Michael B. Jordan is responding to a backlash after being cast as Johnny Storm in the upcoming “Fantastic Four” reboot. The announcement created a stir from fans of the comic book franchise, originally created by Stan Lee.
“You’re not supposed to go on the Internet when you’re cast as a superhero,” Jordan wrote in a short essay for Entertainment Weekly. As he mentions in the article, his comic character was originally described as having blond hair and blue eyes.
“I didn’t want to be ignorant about what people were saying,” he wrote. “Turns out this is what they were saying: ‘A black guy? I don’t like it. They must be doing it because Obama’s president’ and ‘It’s not true to the comic.’ Or even, ‘They’ve destroyed it!'”
Months later, the new Human Torch says that the negative comments no longer bother him. “Some people may look at my casting as political correctness or an attempt to meet a racial quota, or as part of the year of ‘Black Film.’ Or they could look at it as a creative choice by the director, Josh Trank, who is in an interracial relationship himself — a reflection of what a modern family looks like today.”
Jordan also said he hopes to be a game-changer for Hollywood’s portrayal of comic book superheroes in the future.
“Sometimes you have to be the person who stands up and says, ‘I’ll be the one to shoulder all this hate. I’ll take the brunt for the next couple of generations.’ I put that responsibility on myself. People are always going to see each other in terms of race, but maybe in the future we won’t talk about it as much.”
Miles Teller, Jamie Bell and Kate Mara also star in the film, directed by Josh Trank. “Fantastic Four” hits theaters on August 7.