When people think about Marvel’s success, some key players come to mind. Stan Lee, the Russo Brothers, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evens, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlet Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, ect. These people are the building blocks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and deserve to have their praises sung in the cinematic hall of fame for years to come. However, placing our actors, directors, and creators aside there are some key players that have remained unknown and forgotten to the rest of the world.
While praising the Sistine Chapel we have forgotten about Michelangelo- the man who painted it.
I understand that some may think that this comparison has been taken too far, and maybe even overly exaggerated. I suppose they have a point. But what I’m trying to point out is that our favorite superheroes might not have come to life if it hadn’t been for the hard work of one-unfortunately forgotten- woman.
Many of us have never seen or heard of this women. Yet, she is the one that I am comparing to Michelangelo. Sarah Finn is the casting director for Marvel. She is responsible for casting (almost singlehandedly) all of our beloved actors in the MCU.
This highlights a recurring trend in our society. Often times we forget those who played key roles in our society because their titles aren’t as glamorous as those surrounding them. But there is an even darker trend underlying this. As a society we tend to forget our women. Women that have worked just has hard or even harder than those surrounding them, worked just as long or even longer that those receiving the praise, and have sacrificed just as much or even more and yet their efforts go unpraised and unacknowledged.
In effort to fix this, I have chosen to dedicate this post to Sarah Finn as an opportunity to celebrate her hard work.
Finn took many risks, lost sleep, and worked harder than anyone to ensure success for Marvel. A few notable examples include casting Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, and even Tom Hiddleston. At this point many question how the three actors listed above could ever be a “risk.” After all they are some of the most adored actors on the planet.
When Finn proposed Robert Downey Jr. for the role of Man of Steel many questioned her authority. Afterall, it had recently come to light that the ‘Man of Steel’ had been an avid drug abuser. Could the film be entrusted to him? Finn argued that there was no one better. Today, the whole world stands behind Finn’s decision. On top of that, when an actor had to be chosen to play Thor, she chose Chris Hemsworth. The public even argued that Marvel had “rolled the dice” for casting “a no name” for the role of Thor. But after the first movie, the public had fallen in love with the impulsive and comedic God of Thunder that Marvel presented. How can we talk about Thor without talking about his brother, Loki? Tom Hiddleston, at that point, had acted mostly in England. Bringing him into the MCU was brinigng an outsider. But today, Loki is one of the most beloved characters of all time (some saying even the most beloved character of all time).
Finn had to forsee opportunitis before they even presented themselves and had to think about all possible futures for Marvel. (Some might say she is the real Doctor Strange). She casted many of these actors before knowing that the Avengers franchise would even be born. She had to consider age, group dynamic, schedules, ect. And of course she even casted Josh Brolin who turned out to be the world’s most hated supervillion: Thanos. Without even knowing it she gave us the perfect MCU.
Finn had a level of precision and dedication that went unnoticeby the public for years. She chose people who represented the characters they were meant to play. She ensured that it was natural. Ultimately she allowed us to see that our heroes are the same people on and off screen. Her careful and risky decisions created the franchise we know and love today. Finn’s decisions paved the way for a 21 film inclusive franchise. Her work ultimately culminated in Avengers: Endgame, the most successful film of all time and not only in terms of the money that it drew in. The film ended an era and its legacy will live on forever. Her dedication shines through her work as most casting directors get involved only six to seven months prior the shooting of the film, but Finn had to remain in the loop almost one to two years prior to a film.
Her commitment to Marvel birthed a universe that will continue to grow and expand as long as out imaginations run wild.
Sarah Finn’s story teaches us many lessons about life and dreams. Finn taught us that there are many Michelangelo’s that go unnoticed in our lives even if they ended up giving us the Sistine Chapel. She also shows us how even in the 21st century our women aren’t receiving the applause that they deserve for their work. It is time that we change that. On top of that she has also shown us that you don’t have to be a somebody. Sarah Finn’s casting brought us the perfect actors to play our heroes and none of them were “somebodies” before their work. Finn teaches us to dream, to work hard, and to play hard. To be dedicated and focused. We can learn a lot from women like Sarah Finn if we only choose to acknowledge them. It is time for us to look out for the Michelangelo’s in our lives and support them as they create new masterpieces.