Fox’s reboot of The Fantastic Four already has a tentative release date (March 6, 2015), and if the latest rumors are true it might also have an actor you might not suspect to be in the running to play the Human Torch.
The Wrap reports that Chronicle star Michael B. Jordan could reunite with director Josh Trank on the in-development feature, which is a bit of casting we really like. The potential catch sure to upset some fanboys? The Human Torch is white in the comics and earlier films, while Jordan is African-American.
Earlier Marvel-based films have cast African-American actors in prominent roles, but Jordan landing the part of the Human Torch would be on a different level because it would mark the first time a white superhero had been played by an African-American actor. While Michael Clarke Duncan and Jamie Foxx have both taken on roles that were white in the comics (the Kingpin and Electro, respectively), those characters were villains. So, this could be a pretty big step toward “color-blind casting” in superhero films if it comes to pass.
Chris Evans played the part in the earlier films, but we think Jordan would make a pretty great Human Torch. The actor is hot in Hollywood after appearing in Sundance hit Fruitvale Station, and has a solid body of work that includes Chronicle and television series Friday Night Lights and The Wire.
It’s too soon to speculate on what this would mean for the rest of The Fantastic Four’s casting, but one would assume that if Jordan lands the role, we’d see Sue Storm, aka the Invisible Woman, played by someone other than a traditional white Hollywood starlet. Sue and Johnny are siblings, after all – and there’s already a precedent here since Jessica Alba played the character in the earlier films. Girls star Allison Williams is already rumored to be up for the role of Storm.
The Jordan casting is not official yet. The Wrap’s sources say that a lot depends on whether or not the actor has “chemistry” with the other actors in the production, but given Trank and Jordan’s history, we’d guess it’s probably his role to lose.
We’ll bring you more on this one as the story develops – but until then, let us know what you think of this potential bit of casting in the comment section.