Michael B. Jordan Sets the Record Straight on His ‘Fantastic Four’ Casting

By May 23, 2015

Of all of the comic book movies due out in the near future, there are few that seem to be as polarizing ahead of release as Fantastic Four, due out this August directed by Josh Trank. In addition to known liberties with the source material that the film’s story is believed to be taking, as well as being a stylistic departure from typical Hollywood superhero fare. One “controversy” from the perspectives of some fans also seemed to arise from the film’s casting, namely that actor Michael B. Jordan is an African-American, playing a character that has typically been portrayed in the comics as Caucasian. Of all the people that could possibly notice, Jordan himself has come forward to give his own thoughts.

In an essay written for Entertainment Weekly, Jordan frankly lays out what the issues were that some fans had, as well as how they made him feel upon learning about them. He would also go on to say, though, that he would no longer let them bother him.

You’re not supposed to go on the Internet when you’re cast as a superhero. But after taking on Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four—a character originally written with blond hair and blue eyes—I wanted to check the pulse out there. I didn’t want to be ignorant about what people were saying. […] It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore. I can see everybody’s perspective, and I know I can’t ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books. But the world is a little more diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961. Plus, if Stan Lee writes an email to my director saying, “You’re good. I’m okay with this,” who am I to go against that?

med_fantastic_four_20150127In addition to getting the stamp of approval from Johnny Storm’s creator, Jordan also explains his keen awareness of the perception, by some, of his casting as an act of political correctness that somehow damages the 54-plus year history of Johnny Storm or the Fantastic Four. At the end of the day, he says that the theme of the film is also the primary theme of the characters in the comics: it all comes down to family.

This is a family movie about four friends—two of whom are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister—who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events to create unity and a team. That’s the message of the movie, if people can just allow themselves to see it.

Moreover, Jordan also explains to readers that he has absolutely no issue with “shouldering this hate” that comes from some sects of fandom, and encourages any of the “internet trolls” that have a problem with it to take a look around the world that they live in, and understand that the new Fantastic Four film is attempting to reflect it.

Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends’ friends and who they’re interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It’s okay to like it.

Fantastic Four starring Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/the Human Torch opens on August 7th, and we can’t wait to see Jordan add his mark to the legacy of a beloved character. For more on the film as it takes shape, keep it locked on GeekNation.

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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.
  • TexMex

    If you’ve seen Michael B. Jordan in “The Wire” then you know this “criticism” is silly BS. He makes his case very well, and he can carry the role and then some. Self-proclaimed protectors of comic-to-screen continuity are clowns. I’ve been reading Marvel since the early 70’s, and I’m good with him in the role.

    • There ya go. Exactly. This discussion should be about nothing but whether or not he has the acting chops.

    • rogerscorpion

      I’m a clown, then. I bought the FF, Avengers & the X-Men–issues #1, early 60s, off the newsstands. I’m not good with him in the role—any more than I’d be good with a white man playing the Black Panther or the Falcon, as white.

      • Wow, you must hate all the Avengers and X-Men films.

        • rogerscorpion

          Pretty much. Otherwise why not have SLJ play Thomas Jefferson? Do you think a white actor should play the Black Panther?

          • Comparing a real life individual to a comic book character isn’t going to cut it.

            If there is a creative way to do anything and the outcome of the film is good, then I’m for it. Due to changes, HATED Tim Burton’s remake of Planet of the Apes, Highlander 2 and a handful of comic book remakes, but I reserved judgement for the final product.

          • rogerscorpion

            OMG! You’re a purist on something, but deride me for being one? Can it be that we have diff criteria?Some things are canon for me. I understand,in the Ultimate U, Spidey is latino. I’m sorry. He’s Peter Parker. Period.

          • “deride me for being one?” As soon as you stop playing victim I’ll have a long, thoughtful and engaging discussion with you.

      • TexMex

        Well, if the floppy red shoes fit…

  • Pete

    It’s not so much being African American that bothers me but when films
    try to be racially diverse, that’s usually the route they go? Why not
    change it up a bit? I can picture Asian actors in the role, though I
    suppose that’s just as common. I agree with his point,in 1961, blond
    hair and blue eyes were a dream looking type appearance superheroes had.
    I’ll see how he does, even if the script kills him.

  • Stewart Blanksvard

    Why even respond to the people posting negative comments. They are not worth it. Some people are only happy spreading negativity. It’s just a movie. People, get on with your lives.

  • Stewart Blanksvard

    Why bother with the people posting negative reviews? They will never be happy. Let it go. It’s just a movie. I am a fan and will watch it. Some people are only happy hating others. Enjoy your success! You are a GREAT actor! Congrats!

    • GOOD FOR YOU, Stewart. You are correct on all fronts.

  • Brian Charles Burkhardt

    I mean, those other FF movies were shite and they didn’t change the source material much, so maybe these changes will be for the better. Still, there are a LOT of seemingly minor changes that don’t really make sense. Why is Sue adopted? Is that going to add a previously vacant character dimension, or is it just to explain why she’s white? If they’re going with a black Johnny I wouldn’t be against a black or mixed Sue, it would make sense. Or maybe Mr. Fantastic is fantastically racist and will only get with a fully white Sue?

    Really my main problem is that Doom (apparently) isn’t human, he’s some other-dimensionally creature. It’s just too many odd changes and tweaks for me to be interested in it.

    • JSBrown303

      “Why is Sue adopted? Is that going to add a previously vacant character dimension,”

      So, are you essentially saying that her character dimension is “invisible”? 😉
      Sorry, couldn’t resist! lol

  • Red VonMunster

    Nobody complained about a Latina Sue Storm in the last set of Fantastic Four movies, so I’m not sure what the hubbub is all about with a black guy playing Johnny. It’s not like Johnny Storm’s race was an integral part of the comic book story line either. Long story, short, I fully support Jordan playing the Human Torch.

    • Tony Allen

      maybe thats because they tried to make her look as white as possible. she had blue contacts, for gods sake. now that someone of color is playing a character, though, people freak out. institutional racism, much?

      • Ty Stewart

        I’m still amazed nobody raised a fuss over Ben Urich being played by a black actor in Daredevil… Lol.

