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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Foolish Outrage Sparks as Michael B. Jordan is Cast as Johnny Storm

Fantastic Four casting controversyInterracial casting still has many people up in arms as Michael B. Jordan has been cast to take on the role of Johnny Storm in the new Fantastic Four film.

For those who are unfamiliar with the classic comic series, Johnny Storm’s character is one with blonde hair and blue eyes and Michael B. Jordan is a handsome African-American actor who has been hired to take on that role.

Johnny Storm is also a man referred to as the Human Torch because he can set himself ablaze without being harmed.

Somehow, Jordan’s casting is still the most unbelievable part of this movie role.

Despite the fact that the appearance of comic book characters have always been consistently being changed over time, something about having a Black actor in a white man’s role doesn’t sit right with potential moviegoers.

Many critics of the casting claim that their complaints have nothing to do with a racist perspective, but instead they are just concerned about whether or not Jordan’s casting will remain true to original character.

Surprisingly, the same critics did not have much to say about Scarlett Johansson being cast as the Black Widow when the original character was a Russian woman – not Jewish.

It seems as if being “true” to the original character is actually less about race and much more about skin color. According to these critics, the integrity was only compromised once it was a Black man stepping in to play the role of a white man.

“Fans often seem to believe that if a character is changed from white to Black, they will no longer be able to identify with that superhero,” said Aaron Kashtan, a postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech who teaches a course about transmedia storytelling.

Kashtan went on to describe this type of thing as being “unconscious and overt racism.”

Of course, it’s a pretty far stretch to try to identify with any man who can fight crime while being engulfed in flames. If fans can connect with Johnny Storm’s character, an invisible woman, a man made out of orange rocks and other heroes then it seems they should have no problem identifying with that same character after their skin color changes.

Other Black actors have faced major backlash after they took on the roles of character who were not originally drawn to be Black in the comics.

Black actors taking on white superhero roles Idris Elba’s casting as Heimdall in the Thor franchise sparked threats to boycott the film and a campaign to cast Donald Glover as Spider-man had many people up in arms.

The good news is that Michael B. Jordan doesn’t seem to be the least bit impacted by the critics.

When he was spotted out and about by TMZ cameras he was asked how he felt about the people who were upset that he was a Black actor taking on the role of Johnny Storm.

Jordan’s response was short and sweet.

“They’re still going to go see it anyway,” he said with a grin on his face.

Last summer, Jordan had the same attitude toward the casting. Although it was just a rumor at the time, Jordan made it clear that wasn’t going to let his race determine what roles he could play.

“I mean, if it were to happen, would I shy away from the moment?” he asked HuffPost Entertainment. “Of course not. I don’t care if I was Asian or blue or brown or green or red. It doesn’t matter.”

Comments

  1. They forgot that a black woman, (Kerry Washington) played Alicia in FF Rise of the Silver Surfer. Of course, that character was white in the comic book. Yeah, I know it's a minor character, but…

  2. Waymond Hicks says:

    We need a new word. When i see the word outrage i think of a sensible reaction to something outrageous. This is "oaf rage".

  3. LOL!!! That's about right!!! They can't help themselves.

  4. Stephan Cadet says:

    you play the ish out of that role….

  5. When I first saw the picture of the cast, I thought he was going to play Mr. Fantastic, and I was happy to think that. I am not as happy that he will be playing the Human Torch, while Kate Mara plays the Invisible Woman.

    My problem is in complicating the FF story with an adoption. Susan and Johnny are brother and sister, why not cast a black woman as Susan Storm?

  6. are we talking about the animated version?

  7. Well I remember the Green Lantern being Black.

  8. Darius Board says:

    There were several different versions of GL….Jon Stewart- black GL and Hal Jordan- white GL ate just a couple of them that most know from the JLA cartoons and Super Friends show

  9. Darius Board says:

    **are not ate** lol

  10. Are these the same people who cast a white man as the, "Son of God?" They are going crazy about a comic book character, but have not problem lightening up Jesus (Ummm).

