Originally published on NerdsUnchained.
Michael B. Jordan spoke to Cinefilos.it during an event in Rome, in which he addressed some of the fan criticism his casting as the Human Torch in the new Fantastic Four reboot has garnered.
“It was expected, I kind of know going into it that people are used to seeing things one way – it’s a continuity thing more than anything.”
“People don’t like change too much. Annoyed? Eh. You’ve got to accept it is what it is, you can’t make everybody happy, and you’ve got to accept that.”
“I grew up a comic book guy; I read comic books growing up as a kid growing up. Fantastic Four, The Human Torch is one of my favorite characters. I’m going to give it my everything. I can’t wait. I don’t let it bother me at all, I go in to it, do the best I can and walk away from it and see what happens March 2015.”
You can catch Jordan’s entire statements along with a lady speaking really fast Spanish in the video below:
These are interesting statements and Michael B. Jordan seems to be taking the criticism very well, despite the fact that many criticisms are considered to be based on racist notions.
Nonetheless, characters’ races are changed all the time – some from white to black, some from black to white.
When an originally white character’s race is changed to that of a racial minority, it is hailed as a positive step towards more diverse representation.
At the same time, when the race of a person of color is changed to be or look white, this is derided as whitewashing.
For example, when the traditionally white character of Nick Fury was first seen portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in Iron Man, it didn’t get anywhere near the same level of criticism as Michael B. Jordan’s casting.
This is perhaps to the fact that Nick Fury’s race was discreetly changed in Marvel Ultimate Comics line for a few years before he was ever seen on screen. After Samuel L. Jackson’s performance, his likeness was used to portray the Nick Fury that comic book fans would get to know in Marvel’s main 616 universe so for generations of readers Nick Fury was black.
The point is, this issue is very deep and complicated and the debate goes way beyond what this article presents.
So what do you think? Do you think that changing the race of a character is ever okay? Does race play such a crucial role to understanding the character?
You can catch the new Fantastic Four on June 19, 2015.