Sony has announced its intention to adapt the ‘Faith’ comic series into a film, and there is plenty of reason to be excited!
A new superhero will soon be gracing our screens: Faith Herbert, aka Zephyr. And we are so thrilled to hear this.
Though it is 2018, we have only recently started to see superheroes who don’t all look like carbon copies of each other. But, despite the success of Wonder Woman and Black Panther, and Marvel’s recent pledge to increase the number of female superheroes and LGBTQ+ characters in their next phase, the one kind of superhero we have sorely been missing is a fat hero. That, fortunately, is all about to change.
Faith Herbert, one of the rare plus-size comic book superheroes, is soon to be adapted for film by Sony. Here’s everything we know about her and why we are so excited to see her on the big screen.
What do we know about the Faith film adaptation?
Details are very sparse at the moment as the announcement was only made on June 28, 2018.
What we do know is that American Gods writer Maria Melnik is on script duty. The film is set to be produced by Original Film’s Toby Jaffe and Neal Moritz, along with DMG Entertainment’s Dan Mintz.
No news yet on a director or release date. Casting will definitely take a while, as well, but Shannon Purser, of Stranger Things and Riverdale, has already thrown her hat in the ring.
Who created Faith?
Faith Herbert was created by legendary comics creator Jim Shooter and David Lapham for Shooter’s Valiant Comics in 1992. Faith first appeared as a teenage superhero in the Harbinger series, one of Valiant Comics’ bestselling series. Unfortunately, the series has not stood the test of time well – it falls into several tropes, especially regarding Faith’s size.
The Harbingers, and Faith, would return in a 2012 run, which sadly saw many of the problems of the first series recur.
Faith again fought alongside the Harbingers in Valiant Comics’ ‘Unity’ series before getting a critically-acclaimed solo limited series written by Jody Houser in 2016.
Houser has since written more ‘Faith’ comics in 2017 and will be releasing another ‘Faith’ series in 2018 called Dreamside.
Who is Faith?
Faith is known as the superhero Zephyr and has the power of flight and telekinesis. Like many comic book heroes before her, Faith lost her parents at a young age and was raised by her grandmother. She joined the Harbingers because she always wanted to help the world and, as an adult, this continues to be her motto.
She adopts the alter-ego Summer Smith so as to work undercover as a journalist, and keep her ‘ear to the ground’, for a Los Angeles-based online magazine.
Faith is an optimist and does not let anything get under her skin. Her size has never given her pause, even when her friends and others around her remarked on it (in the earlier series).
She has been a life-long geek, with a love of Doctor Who and Joss Whedon productions. She makes geek references as easily as she breathes (I can relate!).
Why should you be excited about the Faith film adaptation?
Faith will effectively be the first plus-size female superhero to appear on film! It has been way too long a wait for such a character to even be a possibility. We have written about the overuse of the ‘fat best friend’ trope and how such negative portrayals of fat people – especially women – by Hollywood have a detrimental effect on audiences.
Positive portrayals of fat people are few and far between, as it is, but in the superhero genre? It has been absolutely zero. About time that changed.
Additionally, the best part of Jody Houser’s run is that Faith’s size is never insulted, questioned and rarely even mentioned. Faith is a superhero like any other, who happens to be fat. She is no different from the heroes around her or the ones she looks up to. It is the kind of positive outlook that this minority group desperately needs to see on the big screen.
Is there any reason to be concerned about the Faith film adaptation?
Comic-to-screen adaptations aren’t always as successful as the Marvel films or Wonder Woman, and with a character like Faith, there is a lot of room for error.
Sony, the production company in charge of adapting the series, has had a less-than-stellar run of late. They sold their hottest property, Spider-Man, a few years ago to Marvel, and have seen the character blossom into a fan-favourite.
Sony’s Venom trailer received mixed reactions and recent news of Jared Leto’s casting as another Spider-Man villain, Morbius, received extremely negative feedback online.
Let us not forget that Hollywood’s idea of ‘fat’ is so far removed from reality, they might as well be looking at women through a funhouse lens. There is already concern that an average-sized actor, or a conventionally thin actor, will be chosen to play the role, especially as Faith’s size doesn’t have any impact on her personality, her powers or her relationships.
Hollywood prefers its fat women to be sad and desperate; Faith is anything but. Had she been a thin woman, we would have been comparing her to Captain Marvel. Would Sony and Hollywood dare change Faith’s appearance? Hopefully not; the backlash would be immense and neither can take the hits right now.
At the moment, all signs point to a positive rendition of an optimistic and beloved character. Though much can change between now and the eventual release of the film, there is plenty of reason to keep our hopes up. We may finally be ushering in a new era of representative superheroes.