‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot May Cast ‘Chronicle’ Actor Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch

Published 2 years ago by

michael b jordran fantastic four reboot Fantastic Four Reboot May Cast Chronicle Actor Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch

There are few ways to poke that proverbial bear with greater effectiveness than to argue that increasing the diversity of casting in superhero movies is a good thing; not to mention, necessary, to reflect the growing fanbase of superhero and comic book movies, which continues to break down the barriers of race and gender (case in point: just ask Tumblr how many women love Tony Stark and Loki).

It’s one thing to fill a traditional African-American character role such as Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier with Anthony Mackie – or to consider an up and coming black actor to portray the African prince Black Panther onscreen – but go and cast Oscar-winnier Jamie Foxx to play Electro in Amazing Spider-Man 2 and, well… you can just sit back and watch the fighting begin.

It’s time to revisit that discussion, with the latest casting update for the Fantastic Four movie reboot. According to insiders, 20th Century Fox and the film’s director, Josh Trank, are looking at Michael B. Jordan – who played one of the three leads in Trank’s breakout Chronicle - to portray Johnny Storm, a.k.a. Human Torch.

The Wrap says its received this tipoff from “numerous individuals familiar with the project,” and Jordan’s chances of landing the Human Torch role depend partly on how much chemistry he has with other actors in consideration. We learned earlier this week that Allison Williams (Girls) is shortlisted to play Susan Storm, a.k.a. the Invisible Woman, in the superhero flick; however, Jordan is reported to have had several meetings with studio executives over the past week (meaning, he may be a more serious candidate to sign on, for the time being).

fantastic four chris evans human torch Fantastic Four Reboot May Cast Chronicle Actor Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch

Chris Evans, who now plays Steve Rogers/Captain America in the Marvel Universe, portrayed Johnny Storm in the 2005 Fantastic Four movie adaptation; indeed, the character has traditionally been portrayed as a caucasian man in the comic books, which begs the question: Is the casting of Jordan appropriate and respectful to the series lineage?

We say yes, for a few reasons:

  • Johnny Storm/Human Torch is characterized by a hotshot attitude, charisma and anti-authority tendencies (not by his race). Jordan has proven more than capable of handling those demands, with his performance in Chronicle and on the television series Friday Night Lights, among other projects.
  • The personal obstacles faced by the Fantastic Four – Reed Richards, Johnny and Susan Storm, and Ben Grimm – are very much universal, as opposed to being restricted to people of a certain ethnic background.
  • Fantastic Four is about a group of superheroes who struggle to work together as a family, despite their differences in personalities. Hence, the series has always been about diversity (thematically), so it is fitting that casting should reflect that.

fantastic four reboot Fantastic Four Reboot May Cast Chronicle Actor Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch

Similarly, there’s no reason why Williams and Jordan cannot play brother and sister in the Fantastic Four franchise reboot, just because of the differences in race; after all, there’s nothing to prevent the characters from being the children of a biracial couple (welcome to the 21st century, folks). More importantly, both are hot acting talents that have previously tackled roles that show they are up to the challenges presented by the Storm siblings.

So again, we see no problem with this acting pair coming aboard on Fantastic Four, anymore than when Foxx joined the Amazing Spider-Man sequel – or Samuel L. Jackson played Nick Fury in the first two Iron Man movies, Captain America or The Avengers – among other examples of comic book characters that changed races during the transition to the big screen.

Of course, you may share you own feelings in the comments section – just keep it civil.

———

Fantastic Four is being directed by Josh Trank and produced by Matthew Vaughn (director of Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class), based on a script written by Jeremy Slater and revised by Seth Grahame-Smith.

It will open in U.S. theaters on March 6th, 2015.

Source: The Wrap

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. I find the casting very odd or weird. It will confused a lot of fantastic four fans changing the race of one of the main character. The person in charge with casting pretty messed up. I’m not racist but fans of the franchise will all disagree with this sudden change because Sue and Johnny are sibling, will they show in the movie that they are step brother/ step sister??? Or having different father? They will ruin the franchise or this reboot.

  2. I LOVE Samuel L as Nick. I thought Jamie Fox’s Electro was brilliant. So no it isn’t about using black actors in some roles. It is about rewriting an families history for no reason. Sue and Johnny are siblings, same parents. It serves no purpose, it doesn’t progress the story, and will confuse new viewers.
    It’s stupid. Not a question of race, it is a question of continuity.

    • Hell, Make Ben black if you really feel a ned to change a race.

