I don’t know if you noticed this, but the internet threw itself into kind of a tizzy last week when the casting choices for The Fantastic Four remake were announced. Miles Teller is Mr. Fantastic, Jamie Bell is The Thing, Kate Mara is The Invisible Woman, and Michael B. Jordan is The Human Torch.
Fine, right? NOPE. Because as it turns out, those are all the characters’ superhero names. They have real-person names too, which matters in this instance because Kate and Michael happen to share a last name, Storm, on account of being brother and sister. But guys that cannot be because I don’t know if you know this, but Michael B. Jordan is black and Kate Mara is white. And they could never be siblings in a world where ACTUAL SUPERPOWERS EXIST.
Really friends? We’re willing to suspend disbelief to the extent that we don’t bat an eye when a human being has the ability to TURN INTO FIRE or when Jessica Alba pretends to be an actor in the last movie, but we really can’t imagine a scenario where two siblings could have different skin colors? My goodness. You think this universe has gotten as far as spontaneous human combustion but they still haven’t puzzled out adoption? Sigh.
But as annoyed as I am by the reaction on social media to the casting news, you know who’s handling it a helluva lot better? Michael B. Jordan. Here’s what he had to say when asked about the response
“People are going to be critics. Haters are going to find something to hate about. I’m a young black man. I’ve been criticized. My name is Michael Jordan. He gave me a chip on my shoulder that I needed to push me though.”
You’re not the first, you guys. You’re not the first to assume that Michael – an actor – can’t pull something off based on the color of his skin. (I mean, did you see Fruitvale??) And the great thing about this situation is that you don’t get to decide. Michael was cast on the basis of his talent, alongside other actors who were as well. If that isn’t a rounding endorsement of the high potential for this movie, then I don’t know what is.
And as he points out: “They’re still going to go see it anyway”. Yup. You know it.
(Photo: FayesVision / WENN.com)