Thursday blessed us with two new Marvel drops—the Avengers: Endgame trailer, and an official poster in form of giving Danai Gurira a top-line name credit. The initial poster, released this morning, was standard Marvel fare: a bunch of superheroes/famous actors looking off into different directions in space or something. But what caught many fans’ eyes was in the fine print. Danai Gurira’s name was not among the listed cast of stars at the top, despite her prominent role as Okoye from one of Marvel’s most outstanding films, Black Panther. It was instead listed at the bottom, alongside other supporting Endgame actors including Gwyneth Paltrow and Benedict Wong.
Fans were upset by this, some even offered their own takes on what the poster ought to look like:
Movie billing—the process of crediting actors on theatrical posters and on-screen credits—is a fairly complicated practice that is often decided behind the scenes through contract negotiation. Whose name comes first, whose name comes last, and whether a “featuring” or “with” comes alongside a name are hugely important. (One example: Beyoncé and James Earl Jones’s names show up last and after a “with” in the teaser trailer for live-action The Lion King remake in order to highlight them.)
What made the exclusion of Gurira on the initial Endgame poster such a sore point is the fact that every single other actor on the poster is given a top credit—including Bradley Cooper, who voices the CGI raccoon Rocket. This outrage was compounded by the fact that Gurira is also the only woman of color on the poster, unless you count Scarlett Johansson.
A few hours and many angry tweets later, Marvel shared an updated poster with the caption, “She should have been up there all this time.”
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