When it was announced that director Josh Trank had cast his Chronicle star and friend Michael B. Jordan to play Johnny Storm in Fox’s upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four, the internet had its own FLAME ON! moment. See Jordan is black, while Johnny Storm is most definitely white. What’s more, he’s supposed to be the biological brother to Kate Mara’s very Caucasian Sue Storm. This had the comic book purists breaking out the torches and pitchforks, because this is clearly not how it was in the comics.
And it seems there’s a very good reason for that: This is not the Fantastic Four you know, at least not the one you’ve read about in the comics.
Speaking to Esquire Latinoamérica (via CBM), Mara explained that she’s had the pressure of playing such a fan favourite character as the Invisible Woman lifted off her shoulders, due to the fact that what Trank is doing with this film is a reboot in every sense of the word. This is going to be a clean start, meaning it is not beholden to the more than half a decade of comic book lore that’s come before.
“I don’t feel more responsibility with this role that I’ve felt with others. I understand that there are many fans of Fantastic Four and I guess they expect a lot from me, but I prefer not to be pressured by that. We are also trying to create a new way of seeing these superheroes, I’m focusing on making her (Susan Storm) as real as possible.”
“I’ve never been a fan of comics, I’ve never actually read one. I was going to for this movie but the director said it wasn’t necessary. Well, actually he told us that we shouldn’t do it because the plot won’t be based on any history of anything already published. So I chose to follow his instructions. The one fact is I am a fan of comic book movies, so it’s very exciting to be part of a movie like this.”
Well, crap. I’ve always been on the side of the fence supporting Jordan in his role as Johnny Storm, with my argument being that skin color makes zero difference to me as long as they just don’t change the core principles of what makes these characters who they are. But this sounds exactly like they may just be changing the core principles of what makes these characters who they are.
Now I don’t want to start any premature tyre burning until we have a better idea of the actual script and characters (remember, the last time an actor who didn’t like/read comics got a big role, we ended up with Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning take on the Joker), but for a film that already had its fair share of detractors, this revelation certainly won’t be making things easier.
Last Updated: July 16, 2014