  11. just curious how would black people feel if they remade django and cast a white guy for django? how about coach carter now coach flemming? what if black panthers was cast a white guy? how about an innovative play that made othello a white man in a black mans world?

    the fact that hes not white is what is racist about it because you have now set a double standard a black guy can play a white guy but not the other way around ok gotcha thanks again white america

    btw michael b jordan just epitomized mental retardation people are gonna see it? ya more like people will just secretly download it then it gives them a reason not to see it whether its good or bad its called cam versions you ignorant fucks

  12. black panther*

  13. btw hemidall is not an important character btw since when doesnt danish jew not look russian? if your white you look russian sounds racist but true russians can look like pretty much any white person so your point is moot hon

  14. William Daniel Bennett says:

    Omg its not about race in a negative way. Also you must make invisable woman black too. Sam L. jackson was an easy transition with nick fury but this seems too much. There were no black kryptonians in man of steel, but nobody fussed. dont change the characters to maaake a fucking statement.

  15. William Daniel Bennett says:

    What if a well known black comic character like cyborg, or black lightning was cast as a white guy, it would be racists.

  16. nick fury was black to begin with in animated movies we didn't complain when the green lantern was played by Ryan Reynolds

  17. Also why should the invisible woman be black?? What if he was adopted in the storyline of the movie. Open your mind to the creativity!

  18. William Daniel Bennett says:

    Nick fury was white for along time, and i think s.l.jackson does a great job. My mind is open to creativity, but comicsare a highly sensitive fan base one wrong move and the movie will be doomed before it gets started. There is no right or wrong here, but i will say the guys that cast this movie have balls to make such a bold movewith such an established character. good luck Michael b. jordan if this movie bombs he will take a lot of credit for it and THAT is wrong

  19. The Green Lantern Ryan Reynolds plays is Hal Jordan – who is white. The black Green Lantern is John Stewart, they're different characters. Also Ultimate Marvel Nick Fury in the comics is actually based on Jackson's appearance.

  20. Nicholas Harris says:

    not saying he cant pull it off, but he just doesn't resemble the character at all, I think thats all people really care about but they've proved that they can make casting choices like that work before so why not now.

  21. Halley berry played storm so what the fuck people wake up its a fucking movie idiots

  22. I say if they wanted to make a statement they should have given him the part as Mr. Fantastic, not change the story line .That would have got the critics really roaring, but either way, the complainers will see it, some twice, Maybe the integration of Marvel will get us a black superman or even just a decent storm, because Halle Berry god love her does not look like an African princess.

  23. De-Sean Satcher says:

    William Daniel Bennet: You are not qualified to say what they should or shouldn't do. Tarzan was a white man saving Africa, and the black people were the gorillas, but you've never seen any black person have an "outrage" have you? Matter of fact, when have black people EVER made an outrage over a movie character like white people have?

  24. Justin Francen says:

    It's not that he is black idiots. I like him as an actor and it's not the fact the he wasn't black in the comic it's the fact the he has a twin sister named sue storm who they didn't cast as a black woman

  25. Jabari Dumisani says:

    Dave Villainous Downes – i said the same thing in regards to your latter point, IMO it wouldve been less complicated to just have Reed and Sue in an interracial marriage, casting a black actress, if they wanted Michael B. Jordan to play Johnny. but, oh well,.. :)

  26. Alexander K. Dumas says:

    Why can't they be brother and sister naturally? Why can't Susan's mom marry a black man with a black son?

  27. Alexander K. Dumas says:

    The 1990 FF was never released. The last two FF films did poorly. Why not true to reimagine the story?

  28. Alexander K. Dumas says:

    Oh yeah let him be Mr. Fantastic kissing up on a white woman…LMAO. You know there would be an out roar.

  29. Alexander K. Dumas says:

    AGAIN WHY CAN'T THEY BE BROTHER AND SISTER? WHY COULDN'T SUSAN MOTHER MARRY A BLACK MAN WHO ALREADY HAD A SON? WOULD IT OF BEEN DIFFERENT IF JOHNNY WAS WHITE AND ALSO FROM ANOTHER FATHER? NO BECAUSE THEY NEVER MENTIONED IT IN THE COMICS. SO ONCE AGAIN WHY CAN'T WE ASSUME THAT JOHNNY AND SUSAN ARE BROTHER AND SISTER FROM DIFFERENT MARRIAGES?

