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Michael B. Jordan "Signed On" as Johnny Storm in 'Fantastic Four' Reboot. Who Will Play Sue Storm?

by Jai Tiggett
October 18, 2013 8:46 PM
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Michael B. Jordan Samira Wiley

The last piece of news about Michael B. Jordan's attachment to this project surfaced back in May, when it was reported that the Fruitvale star was in contention for the role of Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch. Now Schmoes Know is claiming it's a done deal.

The film would reunite Jordan with Chronicle director Josh Trank, and though the actor has said he'd be "ecstatic" for the opportunity, there's been much backlash over his color-blind casting as the Human Torch has been widely portrayed as white in both the Marvel comics and previous films. 

We're likely to see these kinds of issues keep coming up as long as remakes and reboots are popular. Most of the comic adaptations dominating the film industry are based on source material that was written generations ago when characters of color were rare, and so expecting to stick to their original racial makeup is to expect actors of color not to work; it's impractical.

So as fanboys simmer over this news, it next begs the question of who will be cast as Johnny's older sister, Sue Storm aka Invisible Girl. Earlier this month, Deadline shortlisted actresses Saoirse Ronan, Kate Mara, and Margot Robbie, all of whom are white, which led to further outcry about the racial difference between the two siblings. 

Though an adoption or step-sibling angle could be written into the film, the solution here seems obvious - that if Johnny Storm is cast as a black character his biological sibling can and should be also. Not only would it break new ground to have two brown superheroes leading a high-profile film, but there are story advantages as well. From what I've learned of the Marvel universe, Sue has a "take charge" attitude towards Johnny that could play well between black siblings, and even the idea of a black woman playing a character called "Invisible Girl" lends itself to plenty of clever subtext.

Of course, there are lots of options for who could fill the role. A name that's been floating around for months as a potential Sue Storm is Samira Wiley. The Juilliard-trained actress has become a fan favorite on Netflix series Orange is the New Black, and as pictured above, she bears enough of a resemblance to Michael B. Jordan for the two to make a convincing pair. Of all the names circulating on the interwebs as a possible black Sue Storm - Nicole Beharie, Kerry Washington, Zoe Saldana and others - Wiley seems most interesting. Whether Fox would bet on such a new face is anyone's guess, though it's not unprecedented.

So, what say you? Are you thrilled or upset about Michael B. Jordan's casting, and who's your pick for Sue Storm? Will #samira4suestorm be the next #donald4spiderman? Weigh in. 

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  • Dani | June 4, 2014 8:00 AMReply

    Great idea!

    I also think that we should get rid of Halle Berry as Storm and get Charlize Theron instead. We can also dump Wesley Snipes as Blade. I think Keifer Sutherland would make an excellent Blade!

    As for the Black Panther...what about that Hemsworth guy?


  • jr | May 2, 2014 6:20 PMReply

    Wrong Wrong Wrong!! 50 years of Marvel fantastic four rewritten to please the politically correct. I have nothing against black people or actors, but why should prominant established characters be changed from what they are in the comics. I am talking Kingpin in Daredevil to Nick fury in avengers and now Johnny Storm in Fantastic four. Yes there were not many black comic characters back in the day, but Stan Lee was the first Writer as far as I know to create Black superheroes, such as Black Panther and later Blade and Luke cage. Can I now expect someone like Tom Cruise to play Black Panther in a future Fantastic four movie? I think not!!

  • Chris | February 26, 2014 10:11 PMReply

    Why do they need to be adopted if Sue looks white? I hope they will make them blood relations. A mix couple can give birth to children that may look more like the race of one of them.

  • Chris | February 26, 2014 10:11 PMReply

    Why do they need to be adopted if Sue looks white? I hope they will make them blood relations. A mix couple can give birth to children that may look more like the race of one of them.

  • Chris | February 26, 2014 7:54 PMReply

    Why do they need to be adopted if Sue looks white? I hope they will make them blood relations. A mix couple can give birth to children that may look more like the race of one of them.

  • Kris | February 20, 2014 2:44 AMReply

    So instead of just ignoring the fact that this comic has been around well over 30yrs, established character backgrounds etc...why not just encourage and support more comic book characters and stories that feature people of color?

  • Frosting | January 10, 2014 12:59 AMReply

    Whatever Michael B Jordan's in, I hope to see him prosper and grow. He's an excellent actor.

  • johana jean | December 17, 2013 3:58 PMReply

    Im a black women and i believe zoe saldana is perfect for the sue role that girl Samira Wiley is not a good match........forreal...neither is kerry

  • Joseph | December 3, 2013 10:11 AMReply

    Wow, I posted something and it didn't even see the light of day, niiiice. Media works how? Got it.

  • Robert | October 21, 2013 6:37 PMReply

    That is a terrible idea. Why is that out of all the superhero franchises, Somebody keeps screwing up the fantastic four. Here is the solution keep everybody white, CGI the thing, make sure the script is good. CGI Galactus if he were to show up, Sue Storm should be a real blonde. I know that
    myself and millions of fans will not go see it.

  • YOUR TV STEALER | October 21, 2013 3:29 PMReply

    He still fahn.

    I'd bring a change to the theater if he licks his lips on an 80 foot screen.

    Aside form that, he's an amazing actor. Son, in short, Wallace can do whatever the eff Wallace wants.

