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.