Posted in: Movies

Michael B. Jordan Cast In ‘Fantastic Four’, Receives Racist Backlash

Michael B. Jordan Fantastic Four

It was recently announced that Fruitvale Station‘s very own Michael B. Jordan has been cast in the rebooted Fantastic Four as The Human Torch. In the original Fantastic Four Chris Evans played The Human Torch. Now some fans in the Marvel universe are causing a bit of a stir over Michael B. Jordan’s casting, and some believe that this is a huge race issue.

It’s no surprise that there’s a lack of diversity in the Marvel franchise. Outlets have dedicated features to the problem of race inclusion in the Marvel universe. It should also be said that there has yet to be a lead female superhero film (excluding Elektra) in the comic book world (DC and Marvel). Still it begs to be reminded that race is a significant issue and is the unseen face in the comic book universe.

The fact that Fantastic Four now has Michael B. Jordan in an important lead is a big step for the comic book world, but not everyone seems to be happy about that, and thus a backlash has started. The response to Michael B. Jordan’s casting as The Human Torch aka Johnny Storm has been fueled by race.

Back in May it was heavily debated on why Michael B. Jordan was being considered for the role, and people who had initial concerns about the character’s casting had a lot to say about Jordan’s name being thrown into the race. Some had complained that it’s “not about race” and then turning around to complain about how other characters’ races will have to change.

Michael B Jordan race discussion Michael B. Jordan In The Fantastic Four Michael B. Jordan racism

Mind you, that was the stink people caused back in May when it was only suspected that Michael B. Jordan may be up for the Fantastic Four. Now that’s been officially announced, people are causing even more of an uproar about his race, while completely dismissing the fact that minorities have been ignored in the comic book universe (as far as film goes) for years.

People have argued that it’s not right to change the race of a character to make everyone happy, but it’s safe to say that it’s one of the most realistic choices made in depicting characters in our present time. This is the racial landscape that we find ourselves living in, and if we ignore that, it is a true disservice to the generation that comes after us. Still people have continued to buck against equality.

Do you think Michael B. Jordan is a good choice as The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four?

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63 Responses to “Michael B. Jordan Cast In ‘Fantastic Four’, Receives Racist Backlash”

  1. Penney Nile

    I really don't know Michael B. Jordan – never seen him i anything – as a matter of fact, the first time I ever heard of him was when it was announced he was being considered for the role – so I have nothing against him as an actor. However, no matter how good an actor he is, Johnny Storm is white. I know that may sound racist, but it has nothing to do with race, it has to do with the way the comic was written. I was reading Fantastic Four comics YEARS ago, long before the young man was born, and I resent these reboots that change the way comics were written as a way to shock the movie going public to gain box office. And as, the gentleman says below, that means they will have to recast Sue in the same manner since they are brother and sister. Or are the writers going to remake that relationship as well? I'm sorry, but screwing with story basics like this is too much!

  2. Troy Mason

    What, specifically, about Johnny Storm requires him to be a white man, rather than just 'a man'? Or even 'a person'? Besides the fact that he happened to be drawn that way in the 1960s, when every other lead character in superhero comics was also white.

    Also, as far as 'needing' to recast Sue goes: adoption exists. Half-siblings exist. It's entirely possible to avoid 'having' to cast Sue as a black woman, but even if it weren't, it seems like kind of a shady point to continue bringing up, because again: what about Sue Storm actually requires her to be a white woman?

  3. Eric Thomas

    okay so what about Ben Affleck in Argo playing the Tony Mendez who was a man with Mexican ancestry? or James Darcy playing an Korean? or Johnny Depp playing a Native American? lmao it's only an issue if a Black man is involved

    personally i don't care i just wanna see a good movie

  4. John Vooda O'Brien

    It's because he has never been black in the comics! He is supposed to be white and blonde haired with blue eyes. Now, if they made a comic version, an alternate universe where Johnny Storm was black then I would say go for it. As for, the adoption, THEY ARE BLOOD RELATED IN THE COMICS! Why does shit have to constantly change all the time in the movie universe? Why can't they stay true to the comics?

  5. Marcia Bryant

    Racist sci-fi fans are the ultimate hypocrites. They'll accept a guy who can ignite at will but make him black and suddenly they're all about the "realism."

