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The Schmooze

Armie Hammer: Forget Equinox And SoulCycle, Marvel Entertainment Chair Donates To Trump, Too

Somehow Armie Hammer, despite his square jaw and absurdly heroic given name, is not in any of the Marvel films.

This seems like an oversight, given the existence of a hammer-happy member of The Avengers and a separate character whose last name is also Hammer. But the “Call Me By Your Name” star has said in the past that he has no real interest in entering the superhero industrial complex, telling the podcast “Happy Sad Confused” in 2017, “I haven’t seen a superhero movie in a long time where I thought, ‘f**k, I wish I was in that.’”

Perhaps feeling as though he had nothing to lose, Hammer took to Twitter over the weekend to call out Marvel Entertainment chairman and former CEO Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter for donating to the Trump campaign, because why should the SoulCycle guy get all the love?

The hammer of truth has struck — Perlmutter is a major donor, having given $360,600 to the Trump Victory Committee — his wife Laura Perlmutter matched the donation — and helping the president raise over $100 million for his reelection bid. Not only is he giving the president money, Perlmutter appears to be dictating policy as something of an informal (and unelected) adviser to the president on veteran’s affairs. In 2018, ProPublica reported that Perlmutter is one of three members of the president’s Mar-a-Lago club — along with a doctor named Bruce Moskowitz and a lawyer named Marc Sherman — who allegedly gave instructions to Trump’s then-acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Peter O’Rourke. He seems to be concerned about vets. In January 2016, Perlmutter, who oversaw Marvel’s film projects until September 2015, donated $1 million to Trump’s veteran fundraiser.

Like his business partner, former Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad, Perlmutter is from Israel. Together, the two men saved Marvel Comics from bankruptcy in the 1990s through licensing deals and making films featuring the comic company’s stable of characters. Perlmutter, essentially, introduced Marvel to the movies.

Shedding light on Perlmutter’s gifts to Trump may not win Hammer many friends at Marvel. In fact, given his mother’s apparent voting record, it may not win him any love at home.

But the actor, the great-grandson of oil tycoon and philanthropist Armand Hammer (whose father Julius was, ironically, a founding member of the American Communist Labor Party), had previously given more love to the company’s competitor, DC Comics.

A 19-year-old Hammer was originally cast to play Batman in George Miller’s Justice League film (in a Jew-y detail, he auditioned with Ned Beatty’s monologue from Paddy Chayefsky’s “Network.”) The project never got made, and so, sadly, he has yet to don spandex.

But this hasn’t stopped folks from dreaming. Hammer is a popular fancast for DC’s ring-bearing hero the Green Lantern (read: The Hal Jordan one). While he has long denied rumors of his casting, a day after his viral Tweet about Perlmutter, a photoshopped image of the actor in the full Lantern Corps getup appeared online.

While he seems to fit the bill physically, we doubt Hammer will go for it. The last time he wore a domino mask, cough, cough, “The Lone Ranger”, it didn’t go too well for him. (It also wasn’t exactly a boon for Native Americans, who had to endure the fact that Johnny Depp played an offensive stereotype (whose name literally translates to “fool”) of a member of their culture, which White Europeans violently suppressed — but then again, Johnny Depp’s a whole other type of problematic and not Jewish. Anyway, “Jussayin.”)

Maybe we can hold out hope for the “Call me By Your Name” star playing a Hebrew Hammer-y hero from Jewish history. Judah Maccabee anyone?

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture fellow. He can be reached at [email protected]

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