Michael B. Jordan Addresses ‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot and Human Torch Rumor

Published 2 years ago by

michael b jordan fantastic four Michael B. Jordan Addresses Fantastic Four Reboot and Human Torch Rumor

Last time on news stories about the Fantastic Four reboot: the fan discussion got really heated really quickly, thanks to the rumor that Michael B. Jordan – costar of the acclaimed found-footage super-powered teen flick Chronicle made by director Josh Trank (who is developing the new F4 movie) – is up for consideration to play literal hot-head daredevil Johnny Storm (a.k.a. Human Torch) in the film.

Well, that idea prompted impassioned reactions and arguments presented on both sides of the divide - I freely admit to having lit the fuse on that figurative stick of dynamite in my write-up – and Jordan has since weighed in on just how much truth there is behind said rumor (in addition to sharing his own feelings about the issue).

Jordan is attending the 2013 Cannes Film Festival to promote Fruitvale Station (watch the trailer), the Sundance award-winning film where he portrays the late Oscar Grant, the victim of a 2009 police shooting. While there, the actor – an alum of critically-lauded TV series like The Wire and Friday Night Lights – offered up the following to USA Today, about him being cast in Trank’s Fantastic Four movie:

“Nothing is real. Everyone knows [Josh Trank and I are] good friends. It’s something that if it happened I would be ecstatic,” says Jordan, giving a big wink. “I’d love to be a part of it.”

“That wink was off the record,” he then laughs.

He went on to say that he feels most of the people complaining about him playing Johnny Storm “have a continuity problem,” in reference to how the character is traditionally portrayed as caucasian. Nonetheless, Jordan emphasized that he has already received a lot of support on this issue from comic book geeks, saying that “If you go looking for negative things you’re going to find it. You never go through a girl’s phone. If you’re looking for trouble, you’re going to find it. But we’ll see where this all goes.”

fantastic four chris evans human torch1 Michael B. Jordan Addresses Fantastic Four Reboot and Human Torch Rumor

Chris Evans as Johnny Storm in ‘Fantastic Four’ (2005)

Our Kofi Outlaw’s “Changing Face” feature examines how comic book characters and superhero’s race/ethnicity occasionally change over the years, either to keep up with the modern times or to fit a storyteller’s new vision. It should only be seen as a problem when the character’s essence is lost or disrespected; hence, it was fine when Michael Clarke Duncan played Kingpin in the 2003 Daredevil movie – or, conversely, when Bane’s Caribbean heritage was dropped in The Dark Knight Rises – as the qualities that make them great villains were preserved (in my opinion).

Jordan indicated as much, when he commented about him (maybe) playing the Human Torch:

“Things change and time goes on, it’s 2013 right now,” Jordan says of the Torch talk. “The characteristics of the Human Torch are his name is Johnny Storm, he’s charismatic, and he’s a playboy. That’s it. You know what I’m saying? That’s all there is.”

There are, of course, several instances where a character’s racial background does need to be carried over, in order to be true to their original form. Luke Cage, for example, is a superhero whose African-American heritage is a definitive element of his identity (partly because black superheroes were, and still are, a rarity when he was created); similarly, Steve Rogers/Captain America simply would not really make sense as anything but a white American man, given his traditional backstory. However, as I’ve argued before, the Human Torch is not one of those instances.

Chronicle Found Footage Movie Michael B. Jordan Addresses Fantastic Four Reboot and Human Torch Rumor

Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan and Alex Russell in ‘Chronicle’

Jordan is an excellent choice for the role of Johnny Storm – based on his previous acting work – and the same goes for Allison Williams (Girls), who is said to be on the shortlist to play the maternalistic Sue Storm/Invisible Woman in Trank’s F4 reboot.

After all, in this particular comic book-based universe (populated by super-powered humans and alien visitors), it wouldn’t require an explanation as to how Johnny and Sue are brother and sister, even if they have different skin colors. They could be adopted siblings, from parents of different races, or anything else one can imagine to connect these dots.

So, how about it – Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four, yay or nay? Let us know in the comments section.


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: USA Today

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  1. So jordan is getting the job only because he’s black?
    This is racist!

  2. Am I the only one who realizes that on screen Johnny and Sue have yet to be played by actors of the same race? Sue was Latina in the first two movies! Bet no one b***ing about Johnny being black in this one complained about that!

    • Her father was Mexican-American, and her mother is Danish and French. Her skin color is tanned but no more than if a white woman spent time at the beach. Many people probably didn’t notice that she is latina. However, most of the people are not complaining that there is a black actor. Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Michael Clarke Duncan, and many others have played great parts in super hero and action movies. But to have two siblings, that have the same race parents in the comics, be two different (very noticably) races is the complaint.

    • Being latino is not a race, just saying.

  3. I’m sticking with the following:

    I would have been much happier if they had made Reed Richards black instead. It’s not changing a familial relationship, and it would have been a bold new step…a GENIUS black character instead of a brash and hot headed one.