    • I totally agree, Rev Edwin North, Samuel L. Jackson makes an awesome Nick Fury and Jamie Fox didn’t do too bad as Electro (Would have been nice to see a remake of the old green and yellow costume buy no complaints). A black Johnny Storm and a white Susan Storm DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. I agree that the Storm siblings had the same parents, NOT interracial parents. By doing this kind of change changes the character itself. It’s not that a black Johnny Storm is a bad thing, it’s the fact that the siblings are interracial, this isn’t suppose to be like this. I also agree with his last statement, if there is a need to change race they should change Ben Grim, or possibly even Reed Richards. The Storms are blood and need to look like it.

      • Micheal Clark Duncan’s Kingpin was inspired, Jamie Fox’s Electro was great.

      • Hell make BOTH Sue and johnny black

  3. I get the need for adding some diversity in superheroes movies but Sue and Johnny Storm are biological brother and sister? Just don’t see the point of changing this…. Why not add another charter that actually is African American?….. Power Man anyone?….

  4. I am very disappointed in the casting of this movie and some of the story plot that has been hinted at. I have been a fan of the Fantastic Four for many, many years…and this saddens me. We all know that the reason why Fox is rebooting it is because if Fantastic Four remains dormant like Daredevil did, then Marvel gets the rights back to Fantastic Four, and in my opinion, Marvel needs to obtain these rights again. I have *nothing* against African American actors, I think many of them are wonderful and do fantastic acting jobs. But I agree with many others here on this: having a black Johnny Storm and a white Susan Storm does NOT work. For many, many years they have been *blonde hair* *blue eyed* siblings. While I agree on the diversity comments from the article, it doesn’t make sense to change the Storm siblings like this. I think Fox is ruining Fantastic Four, and should just leave it be. I hope this movie flops, I know I for one am going to boycott this movie. The less money it makes, the less chances they have of ruining it even more with a bad sequel. Dr. Doom as a blogger?? I don’t think so. ;(

  5. This reboot will be a disaster. As for Spider-Man reboot (Andrew) its still going smoothly with all the casting and future sequels and Sony makes sure it will be successful like the previous Spider-Man trilogy (Toby). Fox already tried ruin XMen back then on the third movie by killing major characters in the storyline (Xmen the last stand). All I can say is Fox is drunk to make a one huge stupid decision to change the race of one main character even not done in comics.

  6. My 11yr old son and I have been huge fans. We will not be seeing this movie. It’s too much change and confusing after 2 movies with same characters. Personally, no one can replace the Human Torch. Chris is the perfect actor for this role. Very disappointed. Very. Very. Very.
    But we will continue with his roles as Avengers and Captain America. Just too bad. You lost a great actor for that character.

    • Really – it’s sooooo confusing? As confusing as:

      Mickey Mouse being GIGANTIC when you go to Disneyworld, or that we love him but murder any mice in our hosue;
      Comic books and superheroes in general, say like guys who turn into fire and burn off all their clothes but miraculously retain their underwear…;
      Grown men or women who can’t explain to their children that “in this book the Human Torch was drawn with blond hair, in this one with dark skin, but what he looks like isn’t as important as what he does or what he believes.”
      As confusing, yet oddly satisfying, as all of you against this change (who aren’t racist or have anything against black people) have posts riddled with spelling and grammar errors;

      Also, kudos to all of you for invalidating the family experiences of anyone with an adopted sibling of another race (I’m Caucasian, by brother is Haitian, and my sister is Latina), and you know what? We’re all superheroes and no one ever gets confused when they meet us.

  7. Well there IS a problem as far as I’m concerned. First of all the comic book character is causcasian, both their parents are causcasian, so I think having an afro-American person playing the role is stupid quite honestly, it just makes no sense and even feels alienating in a way….

  8. Maybe Johnny died and this is the alternative world Johnny storm?

  9. Yeah, nothing but genetics. The possibility of one sibling looking entirely black and the other completely white is astronomical. There were twins in Australia one came out black the other blue eyed white, but it was such a freak that it made all the papers. Marvel is simply courting a larger market. And since they’re to lazy or bereft creatively to come up with new three dimensional black character, they just convert a white one. I say go ahead and make every superhero black, Asian, LGBT, handicapped, Latino, whatever they think the next market will be. Leave all the Supervillians White (That’s right!)
    I think they feel they’re being edgy somehow, but movie popularity has killed off the comic book hero anyway. So while you’re being pedestrian and raking in oodles of dough pandering to the Beneton nation of today, go whole hog.
    Superhero’s are an absurd concept anyway, and its not as if they’ve ever gotten it right, so go all out, tweak it entirely. You feel that Flash is a bi-curious pre-operative half-thai half Norwegian agoraphobic …go for it.