  30. Alexander K. Dumas says:

    SUSAN REED AND JOHNNY STORM ARE NOT TWINS. WHERE DID YOU GET THAT ONE FROM. SUSAN HAS ALWAYS BEEN "BIG SIS", AS REFERRED TO BY JOHNNY. MEANING THAT SHE IS OLDER THAN HE IS. MEANING THAT THEY ARE NOT TWINS. WTF?
    THAT LEADS ME TO AS AGAIN WHY CAN'T THEY BE BROTHER AND SISTER? WHY COULDN'T SUSAN MOTHER MARRY A BLACK MAN WHO ALREADY HAD A SON? WOULD IT OF BEEN DIFFERENT IF JOHNNY WAS WHITE AND ALSO FROM ANOTHER FATHER? NO BECAUSE THEY NEVER MENTIONED IT IN THE COMICS. SO ONCE AGAIN WHY CAN'T WE ASSUME THAT JOHNNY AND SUSAN ARE BROTHER AND SISTER FROM DIFFERENT MARRIAGES?

  31. Alexander K. Dumas says:

    STOP IT! Now your going over board. Remember back during the 30', 40's, 50's blacks did not have any comic book hero's that resembled them. Affirmative action allowed there to be diversity in the comics. so those popular black comic book folks you see were created out of correcting Jim Crow and labeling black second class citizens. So please refrain from making such statements. Your basically saying that comics should of remain anti-diversified.

  32. Alexander K. Dumas says:

    Storm has always been BLACK????

  33. Honestly hadn't considered that Alexander, sort of a Brady Bunch scenario. But why complicate the story to even that degree? Why not just have a black Susan Storm?

  34. Alexander K. Dumas says:

    That is because there are different Green Lanterns.

  35. Dave Villainous Downes we are living in the 21st century, there are many mix race couples in this world. We can't allow the ignorance of some people and their fear of complicated thought to make us afraid to show the changes that are taking place in our society. Susan and Johnny Storm could still be shown as full siblings. Sometimes the phenotype of children of mixed couples can be very different from each other. I know that this level of complicated thinking will make some out there heads explode. :-D

  36. Alexander K. Dumas says:

    Dave Villainous Downes Because we in society must move away from color. Be color blind and just see two people. At the end of the day we are still the only known humans in the galaxy.

  37. Andrew Mccullough adoption does not need to be apart of the story. Black and white people are able to breed to together, they do it all the time. They can be half and even full siblings.

  38. I think the world is ready for a black Reed Richards with a white Susan Storm, or a black Susan Storm with a white Reed Richards. Both of those would result in a mixed couple and a mixed race child in Franklin Richards. Keeping with the reality of today's world. And attributing the difference in appearance on phenotypes screams 'Midi-chlorians', even though that would be more grounded in reality.

    In my opinion the casting choice diverts attention to the parents of the two siblings and away from the FF. Are they going to take time away from the story to explain the back story? Did one of Johnny's parents die? What about Susan's parents, did they get a divorce? What about the parents of the rest of the team?

    No, if the Storm's were both black we wouldn't wonder about their parents at all, and instead the story would be centered on the present. The Bana Hulk brought Bruce Banners dad into the story and it ruined the film.

    Don't get me wrong, I hope that they pull it off. As a fan of the FF and Marvel in general I can't wait for the film.

  39. Kenneth Huang says:

    – Surprisingly, the same critics did not have much to say about Scarlett Johansson being cast as the Black Widow when the original character was a Russian woman – not Jewish.

    It seems as if being “true” to the original character is actually less about race and much more about skin color. –

    Uh, what?! Since when were Russian and Jewish "races"?

    It's about skin color in the sense that it's about appearance. Objections to same-race, cross-ethnicity casting are lower because at least the actor still looks somewhat like the character they're portraying.