        • Mike Forrey

          Because Ben wasn’t all that important of a character and he got offed before the season ended. Secondary characters can be portrayed as anyone really. Main characters are normally the harder ones to change from comic lore. Pretty sure the Daredevil series would have failed if they had gone the way of the movies and made the Kingpin a black “pimp” style. Instead they kept him as true to the comics as possible and got a great actor as well. To me the series was average until you throw Vincent in there.

          • Ty Stewart

            Very true, I guess I always viewed Ben as an important character, forgetting he really is just a secondary one. I’ll admit, I was a bit surprised with it, but I really enjoyed the actor’s portrayal. Agreed, Vincent was great. It was as much a Kingpin origin story as it was Daredevil.

          • rogerscorpion

            he WAS important, but secondary.

        • rogerscorpion

          Vondie Curtis Hall is one of my fave actors. But Ben was a supporting character,.

    • rogerscorpion

      Alba has many bloods in her. She does have olive skin, tho. Sexy & lovely, but I considered that miscasting. She & Johnny share DNA, for Christ’s sake.



    • Michael Casey

      Seriously. Go. Fuck. Yourself.

    • Tony Allen

      you are a terrible human being.

    • Bruce Benner

      To the Clever Glitch….
      Take a look around. There are plenty of white people that live like punks, thieves, drug addicts, welfare families and just plane pieces of shit.
      They are called “White Trash”.
      I live in a Neigbhorhood full of them.
      Hating someone for the color of their skin is pathetic and your are exquisitely pathetic!

      • I prefer no replies but these are great words.

    • Lorenzo Kellam

      Its always hilarious to witness guys with little dicks try to hide the fact.

    • Matt Krafcky

      Hiding behind a computer screen to express yourself. I bet you wouldn’t dare do it in his face or anyone of color that is. Grow up. It’s 2015. The world is a much better place being diverse. Racists, such as yourself are a small percent in this current era. Do us a favor and keep your ignorant comments to yourself….or perhaps go back to school and work on your writing skills. This is the longest run on sentence I’ve ever seen. I have no problem with Hollywood casting actors of different races playing certain roles. If they nailed the audition, they deserve to show the world their talents.

    • Jeff

      Clever Glitch, people like you should all be put on an island that is for bomb testing, go fuck yourself.

    • EVERYONE, please stop replying to this bigot. The ONLY reason I am leaving this post up is for awareness – There are people on here that deserve that, as a reminder. Just deleting it does no good. Ignore it and show that the rest of us are so much better than this.

      This person is one of two things:

      1) He is either a little boy that gets his thrills off of reactions and will grow up to be a sociopath; Or

      2) He is a racist bigot that will never change and your words only fuel his fire.

      So again, please, save your words for someone more deserving and let’s allow his uneducated words to sit here in the spotlight for everyone to see.

  • Noneofya Biznes

    Its no biggie… it goes both ways… for exampe:

    Angelina Jolie played as Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart. Jennifer Lawrence played as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. Anthony Hopkins Successfully Passes for White in The Human Stain (ok, that one baffled me.) lol… Mena Suvari played a Black woman in Stuck. How about Kevin Spacey in Pay it Forward? and now for a trip down memory lane… Lawrence Olivier in Blackface for Othello… As long as they play the role well… so be it.

    And as for you “The CLEVER GLITCH”, I am an american, that happens to be black… can you read this? its written in ‘monkey’ soo… guess your a monkey too.

    • Boof

      I don’t understand WHY people are so sure Katniss is black or mixed. It never gives a race, and that’s great. She has olive skin, pale eyes and dark hair she puts in a braid. I think anyone ASSUMING that is black is just being bigoted.

      • Noneofya Biznes

        You do have a point boof. My apologies, just basing my comment off social media, which can be very wrong at times.

      • rogerscorpion

        Sounds Persian to me!

    • Great comparisons, Noneofya.

    • Jeff

      And it shouldn’t of went those ways either, so that doesn’t make this the right way.

      • Why are you the one making that decision? The decision should be the artist that created it, or the owner that the artists solds the rights to.

        Not to mention, you’te then getting into much deeper waters and entering censorship areas when you start trying to control what characters actors are allowed to play.

        If everyone would just leave it to creatives, for right or wrong, and leave all the stupid politics out, things would be so much better.

        • Jeff

          It’s not about politics, it’s about you guys thinking that just cause we have an opinion different than you, you assume we are racist. Which artist are we talking about here, the artist that actually created the character or the artist that is attempting to create the character in live action? Obviously I’m not the one making a decision or I would of casted as closely to the original artists portrayal as possible. This has nothing to do with censorship, if it did, we wouldn’t be talking about it. It’s a bloody comic hero, in which, in my opinion they ruined the casting for.

          • Who is “you guys” and who are you referring to when you say, “you assume we’re racsist?”

            If you’re smart you wouldn’t put yourself on the side of of a few on here that are CLEARLY racist.

            What kind of sides are you trying to create? Are you even aware that almost every decision made at this level is based on past box office successes (or failures), test markets and research groups. This is what allows the studios to maximize profits in an abysmal financial climate, in addition to streaming taking away all clear signs of it improving. If you’re going to play the blame then you must blame everyone, not just “Hollywood” or “you guys” because they are all represented in the test panels, even you.

            You think I don’t have my things from childhood that I never want to see change? But between tweaking it to suit the masses or never being able to see it because I wanted it the exact same way… I choose change everytime.

            It’s not that anyone faults you for having an opinion, it’s just when the opinions are so loud without fully understanding the process.

            As for “which artist are we talking about?” Many of the older ones that struggled financially for decades are thrilled to get a hefty check to see their original creations come to life, even with tweaks and changes; Even those that HAVE been disappointed continue to sell their other works. Not to mention, big changes are normally passed by them first for approval because no one wants bad press due to an unhappy creator.

            Stephen King and Stan Lee are perfect examples, the J. D. Salinger represents someone that never wanted his work tampered with.

            Just understand the big picture, that’s all… And yes, that IS politics.

