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Fantastic Four Alum Jessica Alba Shares Honest Thoughts On The State Of Diversity Within The MCU

Jessica Alba as The Invisible Woman in Fantastic Four
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The superhero genre is a powerful force in the entertainment industry, with various studios in charge of their own cinematic universe. But there was a time before this was commonplace, where comic book movies were a bit more risky. 2005’s Fantastic Four was definitely in that category, but it ended up being a box office smash after hitting theaters. Jessica Alba starred as Susan Storm/ The Invisible Woman in that movie and its sequel (opposite Chris Evans), and recently offered her honest thoughts about the state of diversity within the MCU.

The Fantastic Four are expected to make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in 2024 (after a few speed bumps), and fans are psyched. It’s unclear who is taking on the role Jessica Alba played in the previous franchise, where she made history as a Latina superhero long before conversations surrounding onscreen representation were happening. Alba recently spoke to Glamour about diversity within the behemoth shared universe, saying:

Even if you look at the Marvel movies – that’s the biggest driver of fantasy and what’s happening right now in entertainment, because it’s sort of the family thing – it’s still quite Caucasian. I would say I was one of the few back in the day... And it was before Marvel was sold to Disney... but it’s still quite… more of the same.

Well, there you have it. While Marvel Studios has amplified more underrepresented voices in the last few years (especially within Phase Four), Jessica Alba seems to think there’s more work to be done. What's more, she acknowledges the similarities to how things are being run with her years in the Fantastic Four franchise.

While Jessica Alba’s story in Glamour covers a variety of aspects about her career as an actress and entrepreneur, it also touched on her time in the superhero business. While the genre definitely suffered from a lack of diversity in the early 2000’s, Alba doesn’t seem satisfied with the way the industry has been handling these stories when it comes to onscreen representation. Indeed, this is a critique that has followed superhero movies for quite some time. 

For instance, one of the biggest critiques about the early stages of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the lack of diversity; the movies in Phases One and Two focused almost entirely on white male protagonists. Kevin Feige promised to make the universe more accurately represent the real world, and there have been way more stories surrounding women, queer folks, and variety of cultures. Just a few recent examples from Phase Four include Ms. Marvel, Shang-Chi, Eternals, and Moon Knight among others. Still, there continues to be a conversation about representation in the business as a whole. 

As previously mentioned, Marvel Studios is currently cooking up plans for a new Fantastic Four reboot. The beloved group of heroes finally became available for the MCU after Disney acquired 20th Century Fox and its properties. It’s currently unclear who will make up the cast, or which filmmaker will be behind the camera…but there are plenty of rumors including Bryce Dallas Howard. After all, Kevin Feige teased he wanted a big name to helm the project.

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.