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

Published 8 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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TAGS: fantastic four

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  1. I will be watching this FF movie…….at home if I am curious enough

    • Me too when i saw everything else and still are bored

  2. So you’re saying that being cocky, arrogant, and a playboy is what defines The Human Torch…at that rate anyone can act that, that’s what they do, and it’s only a part of him, he’s a hero, that makes trumps all. Michael B Jordan being an as****e in real life doesn’t qualify him for the role, it just makes him an as****e. This guy isn’t saving the world on his free time, he’s spending money like water and talking sh*t to the people whom made it possible to be mis-cast in the first place. A thank you, would suffice Michael.

  3. -makes*

  4. This guy is soOoOoOo not playing Me!!!

  5. I was going to give this movie a shot despite being extremely critical to every casting choice they’ve made sofar, but that one-liner Jordan threw out … I’m not even going to pirate the movie when it comes out. Screw him and his high horse.

  6. I want you to know I have a lot of compassion for stupid people and I’m just glad I could help. (=

  7. _@slayer&RM

  8. 666 comments coincidence, I think not, this casting is the devils work lol

  9. I am extremely sorry to hear this, I was really looking forward to a Fantastic Four reboot, but as I grew up with the comic books, this is the most disappointing news a die hard fan can ever receive. I am not a racist as I have black friends, but to change the torch to a black character means, the sister would have to be black as well and Mr. Fantastic did not marry a black invisible woman. This is changing our comic book history which is not acceptable to the real fans! I will not go see the movie!

    • One of them is probably adopted. Relax. We’ll just have to wait and see if the casting works out when the movie comes out. Their race isn’t important story wise.

    • Really…well I am white and my sister is black and yes we have the same parents.

      • OMG if your last names Storm you guys may due some royalties.

  10. The casting would have been more palatable if Nicki Minaj had been cast as Sue Storm. Two siblings of different races are going to force the writers to integrate some contrived secondary story line of adoption, second marriage or love child. Whatever it is it will at the very least be a destraction from the conflict with their antagonist(Dr. Doom?). Also, as for your premise that race doesn’t matter; 21st century; we should be past it by now, think about the fact that an Asian American would never be cast as Johny Storm. This reeks of a studio succumbing to pressure groups. Honestly, what it looks like is that the studio cast a token to appease the NAACP and SAG but didn’t have the confidence to cast a female of African decent into a lead role in fear that the audience would accept interracial love scenes.

    • Nicky Minaj. Pfffft i can just imagine her accent and a blue wig to with crazy blue make up

  11. This is how thieves act, what was the first thing you saw done to a stolen bike if ya had the chance, or well I have seen it done-cough-peel the stickers and paint it another color right!? Fox is becoming the go to for thievery in light of their newgirl scandal its possible they have trouble getting things any other way or even knowing how to act responsibly once they have it legally. Akin to a dog biting it’s owners hand while it’s being fed. Very ungrateful indeed.

  12. I don’t believe everything I hear but I consider the possibility is there…lucky me to have to tell me which articles to believe…they should give one of you away with every computer.

    • @clay

    • Hey don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house dude.

      You did the same thing. You told us that your article was right and our info was wrong. You were originally telling Slayer that he was picking someone from a list and twisting the facts. That is not true.

      Lucky me too…I get you to incorrectly tell me of your horrible sites of evidence you found with your horrible research skills.

    • And this is the last time I will explain this…

      1. I am 100% glad Jackman is Wolverine. He is one of my favorite actors. so what I say isn’t knocking him nor is it my intent.
      2. Dougray Scott had the role first. He couldn’t do it so they give it to Jackman the next best who had auditioned already. Who in my humble opinion, is the best at what he does, as Wolverine.

      Not sure why this is a big issue with you. I show 10 or more articles and sites that prove mine and Slayers point. You provide 1 article that discuss the issue in 1 sentence. If you want to bash on me for doing research and providing evidence fine. it’s not my fault that I know how…

      • You’re being ridiculous, If you have a problem with the links, take it up with the sites, I certainly didn’t write any code for them, also I made the point that more than one person was up for the role of Wolverine, unlike The Human Torch, and only after someone else brought it up as well, you keep pushing as if I was wrong in some way saying that, yet you provide evidence supporting my original statement. I’m not certain what you’re saying you know how to do that I don’t, just because I found something quickly but, if it’s surf the internet I wouldn’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.

        NOW no more about this yes for..
        1. I stated Hugh Jackman read for his role, right away someone supplied actual footage of it and…
        2. I said Michael B Jordan had no competition for his role white Hugh Jackman did, which you were so kind enough to supply an actual name of someone whom had to back out due to scheduling conflicts, prooving my point. So this is over Clay.

        • And Hugh Jackman was white the color of Wolverine, do you think a person up for a role the opposite colour of himself should have absolutely no competition? Overwith, end of story, right?

