Comic book (geeks) enthusiasts are known for lighting the internet on fire when things regarding film adaptations are not aligned with the original comic. However, with the recent release of dozens of comic based movies and the 1000’s of adaptations we have learned that some of these changes really work and some not so much. Many of us have learned to accept the changes because quite frankly, we can’t do anything about it.
Josh Trank’s reboot of the Fantastic Four has been under attack for quite a while. As it nears completion fans have started to become more vocal again about Michael B. Jordan playing the Human Torch.
REALLY? WE’RE DOING THIS…AGAIN
Yes, we are. In fact Michael B. Jordan himself is doing this. The actor penned an essay for EW, basically telling these trolls to pull their heads out of their asses and get with the times!! Here is what the actor had to say,
“You’re not supposed to go on the Internet when you’re cast as a superhero. But after taking on Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four—a character originally written with blond hair and blue eyes—I wanted to check the pulse out there. I didn’t want to be ignorant about what people were saying. 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!”
It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore. 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. Plus, if Stan Lee writes an email to my director saying, “You’re good. I’m okay with this,” who am I to go against that?
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.
This 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. That’s the message of the movie, if people can just allow themselves to see it.
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.
To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: 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.”
Personally I am a huge Michael B. Jordan fan as he represents everything that is good about Hollywood. He is talented, humble, and versatile and he takes his craft seriously. I’m proud to watch him usher in the next generation of young great actors. His body of work is already impressive.
I too have made the transition from being critical, to accepting, to now being entertained when traditional roles are cast outside their race. Last week we covered the story of Taye Diggs playing Hedwig on Broadway and just this morning I watched the Annie reboot. I was particularly concerned with this casting choice as originally I was not a fan of Quvenzhané Wallis (too much attitude). Now I just want to hug her and pinch those cheeks.
Watching my daughter watch the “New” Annie I realized two things:
- A black Annie is ok, because it’s fiction. Her race doesn’t add to nor does it take away from the storyline.
- Watching my daughter see a movie centralized around a black, loveable, female character in power was priceless.
I think these trolls have gotten the attention they were seeking. You’re welcome. We will now carry on letting the people who are qualified and in touch with the pulse of society make the decisions they get paid to make. When we want the opinion of someone in their mom’s basement eating left over pizza, pounding Redbull and tugging it to Marvel Movies, we know where to find you.[mashshare]