  6. Jena Perry

    yup.. good ole racism… comes in all forms. if everyone were so opposed to changing the comics, then updates and reboots and re imaginings and all the variations of the characters in the comic book universe should never have existed.. the whole point of comics is to create a world as diverse and unique as our own, with characters worth rooting for and villains worth fighting.. morals to be learned and discovering something greater than ourselves, within ourselves…uggggggh

  7. Miko Frecklez Fields

    I never read comic books so IDK how people feel about movies kind of moving away from the original characters but I remember when ppl acted out about Andrew Garfield (I think that's him) playing Spiderman in the reboot movies. I hope it will pass. I admit it is different but maybe he will surprise them all and do a hell of a job.

  8. Nik Carter

    Really? if you identify yourself as a "sci Fi fan" to some degree you're already to a large degree a bit of an outcast yourself, so what is this some sort of pay it forward of the misery?. My God Shattner was right:move out of your parents basements and into 2013

  9. Ben Robertson

    I have to admit I am blown away at how stupid this all is. I get that certain fans want an actor to look as close to the character as possible and in the instance he does not but maybe he has the personality of Johnny and that is as good in my opinion. Now I do think Sue should be black (I think Nicole Beharie would be perfect) because they are brother and sister and before anyone says there is half siblings or adoption since it was not in the comic it should not be in the movie its just adding something for no reason at all. I think that is the issue comic fans have then again I think Fox just wanted to cause this whirlwind to get free press about a movie that no one wanted to be made last year.

    Also here is another thing can we stop with calling this racism if someone does not want MBJ to be Johnny because they want the actor to look like the comic character ( Like the cast of the Avengers) Its not racist. Its there opinion and your free to have a different one but labeling them racist your just bullying people that do not see things your way.

  10. Alexander K. Dumas

    Okay so the problem with this whole Michael B as Johnny was how were they going to make him and Sue related? All the fans were up in arms. "NO THIS CAN"T HAPPEN BECAUSE THEY WILL BE ADOPTED AND IT MAKES NO SENSE," okay well has anyone heard of interracial coupling? It's where a father who is black has a son from a previous marriage and a mother who is white has a daughter from a previous marriage get together to form something called a family. Remember that's how Mike Brady married Carol Martin, who then became known as Carol Brady. Those siblings are related through marriage only. That's why is Marcia wanted to screw with Greg, its technically would not have been incest. Jesus racial shit makes people fucking stupid!!!

  11. Greg Lupu

    good for him, he was really good in both "the wire" and "fruitvale station".

  12. Hassan Hartley

    Cleopatra is a black woman, yet they had no problem casting the whitest bitches on the planet in her role….and she was REAL…

  13. Adam Quane

    One of the worst occurences to ever hit the film industry was black face, it was incredibly ignorant and completely racist.

    Casting Michael b Jordan as Johnny storm and Jamie foxx as electro is on par with that type of racism. It is simply disguising one race as another to keep some people happy. I hate racism, it doesn't actually make any sense to me and the world is becoming more racist, and its going in reverse now.

    Think of the poor 9 year old boy that killed himself, he was being bullied for being white'

  14. Michael Bo

    Yeah,I don't care bout the race…but this 'good movie' thing..when was the last time it wasn't a remake?

  15. Rob Daze Dejene

    in the end its about the people making these movies not staying honest to its core. Im like jordan thought he was awesome in chronicle but that being said what is tge point of making Johnny Storm black? Who are they trying to appeal to or trick into seeing these films. There are plenty of black characters that if black people supported these titles more would be made into movies.

  16. Georgina Quiñones

    I actually read in a comment that the Human Torch was initially to be black… But then Sue can not be his sister anymore unless is her adopted brother or something like that… I don't know! Fox is just trying to reach all kinds of audiences to get the billion dollars!

  17. Georgina Quiñones

    I actually read in a comment that the Human Torch was initially to be black… But then Sue can not be his sister anymore unless is her adopted brother or something like that… I don't know! Fox is just trying to reach all kinds of audiences to get the billion dollars!

  18. Douglas Jackson

    Well, I know in the FF comic Jonny Storm wa missing for a while and thought to be dead. So, this could be his replacement on the team a New Human Torch, not related to Sue Storm.

  19. Rick Rodgers

    I don't get it, there are black superheroes. If it is so badly wanted that a black superhero movie be made, use a black super hero from the comics. What does wanting continuity have to do with being racist. I'm sure there are shallow people out there, but I personally want to see the pages jump from the comic to the screen. I would love to see Luke Cage, or a solo War Machine movie. Why is this not happening? Probably because Fox doesn't care about the source material, and if you question it you must be a racist.

