‘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. How about a Black Panther movie with a white lead. No way that would ever happen so don’t make the Human torch black just to make it PC. I won’t watch it if they do it.

    • It wouldn’t make sense because black panther is a African prince . Human torch race has no relevance to the story. Like cage does , captain America does ( because the time he’s from) .

    • It wouldn’t make sense because black panther is a African prince . Human torch race has no relevance to the story. Like cage does , captain America does ( because the time he’s from).

    • still waiting for a luke cage movie marvel.

  2. Johnny Storm is white, looks like a “forced” PC bullsh*t to me, in Europe we hate this crap :D Why can’t he be black panther or luke cage? (no, maybe NOT luke cage lol he is not big enough)

  3. This comment thread makes me hate the human condition. As long as there are small-minded idiots, there will always be racism.
    Come on, ya bigots. I want to love the world. Help me do that, huh?

    • It’s not about hate. I have heroes of all races. Why does Johnny have to be Afro-American for Afro-Americans to like him? That sounds racist to the core. Sometimes, people being too PC only seems to push racism under the rug.

      • this is too close to predict the outcome.

    • I can’t help you enjoy life buddy but I can say that people having problems with a change in a beloved character is not racism. Get over yourself. These characters belong to the public and the public has every right to feel very strongly about them. It’s not a race thing, it’s a change thing.

    • Sometimes you can get away with a character change, be that race, parentage, motivation or whatever and sometimes you can’t. It’s not a race issue and anyone who thinks it is should seek out a less intelligent debate.

    • Racism has nothing to do with it, i’m mixed race myself btw but the human torch is white, stop forcing it. There are plenty of black superheroes out there in both marvel and dc, hey you can even use a black guy to play spiderman if they were to reboot it at some point. The new spiderman in the comics isn’t white anymore but black latino. For the record using a black guy to play the nors god of light heimdall who was always portrayed as a pale white and light emiting god was just rediculous imo.

  4. TERRIBLE IDEA. Generally, casting characters based on their comic origins works. Casting against origin has only worked once ever: Nick Fury. Why? Because A.) Nick Fury was TOTALLY forgettable, and B.) Sam Jackson is badass.

    I won’t pay to see a black Johnny Storm, any sooner than I’d pay to see a white Spawn. PERIOD.

    • Follow up- Micheal Clark Duncan, may he rest in peace, was a good damn Kingpin! (Almost forgot due to the movie itself being awful.)

  5. It’s fine if Dr. Doom is played by a Japanese midget, and Mr. Fantastic is played by a female. Oh yeah, and Black Panther has to be on the team played by a Native American as the 5th member since they are far more under cast.

  6. srsly, what the hell is happening with Marvel heroes? i’ve been seeing these total mix-up with their characters. changing from one actor to another… DUH!
    the Storm siblings are ALREADY FINE from the start!

  7. I don’t give a **** about the color of a superhero’s skin as long as their actor are a) capable b) faithfully portraying the character c) ethnicity is not part of their storyline and/or their motivation. For example, I think Luke Cage needs to be portrayed by a non-white person and I could never picture a black Steve Rogers (if you know Isaiah Bradley story, you know why). But a black Johnny Storm? Does it change anything? As long as he is still Sue’s brother (step-brother or adopted, but her brother nonetheless) and he mantains his usual bratty attitude, I’m good.
    P.S.: Seriously, does anyone care about Electro being black or white? It’s not like his skin color is that important.

  8. Sometimes changing race – or even gender – from page to screen works. Sometimes it doesn’t. A black Kingpin, a black Electro, these work. A black Superman, a white Storm? Those do not. This is one of those cases in which changing race doesn’t work; the character is too iconic. Before you jump to disagree, ask yourself: How often do you hear about black characters being recast to be played by white actors? Will a white guy land the role of The Black Panther or Luke Cage? I don’t think so. ‘Nuff said.

    • Please explain to me how Johnny’s race is inherent to his character. You are right, the character is iconic, as the Human Tourch, not as Johnny Storm, and it doesn’t matter what color his skin is when he’s flamed on, because he is on fire.

