Watch: Michael B. Jordan On Playing the Human Torch: ‘Race Shouldn’t Matter’

Actor Michael B. Jordan addresses why race doesn’t come into play when describing the Marvel character Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch.

When rumors surfaced online that Chronicle and Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan may be cast as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch in the FANTASTIC FOUR reboot, the online community went berserk with news that the Marvel character would be an African-American character.  Traditionally, the Fantastic Four character appears to be Anglo when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby first created the superhero team in 1961.  Captain America’s Chris Evans played him in the film adaptation.  Jordan’s Chronicle director, Josh Trank, is spearheading the Fantastic Four reboot and may be looking to bring Jordan on board as the new Johnny Storm, but the debate is causing quite a storm.  

While promoting his gripping new film, Fruitvale Station in Los Angeles, the issue of race was discussed in regards to the racial divide still affecting today’s society. Based on a true story of Oscar Grant’s death at the hands of a BART police officer in Oakland, the film stirs up the race discussion.  

While on the subject, he was asked about the possibility of playing Johnny Storm.  He understands people’s issue with the “continuity,” but the racial description of the character is non-existent. 

“The only characteristics on Human Torch is that his name is Johnny Storm, he’s American, charismatic and he’s a playboy. And that’s it. There’s no racial/ethnic fu**en description of him.”
The online community may be having a hard time accepting the racial switch, but Hollywood is slowly embracing it. Jamie Foxx turns blue as the formerly white villain Electro in the Amazing Spider-man sequel while Zack Snyder cast Laurence Fishburne as Perry White in the Superman reboot, Man of Steel. Even the new Superman, Henry Cavill, got a lot of flack from geeks for not being an American actor portraying an iconic American superhero, but it didn’t seem to affect it at the box office. You can’t make everyone happy.

Michael B. Jordan admits racial discrimination has no end in site in current society, but at least at the movies, it will “break a lot of barriers” if he or another actor of color is cast in Fantastic Four.  “It’ll change things in a big way,” says Jordan.

Let’s hope so because what really should matter is finding the right actor for the job rather than the right color.

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