          • Noneofya Biznes

            Keep in mind one other thing… back when most of these things were written, the social bias was alot stronger… no, that’s wrong, because the social bias is as strong as ever in this free country of ours, lol…. but let’s just say that, things weren’t written for other ethnicities, or with other ethnicities in mind. it was just simply the way the world was… is… whatever. Sheesh… just thinking about it depresses me… some world we live in.

    • L. Lorelei Laine

      Don’t forget: Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

    • rogerscorpion

      uhhh—this is apples & oranges. Hopkins played Othello in blackface, too. In ‘The Human Stain’, Hopkins younger self was
      played by Wentworth Miller, who is black, but has played dozens of whites.

  • John Bocanegra

    “Forget 50 years of comic books..” even though Marvel itself is completely writing FF out of existence. Ironic!

  • Neal Sarin

    So, Johnny Storm, who is originally a white Caucasian being portrayed as black is wrong. Then, would a Palestinian, like Jesus Christ, being portrayed as an extremely light skinned Caucasian be equally as wrong??

    • Jose Jalapeño

      You are a sick fuck. How do you manage to twist things that way you punk piece of garbage

      • Jose, Neal is only trying to make a point and he’s actually using a valid example. Whether or not you disagree, please refrain from name calling and if you disagree then attempt to rebut in a civil and intelligent manner.

      • Noneofya Biznes

        Whoa! Dang playboy… it’s all good, just having a discussion. And I’m pretty sure he was just driving home a point!

      • Jose, because you chose the word “sick” I want to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you misunderstood Neal because he didn’t use a “?” after his first sentence – it makes it look like he’s making a statement, as opposed to setting up his point.

        I bet you guys are on the same (good) side.

        Fair enough?

    • Noneofya Biznes

      Um… I thought Jesus was a Jew?!? 😉

      • rogerscorpion

        He was, but Jews fro the Middle East look like Arabs.

    • It IS wrong.

      “Italian Jesus” is the version that the most artists have depicted thanks to the popularity of artists of the middle ages and Renaissance, and he’s sort of become a “mascot” version of the Biblical figure — shorthand for “Christianity” in the same way that Ronald McDonald is shorthand for “McDonalds.”

      Most folks don’t realize that the Bible describes Jesus as olive skinned with “wooly” hair.

      • Rad, that’s the point that Neal is making.

        Everyone seems to be missing Neal’s point.

        • rogerscorpion

          I get Neal’s point & he’s right. Rad got it, too.

          • The example Rad uses is for a Jesus that is widely accepted, despite its origins and it works for the majority of consumers. That is in complete contrast to your view, in reverse.

          • rogerscorpion

            Hmmm..I wonder if anyone has polled the ‘majority’?I think the majority of consumers you refer to, are white, for some reason.I love it when someone says ‘most’ or the majority’, unless they’ve actually taken a poll of ‘most’. I know the Italian Jesus Rad speaks of. Leonardo da Vinci used, as a model for Jesus, an Italian convict. I have black activist friends (I’m puro gringo) who take issue w/european caucasians playing Jesus. Rad is actually correct. Rad is objecting to the Italian Jesus. He says it is widely accepted, but explains it.

          • Oh please. Don’t try and dissect what I meant by “majority”. I’m going off of “a ‘mascot’ version of the Biblical figure”, which is a term that Rad used above in a post you yourself agreed to. The only way to win an argument is if both sides understand one another, then both sides win; You can’t accomplish this by changing someone’s meaning of ONE word or it’s just an argument.

            I’m merely pointing out the example of what Rad used that was CLEARLY successful in marketing a character. This is not my opinion of what color Jesus should be nor whether or not I even care. When comparing the “white” jesus, it is obvious that it has clearly “worked” on a successful level. That’s not even something that you can argue.

            Oh sure, you could go into, “well, define successful”, and then the conversation just becomes way off topic.

          • rogerscorpion

            I prefer ‘many’, rather than ‘most’. It is safer. One is not declaring a majority that way. Hard to call you on that. The white Jesus has marketed well, because white people like it. Even I cannot argue the success of that, as you say. What sells well, doesn’t make it right, tho. It just mean the largest # of people buy into it. The lowest common denominator. I enjoyed his term ‘mascot Jesus’. In the comic book world, in the Captain America film, they changed his costume. Now, so they can sell comics to non-comic buffs, they’ve changed his costume, too. In the real universe, they portray Fury as black, so to avoid confusing non-comic buffs. No concern for those who followed them for decades. Do you know why they changed Superman’s costume?

          • Fair enough.

            Okay rogerscorpion, I appreciate your response here so my apologies for calling you a “victim” in the other post, which you are most likely responding to now. Hahaha

            All is good.

          • Evan Stewart

            just a quick thought. could it be that the reason that the majority of consumers are white is because this is a predominatly white nation. and i do not mean this to be racist or condescending in any way, simply that people are bitching about the people that are bitching about this issue, yet the majority of consumer america is white. therefore of course they want to see white actors, they are the ones that are most easily identifiable to a white person. they can relate to white characters simply because they are white. i dont think its so much about racism as it is about the simple fact that most people in america are white and therefore to make money you appease the masses. if this were a movie made in japan or china the actors would be predominatly asian. we are a diverse nation yes, but diversity is still not enough to overpower the fact that most people are indeed white in this nation. is it really that racist for white people to identify more closely with white people? and when white people are the ones that are going to fork out the most money to go to a movie (simply because there are more of them) doesnt it make sense to cater to your majority audience? and just to clarify i dont honestly care myself who plays the character as long as he doesnt do a shitty job and that goes for any actor white black brown green blue or otherwise.

          • I don’t see it as racist or condescending in any way – They are honest words and something that everyone should contemplate, for the good and bad. It also may be a good description of why so many African Americans are frustrated with this country. I think the main part of the discussion should be about ways to solve these issues to make everyone happy, whether it’s an uphill battle or not.

            As for the racism accusations, I don’t know how many people are calling racism against the purists, necessarily. For example, I certainly wouldn’t call @rogerscorpion a racist just for being a purist. With that said, scroll down to The Clever Glitch and you will see the words of a racist.

      • Neal Sarin

        My point is that if people are upset that Johnny Storm is being portrayed as black, then why aren’t they equally upset that Jesus Christ is traditionally portrayed as “extremely” white.

