Last week, while talking about her appearance in Lisa Joy’s sci-fi noir movie Reminiscence, Thandiwe Newton revealed that she was (and evidently still is) frustrated over how her character was treated in 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story. Newton, the first Black woman to ever have a major role in a Star Wars movie (a list that is still very, very short), played a character named Val who was part of Woody Harrelson’s ill-fated heist crew and dies pretty much immediately after being introduced. As Newton explained, that wasn’t in the script and was actually, in her opinion, a side effect of an overly elaborate sequence where it was easier for her character to just blow up than it was to design a scenario where she disappears and potentially survives.
As it turns out, though, this wasn’t the only time Newton was offered a role in a major movie that ended up just being a thankless part where she does nothing and then dies. Speaking with Lad Bible about potentially being in a superhero movie someday, Newton said that she was actually offered a role in a major movie as “someone’s mum who just dies,” and her response was “meh, no.” We’re not sure what movie it would’ve been, and she’s certainly not going to say, but it definitely would’ve been a waste of how awesome she is and how awesome she can be.
That being said, Newton did note that she doesn’t exactly love superhero movies anyway—or at least she didn’t until recently, when filmmakers like Taika Waititi started “fucking with the genre.” She said “these big franchises” are boring because they’re “just about money,” but now that there’s a clear demand from both audiences and filmmakers, she believes that “there is better substance around these superhero things.” Sort of a “they’re not necessarily for me, but I’m happy that people like them” approach to the genre.