  20. Shelly Pistachio

    The casting doesn't bother me because I don't read Fantastic Four, but if this happened with a comic character I grew up with, it would bother me. Even something simple like changing brown hair to black hair is enough to annoy me. Race just happens to be significantly more noticeable if you spend years imagining the character differently.

    I am tired of seeing predominately white male heroes. I just don't think the solution is snapping your fingers and changing an established character’s race. A lot of people seem to think this is a good move for representing a minority race, and I disagree. Essentially, we’ll be watching a black character based off of a white character’s life experiences. I’d rather see Marvel put real minority characters on the screen since they live with different struggles and grow up differently because of it. If you’re satisfied with this casting choice as far as representing diversity, then you’re missing the whole point. Race isn’t just a skin color, it’s a different culture. Taking a white character and making them black does not accurately represent that, it just cheapens it. I just would have preferred if Marvel made a movie of a minority character that’s already established.

  21. Maloney Tron

    "People have argued that it’s not right to change the race of a character to make everyone happy, but it’s safe to say that it’s one of the most realistic choices made in depicting characters in our present time."

    is it safe to say this is "one of the most realistic choices made in depicting characters in our present time"?

    where the hell did this article once talk about the realism of the human torch being black? author sucks.

  22. Kevin White

    In the first set of Fantastic Four movies Sue and Johnny are of different races or did you not know that Jessica Alba is part Mexican?

  23. Kevin White

    The problem here is that many of you see color first. When a Black person is on screen you see the color first and then somewhere down the line you see the character. He is an actor playing a part. If Elizabeth Taylor can play Cleopatra, Jordan can play Johnny. Get over it.

  24. Mark Hawkins

    If he plays Johnny Storms CHARACTER as what it is in the comic why should his skin colour matter. Michael clarke Duncan and Idris elba played white superhero characters and were accepted because their CHARACTERISATIONS were correct to the comic.

  25. Mark Hawkins

    The amount of black superheroes especially main characters is very small, the movies will still be a whitefest as white was default back in the 60s.

    it's 2013, the world is much more mullticultural now. These characters don't have to be white, their skin colour doesn't affect their character.

  26. Mark Hawkins

    I think minorities are being casted to add some diversity into mostly white movies. Other than Blade there have been no non-white main superheroes. There aren't thousands of black or other non-white superheroes to use, it may be changing from the source material but it's change for a noble reason. for young black kids to see a main superhero or villain who looks like them for a change. and most importantly it doesn't change the characters just the skin colour.

    The amount of white kids being bullied for being white is miniscule compared to other kids being bullied for their race.

  27. Scott Loney

    Not at all. Don't bother calling me racist or any of that BS as that's not what I am. I like comic books and movies but if they are casting Jordan(who is amazing!) they are toying with a story that has been through the ages…he is going to have a sister who is white…that's just making things hard to explain and taking away from the source that has been created and built upon. Why Hollywood proceed to do things like this annoys me. It worked well with Nick Fury as there was nothing to explain. This however looks trickier.

  28. Barry Dock

    I'm 50 and have read comics since I could read,I loved them. At the time I didn't dwell on the lack of blacks in them at that time. Just think for a moment people all the movies we've seen with 1 black person…. yes he's the 1st to die. It gets old. White guys get the best roles. R Reynolds gets to be green lantern and dead pole Chris gets to be the torch and captain America Damn! can a brother get a good hero role. They killed merlin in xman 1st class

  29. Barry Dock

    I'm 50 and have read comics since I could read,I loved them. At the time I didn't dwell on the lack of blacks in them at that time. Just think for a moment people all the movies we've seen with 1 black person…. yes he's the 1st to die. It gets old. White guys get the best roles. R Reynolds gets to be green lantern and dead pole Chris gets to be the torch and captain America Damn! can a brother get a good hero role. They killed merlin in xman 1st class

  30. Barry Dock

    Blacks buy comics and the movies.I not saying they have to change the hero' race .How about making a few heroes of other races.Please don't tell me about the falcon and the B panther their powers suck. The invisible women could whip them both at the same time.