      • rogerscorpion

        Jesus should be dark–if not black.

      • rogerscorpion

        Here’s a slightly more accurate depiction. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080595/reference

    • rogerscorpion

      This, too, is wrong. Jesus should be dark.

    • rogerscorpion

      Very much so.

  • maybeiamcrazy

    Ive got no issue with Johnny being black. I do take issue with the fact that his sister remains white. “Adopted” so they do not have to show a black woman with the white Reed Richards. Also it seems Reed has to stay white because a black man could not possibly be the super intelligent team leader. I feel like making only Johnny black is more racist than simply keeping them all white.

    • TexMex

      You’re leaping to a lot of conclusions about motives there.

      • JosephLS

        Whatever the motives are, it’s still a fact that Hollywood is extremely reluctant to do the things that are mentioned in that comment.

        -Cast a black person as the intelligent leader
        -Cast half or more of the primary cast with black actors
        -Cast the primary romantic relationship of the movie as interracial, or anything but between white people

        Considering the pretty undeniable fact of these tendencies, does it really matter what the motives are?

        • Unfortunately, you can’t just blame Hollywood… Blame moviegoers.

          If test markets, test panels and test screenings showed that people would watch an ant farm on screen for two hours, the next big popcorn feature would be The Ant Farm.

          • Neal Feldman

            Sad but true…

        • TexMex

          I agree with you on all of your points except that last one. That’s a specific call made by a specific person, and yeah, their motives should matter.

        • Daniel Schultz

          Go watch BET…

        • Dave Gruia

          Hollywood is extremely reluctant to:

          -Cast a black person as the intelligent leader — Nick Fury in avengers, any Denzel Washington movie, the list goes on…
          -Cast half or more of the primary cast with black actors – to steer clear of just Denzel references (i.e. Remember the Titans) how about Any Given Sunday (also with an intelligent Jamie Foxx),I am Legend (with an intelligent Will Smith)
          -Cast the primary romantic relationship of the movie as interracial, or anything but between white people – Hitch (interracial), Save the Last Dance, Monster’s Ball, The Bodyguard…..

          Some of these are oscar nominees and winners…so I’m hesitant to believe this comment..there’s always room for more..but searching for an argument in something that doesn’t exist isn’t true.

          • Aaron Westbrook

            Jackie Brown? Almost the entire movie bucking established Hollywood trends.

    • rogerscorpion

      I agree with you. The word ‘adopted’ shouldn’t be involved. Make Sue black, too. Cast Zoe Saldana. She’s between Star Treks.

      • Daniel

        Zoe is already in the marvel universe though in guardians of the galaxy. Yes they’re likely wont be a crossover but with the recasting of Chris Evans all the characters now have their own actor.

        • rogerscorpion

          OK. Rosario Dawson, who, IMHO, is way hotter anyway.

          • johnfilmsia

            She’s in Daredevil as Night Nurse.

  • To everyone on this page, please be civil and please be kind to one another. I’m going to leave the disgusting comments made by the bigot, only for a time, just to show people that ignorance and evil is still among us.

    All I ask is that no one reply or respond. Trust me, it’s not worth it – It is just fuel on the fire.

    Cheers everyone and have a wonderful day.

    • rogerscorpion

      Which is the bigot you refer to? Laronda Tarmony?

  • Grimjack

    And no, he doesn’t make his case…….What everyone in Hollywood seems to miss is that, all of these comics are our modern mythology…..they are not subject to ‘creative interpretation’ or ‘political correctness’ or any other of this liberal bs being used today. You want to change the story of the ‘Fantastic Four’ that was written 50 years ago; fine either invent a time-machine or make up your own story. Quit trying to manipulate and used established characters and stories to fit your fk’d up desires……..

    • My friend, “Hollywood” as you put it is nothing but countless artists that live all over the world. Most of the time the creators have to sign off on the characters, or at the very least, provide a stamp of approval.

      Artists have been interpreting previous artworks since man started to become creative. Even this character was created from the interpretation of a previous creations, that were interpreted from something prior.

      That is what most art is. Most people that are this closed off to various changes and interpretations have zero idea of what true are is even about. Can you imagine what movies would be like if “Hollywood” were still making movies based on the original classic Superman and Batman, similat to the TV show.

      Furthermore, as a filmmaker I can tell you first hand how absolutely difficult it is to make a movie, much less one that the majority will enjoy.

    • Detryck Von-Doom

      That would make sense only if the comics themselves didn’t go through repeated retconning and reimagining. The modern Batman comics owes much of its content to Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight” back in the 80’s, Lex Luthor would still be a crazed criminal mad scientist instead of a corrupt billionaire industrialist with a good-guy public face, I could go on and on.

  • Detryck Von-Doom

    Just for that, I’m cosplaying as Black Thor at the next Derby City ComiCon, and my two little half nigglet mulatto kids are going to be Half-Black The Sentry and Half-Black Black Panther.

    I’m going to piss EVERYONE off, because racism is fucking stupid.

    • That’s awesome, Detryck! But don’t do it to piss everyone off, do it because you should be able to without ridicule or judgement.

      Don’t even give the bigoted idiots the energy of thought.

      And if you make to SDCC find our booth so we can take pics with you and your family

      Take care.

    • TexMex

      Do it because it would be awesome!

    • rogerscorpion

      They could’ve made Ben Grimm black, w/little resistance.

      • Neal Feldman

        Why not make the Thing female and cast Linda Hunt for the role?

        • rogerscorpion

          They’d have a little bitty Thing!

  • JRummy

    Seriously I think the issue is less that Johnny went from black to white, but that in doing so the writers decided not to correspondingly address that change in regards to Sue Storm. In the comics they are brother and sister, biological not adopted. Why change the race of the actor if you’re not going to put in the remaining effort and cast a black or mixed actress as Sue Storm too? There’s absolutely no need to change them to adopted siblings if they had cast a black actress as Johnny’s sister like they should have! My problem isn’t with the racial aspect, it’s with the lazy ass writing.

