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Actor Jon Huertas (ABC’s “Castle,” NBC’s “This Is Us”) has made a “White Tiger” fan film based on the Marvel character, TheWrap has exclusively learned.
White Tiger, created by Bill Mantlo and George Pérez, was the first Puerto Rican superhero in the history of comics, and Marvel’s first superhero of Hispanic descent.
Huertas, who is of Puerto Rican descent, tells TheWrap, “As a mainstream actor who happens to be Hispanic, I feel it’s time for someone to develop an adult male comic character. It’s time, and in my opinion it’s taken far too long.”
So with his new production shingle WestSide Stories, that’s exactly what he’s doing.
The White Tiger belongs to Marvel, so I can only take it so far, but I wanted to at least do a fan film or proof of concept based on my favorite Marvel character and the one I’ve always related to the most.”
“In today’s current political and social climate, it’s not only time for Hollywood to do a character or story like the ‘White Tiger,’ it’s a responsibility,” added Huertas.
White Tiger (real name: Hector Ayala) was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a college student at New York’s Empire State University, he discovered the tiger amulets that were formerly worn and discarded by the Sons of the Tiger. Donning all three amulets, he transformed into the superhuman White Tiger. Wearing all of the pendants at once increases his strength and gives him nearly superhuman skills in the martial arts.
As his alter-ego, Ayala first went into action against a street gang.
While Marvel has depicted more Latino characters in print over the years, there aren’t a whole lot of high-profile Hispanic superheroes — yet. The current iteration of “Ghost Rider,” Robbie Reyes, is of Mexican American descent, and made his live action debut on Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The character is played by Gabriel Luna.
Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in America, and in 2013, for example, accounted for more than 20 percent of opening weekend ticket sales for every summer blockbuster movie. The MPAA reported that Latinos accounted for 23 percent of movie tickets sold overall in 2014, outpacing the Hispanic population overall (17 percent) and doubling the respective percentages of all other minorities tracked.