The Fantastic Four reboot looks terrible for many reasons, but the backlash all started out a few years ago when the first actor joined the project: Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch. This caused a huge ruckus in the fanbase because Johnny Storm, traditionally, is white. “That darned diversity, getting in the way of muh comics!” cried lonely fans everywhere. They then continued to think and realised something even more horrifying. “That means Sue has to be black too!”
The controversy was all quite ridiculous as Jordan is a fantastic actor who fits the role of Johnny like a glove. Nonetheless, fans complained and bitched and still are to this day. A while back, Jordan said the following to Entertainment Weekly…
“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?”
Well, the site reached out to the Man himself and it turns out that he’s actually a huge fan of the decision.
“It was more than okay. I thought it was a great idea!”
This isn’t exactly surprising. Back in the day, Stan Lee was one of the pioneers of diversity in comics. However, he still understood where all the haters were coming from.
“They’re outraged not because of any personal prejudice. They’re outraged because they hate to see any change made on a series and characters they had gotten familiar with. In Spider-Man, when they got a new actor, that bothered them, even though it was a white actor. I don’t think it had to do with racial prejudice as much as they don’t like things changed.”
This is all well-and-good, but the thing is there wasn’t an awful lot of change going on besides skin colour. In the comics Johnny Storm is a hotshot, charismatic badboy. In the movie Johnny Storm is a hotshot, charismatic badboy. The character has been maintained and it isn’t of great importance what ethnicity he is, so who the hell cares?
“But I think they’re gonna get to love this character. So I’m not the least bit worried about it. I always tried to pepper these groups with as much racial diversity as possible because that’s the way the world is.”
He’s not wrong.
It’s nice to have such a glowing endorsement from Stan Lee himself, and if there will be one good thing about Fantastic Four then I’m sure it’ll be Jordan as the Human Torch. We’ll see within the next two weeks.
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