‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot: Michael B. Jordan Responds to Human Torch Criticism

Published 11 months ago by , Updated February 24th, 2014 at 6:24 am,

Michael B Jordan Responds to Human Torch Criticism Fantastic Four Reboot: Michael B. Jordan Responds to Human Torch Criticism

It’s impossible to cast a comic book movie without fans getting up in arms over who is chosen to embody their beloved characters. If recent reactions to the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in DC’s upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie have taught us anything, it’s that us comic book fans are seriously hard to please. But we’ve known that for a while. Remember the chaos over Heath Ledger?

Unfortunate backlash has now caught up with actor Michael B. Jordan, who is confirmed to play Johnny Storm/The Human Torch in Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot. Once the news of his casting hit the web, fans took to Twitter, Facebook, you name it to lash out at the placement of a black actor in an originally white role. Well, now Jordan has a response.

TMZ recently caught up with Jordan on his way to dinner and asked him for a reaction to the criticism. What does he think about the cynics who are upset that Johnny Storm is going to be black? Said Jordan:

“They’re still going to go see it anyway.”

Jordan appeared unaffected by the suggestion of controversy, and why should he be? He has been having a fantastic year with a powerful performance in the critically praised Fruitvale Station and a role in the romantic comedy That Awkward Moment. Jordan and Trank also have an established working relationship from 2012′s Chronicle. We’ve already argued that Jordan deserves the role. If anything, this is just another sign of the actor’s rising star.

Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot is already taking a variety of steps in a new direction. Since so many of the actors who tested for these roles were younger than previously considered, we assume that the film will take its cues from the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic book continuity. Now that Jordan’s casting has been announced, we don’t yet know how screenwriter Simon Kindburg has set up Johnny and Sue Storm’s sibling backstory, but the idea of adoption is not farfetched.

Ultimate Fantastic Four Movie Cast 2015 570x320 Fantastic Four Reboot: Michael B. Jordan Responds to Human Torch Criticism

‘Ultimate Fantastic Four’ by Mark Millar & Greg Land

Of course, this type of uproar is nothing new. Comic book movies have always had their fair share of casting controversies. For many, Chris Evans was the perfect Johnny Storm, and yet Evans faced his own brand of backlash when it was announced that he would embody Steve Rogers/Captain America. Now that Evans has taken over as another iconic character, The Human Torch is free to be re-envisioned.

But the hostile response to Jordan also touches on the cross-racial casting nerve that many can’t seem to get over. There was uproar when Idris Elba was named as Norse god Heimdall in Thor, when Michael Clarke Duncan was announced as Kingpin in Daredevil, when Laurence Fishburne was cast as Perry White  for Man of Steel and when Jamie Foxx became Electro for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. And let’s not forget Halle Berry as Catwoman. (On second thought, maybe it’s better if we all forget about that Catwoman movie).

This pandemonium is getting old. Can we really call this controversial casting in 2014? Unless a character’s race or ethnicity is essential to the plot of the film, such as in Fruitvale Station or the upcoming Black Panther film, this shouldn’t be such a big deal. When an extremely talented actor is awarded a role in which he could very well be awesome, we shouldn’t adhere to an outdated vision that we might have of the character in our heads. Rather, we should be open to new faces of any color looking to  make their mark on an iconic role.

What do you think of Jordan’s casting and his response? Let us know in the comments.


Fantastic Four is scheduled to hit theaters March 6th, 2015.

Follow Casey on Twitter @CaseyCip

Source: TMZ

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  1. Am I a Marvel fanboy? Yes. Do I show up to all Marvel movies on opening day (even those handled by other studios)? Yes. Do I pay to see Marvel movies a second time later that weekend? Yes. Will I be seeing this warmed over turd? Hell to the naw. Your arrogant comment is only half right Michael B. Jordan – True, fanboys do typically show up to watch it anyway, but in the case of such a horrible casting mistake, along with that piss poor “You’re going to pay me anyway” comment… uhhhhh nope. You wont be getting my 24 dollars, or the 60 you would have gotten from me making my friends go with me to see it. IF i ever watch this crap, it’ll be at home, free. But it’s ok isn’t it Mister Jordan… you’re getting paid regardless. Such an artist, that one.

    • You sound like a whiny child, Joe. I don’t think Jordan meant it that way at all. He didn’t mean “Oh, I’ve already been paid, so suck it.” Rather, he was providing a bit of commentary over the fact that stupid people are mostly complaining of the casting being bad because of the color of his skin, but the complainers will still go see the movie. So you won’t go see Jordan’s movie because of this one comment, but you’re happy to shell out your hard-earned money to make a former drug addict rich? That’s a strange set of ethics you have. Oh … and why is this such a horrible casting mistake? Because the character must be white? Why?

    • one more thing. I am waiting for that day when talented oscar winners like Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, etc. will be cast for the roles of Martin Luther King Jr., Michael Jordan, etc. in the name of “artistic” freedom.
      I know that my comment will attract comments like “oh, you can’t change history just like that” or “aw c’mon, human torch is a comic book character for god’s sake”. for such people my answer will be “so is human torch for hard core fans and fans keep these characters alive in the bank accounts of the movie makers and people related to entertainment industry”
      one last thing. am I a big comic book fan? No. do I feel for these fans? yes I do. they are the reason some people are billionaires today and I think they should not be cheated.

  2. No I won’t be going to see it. And no it’s not because they recast Johnny as a black man. I just don’t like it when they recast a role. I quit watch the Hulk franchise after they recast the role of Bruce Banner. When you introduce an actor in a role you need to keep him for the franchise. You didn’t see 3 different people playing the role of Bilbo did you?
    If they would have cast Jordan in the role from the start I wouldn’t have a problem at all with him in that role. He’s a very good actor. That being said however I’m getting pretty fed up with the race card being thrown every time someone has a difference of opinion.

    • Just asking, who’s playing the race card?

      • try everybody, demanding black movies win, demanding black james bond, wrecking a 50 year old story like the fan four,blocking streets, marching to destroy capitalism,it’s out of control, pendulum swings both ways

        • We can talk until the end of time about racial issues until the end of time, so let’s stick with the topic at hand shall we? Correct me if I’m wrong, but people, whom presumably are mostly white had a problem with a black man being cast as Johnny Storm. TMZ, a white run organization, ask Mr. Jordan, the black man in question, his thoughts on it. He responded with a simple enough answer and a white woman wrote about it. So whose playing the race card?

          • We can ignore talk about racial issues until the end of time, so let’s stick with the topic you chose shall we? Correct me if I’m wrong, but people, whom presumably are mostly liberal whites had a problem with a white woman asking a question about completely ruining Johnny Storm.you purple haired skinny jeans wearing nerdy fanboys who are risk/argument averse because y’all are such sissies, will continue to back up to those that use white privilege instead of merit to effect hierarchy/standing.So whose playing the race card?

  3. Everyone will see this pile of crap!” You can’t say I told you so until you’ve see it!

  4. i suppose i should have expected that response, when you can’t refute you must distract back to “feeling”? at some point you should at least try to give reason as to why what i said isn’t happening and how i’m paranoid or misreading events, don’t you think? just saying “whoa” or “holy moly” kinda shows your whole premise to be invalid.i would have expected you to counsel me on how we must use affirmative action as whites to help african americans enjoy that which the bigoted whites of the last century have stolen from the people of color community. go ahead, try again.

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