‘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. Just to say that in the comics, Nick Fury of the ultimate universe is black. They used Samuel Lee Jackson feature with is permission. Samuel told them that they could use his image but if they ever made a film, he wanted to play his own role.

    Another thing, for people against the new torch, how many story has Hollywood whitewash? Look at the new girl cast for storm. She doesn’t really look like an African queen.

    Marvel has a lot of strong superhero who are not white like black panther or the Indian Cherokee/ Forge.

    Instead of changing the race of some character why not adding new character?

    • Fox does not own the rights to Black Panther or any Marvel heroes outside of the Fantastic Four and members of the various X-titles. While Black Panther was in FF for a time I do not believe their contract allows for the use of any of the heroes outside of the Storm siblings, Reed, and Grimm. The casting of Jordan was also done primarily due to his work in Chronicle which had the same director.

  2. I think that this is a sad state of affairs that society is becoming so PC to change our super heroes. And if you really want to reflect our changing society put in Latinos not black actors as the Latino population has surpassed the black population. Higher achievement academically and financially, but you don’t see any changes made for us. Keep the characters the way they were made that’s part of what we love about them. This movie doesn’t need to be remade, ten years ago the perfect cast made the movie. I won’t be watching this movie until it comes to TV for free, and that’s only if all of the other channels are broken.

    • The characters were originally representations of 1960′s Americans so therefor all modern updates are untrue to how the characters were created. The fact we are no longer in a space race with Russia alone completely changes their origin story in order for it to fit into a modern world. Yet you take no issue with these drastic difference which offer a far greater change to the story than a characters race revealing that you really are not upset about the change to continuity and a rewrite of Marvel cannon. Stan Lee himself has no issue with the modification to HIS creation so your opinion on how the character should be portrayed is really irrelevant.

      • IF you notice the modifications also carry a certain degree of “Change”.. For example when Green Lantern “Came out of the closet” it happened in a different Universe. Spiderman.. hey made him more “NOW”.. also a completely different book series.. The Fantastic 4 had some changes made to them for the movies that didn’t change the characters basic storyline. The characters were still the same characters. IF the changes to these characters were done in a manner that removed hem from the original characters… Different origin story, like some of the “Ultimate” versions of the comics.. then that would be fine. You don’t mess with Canon in this manner; you recreate a different version, making sure folks understand the difference and the respect for the original characters.

      • Uhm… Actually it’s not just HIS creation. Brilliant how everyone seems to dismiss Jack Kirby. Guess you’ve got to be alive, and a total attention grabber for anyone to appreciate you. I also don’t like it when they change the origin stories.

        • Well since Kirby isn’t alive we don’t really know how he feels about the ateration to his characters. Origin stories have to be changed to make a movie are continue using characters in a sliding timeline. There have been a million changes to Marvel cannon over the last 60 years that affected characters in a much more substantial way than skin color.

  3. Ok ‘after all, there’s nothing to prevent the characters from being the children of a biracial couple’ does not work as an explanation as to why his sister would be white and he would be black if they were the children of a biracial couple then they would be mixed race. Maybe one would be lighter than the other but not to completely different races. I don’t care either way as to whether Jonny is black or white it’s the stupidity of the possible explanation that makes me laugh

      • For a reboot all these “Bi-racial” stories are great. The problem is that they do not make it clear that this is an alternate version.. Like they did with Fury.. The problem people have is that they are taking well known characters and redefining them in the name of social justice… nothing more. This happens in many movies that are derived from well known content and if you spend any time reading what the fans have to say you would see that it ticks them all off every time. You come expecting to see the characters you grew up with; characters that have already been defined. I don’t understand why people make it a racial issue and look for reasonings to make it believable. This is just another story that Hollywood is screwing up by making uneeded changes in the name of “Creativity” and OR “Social Justice”.

        Nuff said.

  4. Ok ‘after all, there’s nothing to prevent the characters from being the children of a biracial couple’ does not work as an explanation as to why his sister would be white and he would be black if they were the children of a biracial couple then they would be mixed race. Maybe one would be lighter than the other but not to completely different races. I don’t care either way as to whether Jonny is black or white it’s the stupidity of the possible explanation that makes me laugh.

  5. This whole PC crap is getting annoying as ever! Is be just as pissed if they made Blade a white dude. Stan Lee is only allowing this because he’s too afraid of the media claiming he’s a racist. They won’t be getting my money that’s for sure.

  6. The premise that Michael B. Jordan and the girl who ended up playing Susan Storm could be brother and sister is ridiculous. She is completely white bread and he is medium dark if not darker. I’ve known many mixed race families. The kids are almost always the same complexion if not then within a few shades of each other. The likelihood of one kid coming out looking like Michael, and the other one coming out looking like the girl is ridiculously low. That’s where I take issue. I expect two actors who are brother and sister (of the same mother and father) to look somewhat similar. That includes skin tone. I wonder if there will be some sort of explanation or if they’ll just gloss over it… There’s color blind, and then there’s genetically unrealistic.

    • Concerned about genetic realism… in a movie about people who are made of stone, can change into fire, shape shift, or turn invisible… sounds legit

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