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

Published 1 year 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

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TAGS: fantastic four


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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.

  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.

  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.

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