Thoughts On The Fantastic Four Casting

Photo Collage: The Hollywood Reporter
This morning The Hollywood Reporter reported that FOX has cast its Fantastic Four.  The cast consists of Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now, 21 & Over) as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara (House of Cards) as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle, Fruitvale Station) as The Human Torch, and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) as Ben Grimm/The Thing.

My first reaction is that these actors seem very young to me.  If I look at the characters in Marvel Studio's Avengers, I feel the Fantastic Four should at least be of the same age range if not slightly older.  Reed should be an accomplished man of science and Ben Grimm a capable pilot by the time their stories start.  So, it's hard to see these particular actors being capable of doing the fantastic things they are going to do.  In all honesty, I'm not very familiar with these actors.  I'm probably most familiar with Michael B. Jordan because I've seen Chronicle and Fruitvale Station and think he is a capable actor.  So, I'm willing to look past that as I don't know how the origin is going to play out and whether it will mirror the classic origin at all.

The thing I'm most concerned about is the relationship between the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch.  I find it interesting that the article mention that comic purists are up in arms because "Johnny Storm" is blonde and white, yet, say that Jordan is cast as "The Human Torch."  I'm not sure if this was an oversight or if this is meant to throw us off a bit as the character might conceivably have another name.  In the comic books and, actually, pretty much every other iteration of, the Fantastic Four, The Invisible Woman and the Human Torch have always been Sue and Johnny Storm.  But, in this iteration, the two actors are from two different races.  Or, at least to my knowledge, I don't believe Kate Mara is partially African American.

Photo: Marvel
Now, I really don't have a problem with the change of races of characters.  Nick Fury was white in the comic books but we all love Samuel L. Jackson play him in the movies.  In fact, I applaud FOX for going with Michael B. Jordan and switching it up a bit.  But, what I do have a problem with is if (and, I'm saying "if" as I really don't know) the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch are not brother and sister.  To me, this is an integral part of who these characters are and would betray the very spirit of the Fantastic Four.  The Fantastic Four is a family and, at the core of it, the Storms.

Again, the only news we've gotten is the casting and I have no idea what the nature of their relationship will be.  But, I know there had been rumors that they would not be brother and sister and this casting is starting to make my fears come true.  But, who knows...perhaps one of them is an adopted sister or brother.  If they are going to make it a mixed race adopted family, then I'm hoping it is Sue Storm that is adopted into an African American family.  But, in all honesty, if they were going to change the race of Johnny Storm, then I wish they would have changed the race of Sue Storm as well.  Is there a reason why she had to be white if they were making these changes?  This is no offense to Kate Mara, but, frankly, I think it would have been an even bolder step to have made Sue African American as well.

I'll take a wait and see approach on this, but, for now, I'm not feeling very good about where this film might be going.


Popular Posts