comScore Michael B. Jordan Fantastic Four Reaction | The Mary Sue

Michael B. Jordan on Human Torch Backlash: “It Was Expected”


We were not particularly surprised by the casting of rising young actor Michael B. Jordan. For months, his name was the only one associated with the Fantastic Four reboot (and let’s face it, we were also rooting for him on basic people-who’ve-watched-TheWire principles). We’d be surprised if he was surprised, so it’s likely that he’s been preparing for this moment for a while: the moment he gets asked to respond to the racist backlash against him being cast as a previously white character.

Cinefilos quotes Jordan from a Rome event promoting Fruitvale Station, a film dramatizing what is known about the final day in the life of Oscar Grant, a young black man shot to death by Bay Area transit police. Jordan plays the role of Oscar Grant. He was asked whether the negative responses to his casting in Fantastic Four have annoyed him.

It was expected. You kinda know going into it that people are used to seeing something one way, it’s a continuity thing more than anything. People don’t like change too much. But annoyed? Eh, you just kinda accept it, it is what it is. You can’t make everybody happy. You just gotta accept that and know. I’m an actor, I have to do my job. I’m going to do my job the best I can and the way I’ve been doing it my entire life, my entire career… I don’t really let it bother me at all. I just want to go into it and do the best job I can. We’ll see what happens.”

As for being cast, in general? He’s still geeking out over it.

The Human Torch is, ‘yknow, that’s fun. That’s going to be a good time…To play a superhero? That’s dreams coming true. It’s not going to be hard. It’s going to be fun to kind of show a side of me that I don’t really get to show on screen, to be a little bit lighter, funnier, just more personality. It’s going to be fun… I grew up a comic book guy, I read comic books as a kid growing up, and the Fantastic Four/Human Torch is one of my favorite characters so I’m going to give it my everything. I can’t wait.

*sniff* Nerd dreams coming true. It always gets to me.

(Story via Blastr, top pic via Helga Esteb/

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.