3:49pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Michael B. Jordan Responds to His 'Fantastic Four' Critics
The casting of Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch in Josh Trank's Fantastic Four was something that angered a vocal section of fandom, who wanted to see a cinematic Torch as white as the original comic book character. In a new essay, Jordan responds to the outcry, advising those upset to take a look around.
"It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore," Jordan writes in Entertainment Weekly of the response to his casting. "I can see everybody’s perspective, and I know I can’t ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books. But the world is a little more diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961."
Noting that there are some who'll see his casting as "political correctness or an attempt to meet a racial quota," Jordan suggested instead that it's "a creative choice by the director, Josh Trank, who is in an interracial relationship himself [and] a reflection of what a modern family looks like today." The new Fantastic Four movie, he went on, is "a family movie about four friends — two of whom are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister — who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events to create unity and a team."
The actor characterized himself as "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,'" arguing that if his role in Fantastic Four sets an example, "Hollywood will start considering more people of color in other prominent roles, and maybe we can reach the people who are stuck in the mindset that 'it has to be true to the comic book.'"
Directly addressing the trolls, Jordan suggested, "Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends' friends and who they're interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It's okay to like it." And if that doesn't work, there's always plan B.
"If Stan Lee writes an email to my director saying, 'You're good, I'm okay with this,'" Jordan wrote, "who am I to go against that?"
Fantastic Four is released Aug. 7.