Michael B Jordan wrote an enlightening letter to the Internet, particularly those who disagree with his being cast as Johnny Storm in this summer’s Fantastic Four.
I can’t sit here and say I had been completely on board with this since Day One. I believe I said I’d judge after watching the performance. The problem with that plan was that early on, I wasn’t even sure I’d watch the movie. I, like many, judged based purely on a cast…a cast that, from top to bottom, I was either unfamiliar with or underwhelmed by. Going in, Kate Mara was really the only name I knew. And it was “We Are Marshall” and “Shooter,” two drastically different tones of movie, in which I had seen her previously. I also understand she’s quite good on Netflix’ “House of Cards,” but that is not a show I have taken the time to sit down and watch.
So I took the “wait and see” approach.
And I’m glad I did, because what I have seen was far better than what I envisioned (which is why I’m over here typing on a computer and Josh Trank makes movies). The trailer restored some enthusiasm. This movie will not be like the previous Fantastic Four movies. In fact, many of the claims out there are that this version is less a comic book adaptation and more of a sci-fi flick.
Back to the topic at hand, that of the decision to cast Jordan (a black man) as Johnny Storm (traditionally a blond haired, blue eyed, white man). Funny thing about fanboys…
they we take this stuff very seriously. And in doing so, they used the power of the Internet (and in many cases, anonymity) to unleash their collective disappointment rage to create controversy out of a non-issue.
Think of it this way. Chris Evans (now beloved Captain America) was once The Human Torch.
Granted…that was in 2005. It was the early days of social media. And
Internet tough guys…(no, I’m keeping that) Internet tough guys maybe weren’t so tough.
So it was surprising when Michael B Jordan answered his critics earlier this week with a letter he penned, accompanying the newly released image of himself as The Human Torch. It was surprising because it’s not done. Many times, I think, the status quo is to “let the performance speak for itself.” It’s not Hollywood’s nature to respond to fan backlash. But I think this was the right move.
Here’s are two excerpts from Jordan’s letter:
“This is a family movie about four friends—two of whom are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister—who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events to create unity and a team. That’s the message of the movie, if people can just allow themselves to see it.”
“To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends’ friends and who they’re interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It’s okay to like it.”
Hear that, trolls? You have been called out by name! It’s time to put away the petty differences and embrace this world in which we live. I am slowly doing this myself as I open my mind and heart to new things.
Read Michael B Jordan’s entire letter here.