Michael B. Jordan Addresses Controversy Over Fantastic Four Casting

Fans will ultimately always have something to complain about, because when you’ve been given fifty years of classic comic stories, you tend to get a little spoiled. In regards to the new The Fantastic Four, fans will speak up if the Thing isn’t the right height. Aficionados will gripe that the costumes are too dark a shade of blue. People will remark that the dynamic between siblings Sue and Johnny Storm just doesn’t feel like it did during a certain writer’s run on the comics. And also, uh, this race issue.

In case you missed it, the new Human Torch is black. Michael B. Jordan of Friday Night Lights, Chronicle and Fruitvale Station has been cast in Josh Trank’s version of the story, and, while protected from internet anonymity, voices online have been vociferous about the lack of fidelity towards the character’s skin color. Jordan is young, and he’s heard of the internet, so he’s definitely heard this small, vocal contingent of fans, and he’s not oblivious to how they feel. Speaking in a press conference in Rome (via Coming Soon), Jordan elaborated on this:

"It was expected. You kinda know going into it that people are used to seeing something one way, it's a continuity thing more than anything. People don't like change too much. But annoyed? Eh, you just kinda accept it, it is what it is. You can't make everybody happy. You just gotta accept that and know. I'm an actor, I have to do my job. I'm going to do my job the best I can and the way I've been doing it my entire life, my entire career. I grew up a comic book guy, I read comic books as a kid growing up, and the Fantastic Four/Human Torch is one of my favorite characters so I'm going to give it my everything. I can't wait. I don't really let it bother me at all. I just want to go into it and do the best job I can. We'll see what happens."

Jordan takes a typically classy response, referring to those negative fans by shrugging, "it is what it is." Not to soapbox, but whenever there’s any sort of pushback in regards to a racial issue, you can’t help but feel for minority actors who are forced to shrug and accept that, yes, it is what it is, and they don’t have the preferred skin color.

But Jordan is also one of the most exciting young actors in Hollywood, and if you have a chance to put him in your movie, why not just take it? He’s handsome, likable and has a great smile, and those features have been somewhat obscured by the roles he’s taken on thus far. As Johnny Storm, he’ll get to hot dog it and have a lot of fun, and he’ll be especially fun alongside the young cast, which includes Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell. Lest we forget, the last guy who played Human Torch ended up becoming our Captain America. Why don’t we give the guy a shot because of his talent, and disregard everything else? We can do that, right?

Great. Now let’s get started on that female Dr. Doom. That sounds awesome.