Development for the Fantastic Four reboot has been in the running for years but with director Josh Trank (The Kill Point, Chronicle) at the helm and Fox in final negotiations with Miles Teller (Dr. Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic), Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/The Thing), Kate Mara (Sue Storm/Invisible Girl), and Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm.The Human Torch), progress is definitely being made and it looks like that 2015 release date may stick.
Wait. Hold up. Michael B. Jordan was cast to be The Human Torch? Ok, well maybe it wasn’t 20th Century Fox’s decision since Trank previously worked with Jordan in the sci-fi action thriller, Chronicle. Either way, I could only imagine the fanboys across the world having massive heart attacks because when there was a campaign to cast Donald Glover a.k.a Childish Gambino as the next Spider-Man in the reboot, the Internet definitely lost it. The campaign had so much racially-charged backlash, it was clear people weren’t ready for a black Spider-Man and Columbia Pictures chose to go with Andrew Garfield, a white actor, to play the role of the Marvel superhero.
Now when it comes to the black-white Hollywood debate, I’m definitely torn. I believe minorities actors definitely need to be in more prominent roles, but I also know if people rather watch bootlegs than go out to the theaters to watch films with minority leads, how do we expect Hollywood to make such an exception? The only color Hollywood sees is green.
It should be noted that Warner Bros. cast white actor Ryan Reynolds to play a comic book hero that’s been previously portrayed as black in Green Lantern (while Hal Jordan is a white character, Warner originally cast Common as Green Lantern John Stewart). Now while there are multiple Green Lanterns, there wasn’t any degree of antagonism with the switch, even though Green Lantern film sucked! I doubt it would have done any better with Common as the lead.
Casting Michael B. Jordan may just be an opportunity to cash in with minorities because the guy is on fire as of late, no pun intended, but so what? This move may push Hollywood to take more chances to diversify. I say the superhero world could really use Jordan as The Human Torch right now, not as a racial statement, but because he would do some great things as the character. We need to stop seeing this as a black and white industry, Michael B. Jordan is, but isn’t, a black actor; he’s a young talented actor on the rise that got selected for a role. Let’s leave it at that. Besides we have more important things to be mad about in the superhero world, like Ben Affleck as the new Batman!
Here are a few twitter thoughts on the Michael B. Jordan casting: