by Brett White
“Chronicle” and “Friday Night Lights” alum Michael B. Jordan has been very vocal recently about rumors that he’ll be flaming on as Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) in director Josh Trank’s upcoming “Fantastic Four” reboot. The actor addressed the casting rumor in new interviews with both USA Today and the Huffington Post, saying that he is not officially involved yet, but he is very open to the idea.
“Nothing is real. Everyone knows we’re good friends,” says Jordan, mentioning his friendship with director Josh Trank. “It’s something that if it happened I would be ecstatic. I’d love to be a part of it.” USA Today notes that Jordan winked “off the record” while making the last statement, which basically means that he has a blue spandex suit in his closet ready to go! Man, jumping to conclusions is fun.
But there’s a bit of unfortunate controversy surrounding the casting rumor, just as there is any time a non-white actor is rumored or cast in a previously white role.
“Things change and time goes on,” says Jordan. “It’s 2013 right now. The characteristics of the Human Torch are [that] 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.”
Jordan is absolutely right. There’s nothing about the Human Torch that precludes him from being a race other than white (the same can be said for Spider-Man, too). If the period of time before 1970, a time period that produced nearly every single superhero we’ve ever seen on the big screen, was as diverse as the present, then there would be more big name black, Asian, female, gay, Latino, transgendered, etc. characters. But the only comic book characters that have a name in pop culture are those that have been around for at least 40 years, and they’re almost exclusively white males. In order for these important pop culture figures to be relevant, they have to be updated. Casting Jordan as the Human Torch makes perfect sense.
Thankfully, some comic book fans agree.
“I get a lot of support and a lot of love from comic-book geeks. I love it,” says Jordan. “If you go looking for negative things you’re going to find it.”
“Fantastic Four” starts shooting next month, so we should expect official casting news soon.
What do you think of this “Fantastic Four” update? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!