Casting the Fantastic Four – he who casts the first Storm

Feature Andrew Blair 21 Feb 2014 - 06:16

Casting announcements for superhero movies always cause a lot of uproar, but maybe we should wait for the film itself...

The main cast of The Fantastic Four has been announced as Miles Teller (Reed Richards), Kate Mara (Sue Storm), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm) and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm). Initial reaction has not been favourable, however, initial reaction has arguably not been thoughtful either. The movie is already being assigned disaster status by some after only a debunked synopsis and initial casting.

The more pithily astute have observed that Kate Mara and Michael B Jordan are playing characters who are sister and brother in the comics, but are not of the same ethnic background. But surely the important words here are 'in the comics'. This is not the comic, it is a movie based on the comics. Can anyone honestly say that it makes any important, insurmountable difference to their existing relationship if one of them is adopted? Or from a second marriage? It changes absolutely nothing other than someone's skin colour, yet this still makes a statement.

Casting wise, putting a black man into an all-white American superhero line-up is a step forward. They're damned if they do and if they don't. Another white-liberal-on-white-neo-con-(untintentionally-homo-erotic)-action fest draws criticisms from equal rights campaigners, as does introducing only one non-white character when they have the chance for two. This is a fairer point, though it's not necessarily the 'one step forward, two steps back' token gesture people are making it out to be. Narratively, it's very easy to resolve, and it's better than no progress at all. It will depend on whether Johnny Storm's skin colour is treated as a big deal in the film.

It also, obviously, conflicts with the innate conservatism of some comic book fans, the kind who feel that young white men are under-represented in the superhero genre. Change is upsetting to this subset, as if any movie adaptation has to consist of a slavish but heartless recreation of the comic book on screen (there's a whole other debate to be had about Watchmen) or else it isn't pure and faithful, a way that things are or must be. This also involves a degree of projecting one's subjective opinion as being an objective one. My ideal Fantastic Four film is going to be different to everyone else's, and film-makers have to try to appeal to as wide an audience as possible – millions of different ideals. Obviously they will fail to some extent.

Also, relatively speaking, it's just some of the casting. It's not like they've released a synopsis saying they're going to be fighting Hans Moleman from The Simpsons, or a publicity image showing Doctor Doom riding a clockwork Pikachu into Stan Lee's nostril (though that film would doubtless find its audience).

Despite the mistaken outcries over Heath Ledger's casting as the Joker, or Daniel Craig as Bond, we keep birthing mini-Batflecks (savour that mental image). One thing that gets overlooked is that everyone involved in this cast is an actor. Actors, according to a passing street urchin I frequently consult, pretend to be other people who are not them. Auditions are involved. Any criticism that they don't look right (except that they kind of do), begs the question of how like The Thing people want apparently whiskerless youth Jamie Bell to be.

Regarding age, and the criticism that the cast are 'a bunch of kids' (to quote one Facebook commentator), the average age of the actors cast as the new Fantastic Four is almost 28.

In the original comics, Reed Richards was in his mid-20s when he became Mister Fantastic, with Ben being slightly older, and Sue and Johnny younger still (although, over the years, the chronology has become increasingly strained). So, actually, most of the cast are older than their original comic counterparts, with only Bell (he of the 14 years of acting experience in a variety of interesting roles) being potentially – not definitely - a few years shy of Ben Grimm's actual age. That's before you factor in the Ultimate Fantastic Four versions, who are younger still.

Variety has reported that the new film will be based on Ultimate Fantastic Four. If anything, the criticism should be that the cast are too old then, though that would still be nonsense.

Cinema is another medium of storytelling, which does not and should not exactly replicate comics. How could it? Consider the word 'adaptation', how it also has meaning in the context of evolution, how it necessitates change. Just because something takes liberties with its source material does not automatically mean it's going to be bad.

Some sager reactions have been that the film will live and die by its script, although that's always true for any movie. You could have your ideal cast in place but that doesn't matter if they're reading an Ed Wood script. Witness (or don't, ideally) I, Frankenstein – a film whose dialogue is sixty percent exposition – which has a good cast and special effects wasted on cack-handed crayon scribblings.

At the moment, we don't know the script or plot. So far all the synopses – even the rubbish sounding ones - are unconfirmed. Yes, The Fantastic Four reboot might be awful, and people will doubtless run screaming from the cinema crying tears of blood, but it also might be very good, perhaps a fun family film, or merely a bit shit. You simply can't tell at this stage.

Given all of this, is it really worth unleashing vitriol and assuming the worst?

You wouldn't glance at a gammy-looking baby and start flaming the youngling, based on an assumed adulthood you've invented for it, would you?

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If only one of the FF has to be black (and there is no reason why they shouldn't be) it should not be Johnny. In fact, making it Johnny is actually racist. Allow me to explain. The filmmakers had a few options. As two of the three human characters are siblings, the logical choices would be to a) make both siblings black, or b) make Reed black. If they went with either of these 2 opinions, the script would not have had to be changed in any way.

Instead, they decided to make only Johnny (the funny one) black. By doing this, they are saying that they don't want a black actor as the male lead, that they don't want two black actors, that they don't want a black actress playing the female lead, that they don't want the lovers to be of different races, & that they are willing to accommodate all of these prejudices.

In fact, all this casting shows is if one of the 3 has to be black, it can only be the funny one.