  • Amazonqueen27 | October 20, 2013 4:46 PMReply

    Naomie Harris as Sue Storm!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ghost | October 19, 2013 7:42 PMReply

    I asked some folks (white) about this and they were ALL on board for it. So not everyone is furious about it. Fox knows what they are doing-how much more coverage has this gotten for the film? Would that film even get mentioned here if MBJ wasn't in the running? And remember Fox does NOT have the film rights to all of Marvel's established black heroes. All they have is X-Men and that's right-there are no black males in X-Men that haven't be killed or butchered.

    The Nick Fury you saw in Avengers is the Nick Fury from a different universe-Ultimate Universe as is Miles Morales-Spider-Man. All they did was go with that version.

    And Miles can't be seen as Spidey because Sony has the right to Spider-Man. Unless he changes his name.

  • Miles Ellison | October 19, 2013 6:51 PMReply

    This isn't unprecedented. Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury was white in the comics. So was Michael Clarke Duncan's Kingpin. Nevertheless, the internet opprobrium will rain down like hail if this gets made.

  • jai | October 20, 2013 2:01 PM

    Oh it'll get made. Fox is due to deliver the movie in early 2015. But the casting question remains, and the smart money is on casting two leads of color, imho, if they want to put butts in seats. Fanboys will show up just to see how it's handled, if only for the ability to gripe about it afterwards. And everyone else will see it for the buzz, even those who aren't fans of the genre. People are weary of the remake/reboot trend so it's going to take something new to get audiences to come out. I don't think all this talk of black superheroes is happenstance. They want to sell tickets, and the best way to do it is to try something groundbreaking (or "controversial," depending on how you look at it.)

  • Deluge | October 20, 2013 7:41 AM

    Ultimate Nick Fury is black and was based on Samuel L. Jackson, hence him being cast as Nick Fury.

  • Haven923 | October 19, 2013 5:57 PMReply

    Idris Elba as Heimdahl and considered for James Bond, Blair Underwood as Ironsides, this guy as Johnny Storm, Steel Magnolia's part 2... Are there any original, compelling roles for black actors? -- beyond servants or slaves? Is that too much to ask? I'm pretty tired of seeing the black version of previously established white characters. Yeah, I get non-traditional casting but, c'mon! BTW, a blond Jessica Alba as Sue Storm with her blue contacts was pretty ridiculous already.
    4 minutes ago · Like
    Allen Luther Wright I mean, Jessica Alba in her blue contacts was quite enough.

  • dancelover51 | October 19, 2013 11:54 PM

    Viola Davis is in Cyber, and Enders Game. Octavia Spencer is in Snowpiercer. David Oyewelo(sp) has a plethora of original drama and sci-fi projects in development(he seems to the the man of the hour).

    Zoe Kravitz in Divergent. Lenny Kravitz in Hunger Games. Idris Elba has quiet a wide variety of projects.

    I could go on. Are there enough roles period for Blacks...Hell No. However, that cliche argument that we only play slaves and servants is tired and worn out and just not based in fact in 2013. We just overact when we are playing these roles because at one time that was the only option.

    Speaking of slave and servant roles, there is a VAST difference in playing a slave or servant where you are the backdrop versus where the story is from your POV. That makes films like the 12YAS, The Butler, The Help distinctly different from Amistad, Mississippi Burning et al.

  • Brittney | October 19, 2013 7:53 PM

    Interesting point...
    I am excited about these actors in these roles however :)

  • Adamu | October 19, 2013 1:16 PMReply

    I can see why fanboys would be angry. I don't blame them. Unless there has been a reboot in the comics to establish a new black Johnny Storm suddenly ramming a black Johnny Storm down people's throats doesn't seem right to me. People don't like it if a black fictional character is made white or 'lighter'and I don't see how this is different. I don't like both scenarios. I prefer creating and supporting black characters that were created that way from the origin.

  • Karl | October 19, 2013 6:17 PM

    But the film is a reboot. It's another persons take on the characters from the comics, like when another comic writer takes the reins from the previous author or artist -- based on your comment that this would be okay if their was president in the comics shows that you are okay in the comics insistence but not the films. Why is this? Josh Trank's fantastic four is his interpretation on the characters, not a remake of a certain graphic novel.

    Also, I don't think they should cast Kerry Washington, she's too established. Bring is a young actress and give her the chance to shine. It feels like jumping to the established Kerry Washington or Zoe Saldana casting is like saying, who are the safe black women that white america will be okay with. Create new stars is what I say.

  • Akil | October 19, 2013 5:28 PM

    Amari, there is a black spider-man

  • Amari | October 19, 2013 2:30 PM

    I think though that this leads to a reboot which can go from movie to comic book, rather than the other way around. I mean, must the comic books always lead the way? For I seriously doubt we will, anytime soon, see the Black spiderman pop up.

  • Meeee | October 19, 2013 12:03 PMReply

    Kerry Washington would not be a wise choice given the fact that she played Ben's (Thing) Girlfriend in the movies prior.

  • STORM's coming | October 19, 2013 4:35 AMReply

    Lots of folks will not be happy. It's hilarious!

    Congrats Michael if this is true

    I'd love for Kerry Washington to be the sister.

    But two black faces? Plus the character Kerry originally played in the last movie? Three possible black characters. That's too much of a risk for the studios to take. That high black to white ratio is reserved to slave movies.

  • jux55 | October 21, 2013 8:17 AM

    Lol...That high black to white ratio is reserved to slave movies...or corporate offices...or the wait? that would mean that whites are the minority...uhh..hmm..

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