    While we're playing this game, Scarlett Johansson is half-Danish (from her father's side) and her mother's side Jewish ancestry originated in… Minsk. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlett_Johansson#Early_life)

  40. William Daniel Bennett says:

    the fact that u got so offended proves ur more a movie comic book fan and not a legit comic enthusiast. dont pull anti diverse crap. i know black comic book followers that are actually a lot more upset about the johnny storm casting than i am. …oh wait spike lee just cast will smith as batman…. yea that's about how this sounds

  41. William Daniel Bennett says:

    ok DE SEAN… ur irrelevant to this convo now because of the tarzan comments…..jesus

  42. Ashley Woodfolk says:

    I like how everyone's asking how they're going to be related when one is black and one is white but no one questions the fact that he's going to spontaneously burst into flames and live. White and black people can't be related in a FANTASY MOVIE, but superpowers are A-okay.

  43. Ashley Woodfolk in the film they will likely explain how the Fantastic Four get their powers and so, how the Human Torch can burst into flame and not be injured. It's part of the storytelling.

  44. Ashley Woodfolk says:

    @Dave villianous Downes Right. How could I forget the gamma rays. Flawless logic.

  45. Ashley Woodfolk says:

    Dave Villainous Downes Right. How could I forget the gamma rays?Flawless logic.

  46. *Cosmic rays. I would be equally butt hurt if they changed it to Gamma rays.

  47. here's the thing the writer failed to mention: the fantastic four is the most family-driven superhero team marvel ever created. Reed Richards marries Sue Storm, they are husband and wife. And he failed to mention Johnny and Sue are brother and sister. The last Fantastic Four movie did a great job of highlighting the brother/sister feuding which was hillarious. So if Michael B Jordan is gonna be Johnny Storm, fine (not the best actor in my opinion).

    But they should say he was adopted and raised by a white family and he is Sue's adopted brother. I'd say it could be other way around but black moms and dads rarely take in white kids these days. my two cents. I'm a big fan of interracial adoption by the way, when 50 percent of black kids raised in fatherless homes and 30 percent of white kids… Kids need parents.

  48. agreed, Jesus was not white or black. Semitic. He also didn't have bright shiny white teeth like this Jesus actor does (way to white).

  49. should have let jamie bell been johnny, he looks like he is related to kate. and just let michael b jordan be the thing. he's not that good looking anyway. kate mara on the other hand…

  50. John Pemberton Well here in America if you have one drop of black blood you are black. Jesus people came out of Ethopia an African Country. In case you did not know this, his tribe left Ethopia and went into Egypt (another African County), before leaving Egypt and going into Israel! By the way the Exodus was not the first time that the Jews went into Israel! The so-called promised land was already inhabited by Semites (dark people). The Ethopians are the Beta Israel (house of Israel) Jews. I believe that qualifies Jesus and his people, as an African people (no matter where he was born). He had more African Blood then any other blood, and he certainly was not European (like the guy who portrayed Christ in the Son of God).

  51. wow. sorry you are wrong on that. happy to concede moses' wife was black as the OT tells us this, and there were some black converts into judaism who married in. Jesus himself had ruth as an ancestor who married into the jewish community in his family tree. maybe perhaps down the line jesus had some darker skinned ancestors, but everything we know of 1st century Jewish DNA is they were sermitic, dark skinned middle eastern. Some with paler skin and some with darker. But not clearly black or white. and Jesus' people came from Ur, which is Mesopotamia, not Ethiopia (Abraham's homeland). Proud of Ethiopia for clinging to Christianity for hundreds of years while neighboring nations converted to Islam. Thanks most likely to an Ethiopian eunuch.

  52. Anita Wills

    can easily agree he was not european.

  53. Michael Hanson says:

    Alexander K. Dumas I assume its because in the comics they are Blood siblings not step siblings.

  54. Michael Hanson says:

    Alexander K. Dumas I assume its because in the comics they are Blood siblings not step siblings.

  55. Michael Hanson says:

    Alexander K. Dumas Because noone really wanted another FF movie after the garbage 2nd one.

  56. Michael Hanson says:

    Andrew Mccullough adoption is a lame way to shoehorn in a change in color for a comic character that is white. is a weak reasoning.

  57. William Daniel Bennett says:

    nichael hanson great point

  58. Anonymous says:

    it should not be a black dude playing johnny storm…it should be a white dude instead.

  59. WTF pissing on the source material for political correctness BS. The movie is going to suck anyways but now you give me another reason not to watch it.

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