Michael B Jordan is reportedly being eyed up to star as Boba Fett in the proposed Star Wars origin story for the franchise.
This rumor was first started by The Wrap‘s Jeff Sneider, who revealed it during his Meet The Movie Press video podcast, while discussing the speculation that F. Gary Gray, who recently had a box office success with Straight Outta Compton, had held discussions to helm the Star Wars spin-off.
It’s been alleged that F. Gary Gray had recently talked with Lucasfilm and Disney over the opportunity to direct either the Boba Fett standalone film or Indiana Jones 5. However, F. Gary Gray was since confirmed that he will helm the eighth Fast & Furious film, meaning that he decided to turn down Lucasfilm’s approach.
After making this revelation, Sneider then confirmed that he’d heard, “Boba Fett will be African-American,” before adding that he’d heard a rumor that Michael B. Jordan is seriously being considered to star as the legendary bounty hunter.
Walt Disney Studios are thought to be making a big push and effort to hire a non-white male director for the Boba Fett film.
But that won’t be Gary, as he took to his Twitter account to confirm that he’d been asked to direct Furious 8. A request that he graciously accepted.
Cant ask for better partners than Vin, Neal & Universal. Excited to bring u the next chapter of the #FastFamily saga pic.twitter.com/zRGre14kKO
— F Gary Gray (@FGaryGray) October 8, 2015
Gray, whose success helming Straight Outta Compton, which grossed $196.4 million from its $28 million budget and was also a critical success, turned into one of the most coveted filmmakers in Hollywood, then uploaded a link to a blog post he’d written, where he talked about how excited he was to helm Furious 8.
Fast & Furious 8 Is Happening! F. Gary Gray Confirms He’s Directing the Next Installment http://t.co/y0675LyD93
— F Gary Gray (@FGaryGray) October 10, 2015
Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan’s cinematic exploits this summer weren’t quite as successful as F. Gary Gray’s. That’s because he starred in Fantastic Four, which was a monumental flop for 20th Century Fox, only grossing $164.9 million.
And while that is admittedly just $32 million less than Straight Outta Compton, it cost $120 million to make and as a superhero film was expected to gross several hundred million dollars more, as well as sparking off its own franchise.
However, the failure of Fantastic Four wasn’t at all down to Michael B. Jordan. In fact, Jordan was seen as one of the very few bright sparks of the film. The blame was laid at the door of director Josh Trank, who, ironically, was originally hired to direct the Boba Fett solo film before he was sacked allegedly because of his work on Fantastic Four.
Trank reportedly couldn’t control the blockbuster’s set during production and even set out a tweet on the eve of the film’s release confirming that he despised the film himself.
It read, “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.”
There is a chance that if Michael B. Jordan is cast as Boba Fett he might find himself confronted with some of the same backlash that he faced when he was originally announced as Johnny Storm.
Because he is African-American, and the character of Storm is white in the comics, die-hard fans were unhappy. The same sort of backlash could happen because in Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Jango Fett, Boba’s father, was originally played by Temuera Morrison, who is of Maori, Scottish, and Irish heritage, and the younger Fett was played by Daniel Logan, also of Maori descent.
Fans may insist that the actor follow that lineage. And since so many kicked up a fuss when John Boyega was confirmed as a black stormtrooper that could happen.
But let’s wait to see if Michael B. Jordan is cast first before all hell breaks loose.
[Images via Lucasfilm & Warner Bros. & Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images & Jason Merritt/Getty Images]