      • Johnny Storm IS the Human Torch you daft cow. This isn’t a Jekyll and Hyde where personalities change and there is no memory of previous events. Give me an Asian Blade, a White Black Panther, A Native American Luke Cage. Yeah I know, NOT happening because of the $%^& storm that would occur. Keep it as close to the comic as possible!

  9. Personally, I don’t give a damn anymore and really never did. I’ll go see it regardless because I like comic book movies making it to the big screen.

    What I do care about though, would it kill you people to come up with more “examples” than just Black Panther, Luke Cage or Shaft? Holy hell man. I get it, you gotta be angry man and think something is being taken from you somehow (which it isn’t). Just find a different black hero to use in your tired arguments.

    • Allright…let’s do a Static Shock movie with a white actor then

      • i would be fine with a white static shock because his story isn’t focused on his race, as with the human torch. if you really have a problem with a black johnny storm, give a good reason why. and a white black panther wouldn’t work because of the prince of afrika thing, think before you whine like a little kid

        • Who’s to say that a white family couldn’t have wandered in Wakanda and the an accident happened leaving t’challa orphan? Maybe he was then adopted by the royal family. As for changing race of characters i’m against it because frankly, if you start doing it to main characters , you know it won’t stop happening. Yes there was a black king pin, yes electro is black now apparently, but these are not changes that are dramatic. King pin for example, find me one other actor fitting the the size needed.
          Johnny storm is regular size, not monster size. And as good as the actor rumored is, changing the race just to give him the the role look like a bromance between him and the director, in other words, favoritism.

          give the chance to land role to an actor that would actually fit the appearance johnny Storm have, maybe you’ll find a better acter than MBJ.

    • this will not go over well for fans, don’t ruin things marvel.

  10. isnt Jessica Alba like half mexican, and she was Invisible Woman, but it was cool cuz she “looks” white, right?

    Didn’t Jake Gyllenhaal literally play The Prince of PERSIA?

    isn’t Bane like half hispanic and speaks with a latino accent but so far has been played by white men?

    i could go on but it’d take hours.

    But its a problem when they make a character, who isn’t even as known as like Spiderman or Superman, black

    you guys are lame. not to mention your over-reacting, its not even confirmed, and i doubt they’ll be doing this for ALL their characters in the future.

    • I agree with you, except only a blind person would think Jessica Alba looks white. She definitely looks Mexican and somehow they made us believe she could be related to Chris Evans. If they can do that, than a black Torch is fine.
      The character is not that popular and his race is not as important as it would be to Superman or Storm. But a white person playing Storm wouldn’t be too much out of the range of possibility because in the comics she was half white anyways.

    • Er… The Persians are technically indo-european dude. So him (and the videogame character), being white, it’s technically correct.

  11. I wouldn’t have a problem with a Black Human Torch, but the reason I wouldn’t do it is because, alot of people didn’t like the first 2 movies, so if they gonna reboot they need to have everything right this time around. I had a problem with Jessica Alba playing Sue, cuz she is not white, but Chris Evans is, both of them need to be the same race and have the same parents cuz of the way Sue nags Johnny, only blood relatives can pull that off, its rare for step relatives or adopted relatives to interact that way. I still believe Alba got the part for Star Power, and She is great to look at and she was the IT Girl at that time, All I’m saying is make it believeable.

  12. this sucks, what the director thinking of having him in black, he obviously dont read comic books at all.

  13. If you have to change the color of a character’s skin in a team ensemble movie to appear ethnically diverse; it just seems racist. It’s being racist by trying NOT to appear racist. And then what do the fans do when this comes out? We complain that Johnny Storm isn’t white and then WE look racist. Bad move for what they want to be a successful reboot of a team no one really cares that much about anyways.

    Black people don’t have it bad anymore. We’re not a racist society in this day and age. I dare them to make am iconic character GAY. Now THAT would never happen.

    • You should’ve stopped with the first paragraph, because HOLY SH**, WHAT FU***** UTOPIA OF UNDERSTANDING AND KINDNESS ARE YOU LIVING IN? MANY black people STILL “have it bad” and YES, we are still in a racist society. Please, take me to your dream world, because it sounds like a nice place to be.