    • “…Leave all the Supervillians White (That’s right!)…” coughElectrocough

    • Not marvel, it’s not a marvel written movie

  10. This screws up the story created by stan lee, this entire movie is a disgrace

  11. Oh yeah.. no a black jonny storm will work.. lets just make the thing purple and dr doom can be all orange with fluffy feet.. STOP BUTCHERING CLASSIC COMIC CHARACTERS AND STORY LINES… its bad enough the dumb skank directing xmen wants.channing tatum to play gambit.. wtf is wrong with these morons.. you didnt write these comics so stop trying to make them your own… flops everywhere i swear holy balls

  12. Can’t wait for the reboot of Shaft where Shaft is white!

  13. I am of the opinion that it is absolutely a racial issue to change the race of a character with a long and proud publishing history. Just reading the reasons why it supposedly is not sounded like pandering in that not a single one is based on a need to change the race in the interest of the story. The only way to come to those conclusions is to start with them for a P.C. agenda. Doubt it? Then try to change a traditionally black character to a white one and listen for the outcry. Comic movies have always been made for the fans, not to recruit comic buyers as people who only like a character if it is their race are not going to go back to buy and read back issues of the “real” story. Does it really matter? Only if you are like most real fans and like the “book” better… That “children of a biracial couple” line was pretty hilarious though.

  14. I disagree. Johnny storm and susan storm are brothers and sisters. the fact one is white while the other is black completely throws ppl off. They could have made michael b jordan play ben grimm instead. Would have made much more sense that way
    or even have him play reed instead. if they wanted to do the whole black thing then they should have cast both sue and johnny with black actors and actresses.

    • Well I’m glad I’m not the only one. I generally don’t care about switching up a characters ethnicity.

      Sue and Johnny are brother and sister. They should be the same race/ethnicity. I don’t care if they are black, white, Asian, etc.. That doesn’t matter, what does matter is that they are brother and sister, by blood.

      That said, I was already hesitant to give this reboot a shot, but this pretty much pushes this movie into the “wait until it’s on network TV and I have nothing better to do, so I guess I’ll watch this” category.

    • So You are boycotting a film because this fictional character’s skin tone is too distracting.

      its logical that Johnny Storm can be engulfed in flames but irrational that in a fictional setting, a black character can not have a white sister that can turn herself and others invisible.

      Oh dear!!

  15. WTF is going on in the Marvel world please stop you are ruining the comic book world KIng PIn not Black Storm not Black Nich Furry Not Black Human Torch Not Black what is next Captain America Black or Chinese Getting turned off

    • Hmmm, yeah, Dominick, my racist friend, Storm is and always has been black. Samuel L Jackson inspired Ultimate Nick Fury. That is canon. And Falcon becoming the new Cap means another of your nightmares have come true. That said, I’m sure the new FF movie will suck. They all have.

  16. I was not a fan of the comic. The only person who did the comic justice was John Byrne (shout out).

    As to the movie the last set sucked the only two actors I like was the torch and the thing, albi or whatever her name was, is nice on a trampoline but was no Sue Storm. As to the casting of this movie, please. None of these people are fantastic. as far as the black issue goes, the comics back in the day the creator made the characters white for whatever reason; growing up in all white neighborhood etc etc. Now race is being forced on us, remember the last FF movie I can’t remember the character from the comic but she was blind, they said the black actress was so wonderful it doesn’t matter, she just served coffee in the movie she didn’t add anything and in the comic she was major to the thing, of I believe her being blind she saw the thing more of who he was.

    I feel bad people doing movies of comics just shouldn’t happen, either FF. Changing them from space to whatever, is stupid. Now in our time finally NASA is taking a backseat to private space travel, wouldn’t that work better? A great writer takes what’s there and puts a spin on it, when they start messing with race, age, etc etc, it just shows how the wrong people are picked to do the project. Case in point Daredevil Frank Miller was the only good writer who handled the series, and the movie used all 3 of his best villains in the 1st one. where was it to go?

    Again to race, if they want to shake things up, let an all black cast/version be made. I would see a Tyler Perry anything the man is fantastic white or black that man writes! But, just to cast someone black here and there is beyond words. if someone asks or forces the issue why are the FF white etc, ask Stan Lee we are just making the movie. But no, black actors no mater how great cannot save a role Jamie Fox, love the man, but his electro in the last Spidey was stupid, not for race the character was just a let down. I always liked Electro and was disappointed they never used him in the last set, but theirs was a misstep.

    No this movie is like the last FF all budget no substance, the biggest issue above all in the last FF series was making Reed seem dumb and they were in a run down building. Please, if you can look up Byrne’s FF and see how they should be done.