  31. Tha GOAT: King of America

    I'm a comic book fan and artist/writer, who happens to be black. If MBJ can pull it of, then so be it…with that being said, Sue needs to be black or mixed as well. I don't want to hear anymore "adoption" crap. If the story is going to be changed that much, they should just quit being lazy and make a BRAND new group of heroes. I personally have a gripe about changing the characters. If it was going to be done…it should have been handle in THE COMICS FIRST, instead of trying to appease people who will never pick up a single comic….How many are mad about Samuel J. Jackson Nick Fury? NOBODY….Why? Because first off, outside of the comic fans, no one even knew Nick Fury (No one remembers that Hasselhoff TV movie, lol) His change was made in an alternate universe where Nick Fury was designed to look like the very actor who ended up playing him…it wasn't necessarily a tactic to have SLJ play Fury, but it worked out that way. Comic fans will gripe regardless…I'm still a lil' peeved on Wolverine being so tall in movies, lol but Hugh is great actor (Wolverine movies sucked though) I still wished Rutger Hauer was Magneto and not Ian. lol Thus is the life we live in.

  32. Jellybean Dream

    If you all want to see black superheroes, instead of seeing white characters become black, then LIKE my page!!! First issue coming soon!!!

  33. UrbanGod Ink

    UrbanGod Ink has a diverse cast of characters in comics. When people asked "why aren't there any black (or other ethnic) superheroes in comics" clearly aren't COMIC fans. They are only Marvel/DC/Image fans. We are here.

  34. George Bell

    Yeah but Sue and Johnny aren't adopted, they share the same biological parents. So if they insist on casting Johnny Storm as black they need to cast Susan black as well you can only stray so far from the source material

  35. Jeremy M Flanagan

    Looking to cast an African-American actor to play a superhero in a starring role with a racially diverse supporting cast in a never previously utilized comics property?? How about a film based off of the Image comic STORMWATCH. Battalion kicks @$$!

  36. Charles Ray Hilt

    I also saw a post where one couldn't understand how they would explain him being black within the story. You would hope they could come to conclusion that he will obviously be her adopted brother but of course that is asking to much.

  37. Charles Ray Hilt

    I also saw a post where one couldn't understand how they would explain him being black within the story. You would hope they could come to conclusion that he will obviously be her adopted brother but of course that is asking to much.

  38. Charles Ray Hilt

    I also saw a post where one couldn't understand how they would explain him being black within the story. You would hope they could come to conclusion that he will obviously be her adopted brother but of course that is asking to much.

  39. Jay Jay Love Washington

    Many marvel characters have been emulates of west African deities such as Thor and storm to name two of several. Oh and the green lantern. So, these characters are not original and many of them are based off African gods. It takes extensive knowledge of African deitys to find this information because it is not readily available. But even the Starbucks logo was adopted from an African deity. Just thought you should know something you weren't supposed to.

  40. Marcia Bryant

    Charles Ray Hilt Don't even get me started on that. Apparently adoption is fine for Clark Kent but unfathomable for Johnny and Sue Storm. I'd love it if we found out that BOTH kids are adopted and that their parents are a same sex couple.

  41. Ian Carpenter

    I believe the reason why some fans are upset is not because of racism. Implying that racism is an issue in this matter is hurtful, illogical and is talk that would have been heard sixty years ago. Look up what racism really is instead of just throwing it out there like sugar on your bs argument. Why fans are upset is because to them these characters were made a certain way and have been that way for over fifty years. To fans these are "real" people and sometimes to some fan they are realer than most people in the world. These are their icons and people that they admire and care about so to suddenly make them look or act differently causes fans distress. Imagine if someone made a movie about MLK but instead of casting a black actor they cast a hispanic actor or an asian actor or an indian actor how would you initially act toward this type of racebending?

  42. Da Tree

    Its not they don't want black people playing white people noooooo they dont want niggers being hero's . when Michael was king pin in that dare devil movie it was fiiiiine when the rumors about denzel playing lex luthor in the up n coming justice league movie it was great . but let a black man be green lantern or bat man lol maaaan the racist keyboard warriors are gonna go crazy . coming up with every reason why it shouldn't be done besides race. I mean got dam y'all made Jesus white to fit your comfort level can we do the same with spider man ?

  43. Da Tree

    Fucc outta here! Lol boy this is amerikkka where u from? Race is gonna be an issue until things "change" in our power structure . problem is white folks can't be racist in public no more so y'all have to go around it by leaving long ass stupid comments like urs. Asian mlk ? U dum asshole

  44. Claudia Maria Cross

    R U KIDDING?! Jesus was NOT white but is depicted as such EVERY SINGLE TIME and so is pretty much every bible character… Moses anyone? So having a problem with this is a bit hypocritical and very racist…