    • If I may…in ultimate x-men, Colossus is gay. He even admit to having a crush on……*drumroll* Wolverine. There are others, but on top of my head, colossus is maybe the more known…

  14. I’m honestly completely amazed by the comments here. It’s the 21st Century. Why cant a black man play a role once played by a white man? Why is it so wrong? There is honestly so much wrong with the world if someones race is a topic of conversation. If he can portray the characters attitude and persona correctly i see no need to even look at his race. I dont want to live in a place where someones race is this big a deal. Just stop the bigotry and go watch the movie. You may be pleasantly surprised at how great it is if you gave it a chance. Its not the 50′s guys. Blacks and whites can be on the same team now, okay.

    • It’s not about race genius, it’s about faithfulness to the source material.

  15. If this guy appears in the movie I will never ever trust fox to ever make good movies again, it’s not a matter of racism, but this guy is and never will be the human torch!

  16. I want Michael B. Jordan to play as Human Torch in the Fantastic Four reboot movie and to have Human Torch action figure toys.

  17. As a black man I even disagree with this casting. Not to say that some time in the future this type of racial blindness won’t exist it doesn’t exist now. Kudos for the studios and filmakers noticing that there is a huge disparity when it comes to the heroes that our society created. The problem is that there aren’t enough minority heroes. there are too few and the ones that exist aren’t mined for all their potential. Just as bad if not worse is the lack of female heroes who get movies made about them. Wonder Woman can’t even get greenlit. She’s huge. Part of this is lazy filmakers/writers who need an easy goal. There are woman heroines on screen, just look at the resident evil franchise, underworld and many others. They’re usually vampire based vixens. Why not do WW?

    The argument some make regarding having Black Panther or Cage played by a white man don’t get it. The reason the studios are looking to fill roles with minorities is the lack of minority characters. There are plenty roles for white male actors, hell Chris Evans got to play 2 Marvel Characters. The studios must know that blacks are watching these movies and thinking when am I going to see some black heroes. That’s why Cyborg has been made into a much more important character in DC. DC by the way has hardly any black heroes.

    Even worse is when the one black hero in The last Xmen film (Darwin) gets killed. That’s a slap in the face to all blacks. Would Flash get killed off, how bout batman…no. They killed off the 1 black hero for the sake of the story (cannon fodder) just to prove things are serious, now let’s get back to the story.

  18. Im black and I do not approve of this decision..

    Not a fan of a reboot. They should keep the same cast with Chris and Alba and all them being the FF… I liked that kid off of Chronicles but I dont want a black Human Torch with a stupid background explanation like hes a orphan sibling, or biracial sibling or adopted or whatever stupid mess..

    the thing that make comic book superhero movies fail is being inconsistent with the original comics. Change is good to make things more relevant and believable with the times like the x men not having yellow and blue costumes and having those leather uniforms instead but cmon a black Torch? no.. please no..

    I’m ok with Foxx being a black Electro because I am confident in his acting, Michael Clark Duncan was a great black Kingpin, him being from the Bronx and running crime in NY and Duncan’s physique made for a great believable Kingpin and Samuel L Jackson was a believable Nick Fury cuz the very recent Marvel comics like the Ultimate series made Nick Fury black. Hell theres a panel in the Ultimates comicbook where Nick Fury even says if they made of movie of him Samuel L Jackson would play him.

    but a black Torch? no…

  19. That’s bs. Why should it be changed. Its pc b******* because Will Smith is probably whining again. Better do it because Marvel will have a bunch of whiners marching outside the building.

  20. That’s bs. Why should it be changed. Its pc bull because Will Smith is probably whining again. Better do it because Marvel will have a bunch of whiners marching outside the building.

  21. New Fantastic Four movie could be all black heros…
    Isaiah Washington — Mr. Fantastic
    Lauren London — Sue Storm
    Michael B. Jordon — Human Torch
    Ving Rhanes — The Thing

    This would be cool!!!!

  22. Most girls like the actors who play Loki and Tony Stark. Not the characters. I don’t mind either, but they’re not my favourites
    And I think this would be awesome to see, I enjoyed Michael B Jordan in chronicle and I think he’d make a good human torch, I hope this is true !!

  23. Unless they (Fox) are planning to change the entire origin (including Johnny and Susan being related or rather not at all related) or making both characters half-siblings, I simply don’t think this is going to work. The Fantastic Four is one of the earliest and best known superhero teams of this world. Best not to mess with this property (or any property for that matter).

