Will Michael B. Jordan be The Human Torch in The Fantastic Four Remake? When The Fantastic Four (2015) reboot casting rumors hit; the web lit up in a way that can only be described as heated. (Pun intended). Fiery fan discussion was ignited by rumors that actor Michael B. Jordan is in talks to play hot headed brother to Sue Storm, Johnny Storm. A.k.a The Human Torch. Rumors were likely sparked when director Josh Trank became attached to the film. Jordan co-starred in the “found-footage” breakout hit, Chronicle which was also directed by Trank.
If there is one thing to be said for comic book fans, it’s that they’re incredibly passionate.
Controversy ignited when Jordan, who is of African American descent, was (potentially) cast in the role traditionally portrayed as Caucasian. This provoked passionate reactions and arguments on both sides of the issue.
While many argue casting Jordan as The Human Torch doesn’t align with the comic book’s lineage, fostering a continuity issue; others argue that it more accurately reflects the growing fanbase of superhero and comic book movies, which have always been known for their break down of racial and gender barriers.
Not to light a figurative bomb here, but this comic book geek has to agree with the side that has no issue with the casting of Jordan in the role of Johnny Storm.
It’s nothing new. Over time, many comic book characters and superheroes have gone through racial or ethnic alterations. The qualities that compose a super hero or villain are what are most important in transition from page to screen. In instances where a character’s racial background is essential to the plot or identity of the character, care should be taken to accurately translate over to film. Black Panther (also of the Marvel universe) is an example of a super hero whose heritage is a definitive element of his identity. Likewise, changing a historical figure’s race or ethnicity is a no-no. However, the Human Torch is not a historical figure (duh), nor a character whose racial identity is an essential plot device.
Jordan seems to agree when he commented on playing (or not playing) Johnny Storm:
“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.” He later added a bit of misdirection to the rumors by saying, “Everyone knows [Josh Trank and I are] good friends. It’s something that if it happened I would be ecstatic.” Including an exaggerated wink he went on to say, “I’d love to be a part of it.” Laughing, he also added, “That wink was off the record”.
As of now, IMDB lists Jordan as the only cast member.
The Fantastic Four will be produced by 20th Century Fox Film Corporation.
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