  4. I like the idea of this happening. Its kinda like the Spiderman reboot when the community was putting out the idea that spiderman maybe didnt have to be white? This wasnt confirmed by Sony, it was just an idea of course. Never the less, This could be a nice twist to the franchis. We havent seen anything new from the fantastic four in a few years, maybe its time to switch things up a little.

  5. I think they shouldn’t even make a movie…. let the rights fall back to marvel so we can have a cross over in the future and better well planned movies.

    If they make a crappy fantastic four movie and people go to see it, then marvel still wont get those rights back.

    We need to support marvel and forget about sony and fox for screwing up our favorite childhood heroes.

  6. Sue storm and Johny storm are supposed to be siblings… my question is what went wrong in there genetics where one of the siblings is white and the other is black in this franchise?

    • Really? I mean really? Why cant they have two different moms, why cant he be adopted? Why is this so hard to comprehend. So what, hes black. I get it. You’re one of those “die hard” enthusiasts right? Probably read every Fantastic Four comic right? Probably not. Ever hear of parallel universes. Get your head straight ladies and gentlemen. We live in the 21st century. Its going to be interesting. So get your ignorant heads out of the f***ing gutter and think of this as s step in the right place. They cast these characters for a reason. Michael B. Jordan is a gifted and talented young man. Hes going to do this right. Its about having faith and hoping they do this right unlike their flop back in 2005.

      • Or here’s something to bake your noodle – why can’t SUE be the one that’s adopted?

      • Gee, you’re right, it has to be because we’re all racist, Hazard. Couldn’t possibly be because in the comic books, Sue and Johnny had the same parents and maybe we liked it that way. Would it really kill these directors to stay a little true to the story? A Step in the right place? They could have made Ben Grimm black and it wouldn’t have made a difference. So yes, maybe I am one of the die hard fans of the comics, but that doesn’t make me ignorant for wanting siblings to maintain their parents and their race.
        Stop going around calling everyone ignorant who liked the comics and get over yourself. We’re not all racist just because we don’t like the casting issue. In fact, your theory of “can’t they have different moms” feels like a cop out.

  7. OK, I have replied to a couple of the posts here and thought I should probably write one of my own, so for what it’s worth her is my opinion.

    Michael B Jordan is the wrong guy for the part because he is black.

    Now i know that is gonna get me hate but its the opinion of anybody who reads and loves comics and it’s not a racially motivated one, more an accuracy motivated one. Imagine the Avengers movie with a blue Hulk, or Thor not being from Asgard, or Hawkeye using a sniper rifle instead of arrows. Would the film still have been a kick-ass and exciting movie? Of course it would, but it wouldn’t have been right, it wouldn’t have been a correct interpretation of these characters.

    Having said that the colour of johnny Storm is not the only issue here. The cast on the whole is too young, Jamie bell is clearly way too skinny to play Ben Grimm (hopefully he will be big and orange fairly soon into the movie so that one won’t matter too much), Dr Doom is named Victor Domashev and is a programmer who works in the Baxter Building and runs a blog using the name ‘Doom’.

    What the hell is up with these people? They have 50+ years of established and very well loved and accepted source material to draw from and they feel the need to change it. I cant understand the reasoning other than a director with an ego wanting to put his stamp on something or a studio desperately trying to reach a bigger audience and concluding that the only way to do it is to ‘update’ the material.

    I realise that studios do this all the time but that doesnt make it right and it usually results in something inferior to what they are adapting.

    I just hope all the people trying to make this into a race argument will stop because that only serves to drag down discussion threads like this one to somewhere they shouldnt be.

  8. Point is that the Studio is allowing a baboon boy to be the human torch when he has ALWAYS been white and has ALWAYS been the brother not step brother not half brother not cousin and definitely not the BROTHA from another mother. The character has always been white. Yes i’ll post this comment proudly and if racism hate is what I get back then oh well. Bad enough Obama’s the president now we have to deal with something that was a stepping stone in the History of MARVEL COMICS being ruined.

    • (Sarcasm warnings, tread at your own risk)

      Many people are saying your racist if you don’t like a black actor playing a white character from a comic book on many forums. That is the typical response from people who cannot and will not understand why so many people are upset with Hollywood destroying comic books original stories and character appearance’s. I told a friend of mine (who is black) about a black actor playing Johnny in the new reboot of fantastic four. His response was I would rather a Black superman instead of the typical black actor playing a character that constantly screws up and gets their team into trouble. There are just as many Black people hating this as well so are they racist too? This is just going to be another movie where Hollywood is more focused on its ideology and has no care about how its going to affect a particular comic book franchise. If the movie fails (again) it will be blamed on racist whites. If it succeeds then black actors will be given the credit for its success because they broke with the norm which is also racist. All people are racist from mild to extreme period and Hollywood would rather keep stirring the racial melting pot because its all about the money. If you call someone a racist then that makes you a racist too no different than you smelled it you dealt it. There will never be winners in the never ending arguments of racism.

      I admit I am a racist towards a culture of leaches, culture of violence, culture of I don’t want to work and get free handouts all my life, regardless of their color.

