‘Fantastic Four’ Director and Producer Talk About Controversy in Casting

By June 4, 2015

Recently, we told you about an essay written by actor Michael B. Jordan, who addressed how his casting may have been perceived as “controversial” by some segments of comic book fandom, as well as general movie audiences. Still, Jordan indicated that the film is all about family, and is simply trying to reflect the world as it exists today.

Now, in a new interview, director Josh Trank and writer/producer Simon Kinberg have jumped into the fray to defend the casting choice. Speaking with The LA Times, both men didn’t really attempt to do any assuaging in their explanations. Instead, they chose to inform people about why the film is going in the direction it is, as symbolized by both Michael B. Jordan’s casting as Johnny Storm/the Human Torch, as well as the smaller Jamie Bell’s casting as the large and monstrous Ben Grimm/the Thing.

Trank spoke in part about the one major thing that many successful comic book movie franchises have in common, and that’s the repetition of the storytelling. This isn’t the first time the story of these characters is being told, which leads him to the conclusion that you can’t simply tell it again the same way it was told before.

It only speaks to the greatness of any story that has been told for decades or centuries that people still want to tell that story. But you can’t just keep telling it the same way over and over again. And I think it only helps the world to be more honest with young kids, to show them the world that they go walk outside and see.

Kinberg echoed these sentiments by talking explicitly about the casting of Jordan and Bell, who both go against the “type” of their respective characters in both the source material and in previous films.

The change of Jamie as Ben being a smaller guy instead of a bigger guy, for example, was for a purpose. It’s more dramatic when that character becomes a huge rock creature – that’s a bigger transformation. The notion of a working-class tough guy who’s been pushed around by his bigger brothers his whole life seemed like a more interesting character than the guy who started as a football player and just ended up being 4 inches taller.

Fantastic Four will open in theaters on August 7th. For more on the film as we get ready for its release, keep an eye on GeekNation!

Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.
  • Mikey Silva

    looking forward to this, am a big fan of the original movies, and original video games too :)

  • Katey

    I agree with what Trank said, if I wanted to watch the same story over and over again, I would just rewatch the originals, not something “new” . :)

  • Lucas S

    cool, only a few weeks away now

  • tommymadden3

    there is quite a bit of controversy with this film.. I am expecting it to be a terrible movie and we will just forget about it within days, and the controversy will be for nothing