Michael B. Jordan, the actor playing Johnny Storm in Josh Trank's upcoming non-superhero movie (Don't Call Them) The Fantastic Four for Fox, gave an interview to The Source magazine. The star of the Trank’s rumored found footage style film discussed the Axe Body Spray ads he's been co-directing for the company's Gold Temptation campaign. Jordan also got a chance to talk about Fantastic Four, but, despite photo evidence and the fact that the interview was taking place in The Source magazine, we're wondering if Michael B. Jordan might be unaware of the fact that he is actually black. You see, Jordan didn't mention it. Not even once, despite the fact that, as far as we can tell from reading social media, message boards, and blog comments sections, it's the most important issue affecting the movie.
Since it was first rumored that Jordan would be playing Johnny Storm, a white character in the comics, many fans have been outraged. They claim that Johnny Storm's whiteness is essential to his character, and changing it will fundamentally alter the character, like when Michael Bay painted Bumblebee black in Transformers: Age of Extinction. They accuse studios of purposely changing characters' races just to be politically correct, and ask very reasonable questions like "why not make a black character white then," since that's clearly the same thing; I mean, it's not like so many superheroes are white in the comics because they were created before the civil rights movement hit its peak or anything like that. Also, as we all know, white people are one giant, homogenous group of people, defined purely by their skin color, which is why it doesn't matter if an actor is Irish or Italian or British or German or whatever, as long as they're white. It's the skin color that's really important. To the character.
Perhaps most importantly in this case, as our concerned friends the "not-a-racist-buts" have warned us, the casting of Jordan as Johnny Storm will cause confusion with white actress Kate Mara playing his sister, Susan. How can interracial siblings possibly have the same relationship siblings of the same race have?! Aggghh! Trank will need to spent upwards of minutes in exposition showing that one of the siblings was adopted! It will wreck the whole movie!
As you can see, these reasons are clearly valid concerns that are not all based on racism and therefore should be addressed seriously, but in talking about his role in the film, Jordan doesn't talk about any of this. That, dear reader, leads us to believe that he simply must not know he's black. I mean, how else could he not see how important this is?!
Here's what Jordan had to say:
We knew we had a lot of obstacles in the way and a lot of mountains to move but, you know, for whatever reason things just fell into place and... Fox believed in the situation and believed in me and yeah, we got it done. Johnny Storm is such an iconic character. There’s a lot of personality traits and things to him that people are really going to look forward to seeing. Got a lot of original Johnny stuff in there and then you have – not a NEW take but a fresh take. We have a different take on different things as well. I could go on and on about it but I think it’s something that people will enjoy.
You see that? Absolutely no acknowledgement of his blackness. It's as if the complaints that pop up whenever a black actor is cast in a superhero movie actually hold no merit at all, and don't even warrant a serious response. It's as if the race of most superheroes isn't essential to their characters, and a talented actor of any race could do a good job in these roles...
No, that can't be it. If it were, then that would mean that every time someone whines that changing the race of superhero will ruin the movie, they're actually coming from a place of bigotry, and we know that's not true. Because they tell us it isn't.
So maybe we've got it all wrong, and the problem is actually that Jordan isn't black at all. Maybe our monitor is out of calibration. Let's see...
Nope. Definitely black. This is really quite perplexing.
Well, folks, I don't know what to tell you. There are numerous problems with the Fantastic Four movie, most notably the fact that it's actually Chronicle 2. But they pale in comparison to having a white superhero who can burst into flames and fly through the air with his friends, a super smart stretchy guy, a chick who can turn invisible, and a man made of rocks, played by a black guy. It's just unrealistic!
We've reached out to representatives of Jordan to see if we can get him for an interview and get to the bottom of this by asking the questions everyone really wants the answers to. Until then, try and stay strong. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, unless one of those children happens to be a white superhero created in the 1940s, 50s, or 60s, in which case, the color of his skin is of the utmost importance, okay?"