  • JRummy

    Seriously I think the issue is less that Johnny went from white to black, but that in doing so the writers decided not to correspondingly address that change in regards to Sue Storm. In the comics they are brother and sister, biologically not adopted. Why change the race of the actor if you’re not going to put in the remaining effort and cast a black or mixed actress as Sue Storm too? There’s absolutely no need to change them to adopted siblings if they had cast a black actress as Johnny’s sister like they should have! My problem isn’t with the racial aspect, it’s with the lazy ass writing.

    • Good point, Jrummy. And thanks for proving that it’s possible to discuss race, without it being racist.

    • TexMex

      Maybe they were being inclusive of adopted people? She could still have been black, but then you don’t have a multiple-ethnicity family.

    • Because a family couldn’t POSSIBLY adopt children of different races. They would ONLY adopt children of the same (perceived) race. Multi-ethnic families are lazy. I see.

      • Laronda Tarmony

        Sweety. It is GRAD A BULLSHIT. Black people complain tha Whites are stealing black culture. But black people are doing the same. Black people make your own damn heros.

        • Charidy Williams Anaya

          “Make your own damn heros” Wow now if that isn’t a racist statement…. You have to remember that A LOT of these comics were written when blacks were being treated with disregard and worse. Why not change things, if Stan Lee gave his approval, then who are you to say NO. Your comment is disgusting and shows nothing but ignorance.

          • Troy Lucas
          • Laronda Tarmony

            Stan Lee has come out saying that he is over them retooing Heros . He will even make new ones . SO yeah

          • Laronda Tarmony

            “It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that,” he said. “Latino characters should stay Latino. The Black Panther should certainly not be Swiss. I just see no reason to change that which has already been established when it’s so easy to add new characters. I say create new characters the way you want to. Hell, I’ll do it myself.”- Stan Lee.

            So what wer you saying ? He said this around June 23rd so, he has changed his stance.

          • Charidy

            People are allowed to change their minds… it’s called evolving… smh

          • Laronda Tarmony

            Evolving is the creation of something new. The growth of a new creation out of the old. This is not evolution it is just coloring in

          • Not exactly sure what you are trying to say, but you could not be more wrong in your correction. Please go look up the definition for evolving.

          • Charidy

            You can evolve in the way you think.. having a new way of looking at things.smh

        • Neil_2B

          Since Stan is Jewish (as were Seigel & Shuster, Kirby, Kane & Finger, etc.), does that mean that we Gentiles have to give up Superman, Captain America, and Batman?

          Give your head a shake, dude. This could work, or suck; but either way, it’ll be because of Mr. Jordan & Mr. Trank’s skills, not because of skin colour.

          • rogerscorpion

            The characters were never written as Jewish.

          • Laronda Tarmony

            None of the Heroes you listed were EVER confirmed to be Jewish. But WE all know by how they are drawn that they are white. Aslo It will suck because they are using the same old tired trick to explain why he is black

          • Laronda Tarmony

            With the new Information of the Trialer . I can say even more. THIS MOVIE WILL BE SHIT! Mr.Jordan Come off as a Giant douch. Sue being adopted is like a shooting star very very rare. Shit shit shit shit shit . That is waht this movie will be SHIT !

      • ShinyStrawberries

        I think you are missing Jrummy’s point. It’s not that it is impossible but that it is actually needlessly changing the Storms’ backstory.

    • rogerscorpion

      I agree totally. Black Panther, Falcon, Blue Marvel are black. Johnny Storm isn’t. I blame the producers(& Stan Lee) not the actor. BTW, Nick Fury is an old white man, who commanded a platoon of white folks, during WW2. Respect the source material. Marvel has numerous heroes of color. Johnny Storm simply isn’t one of them.

  • Jeff

    It’s got both nothing and everything to do with the actor casts race. It’s not that we don’t want him in the movie, it’s not that he isn’t a great actor or an awesome person. It is that Johnny Storm is a far different skin tone than what Michael B. Jordan is. Johnny and Sue Storm are supposed to be biological siblings. It’s not that I think he doesn’t deserve the role, it’s that he doesn’t quite fit the role. I’m sure he can take on Johnny Storms personality and character just fine, I imagine this is going to be a lot like when we got Michael Clarke Duncan playing Kingpin for the Daredevil movie. Though the movie was crap, Michael Clarke Duncan did a freakin awesome job as Kingpin. But it was still odd to not have Kingpin closer to what we had in the comics. It’s kinda like casting Cristian Bale as Black Panther or having Keanu Reaves as Bishop, it wouldn’t fit, and it wouldn’t be right, I would be making far more complaints than what I am about have Michael B. Jordan as Johnny. Though I think Michael B. Jordan will nail the roll, it will still be weird, and I think they should of went with someone else honestly. Either way, I’m sure this movie will probably fail like the Daredevil movie and the old crappy Fantastic Four movies anyway.

    • If a good actor can’t take your mind off of a character’s “skin tone”, then trust when I say that the movie has much bigger issues and will most likely bomb either way… And the cause will not be skin tone.

      • Jeff

        You’re putting words in my mouth here, I never said it would fail due to skin tone, I merely voiced my opinion.

  • Lj BigTyme Hall

    i could be wrong but i’m pretty sure no one really said anything about Samuel L Jackson playing nick fury, and honestly when i found out i was a bit skeptical about it because i use to be all about taking it from the page to the stage….everything had to be as it was in the comic book. but as jordan points out things back in the 60’s were waaaaaayyyyyy different than now and the movie is based on this era. Adoption is very popular so i don’t see that making sue black or keeping her white is an issue the point is they are brother and sister which is the story line so thats covered. With Samuel L playing a white character i think no one had a problem with it because we all know he’s a major bad ass so he could pull it off, i think because Jordan is a known actor but not a mega well known actor its more so wondering can he deliver as an actor but not so much can he be a black human torch because i mean when he says flame on he won’t be black anymore so whats the issue? i just hope he plays the roll well….along with the entire cast. From what i’ve seen the movie looks very promising. But jordan was definitely right about one thing the world is way more divers i mean hell they made thor a female so you KNOW things are changing, embrace it people

    • Great point, great views and a great perspective. Thanks, LJ.