          • Is it over clay, or am I gonna get another five emails?

            • Anyways, you see as well as I, Jamie Bell’s like 5’7′, Kate Mara isn’t much better a choice than Jessica Alba, and Miles Teller makes Ioan Gruffudd look perfect not to mention The Human Torch is supposed to be the youngest and looks the oldest in every way. Now there’s rumors saying a female Doctor Doom lol as of yet, this film has absolutely nothing going for it, Michael B Jordan being black and Johnny Story being white is the least of it’s problems!

        • *while

  13. WHAT A REVOLTING PREDICAMENT!!!

  14. I feel ill represented by someone whom doesn’t understand where the characters are coming from, Josh should step down, they should rebuild, from the ground up, I don’t feel any of them were well thought out for the part. Who redoes a movie with all the same mistakes as the last, Michael B Jordan is like 6ft once again 5inches taller than Jamie Bell. This couldn’t be more backwards, and everys ready to throw a friggen parade, over what, it looks like he didn’t even try.

    • everyones
      It’s crap, they correct no mistakes they made in the past, Ben Grimm starts out huge, it’s a big budget made for a tv movie disaster, seriously, much like the widely panned first outting the new Human Torch towers over THE THING, cmon, you don’t see the same issue as the first series presenting itself here??? How come this kid doesn’t have his s#%^ together? None of the things you hear about it, make any sense…it’s not black people who don’t like it, it’s not white people, it’s intelligent people that don’t like this reboot…it’s miscast, rushed and very poorly thought out. I think if I do end up at the theater that day, I’ll deliberately check out something else.

  15. *
    Johnny Storm

  16. Clay, slayer wetf you’re calling yourself today I quickly supplied a link, that just shows how easy it was to find other people possibly up for Wolverine 14years ago, I didn’t feel I was researching, just showing something I knew to be true, I think Dougray Scott was on that list as well, even by your standards this that makes what I said TRUE,there’s no argument here, you’re just mad I’m right and so you’re twisting things in some manner as to save face, don’t bother, I don’t care, you’re not wrong, but, neither am I.

  17. I am all for diversity, and don’t believe I am racist. But why change 40 plus years of comic book/superhero history. I am going to remake Django unchained, and cast Tom Hardy as Django. I don’t foresee any controversy with that. LOL

  18. The only thing i would have against his casting is if his sister is still white. it would just make for an odd aspect, unless they aren’t brother and sister any more in this one. But in the end it really doesn’t matter. Dr Doom being a woman is stupid though, Victor Von Doom should remain in tact.

  19. It’s really not that big of a deal. Just look past his race and see if he plays the CHARACTER right. The sibling issue is not an issue! You guys can accept the fantasy of a man who can stretch, a woman who can turn invisible, another man who can turn into flames and fly, and a giant rock man, but you can’t wrap your head around siblings being opposite races due to whatever storyline they introduce to explain it? Read up on genetics. It’s possible. Give the guy a chance. Does race really effect the overall storyline? No, it doesn’t. Frank Miller made Catwoman black in his comic book version. Did it effect the story negatively? No, it didn’t.

    • its not about race. its about history. would you make a movie about woodrow wilson and cast denzel washingonton? thats just idiocy. and the point about the sibling issue is that you HAVE to introduce some contrived backstory to explain the fact that a biological brother and sister are different skin colors. there is a history that already exists what is the point of changing that? its absoultely not abour race. im all for black actors getting all the jobs they can. i am black. the human torch isnt

      • While I feel that using the Wilson example is a bit of a false analogy (he was, after all, a real existing historical figure) I do have to agree that precious time would have to be spent laying out the why of it without coming off as someone injecting a throwaway line of dialogue to explain it all away.

        If it’s stated “we’re siblings” and they are both of the same relative appearance then the audience just moves along right with it without question. The same statement made toward two individuals notably polar opposite in their appearance causes the audience to want to know why. It’s not something the general audience will accept without some explanation, and those are precious minutes that could be used toward furthering the narrative.

        A large portion of the youth likely will not question something like this and fill in the blanks themselves but to this day, being an adult from a multi-cultural family, my mid-80yo grandmother and I still get some strange looks when I’m helping her do her grocery shopping.

        Anyone who thinks something like this is not an issue in today’s world is in some serious denial.

  20. The problem is that Sue and Johnny are blood relatives!! That means that both siblings have to be mixed, period!! Can’t have one complete black kid and one complete white kid. It doesn’t work like that!! Fans like continuity!!! Let’s remember what happened in X3!!! Remember the director killing off Cyclops, the leader of the X-Men!!! How many ppl were pissed?? That is the same thing! Make him Ben Grimm or something and I guarantee fans wom’t be in a bloodthirsty uproar.