      I will see the movie anyways and give it a chance since this situation is no different than a woman playing Starbuck on the reboot of Battlestar Galactica which I grew up on watching the original series and didn’t like the idea at first of the character changes including Boomer as well. I now have the whole series reboot in my collection. This is just Hollywood rolling the dice where its a win win for them either on money, racial agenda, or both. Can’t wait to see the reboot of Roots with white actors playing as slaves. Going watch the Nutty Professor now… cheers

      • Lmaooo read the comment you replied to and then define to us what racism is because clearly this whole thread is a joke

    • I 100℅ agree!!! So sick of people changing original characters race and sex!!! Just leave these things alone!!! They are fine the way they are!!!

  9. I won’t be seeing this they should leave well enough alone I do not have a problem with the guy being black he is very cute but if they were going to make Johnny Storm black they should have made Sue Storm black also that would have made more sense

    • That is freaking gross. He has gross skin, hair, and an ugly face.

  10. I hate it when they change the characters in order to make the movie politically correct. It takes away from the movie. I will not watch this movie, and hope others boycott it. I can only wonder how black people would feel if a movie about Martin Luther King was played by Jackie Chan.

    • did you just f****** compare MLK to a comic book character?…smh white people say the dumbest s***

      • Well BRO for some of us a comic book movie is more important than MLK, if you remember we are not all from the US.

  11. movie is dead

    • If only that were true and this movie really was dead! Where did you get this information, there does not seem to be anything on the web about Fox cancelling this.

      All I can find is the Fantastic news about Marvel cancelling all comics and merchandising of Fantastic Four to deny Fox any profit or advertising from them. Great move and shows that Marvel are as pissed at the way Fox is treating these classic characters as we are (well, most of us anyway)

      I pray that one day soon we will have a news story similar to the recent Marvel/Sony deal and the FF and Xmen will be back in the hands of marvel and get done right at last.

  12. Seriously? Sue and Johnny are siblings. No racism intended, but this movie does not make sense at all. The movie dead before it is shown.

    • In the words of Monk “Here’s the thing…”

      I’m a 23 year old black male. I’m also an advent promoter of black superheroes. My favorite superhero of all time is “Static” from Static Shock while “Spiderman” is my number two, despite the fact that he had been doing the “wisecracking” and “deadpan snarker” shtick decades before Static. My bottom line? I’m not biased about black superheroes. I am absolutely positive about black superheroes and their prominence.

      But even I know Michael B. Jordan is absolutely wrong for the human torch. Yes, it does boil down to race. But ultimately that’s part of Human Torch’s package among other things. It’s part of his individual. No, it’s not about acting and personality. I’m sure Michael is great at playing Johnny’s “live life to the fullest and then some” attitude. (I’ve never seen any of his films) I’m sure he’s a great actor. But when talking about playing an already established character in comics/cartoons/video games there’s MUCH more than good acting involved. Ask yourself. If you imagined Human Torch come to life-straight out of the comics would you automatically see him as a black guy? No, I wouldn’t think so. It’s not about dissing Michael or dissing black people-it’s just about him being the wrong guy for the job.

      Also I’m well aware that Nick Fury, Electro and Kingpin were originally Caucasian in the comics yet they were portrayed by black actors in movies. But you may want to realize these were majorly out of place too-with the only exception being Nick Fury since he was portrayed as a black man BASED off Samuel L. Jackson in the ultimate comics for decades. But as for the other two; you’re talking a movie that sucked at the box office and another who was not too well received although he had nothing to do with the series reboot. These are effectively poor arguments.

      On the flip side, yes people like Jessica Alba have played Susan Storm and nobody complained. Why? Well it’s not that hard of an answer…she could pass for a Caucasian woman and therefore didn’t detract from her character when you saw her. Here’s another one; Cobie Smulders has portrayed an American-yet slightly looking Latina character Maria Hill. While her race is never really explicit and I did give pause to seeing Robin from how I met your mother in the Avengers It didn’t rub me the wrong way seeing as she’s a woman that could pass for “American-yet looks slightly latin”. Now if she was played by Angela Basset an actor who I think probably would be a shoe-in for Hill’s personality I would have been rubbed the wrong way. Sadly again it boils down to race in these matters. The actors can be pretty good and they may even do spectacular jobs in their roles, but if they don’t have the likeness of the original work it can just throw the whole movie off.

      And I’d also like to point out as I believe someone did earlier that the entire cast seems to be lazily picked. I was previously apprehensive about Ioan Gruffand as Mister Fantastic because he seemed young for the role, but Miles Tellar? The guy is 28 according to Wikipedia and he doesn’t even look that. So even here we have a guy that has the right race and likeness but it’s still off because of age. Is it picky? Maybe. But it proves a point. Not just anyone can play anybody based on their acting skills. There’s more to it.

      Anyways…people will have their opinions of the movie and the casting and that’s alright. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. And honestly I kind of hope I’m wrong and Michael B Jordan doesn’t detract from the movie- Fantastic Four was high among my reading list as a youth and they’re a pretty good chunk of my childhood. We’ll see how everything goes.