Ever since we learned that actor Michael B. Jordan would be playing Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, in Chronicle director Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot, the Internet has been set ablaze with a huge amount of backlash.
Sure, the casting was controversial and, yes, it made people talk. A lot. And not so much in a good way (heck, even Michael B. Jordan himself had to respond).
Simon Kinberg—the writer and producer of this weekend’s massive hit superhero flick X-Men: Days of Future Past—has seen Jordan in action and has nothing but praises for the actor now breathing new life into Johnny Storm.
Here’s what Kinberg said in an interview with The Daily Beast about the Fantastic Four reboot:
It’s a double-edged sword because you don’t have people saying, “Why are you rebooting something good?” and you also have people saying, “Why bother?” The core fans were not wild about the original movies, and nor was I. Last summer, Emma Watts at Fox called me on the set of Days of Future Past and said, “We really want to do a new Fantastic Four.” I said to her, “I’m interested but it depends how you want to do it.” She said, “Talk to Josh Trank.” We were shooting the Washington D.C. finale sequence in Days of Future Past and I talked to Josh, and he had such a clear vision of what he wanted to do with the film that was so different from the other movies—it was grounded, real, gritty, and what it would really be like if you went through a transformation and lost control of your body. That, coupled with him wanting it to be a coming-of-age movie, felt fresh to me.
Frankly, how gritty and realistic can you be when you have a superhero team made up of a man that stretches, a woman who turns invisible, a dude who transforms into a human fireball, and another whose body becomes rock-hard and all orangey, we ask you? We're actually curious to see how they'll pull this off. Moving on.
Kinberg also talked about the tone of the movie, saying:
The tone of this movie will feel as unique as when you saw Iron Man, X-Men, or Batman Begins for the first time. It’s not as goofy as the first movies; it has humor in it, but the humor is much more real and comes from character, not pratfall jokes. It’s a much more dramatic film than it is a comedy. I would say it falls somewhere between Raimi’s first couple of Spider-Man movies and Chronicle.
Now, here’s the juicy morcel about Michael B. Jordan:
I was just speaking with Jamie Foxx about how there’s really no reason why you can’t make superheroes be a different ethnicity—like you did in Fantastic Four, casting Michael B. Jordan, a black actor, as The Human Torch. It seems like we’ve come a long way since the first Fantastic Four films, when they basically made Jessica Alba white… which was crazy.
[Laughs] Yeah, the way we went about casting Fantastic Four was, “Who is the best actor for the part?” We didn’t go into it saying we wanted to cast a particular race for any part. Josh had worked with Michael on Chronicle and I’m a big fan of Michael’s, so we knew he was the best actor for that part. We knew casting an African-American Human Torch would be news, but I can tell you it’s something that Stan Lee loves, and I can also tell you that having been on set and seeing Michael bring him to life, he’s really spectacular. He’s doing something really cool with the character that I think will become the iconic Johnny Storm.
What do you guys think about Simon Kinberg's comments on the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot? Do you feel a tad more relieved that Michael B. Jordan is apparently doing a "spectacular" job bringing one of Marvel's iconic characters to life?
Fox's upcoming Fantastic Four reboot will blaze into theatres on June 19, 2015.
(via The Daily Beast)