    • Neal Sarin

      Actually, if you look at the Ultimate Marvel Universe, which is a few decades more modern than the “traditional” Marvel Universe, Nick Fury is black. You can look at either Ultimate Avengers 1 or 2 DVD animated movie for instance. Not sure if this next part is true, but I even heard a rumor that the look for the Ultimate Universe Nick Fury was inspired by Samuel L Jackson.

      • rogerscorpion

        I know about the Ultimate U, but I never accepted it, because it was an alternate reality. They changed things–which is fine, but they’re imposing it on everything now.

    • rogerscorpion

      They could’ve made both Sue & Johnny black. That’d be better, but to alter their family dynamic ain’t cool. BTW, badass tough he is, I was never for SLJ playing Fury. Fury was an old white man. Fury commanded a squad of white commandos during WW2. Pretty sure he wouldn’t be black. Can we make the Black Panther white, then? I’m all for black characters–the Blue Marvel. One of the Captain Marvels. Because they were created that way. Don’t tinker with the basics.

  • Mont Thomas

    It’s not race that bothers most people, it’s the concept of the movie, after the preview in theaters I didn’t hear one person cheer n say I gotta see that, I heard man that looks like it’s gonna suck , looks boring, n what happened to the circle around the 4?

    • And if that’s the case the there is a completely new conversation to be had… Then you’re just discussing whether or not the movie sucks.

      Unfortunately, there are people here flat out saying that the skin color is the problem.

      So as much as I’d like it to be only about that, it’s not.

  • Steve Etheredge

    the only problem I would have with it is that johnny and sue are siblings. if one is black the other should be black or make both mixed or whatever. I do not like the comic movies changing from the books. when they do, they generally stink. they still may make a lot of money, which is all the studios care about, but the movie will still blow. the first spider man movies irritated me because they put peter with mary jane and in the comics they did not get together until way later – it was peter and gwen, which the new installment figured out – although toby was a much better p.p.; and as much as I love sally field, as may parker? really? really? uh, uh. truthfully, as good or bad as the super hero movies have been, being true to the comics? not so much.

    • I don’t completely disagree, it’s a compelling argument. However, one thing is for sure, when changes are made and it works, most people keep quiet.

  • L. Lorelei Laine

    Stan Lee also approved Jessica Alba…I think it is great that the creator of a much loved comic series as old as the Fantastic Four is willing to accept change…his ability to judge acting ability *more elipses*

  • Kevin Abeln

    My question is why can’t the movie studios come up with original movies? Most movies made today are remakes of one movie or another.

    • Safe bets. Those decisions are dictated by what gets people into the theaters. They need/want the masses that aren’t all made up of movies lovers, just people who want familiarity – They think if they liked it before, they’ll like it again.

      Can’t blame Hollywood; As soon as audiences change their habits Hollywood will change their product.

      • Kevin Abeln

        Oh I understand that it is all about the money, and the people drive what is being made. It is still disappointing.

        • Yes, it certainly is. But also, “all about the money” can be interpreted as thousands of people have to work and those same people have to feed their kids – It’s just a matter of perspective.

          Most of the companies that are still putting out original films with good storylines are either buying those up from independent companies, the way The Weinstein Company does, or they are producing them on an “independent” level using studio funding, like Trigger Street Productions.

  • richardstarr

    Honestly, of all the problems with this movie, this is kind of on the low end.
    If they had just made a movie and NOT called it the Fantastic Four, it’d like
    have people complaining it was a FF ripoff, etc. *shrug*

    My thing is that the FF was a family thing.
    You had an older guy and his war buddy (Reed and Grim), his GF (Sue) and her
    bratty younger brother (Johnny). Now they are all suddenly 20 something types.

    And you had the fact that Reed created the rocket into space on his own w/o involving
    the government. Reed was a self made man, and emblem of the American dream.

    Sadly we have to acknowledge that the studios really don’t give much of a damn about
    the original readers. They just see the comic books as mine of intellectual property that
    they can exploit. It does not matter to them how badly they bastardize the works of
    Kirby, Ditko, and Wally Wood. And yes, I left off that glorified editor Stan Lee who’s
    contributions are vastly overstated to non-existent in some cases.

  • Jay Bird Taylor

    This is silly. Cast the whomever just make a good movie please.

  • You know, the important thing to remember here is everyone’s complaints that TORCH AIN’T BLACK or THIS ISN’T LIKE THE COMICS is stupid.

    Why? Because it doesn’t MATTER if it’s like the comics. The comics are something else — because multiverse is a THING.

    “Earth-1218 is the designation given to our reality, where super-heroes and other super-powered beings don’t exist.”
    “Earth-616 is the mainstream continuity of the Marvel multiverse, and where most of Marvel’s comics take place.”
    “Marvel has designated the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Earth-199999 within the continuity of the company’s multiverse.”

    Did anyone complain so much that Magneto’s kids were in a recent, non-X-Men movie, there was no mention he was their father, and their powers were very obviously NOT from natural human mutation?

    Or that Ant Man is supposed to be the creator of Ultron, but since he’s getting a movie later, the creator changed?

    Naw, but change a guy’s skin color and the people flip tables.

    • rogerscorpion

      Henry, I disagree w/all that, too. 2 diff companies own the rights to Avengers & the X-Men. ONE of those owns the designation of ‘mutant’. Nor are they allowed to refer to them as Magneto’s offspring. These are LEGAL limitations–not creative decisions. What we’re talking about are creative decisions.

  • Abi Abdulahad

    They changed Nick Fury as well. For like a million years, Nick Fury was white. That was no problem. Then they made him be black which of course is portrayed on the big screen by SLJ. It should be no problem to see it here…..

    • rogerscorpion

      Then, though, they went back &changed him in the comics–w/some BS explanation.

  • LightWarriorK

    When it comes to the Human Torch, the only color that should matter is FIRE.

