliar with Talia the most when it comes to Ra's children. Talia being the favourite child but sometime Ra's enemy. She is the lover of Batman and mother of Damian Wayne. She is generally known to try and oppose her father to ursurp him for her own ambitions. She is also a very skilled and deadly assassin much like Father. Much like many live action portrayals of Ra's Talia is typically white washed or in other case portrayed by an non middle eastern actress if portratyed by a minority actress. But for our choice we can see American actress Yasmine Al-Bustami portraying her. Yasmine being of Emirati and Filipina origin is best known for roles like Tommie in Orbital Redux, Sasha in I Ship It, Amina in S.W.A.T, Ramah in the Chosen and Sara in the upcoming Quotes: Divided We Fall. She also appeared as Nour in Yasmine alongsie Rima Fakih so this could be a reunion for the two. Little side bonus it is said Talia's mother Melisande is apparently half Arab half Chinese. So making Talia three quarter Arabic one quarter Chinese. YAsmine's half Emirati half Filipina ethnicity is somewhat appopriate.
Nyssa Raatko is the other daughter of Ra's. Born to a Russian mother, she was told of the stories about her father until one day she sought him out. Ra's was impressed by her fighting skills, intellect and ability to track him down. He welcomed her with open arms. Many of you may recognise Nyssa from her Arrowverse appearence and yet again they did not cast a middle eastern actress of a member of the Al-Ghul family. In the case here. Jenna Dewan is quarter arab and quarter polish on her dads side as he is of Lebanese, Syrian and Polish origin. This make Jenna Dewan ethnically appropriate for the half Russian half Arab Nyssa. On top of that Jenna is known for her skills as a dancer which would be appropriate for the character's most athletic side. A lot of Dance and Fight Choreography requires the same kind of Muscle memory. Jenna Dewan is best remembered for her leading role in step up alongside her ex husband and co-star Channing Tutam.