Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four is a grittier retelling of the superhero origin story of Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell). After getting their powers, the team has to face off against their old colleague Victor Domashev/Doctor Doom (Toby Kebbell). A few fans are upset with some of the changes in the movie, such as the decision to make Sue and Johnny adopted siblings.
Michael B. Jordan, in particular, has received backlash for playing a character who’s white in the comic books. He recently penned an essay in Entertainment Weekly in response.
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. Maybe, if I set 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.” Or maybe we have to reach past them.
He also points out that the comic books were first written in 1961 and that the world has gotten a little more diverse since then, a sentiment that I wholeheartedly agree with.
Personally, while I’m not a huge fan of the Fantastic Four in general, I think the overall diversity of the cast is terrific. African-American actor Reg E. Cathey (House of Cards) plays Sue and Johnny’s father, Dr. Franklin Storm. The casting and director Josh Trank’s resume (Chronicle) are the main reasons I’m interested in watching this movie.
Four young outsiders teleport to a dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
Fantastic Four opens in theaters on August 7, 2015.