The casting machine is starting to gear up for Josh Trank‘s upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four. Yesterday, we reported that Girls star Allison Williams was on the short list to presumably play Sue Storm/Invisible Woman in the film. Today, we have even more exciting Fantastic Four news as The Wrap is reporting that Michael B. Jordan is being considered for the role of Johnny Storm/Human Torch. Jordan previously played a super-powered individual in Trank’s Chronicle, and the actor has received rave notices for his heartbreaking performance in the award-winning film, Fruitvale (now titled “Fruitvale Station“).
Hit the jump for more. Fantastic Four is set to open on March 6, 2015.
According to The Wrap, “Jordan has had multiple meetings at Fox within the last week,” and his “chances depend on whether or not he has chemistry with the other actors up for the highly-anticipated movie, according to one insider.” As I wrote back in March when reporting about the Forest Whitaker-produced Richard Pryor biopic, Jordan is on the verge of breaking through, and his asking price could rise if Fruitvale Station finds the same kind success with mainstream audiences as it found at Sundance. It would still probably be something affordable for a blockbuster feature like Fantastic Four, but what the studio wants is moderate visibility without breaking the bank, especially when there are four leads.
Of course, the real noteworthy item here is that Jordan is black and in the comics Johnny Storm is white. This fact will undoubtedly infuriate geeks who are racist and/or horribly OCD. There’s nothing in the comics that forces the character to be white (the Fantastic Four have been around for over 50 years, but I don’t think his origin has ever been retconned to bringing him over on the Mayflower). Furthermore, while Johnny and Sue are siblings, the world wouldn’t end if one was adopted or they were half-siblings or if (gasp) Fox decides to cast a black actress to play Sue Storm instead of Allison Williams. The studio may ultimately decide to play it safe and cast a white actor for Human Torch, and obviously the role should go to whoever is best at the part. But as we’ve seen with Chronicle and Sundance audiences have seen with Fruitvale, Jordan should be more than up to the task, and the only question should be how well he’ll play off the other actors.