Back at the start of the year, a section of the internet exploded with the news that black actor Michael B. Jordan had been cast as white comic book character Johnny Storm in 20th Century Fox’s reboot of Fantastic Four. Jordan has spoken briefly on the backlash on several occasions [see here and here], but now with the film on the horizon, he’s penned a lengthy response over at EW:
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. Turns out this is what they were saying: “A black guy? I don’t like it. They must be doing it because Obama’s president” and “It’s not true to the comic.” Or even, “They’ve destroyed it!”
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?
Be sure to read the rest of Jordan’s response here.
SEE ALSO: The Fantastic Four demonstrate their powers in new promo
THE FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
The Fantastic Four is set to hit theaters on August 7th, with Josh Trank (Chronicle) directing a cast that includes Miles Teller (Whiplash) as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara (House of Cards) as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, Jamie Bell (Nymphomaniac) as Ben Grimm/The Thing, Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as Doctor Doom, Reg E. Cathey (House of Cards) as Dr. Storm, and Tim Blake Nelson (The Incredible Hulk) as Harvey Elder/Mole Man.