  • Laronda Tarmony

    I call BULLSHIT on the adopted sister BULLSHIT. It was a Quick change so thye can cast a black person into the cast

  • Lee Turiano

    Excellent, Classy answer from Michael B. Jordan. It’s not essentially the race issue, it’s that the casting as a whole looks off, and they seem, just from the trailers, to have gotten it all wrong. The only thing that saved Nick Fury was that in the comics, they redid his character to be patterened after Sam Jackson.That made his casting a no brainer. I just think none of them capture the FF feel/look- they look way too young and nothing like their characters. But then again, Sony is terrible in the Superhero genre. But if Stan says it’s good, then it’s good. lol.

  • Bob

    You can play PC all day and it is still wrong, just like all of the examples Noneofya had. Casting a white person to play Othello has always been absolutely wrong. These characters were created with very distinct personalities, genders and races that helped shape who they are and they always should have stayed true to them. Best advice, create new and diverse comic book heroes in the vein of Black Panther and others and give them their own shot at super stardom. Why screw with white people’s heroes who we grew up looking up to? It’s not racist that you identify as a white kid because Indiana Jones is “like you”, just like blacks have their own heroes they look up to. Again, a well-intentioned article is one thing, but this movie WILL flop because of it’s casting choices, period.

    • So you hated Avengers?

      • Bob

        “Hated”? Dunno where this word needed to rear it’s head? I feel, and if it didn’t come across as such I apologize, that my comment was not only direct and to the point, but was actually positive. Races and genders should have their own heroes to look up to. Should’ve been that way all along. Big world that has plenty of room for brand new superheroes are diverse and can build an audience.

        • You’re splitting hairs. If “hated” was too harsh for you, trust me when I say that your words, to some, are much more harsh.

          You say, “These characters were created with very distinct personalities, genders and races that helped shape who they are and they always should have stayed true to them.” How do you know? Did you create them? MANY artists create characters for the reader or viewer to interpret them the way they see fit, much like music.

          You can normally spot a non-creative from a mile away from the way they view art – It must be a certain way because.

          I’ll ask again in a tone that suits you: So you disliked Avengers?

          • Bob

            BAHAHAHA!! “You can normally spot a non-creative from a mile away from the way they view art” – dude, I’ve been an award winning filmmaker for over 23 years, which is exactly why I stand by comments. When you create something, it is VERY personal and drawn from one’s own background and experiences and dumbing it down because others like yourself want to live in a PC bubble is what kills true artistic expression. Sure, one can interpret art and music and other forms of expression freely, but please oh creative guru, would you rather live in your white bread Disneyland suburb, or actually live and breath amongst the INDIVIDUALS of our society who are being TRUE to their character? Who is living in a world cliches more? I who value true diversified and ORIGINAL artistic expression, or You, who wants to throw out creative works for the sake of pleasing those who are currently under represented. I say find new and emerging talent who will create the next generation of heroes. What exactly is wrong with creating a brand new character from scratch? I don’t even know what you’re arguing here. Let’s NOT create any new characters for minorities and women and simply change the ones we already have? Makes absolutely no sense at all. And by the way, this white boy’s favorite toy growing up was Action Jackson. I certainly never needed his ass to be white to enjoy dreaming up adventures and pretending to be him. Thank god you weren’t around back then wanting to change his ass white for absolutely no good reason at all. When you’re ready for a deeper, more meaningful conversation about “creativity” and what true diversity means, don’t hesitate to drop me a line Junior.

          • You just made the the same mistake as I, Junior. I entered the business in 1994. GeekNation was founded by veteran filmmakers – We have feature films in production right now. We also believe that the right actor can play the part and we would never state such an absolute as you, across the board with no exceptions, based on color or skin tone.

            You talk about “living” as if that means sticking to the past with zero evolution. A little word to the wise, my multi-award winning genius, the world changes and evolves and adapting to that IS LIFE. 100+ years ago he could have been hung for portraying a white person, hopefully 100 years from now no one will care what color he is.

            It has nothing to do with a “PC bubble”… You keep saying PC, as though that is the only reason for these types of decisions. You have no idea what the intention was of the writer/director/producer and as a filmmaker, shame on you for such judgement prior to seeing the final product.

          • Bob

            I’m still in the business, Junior Editor, making critically acclaimed pieces of personal art, drawing from my personal background, as opposed to writing opinions about others works and laying nothing out of your own. YOU are certainly not a filmmaker. You are simply a tabloid hack, hiding behind a keyboard, trying to incite your brand of generic storytelling, afraid to put something intimate and personal on the line. And it is YOU who is missing the point entirely. So, you think it’s ok to replace all white characters with people of color and this is “evolving”? Well then, you must surely support white actors throughout time who have portrayed Jesus and Othello and the like? Or are you simply thinking that “whitey needs to take some for the team and get what’s coming to them” mentality. This film, the one that is “polarizing”, really has little to do with Michael B. Jordan as much as why they have decided to change someone else’s creation. Why did they change to Johnny and Sue being adopted? Did that improve the story? Does going out of your way to cast a black actor in a role created as a white character improve or impact the story? Casting is absolutely a vital part of all filmmaking. It’s why every single casting notice on the planet starts out with descriptors like “looking for a white, 25-35 female with red hair”. Because that’s what the creator of the art saw when writing the story. Otherwise, why not simply write “the character walks into frame and does so and so.”? Face it, you’re out of your element. You’ve never made a film and you’ve certainly never had to cast anyone. You know damn well why this film is “polarizing”. You wrote a piece to get a debate going, with no regard to reality. This is a business. This reboot desperately needed everything to be perfect for it to have a shot at success. Starting off with bad casting choices was not the way to go. I would say the same thing with Jessica Alba as Sue Storm and Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. I will wrap up by saying my entire point was that I want to see TRULY diverse characters and stories on the big screen. Not stealing from whitey. Look at “Empire”. Amazing show with fantastic characters. Maybe ten years from now, you will have graduated from Junior Editor to actual story teller and will try to do a reboot of that with white actors. I highly recommend you avoid that.

          • Oh, BOB… you poor old curmudgeon of a little man, you are wrong again. The aforementioned piece was written by an excellent young writer by the name of Chris Clow, who is also our Junior Editor. We do not allow our editors or writers to moderate comments. In addition, If you knew anything about “tabloid hacks”, as you describe them, you would know that quite a few are making it in the industry as screenwriters these days, based on their proven abilities as writers.