  21. For most people its about the difference in resemblance compared to the comics.
    another group dont like Sue and Johnny dont look like brother and sister.

    No race problems.
    just how it looks

  22. God forbid we have an all Caucasian main cast!!! The world is ending!!! Tyler Perry better come and Tyler Perry-ize this movie!!

  23. You know what would be Racism ?

    When people would say:
    I dont want a Black Super Hero !
    I dont want a Black Panther Movie !
    I Hate Blade cause he’s Black !
    We only want White Super Hero’s like Batman and Spider-Man !!
    No we don’t want a Black Guy be the Good Guy like in Chronicle !!

    • But people here are Craving for a Black Panther movie, They wish Storm
      was more important and more like in the Comics.
      Most people in here are interested in a Reboot of Blade.
      Everybody would want new Characters to be introduced to the MCU to have more
      diversity.
      And everybody would like those things to happen more or less like in the comics !

      There is NO RACISM involved in that wish.

  24. How would those folks filming it explain it? A black boy with a white sister…. adopted?? Just spitballing but something to be considered.

  25. Iconic Character mis cast example: Tristar’s Godzilla. That was not Godzilla.

    This will not ne the Fantastic Four any more than Tri-star’s Godzilla was Godzilla. It won’t be getting my money.

  26. Is it really too much to ask a filmmaker to base the appearance of a character as closely as possible on the original source material? If that is too difficult (can anyone give me a legitimate reason WHY it would be?), is it too much to ask them to base the character’s appearance at least somewhere in the same, oh, UNIVERSE as the original source material?! Good grief.

    From the get-go and until the Ultimate reinterpretation of Marvel comics, Nick Fury was a cigar-chomping white guy with a military background. Yet, when we see him on the big screen, we get Mace Windu with an eye patch. Why make Sgt. Fury a different ethnicity? If it was just to give Samuel L. Jackson a role, why not make him another character or create one from scratch?

    Similarly, all four members of the Fantastic 4 have always been white people. Why suddenly make one of them a person of color? Is it to add “diversity”?! Political correctness is a terrible thing.

    And lest someone cries “racist!”, let me say this: Black Panther and Falcon have historically been black men, and I would be equally ticked off if some filmmaker were to give us white, hispanic, or Asian versions of those characters. Completely altering the physical appearance of these legendary characters is just plain STUPID, and it unnecessarily creates outrage and controversy among potential viewers.

    It’s simple: Stay FAITHFUL to the original source material.

    That is all.

    • @Cap. I honestly think, though the characterisation of Fury is way off the mark in this anti-smoking Comy world where 15/18 characters get PG-13 movies I believe that Jackson would have made an awesome Fury. His Fury for PG-13 was great and other than stupid SKY Broadband adverts he makes a good Fury, but he suddenly doesn’t have a white sister that adds movie crap that would likely be brushed over.

      Fox owns Fantastic Four, so like with Days of Future Past you shouldn’t expect too much when they get idiot directors involved who NEVER even auditioned anyone else. If I was a producer on this movie I would have dropped out as soon as the director got the writers to write in crap about adoptions and a black Johnny, and white Sue. As I said before I wouldn’t really like a white Static, or Power Man; it wouldn’t sit right.

  27. I would be perfectly happy with a black Torch IF Sue was black too. This just screws things up and makes the story more complicated than it needs to be. Who will they have as the adopted sibling anyway?

    I think if anyone calls the race card, saying anyone who says Jonny Storm should be white is racist should ask these people whether they would be okay with a white man playing Static or John Stewart (Green Lantern) in movie versions. It just wouldn’t feel right, and I bet then these so called people calling racist would be on the other side of the fence then calling for black actors.

  28. One word ……. Boycott.

    These jeb ends saying “Well its all fiction anyway” cool but the characters 50 years of written history plus my $20 I was going to buy a ticket with are very real.
    When is a Comic book movie not a Comic book movie? …… when its not based on the comics.

    Rather give my $20 away to a tramp than this film.

  29. Give Michael. B. Jordan a chance. He can act.. You’ll complain but I guarantee you will go watch it. And I’m telling you, you’re going to eat your words

    • It isn’t about his acting! Haven’t you been reading!? The arrogant dude is BLACK! (That pic does him no justice). He’s to play Jonny Storm while Sue Storm his SISTER is WHITE! Yes we’ll all likely see it, some will pirate, some in the movies, and some will buy Blu-Ray! Now other than the younger age they are (not bothered about that) if Jonny was going to be played by a white man, fine, IF Sue was going to be played by a black babe, AWESOME! But we don’t want some stupid adoption substory overshadowing the FANTASTICNESS of The Fantastic Four!

      They could make Fury black, easy, no siblings to worry about. But I would be angry if they said they were going to make a Static movie with a white Static, or a Powerman movie where Luke is white, etc., its just lame.