‘Fantastic Four': Miles Teller & Michael B. Jordan ‘Deserve’ Roles

Published 1 year ago by , Updated June 25th, 2014 at 10:51 am,

Ultimate Fantastic Four Movie Cast 2015 Fantastic Four: Miles Teller & Michael B. Jordan Deserve Roles

Chronicle director Josh Trank is currently behind-the-scenes preparing for his relaunch of Fox’s Fantastic Four franchise, while fans hold their breath on the sidelines, worried that Marvel’s favorite family is once again going to get shortchanged by their movie adaptation.

At the moment there seems to be a holding pattern; word is Trank and producers are testing different combinations of actors to find that perfect camaraderie needed to create the familial banter and excellent team dynamic that are the cornerstone of any Fantastic Four story. However, after hearing the list of rumored actors up for the main four slots, the core fanbase has been less than enthused about where this is all headed – and some rumored plot details haven’t helped matters.

Actors like Girls star Allison Williams and 1600 Penn star Josh Gad have had their names floated for roles like Invisible Girl and The Thing; however, most of the Fantastic Four casting rumors have focused on Reed Richards and The Human Torch, with up-and-coming actors Miles Teller (Spectacular Now) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) being the two names long attached to the respective characters.

Jordan in particular has been the subject of long discussion; the actor worked with Trank (and impressed fans) in Chronicle, but having an African-American actor step into the role of Johnny Storm presents logistical challenges (his relation to a white Sue Storm), as well as the usual “race-switching” complaints. 

Zac Efron Endorses Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller Fantastic Four Fantastic Four: Miles Teller & Michael B. Jordan Deserve Roles

Teller, Efron and Jordan in ‘That Awkward Moment’

Well, as luck would have it Teller and Jordan are starring in a movie together, That Awkward Momentin which their banter and camaraderie are (if nothing else) a good indication of how they would fit together within a Fantastic Four ensemble. Also starring in That Awkward Moment is Zac Efron – and although Teller and Jordan were tight-lipped about the current FF4 casting process, Efron was free to let his view of the matter be known, after I joked that he could join them in the cast as The Thing:

Zac Efron: “Bottom Line: These guys are good enough and in a position where they deserve that kind of role. I dunno… I have to kind of earn it a little more to be in a movie like that. It’s just different. I think these guys are fresh and brand new – I think these guys would be great in that film. I don’t belong in a film like that, not at all, no way.”

We’ll skip over the easy-opening for fans to rip into a Zac Efron Fantastic Four casting (pretty sure the comments section will have fun with that one) and instead focus on the actual endorsement of Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan starring in the film.

Awkward Moment Efron Teller Jordan Fantastic Four: Miles Teller & Michael B. Jordan Deserve Roles

The two young men are both proven as prestige and commercial talents (Teller in Spectacular Now and 21 & Over; Jordan in Chronicle and Fruitvale Station) and in That Awkward Moment they do exhibit good chemistry and banter – but of course, the issue goes deeper than that. Iconic comic book characters demand a certain (but variable) level of fidelity to the source material, and an actor  must embody certain essential characteristics that define the character, in charisma or spirit if not physical resemblance.

In that sense it’s easy to see why many people have been okay with the thought of Jordan playing the Torch; as seen in Chronicle, the actor has a likable swagger that could make for a convincing ladies man – while films like Fruitvale have shown he has the ability to convincingly exude the sort of attitude and (forgive me) hot-headedness that puts the “Storm” in Johnny Storm. The revised back story and obvious potential for incredibly racist jokes would be a downside, admittedly.

Fantastic Four Future Foundation Costumes 570x397 Fantastic Four: Miles Teller & Michael B. Jordan Deserve Roles

Fantastic Four – Future Foundation Costumes

Teller is something of a harder sell. A lot people find the actor’s whip-smart wit and banter in films like 21 & Over to be bothersome – and a good number of them are probably ignorant of his more subtle, layered (and generally impressive) work in Spectacular Now, one of last year’s indie darlings. That’s all to say: It’s already hard to imagine the younger version of Reed Richards (as featured in the Ultimate Fantastic Four continuity); the majority of fans will likely have little frame of reference to imagine Teller’s trademark wit supplanting their memories of the aloof and square-minded Reed Richards from the classic comics.

If storyline rumors are true –  a revised origin involving young super-powered types being utilized as government weapons – then this Fantastic Four reboot is striking out in a bold new direction, one that will be an uphill battle, for sure. While casting is always a touchy subject in the initial stages, for a project like FF4 it seems like a slow-build into the graces of audiences will be the key – and that requires sustained charisma. Based on what we’ve seen from That Awkward Moment, Teller and Jordan (together or individually) can offer that.

That Awkward Moment is in theaters on January 31, 2014.

Fantastic Four will be in theaters on June 19, 2015. Stay tuned for details on casting.

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  1. I’m Agent Johnson, this is Special Agent Johnson, no relation.

  2. Step-siblings, foster-siblings, adopted siblings. Easy as pie.

    • Not easy as pie how about if Harry Potter was Asian or maybe the Twilight cast should have been a group of Samoans. Maybe Lincoln should have starred Denzel Washington, maybe the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park should have been Colombian flamingos, maybe the blue people in Avatar should have been Native Americans we gave their own planet in the future and decided to steal it 100s later. Maybe Robocop should have been Russian, maybe Wolverine should actually be a realistic interpretation of a Canadian shortman. Maybe just maybe is a slippery slope. Comic book movies deserve just as much respect as the next iconic story. Oh and I’m not snapping just trying to make a point and that point is Johnny Storm is either white or both him and Sue should be black boom now thats a compromise and my god why even changed it thats an extra 3 minutes out of the film that needs to explain it lol.

  3. I actually had no problem with the previous FF cast. It was that script they needed to get rid of.

  4. I don’t see why Mike B. Jordan can’t be the Thing the kid they got to actually be the Thing would have made a fine Torch. I’m sorry I hate to be one of the people to complain about something like this but why is it okay to make such a drastic change to a comic movie in Fox’s eyes. Did they not learn with the Last Stand just because they have a good property doesn’t mean they should change whatever the hell they want for no good reason. Yes I’m sorry to say there is no good reason for this I’d rather Mike Jordan as Luke Cage honestly the kid has the chops to kill it in the Power Man role. Human Torch on the other hand…no…Johnny Storm isn’t adopted neither is Sue. Again I cant say enough I am a huge fan of Michael B Jordan I think he’s a talented actor and one of the best up and coming Black Actors I’m sorry to say but the lineup of household name Black Actors is sad. I’m hispanic only person I can look up to is Andy Garcia…wheres he been?

  5. Efron as Human Torch, Teller as Reed, Jordan as the thing and someone who actually looks somewhat like Sue Storm as sue storm.

  6. I really want those Future Foundation costumes to be in the film. Or, at least, a sequel.

  7. I truly understand those who have a problem when characters we have become accustomed to for decades are changed in movies. The race issue is a sensitive one, but It always has been. The reason why we don’t have more super heroes that are black is because comic books have been around more than 70 years now and they were not making black heroes at all in the beginning. The opportunity for a director to have a vision to see these characters thru a modern lens is something that should be respected. The human torch was white in first adaption of the movie, didn’t make it a good movie. When the movie comes out then let’s be a critic, now those comments come off as rac…I mean ignorant