            I’m one of five owners and we all moderate the comments, and I’m also a filmmaker. In addition to making feature films, we also develop and produce content for the site.

            You accused me of, “hiding behind a keyboard, trying to incite your brand of generic storytelling”, when that is exactly what you are doing, not even through an article with your name on it, but in the commenting section of MY site… Oh, the irony.

            “I’m still in the business”, Hahaha… that sounds so desperate and just like every washed up filmmaker I’ve ever met, still trying to hold on to that ounce of glory they had in the 70s or 80s.

            So please take your racist views elsewhere, right as I block you for being a troll.

          • Bob

            Nice retort. I remind you that YOU started the petty BS. And for the record, I’ve got two pictures coming out in theaters this year. I get that you assume you’re sparring with some uneducated, “washed up filmmaker troll”, because it makes you feel superior, but ain’t the case Junior League. Back on point, I’m not sure what I posted that would remotely be considered “racist” in the least. You seem to be desperately trying to paint me into some hillbilly redneck racist form that is easy for your infantile brain to process. You haven’t got a clue what the debate is about and I feel sorry that you can only deal with life through dreams of your perfect little homogenized world where you’re either one who supposedly stands for freedom of expression or you’re a racist. Do you believe people should create their own unique, diverse stories or not? Do you think only white characters should be allowed to be re-cast or should the same rules apply both ways? You’ve made absolutely no argument whatsoever. Let me ask you one more time. WHY DID THE STUDIO MAKE THIS CASTING CHOICE? Answer the question! Oh, and after the “Fantastic Four” reboot tanks BECAUSE of it’s casting choices, drop me a line. Can’t wait to hear more about how “racists” were responsible for it.

  • Jay Collings

    Ummm…..we are still talking about comic book characters right? If we were actually talking about real people (non fiction) then I could see the point in discussing. WE ALL KNOW that Hollywood has a long history of using white actors to play the roles of some of the worlds most notable people who were not white, especially when it comes to religious figures. In my opinion those historically inaccurate depictions are worthy of conversation. Comic book characters? Nah!

    • You had me right up to, “Comic book characters? Nah!”.

      You can’t discount the importance of conversation or there can never be an understanding. Not to mention, one man’s “religious figure” is another man’s work of fiction.

  • comicbookinvesting

    The bigger issue is that the movie itself looks a bit shite.

  • Elfie

    My biggest question/concern was answered in this article: Were they going to be adoptive bro/sis or what were they going to do there?

  • Baksy Baker

    The only reason I had a problem is that the Johnny/Sue relationship is as brother and sister and I do not mean to belittle the relationships between adopted siblings but in that regard I would prefer comic similarity. I’m sure Jordan will be more than fine in the role. I take issue with other things, like the director telling Sue’s actress to not read comics because they were ignoring the comics that hard and I don’t like the treatment for Dr. Doom not being a dictator or a sorcerer. But black Johnny? Who cares? If he can act, which he can, then that’s what counts.

  • Neal Feldman

    Has nothing to do with bigotry.

    Why not make the Thing female?

    Why not make Sue an animatronic chimpanzee?

    Why not make Reed a cute little robot?

    It has to do with changing core aspects of the character for insipid PC reasons.

    Makes me seriously wonder what other liberties they took.

    If I want to see an FF movie that is what I want to see… not an FF-ish sorta kinda like a FF movie with delusions of political correctness.

  • thecooker241 .

    Mr. Fantastic should be Mrs. Fantastic, Sue Storm should be a goat, and The Thing should be green, common guys…..it’s 2015 right?

  • logicalphule

    I’m not a huge fan of retcon in any franchise. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. If they want to write the characters as adopted, then so be it. I didn’t know they were adopted siblings until this article (shows how much I care about this movie), and I’m all for it, at least it kept them as brother and sister.

    The movie will still suck as all Fantastic Four movies do.

  • Abraham Alhashmy

    It’s not the movie goers! It’s the system/media.

    Hollywood already make movies that do not make money & flops & simply bad to just push some agenda example gay agenda like Will Ferrell’s ‘Get Hard’

    So, the media dictates what people accept not the way around!

    They use psychology to change people, in psychology it’s enough to just SEE something to accept it as real & acceptable to do in the same time!

    Subconsciously you rationalize to yourself that all of society have seen this & it looks like no one objected then it’s acceptable!

    You are really separate from society & think media (TV etc) is the glue!

    So, people hold the media (TV/movies/magazines/newspapers etc) as the general consensus! Which is %100 FALSE.

    The media is not only driven by money which is again something the media tell people to believe.

    Funny enough, when money presented as the cause people don’t feel it’s bad like say a conspiracy to enslave mind kind which is the truth.

    People accept money as a rational explanation because most will do many things for money so it’s psychology again using something you could be ashamed of secretly to have your blessing & side track you from the real plan.

    Think about it, even if ultimately it was money wouldn’t you need 1st to enslave peoples minds to let them give you their money to watch things they do not even need!

  • Mikey Silva

    huh, at lot of controversy surrounding this movie at the moment

  • Matt Zardoz

    There are no negroes in the Fantastic Four. And Ben Brim does have a penis. This is two of the reasons why Fantastic Four is a dud reboot. Johnny is the wrong color and they neutered The Thing. Great job Josh Trank. Somebody should shoot you. Leave our comic book characters intact you hack.

  • Dem_troofs

    Might as well film 2 hours of cats playing and call it Fastastic Four. The film just plucked out names, created its own backstory, and served this turd steaming hot on our plates. Human Torch isn’t black, Reed isn’t a teenager, the Thing is not the Hulk, Sue isn’t adopted, and Doom isn’t a computer programmer. Horrible!

    And since Jordan brought up race and how it isn’t a problem, maybe he’d like to suggest a white actor to play the Black Panther, or Falcon, or War Machine, or Luke Cage? Oh, but then it would be racist.

  • Hink

    Chnage the name too

    or Fantastic 3 and the nigga

    or 3 Fantastics and the flame monkey

    • Your grammar and punctuation supports the obvious level of your education – I’ll be leaving your comment up as a great example of racism = ignorance.

      Thanks, people need to see this.