  24. not a popular idea. not a good idea.

  25. I really really liked Jessica Alba as Susan Storm in F4! Can’t they just keep her as Susan Storm!! She was awesome and she looked the part as well.

    I also am not too keen on the idea of a Black American Johnny Storm. However, it depends on how well he plays the part, so whatever just bring Jess back as Sue!

  26. what’s wrong with bringing back the original actors/actress its not like there that old as for the Chris Evans actor they could make him out to be captain Americas great nephew or something

    • that is if there gona be in any avenger films which is doubtful

  27. Blade should never be white.
    Bishop should never be white.
    Spawn should never be white.
    Black Panther should never be White Panther.
    Johnny Storm should never be black.

    It doesn’t matter the century or the times. This is BS. Drastic character changes do nothing for the story. It’s just political garbage. Nothing against Jordan. He is good in what I’ve seen him in.

    • Totally agreed, this is just racial pandering. I’ve heard they have plans to make sue Asian and Ben Puerto Rican. They do know sue and johnny are brother and sister right? How do you explain that? And Ben will be a Puerto Rican Jew

    • Agreed. This is just Hollywood trying to be political. They need to stop. I wouldn’t want to see Blade as a white guy, it would suck. Whatever the race it needs to stay as written. Black Panther is black, he should stay black. Same with Cyborg. Hollywood needs to stop trying to be politically correct and just worry about making a good movie that stays true to the source material and keeps the fans happy. I’m tired of Hollywood screwing with original concepts. Don’t try to fix what’s not broken.

    • I disagree. Being white is not a core element of what the character is. That’s however not the case with Black Panther, where it’s what makes the character who he is. Now that Jordan’s actually playing Johnny Storm, it’ll be interesting how they cast Sue Storm. A core element of their relationship is that they’re brother and sister, which means that she would have to be African-American as well.

      • That’s racist to me, not seeing white and blonde as a strong characteristic yet black to any other character is?

      • I see that as racist. Of course being white is just as important to members of the Fantastic Four as it would be to the Black Panther or any other black character. I can handle them doing that with minor background characters, but to do this with the FF is unforgiveable, and I would dearly love the opportunity to give the director the beating he so richly deserves for completely RUINING my favorite superhero group!

        • The Black Panther is the King of an African nation descended from a long line of African kings and therefor the only logical race for him is to be African. When has the race of any of the members of FF ever played a role in their stories? Changing Black Panther to a different race would require completely altering his back story. In what way would changing Johnny Storm’s race alter his character at all other than physical appearance. Most people who take issue with these type of changes are racists who believe since the character is now a different race his personality will have to be changed to reflect his race. Or more accurately they believe all minorities must behave in certain ways.

          • No one disagrees. You have to see being white is part of his history, if you don’t, isn’t that racist?

            • I mean basically what we’re hearing is, being white doesn’t mean much and can be swapped out for anything at anytime because nobody cares about boring white people. That’s the message we’re sending.

                • If they change Johnny to a black man, then I’m fine with it because his backstory doesn’t have any specific elements that are defined as being black-only. Now, should they do this, they HAVE to cast a black woman as Sue Storm, or else they are basically crapping on any sense of continuity in the storyline. There is no questioning this argument. You CANNOT have a black Johnny and white Sue when they are biological brother and sister! Trying to change things around to fit that politically correct BS agenda like making them step or half-siblings, adopted siblings, etc would be absolute GARBAGE!

                  • I agree that Johnny and Sue need to be full biological siblings since it’s an important part of their character. However although it would suspend the willing suspension of disbelief I think it’d be hilarious if they cast a white Sue with a black Johnny and left them full siblings. Captain Britain’s little sister is a Chinese ninja after all (yes I’m aware her race was changed due to the Siege Perilous, but no one else’s appearance was altered by it and her sudden Asianification is pretty much never addressed.)

                  • So would you be fine with, say, a black Tony Stark? It wouldn’t affect his backstory at all. Changing almost every single superhero to black would have no effect on their backstory. Who’s your favourite superhero? Would you be okay if they changed race?

                    Also, being adopted IS part of a backstory.

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