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Welp, Looks Like the 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Will Feature Interracial Siblings (Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara Cast)

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by Jai Tiggett
February 19, 2014 9:03 PM
18 Comments
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Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan

For those of you just dying to say "I told you so..."

Variety has reported that Miles Teller, Jamie Bell and Kate Mara will join Michael B. Jordan in Fox's upcoming remake of The Fantastic Four. 

Recall that Jordan had been rumored for months to be cast in the film as Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch, which led to a huge debate on many sites, including this one, about color-blind casting and whether it makes sense to change the race of a comic book character for a movie adaptation. 

Recall also that the bigger question was about the role of Johnny Storm's sister, as the two appear in the original Marvel comics as blonde and blue-eyed biological siblings. When Jessica Alba appeared as Sue Storm in the 2005 and 2007 movies, she donned a blonde wig and blue contacts in order to play sister to Chris Evans

Mara, who's now set to play Sue, has been best known lately for her role as Zoe Barnes on Netflix's House of Cards. There's no word yet on what the exact story between the interracial siblings will be, though we can only guess that a step-sibling, adoption or blended family scenario will be written in. 

There are a few points of note here. This cast can be seen as progress in the sense of a blended/interracial family getting representation in a major franchise, not to mention the casting of a black superhero. A more cynical theory would be that this casting isolates Jordan as the only face of color in the four, and since there's been such backlash against his casting to date, if the movie fails in any way it could easily be pinned on him. 

Also, when we had the discussion on this site a few months ago, there was an overwhelming response of, "You don't really believe that there will be two black superheroes cast in this film, do you?" 

Perhaps not. Still, it would be irresponsible not to raise the question, especially on a site that discusses cinema of the African Diaspora. Especially now, in a country that claims, ever so insistently, to be "post-racial." 

In light of our ongoing conversations about black cinema, and even Nijla's thoughtful post from earlier today on the desire to see two black faces together in a romantic drama, I'd argue that it's always reasonable, always rational, to keep calling, working and pushing for more black faces on screen. Even together, in the same tentpole film. Even as superheroes. 

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18 Comments

  • Bryan E. | April 21, 2014 12:14 AMReply

    I had some minor misgivings about Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin, but I think he pulled it off, so I'm okay with Jordan getting a shot. I can see him being compared unfavorably to Chris Evans, who I think nailed the goofy, irrational, hotheaded Johnny Storm in his movies, but then went and got all grow'ed and responsible and became Captain America.

  • Anthony | March 20, 2014 9:29 AMReply

    I have known Johnny Storm for 42 years of my life. That is how strongly I feel about the character. To change his race is unforgiveable. It is NOT him anymore. If they want more "color" in superhero movies, then MAKE SOME SUPERHEROES WITH COLOR!!! I will NOT see this movie, and I hope it flops so badly that the director and actor NEVER find work in Hollywood again!

  • Hunter | June 17, 2014 5:48 PM

    So? Someone needs to change your diaper and burp you now.

  • Cas | February 22, 2014 3:42 AMReply

    I for one would have really preferred they cast a black actress to play Sue once they sign on Jordan. While I can hope they'll at least present some form of step-sibling/blended family as the explanation for these two, I worry they're going to change the dynamic entirely by simply having them unrelated. Of course, I think most of us know that with Fox handling this instead of Marvel that it's most likely going to be terrible no matter who they cast.

  • Brant | February 21, 2014 3:27 PMReply

    The key to a good movie...cast great actors! I will never be unhappy with a cast that includes Kate Mara and MBJ. Would we honestly rather have Chris Evans and Jessica Alba again, two pretty faces but well below average actors, just for the sake of remaining true to a COMIC BOOK? Get real.

  • mg | February 21, 2014 3:14 AMReply

    Honestly I could care less about the color of there skins... yes it would have be great if they would have cast an African American "Sue" but hey it is what it is. I am really excited about this film. Just because I like the fantastic four. And really anything has to be better the the last 2 films

  • jw | February 20, 2014 11:40 PMReply

    "Especially now, in a country that claims, ever so insistently, to be "post-racial." "

    Post racial not illogical. You can't have blood brother and sister where one is Lilly white and one is dark chocolate. If they share a parent, they should have used multi racial actors

  • Chris | February 20, 2014 11:34 AMReply

    There is a certain amount of racism involved, but there is also a legitimate question of why such disparate types were cast as brother and sister. There are many very talented black and mixed race actresses that could easily have portrayed Jordan's sister without all the plot devices that will be needed to explain the lack of any familial resemblance at all. There was very little diversity in comic books, and it's great to update them to reflect society, but they should keep the core familial relationships intact.
    In all fairness, there is also a significant backlash against casting a 5'6" British guy as "The Thing" as well,

  • @JayTeeDee | February 20, 2014 10:16 AMReply

    Michael B. Jordan & Kate Mara wow my interest in this film has been renewed!

  • Mark | February 20, 2014 8:53 AMReply

    Why couldn't Michael B. Jordan's and Kate Mara's characters be half-siblings?? Hell, they cold be full siblings. Why pretend that mixed-race couples don't have children that have different phenotypes.

    Jordan is the same shade of brown as a lot of biracial folks, right? I just don't get the needless upset about this.

    Also, isn't Miles Teller, the actor playing Reed Richards, also mixed-race? He looks Eurasian.

    Whatever. All of the actors are talented. It's all about the script now.

  • boomslang | February 22, 2014 8:12 PM

    Uh.. naw . Michael may be brown but he has 100% west african features ( body type included ) . The biracial that look black still look very much mixed race even when they are darker. It wouldn't be believable.

    The blended family thang is alright . after all wasn't that black kid in 90210 sibling with the brunette caucasian girl ?

  • Akimbo | February 21, 2014 12:25 AM

    Multiracial people span a range of shades and features. Some look straight up white and others just look black. If we're already accepting the fact that these people have superpowers, I think we could try and accept that these two are biologically related. Casting a black woman would have been better, but we all knew that wasn't going to happen.

  • jw | February 20, 2014 11:41 PM

    No, most interracial kids are more of a mocha color and have both white and black features.

  • Rick | February 20, 2014 10:08 AM

    According to imdb, his paternal grandfather was Russian Jewish

  • Rick | February 20, 2014 8:29 AMReply

    They might be indirectly isolating Jordan as the only black cast member, but I don't think he was cast for diversity sake. And I don't think Mara was cast to somehow gain favor with those upset with Jordan's color-change casting. I think Michael B. Jordan was cast because he's Michael B. Jordan, a young up and comer who won big prestigious acclaim last year with a breakout role and has a personal (or at least professional) relationship with the director.

  • Rick | February 20, 2014 10:07 AM

    that's what I meant by "has a personal (or at least professional) relationship with the director"

  • Mochagirl123 | February 20, 2014 8:37 AM

    Also, Michael B. Jordan was in Chronicle, the FF director's previous movie.

  • Name change in Tamil Nadu Gazette | February 20, 2014 5:35 AMReply

    This is really nice topic, which is very use full for me.

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