Just when you thought the media circus surrounding the Robert Pattinson-Cosplay scandal couldn’t get any more bizarre, it did. While most people were focused on the latest round of allegations against the infamous Vampire Diaries star, other news outlets were reporting on something far more interesting: The emergence of a new female superstar in the making.

The speculation surrounding 18-year-old Tiffany Haddish began nearly as soon as she shot to fame alongside Kevin Hart on Comedy Central’s popular sketch comedy series, The Half Hour. After appearing in several Hart’s Madea films and hosting the 2018 MTV Movie Awards, Haddish was being touted as the next big comedy star.

It wasn’t long before people began to compare Haddish to a certain Dark Knight. Perhaps it was her incredible resemblance to actress Rosanna Pansino, or her hilarious impersonations of comedians like Amy Schumer or Leslie Jones, but somewhere along the line, Haddish clearly got the laugh of New York City whenever she opened her mouth.

Unfortunately, the comparisons to Batman couldn’t have been more misguided. While Haddish may have found success in comedy, it appears her dreams of being a Hollywood leading lady are far from realized.

In a scandalous turn of events, Haddish has been cast in a lead role in a controversial new Netflix show, The Jeevas. The series centers around a diverse group of friends who form a corporation in order to save their friend’s life, only to find themselves unwittingly getting involved in criminal activities.

Haddish plays the lead role of Jeeva, a Hindu goddess who teams up with Satan – played by Donald Glover – to solve people’s problems. While the Netflix series was premiering to positive reviews, controversy followed closely behind. In the process of promoting the show, Glover drew more parallels between himself and Marvel’s version of the devil: The Svengali character from Netflix’s Daredevil.

Accused of cultural appropriation, Daredevil creator Jack Knight defended Glover, tweeting: “If anything, Daredevil is an inspiration for dealing with prejudice and persecution.” The controversy grew when Knight revealed that he and Glover had discussed the comparison “a few times” during the series’ premiere month.

While the comparison may seem like an obvious one, it isn’t quite as simple as that. Years before he became the Kingpin in Daredevil, Glover had famously impersonated a Harlem dentist in a skit for Saturday Night Live. The dentist portrayed by Glover was named “Mr. White,” a reference to Alfred Pennyworth, the narrator of Daredevil’s books. In that role, Glover’s character would ask “how am I doing, good doctor?” The joke, of course, was that White was indeed a good doctor and that the character was based on Richard Pennyworth, Alfred’s father.

When Daredevil was first released on Netflix, it broke the house viewing records and became the most‐watched show in the service’s history. The critical and commercial success of the series inspired Glover to write and star in his own series, which centers around a similar story of a person forced to choose between good and evil. In the first season finale, “Black” Jack Knight is killed by Nephew Jack (Segal), an alter ego of the main character. As the name implies, Black Jack is darker in tone than the original Daredevil series, which is perhaps why people are comparing it to the Dark Knight.

Why Is Hollywood Tying Its Businesses Relevence to Comic Book Characters?

It was not until the 1930s that movie studios began to see the potential in adapting popular comic books into feature films. One of the first was RKO Radio Pictures, which adapted the character Batman into the screen legend we know today. Since then, the comic book cinematic universe has exploded, with each new generation of heroes and villains spawning their own cinematic universes.

While some of these cinematic universes have been critical and commercial successes, others, such as X‐Men and Deadpool, have not had the same impact. The former was plagued by lackluster scripts, uneven direction, and weak acting. It is only thanks to a brilliant script by Vincent Krentz and stunning production design by Ian Bale that X‐Men was able to sustain an actors’ performance throughout the entirety of the film. The same can be said for Deadpool. The character’s one strong point, his sense of humor, proved to be something of an obstacle to his being accepted by Hollywood, as it is difficult to portray humor in film without it seeming like a comic book.]

Why Is Hollywood Tying Its Businesses Relevence to Comic Book Characters?

Hollywood continues to tie its businesses’ relevence to comic book characters because, for the most part, it works. Several of Hollywood’s biggest franchises – from James Bond to the Avengers – are, in large part, based on characters from comic books.

The appeal of these comics is twofold. First, they allow for incredible diversity in terms of creative storytelling. While mainstream comics usually focus on the white, heterosexual male experience, comic books allow for a much wider range of stories, with diverse characters and concepts. The second appeal is that comic books are a great way to attract the young, male audience, which is a demographic that Hollywood studios have been struggling with for years. With a large portion of the population over 50 years old, and virtually no one under 30 buying comics, Hollywood felt the need to find a new audience. Enter the YouTube generation, who are more likely to be into strange cartoon characters than any other generation before them. 

Comic book characters also allow for incredible creative flexibility, which is necessary when adapting them for the big screen. The Vampire Diaries franchise alone is built on this creative flexibility, with each season and each episode being branded as its own independent story. This is not only to allow for greater storytelling creativity, but to market each season and each episode as a separate product. 

This independent storytelling aspect is something that many in the cinematic world have embraced. While most modern blockbusters are co‐financed and jointly produced by Hollywood studios, the success of The Vampire Diaries and other TVD spin‐offs has opened the door for more independently produced films. This is especially true for the direct‐to‐video market, where filmmakers no longer need to rely on Hollywood studios to get their movies made.

Where Do These Connections Go From Here?

Comic books and Hollywood have now become so intertwined that it’s difficult to know where one begins and the other ends. With comic books being such an essential part of Hollywood’s business plan, it’s only a matter of time before these two industries meet in the middle. Whether it’s Black Jack allying with Ironman (Downey), Bruce Wayne joining forces with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), or a Venom movie starring Bond girl Naomie Harris, it seems the next movie will be yet another collaboration between Hollywood and comic books.