    I seen somewhere they said Stan Lee was all excited about the movie, of course he is he gets money. he sold out a long time ago, he doesn’t care if they make a lego movie of his comics.

  17. I agree with Romelson. I thing that the cast for first “Fantastic Four” was amazing and Chris Evans is perfect for the role of Johnny Storm. I prefer to watch Chris Evens as Jonny Storm than Chris Evens as Capitan America. I don’t like “Capitan America”, very boring movie compared to the other Marvel movies.

  18. i think Mr. fantastic would have been a better choice. the Thing wouldn’t work he’s orange lol

  19. I find it odd and unnecessary. to me its like making Scott Summers Chinese or making Thor native American. (they did make Heimdall black though) what’s up with that? I mean it’s true that a lot of these old superheroes came from an era where it was all WASP, and I get the effort to change and make it a bit more diverse, but it seems lately they’ve been trying a little to hard.As a long time reader of comics I kinda like to see the characters on the big screen looking just like how I just saw them in the pages. Its got nothing to do with racism.Anyone who thinks so would be surprised as to what color my skin is

  20. now that I think of it Idris Elba did make Heimdall look cool.& Samuel Jackson did bring that Samuel jackson badassness to Nick Fury. I guess at the end of the day the convincing delivery is all in the acting skills. but yet I still cant buy a black johnny storm. maybe because unlike the two who were pretty much supporting characters in the movies and he’s pretty much a main one and more “set in stone”. One of the elements that made “hardcore marvel fans” accepting of Nick Samuel J fury is that he was already black in their ultimate line. in fact the comic character was inspired by Jackson. so it was an already fit into the movies. Johnny storm’s condition is not so much the same.I guess we wont know how good the change is until we watch the movie. chances are Jordons delivery might be so good it’ll make us all forget that the character’s “supposed to be” white.

    • THEY REALLY DIDN’T HAVE TO CHANGE ANYTHING. I JUST LIKE SEEING COMICS COME TO LIFE. Idris Elba WAS COOL.

  21. Nick Fury was black for a while in comic books and some marvel cartoons over the years. So I’m good with that. People don’t know that Captain America was black at first too, but back in those days it was a lot of racist, so they made him white. Even though I’m black I have a hard time with a black human torch because I’m a true comic fan. I just hope the movie is good then, but if they try to make him from the hood or poor black dude I’m done. That’s T.V. crap, most blacks are middle class.

  22. I can see the Johnny Storm and Sue Storm brother/sister story working… It would be like this, Their mom had Johnny, his Dad takes off, and in comes Sues dad who raises and supports them…

    When I first heard about this, I figured they were just going to change the story line to make Johnny and Sue an interracial married couple. That is more Hollywoods style…

    Enjoy the diversity even if it kills the stories… just ask Coster’s Robin Hood, Dark Knight series, etc.

  23. this is bullcrap! they are full brother and sister and they are ruining the comic books now! they are portrayed as brother and sister which means they have to resemble one another and now they aren’t! i will boycott this film. and what i hate is that i can’t curse in this thing to show my frustrations for how angry i am. hollywood is ruining movies now. it makes me truly angry. you all need to leave all of this stuff alone and leave it the way it should be!

    • They always have to change something when converting book or comic to tv or cinema. Actually changing a characters race isn’t a big deal. What really counts is that a good story is told. I think he has the right character for the part. I was bugged at first, but I didn’t complain when a Latina played as Sue Storm. I wish Johnny Storm could be Joanie Storm and is a hot hot hot Vietnamese girl. Marvel needs more Asian female heroes. If this FF fails maybe Disney will get FF and they can reboot it. One can only dream. Meanwhile, I’m going to marry me a hot hot hot Vietnamese girl, since Jessica Alba is taken.

  24. hey Sandy…. you obviously know nothing about silver age comics and u get ur info from boyfriend and internet and have no idea of the concept of continuity…. but this is what happens when a “girl” has insight on “silver age comics”…. Im not caucasian and yet i want to see a ‘white’ jonnystorm, your statement that race does not define his characterization is sort of oxymoronic…. thats like saying mice have nothing to do with mickey mouse character….lol…. you think if they make a mickey mouse movie they will cast a rabbit or a mickey chinchilla ,,,, no they will cast a mouse, lol! or in the alvin and the chipmunks movie… according to ur logic they could have been marmosets and the film would still be a success….. lol…. i don’t think so.

  25. Colored people are taking over the world!!!
    It must be stopped.

    No. But, really I agree 100% with Sandy S.
    I think this young man is perfectly cast as Human Torch in the reboot.
    Welcome to the New World.