See how people would react if brad Pitt was blade and George clooney was black panther , and tell me tha race does not make a difference

When do the rights revert back to Marvel/Disney? I'm sorry, but the bar has been set impossibly high with Marvel's own adaptions that this just smacks of the studio being desperate to try something different but going too far wide of the mark. You have to remember that fans are reverent and precious of these characters.

Yeah, we all remember what a total disaster X-Men: First Class was, and that was a Fox rights grab too...

Can we say black man instead of 'person of colour' please.
Also, we know next to nothing about this film, I'll reserve judgement until we know better!

If they made Ben Grimm black people would complain he was going to be hidden in a rock costume, if they made sue black people would moan because it was the invisible one. If they made Reed black people would complain it was the boring one,Johnny is the most relatable character in the Fantastic Four and the most fun arguably the most important part to cast.
Maybe they ignored the fact that he is black and went for the best actor for the part, or maybe you're right and they're massive racists who wanted to give the message to the world that black people are just to be laughed at.

The obvious solution would be to have had a black Sue too, but apparently American studios are still skittish about having a mixed race couple (although weirdly they don't seem to mind if one of the characters is orange and made of rock).

I don't mind race changing an actor if it doesn't change the character too much. Eg Idris Elba is brilliant as Heimdall, because Heimdall was a bit one dimensional in the comics anyway, so Elba could make the character his own. Wasn't keen on a black Kingpin though because even though Michael Clarke Duncan was a great actor too, and there weren't exactly a lot of actors who could physically portray Kingpin, it fundamentally changed the character. Personally, I think its slightly patronising to black people to say "We couldn't be bothered coming up with any black character for you, so here's a white person you can play instead".

TBH, I'm not looking forward to this movie at all, so I can't say I'm particularly upset about this casting, but it does seem a bit ill advised. Fox and DC could really do with taking a leaf out of Marvel's casting book.

Or Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan for a recent one!

After reading comments over the fantastic four casting across a variety of websites, I can honestly say that I really despise the online community. To quote comic book guy:

"Last night's Itchy & Scratchy was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured I was on the Internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world."

We owe it to ourselves to give this film the benefit of the doubt as we have been proven wrong many times before on what we thought was the wrong casting decisions. A plot has not even been revealed yet and people are going mad about it. It's crazy. Remember when the first poster came out for X-Men:First Class and everyone was saying it was doomed to be the worst X-Men movie to date?

On the X-Men topic, this brings us to FOX. I have seen a lot of hatred towards FOX and Marvel films which till yesterday, I didn't even know existed. I personally think they have done a great job overall with the X-Men films and whilst some are worse than other (Origins, X3), we have had stand out films in X2 and First Class.

The cast, while not what some would have invisioned, have proven themselves to be very talented actors when given the right script. Michael B, Jordan is absolutely fantastic in Friday Night Lights and I am glad he has been given the opportunity of a big budget movie.

So until I see the first screenshots and the first trailer, I will sit back and hold my judgement. I wish the film all the success as the last thing I would hope for is for this reboot to miss the mark after the originals done the same thing.

Two words on this subject....Nick Fury.

in the middle of all this race discussion, may I tip my hat and applaud Jamie Bell. The lad has done well, I've enjoyed his performance every time i've seen him, Filth being the most recent and I can't help but feel he'd make a good Ben Grim, very different from Chiklis (who I thought did well in the Fantastic 4) but change is not always a bad thing (no pun intended)

"You wouldn't glance at a gammy-looking baby and start flaming the youngling, based on an assumed adulthood you've invented for it, would you?"

This is the internet. Of course they would.

This issue isn't about race, marvel did it with Nick Fury (great move in the comic's an film's) it's with all the irrelevant changes made by the studios who have bought marvel properties, that have no idea or respect for Marvels rich characters.

I'm a 42 year old black male who has been reading marvel comics since I was 8 years of age (34 years) and the FF was the 1st marvel comic I actually brought with my own money (parent's had brought me spidey comics and annuals).

The FF is a family, Sue and Johnny are siblings, Reeds sues husband and Ben is like an uncle and brother.

If they can find away to make this work by not following the original set up then why not (I doubt they will, the same way they didn't with the previous movies) but I'm very disappointed that I will never see a the FF properly portrayed on the silver screen :-(

There would be hell to pay if B.A Baracus was played by a white person. Don't tell me race doesn't matter.

Agreed 100%.

All I can say about this is Kate Mara is a hottie, always thought so, bloody good choice there. The rest... meh, any response I give will be walking the fine line between being racist or a self righteous douche. The guy is black... whatever. I'm sure his screen test was strong, they likely tested a lot of people, I have faith in the choice

My main issue is Jamie Bell. Billy Elliot aside I haven't really rated anything he's done.
hopefully he will surprise me. I'm not familiar with the rest of the cast to have any strong feelings about them.

Those complaining about a black actor replacing a white character from the comic books need to get over it. Adoption, step siblings foster kids, there are plenty of ways those 2 could be brother and sister. personally id go with just dont explain it and watch the message boards burn.

I am one not interested in teen F4 - i wont cast judgement till i see it but because of casting I'll wait till its on sky movies

I agree with @JustJay. I'm a Black man myself (also a comic book reader, mine has been Marvel since age 4, with deference to Green Lantern). The problem as I see it isn't necessarily race; it's more faithful adaptation of the source material. While I believe Michael B Jordan will make an excellent Torch, the writers will invariably have to retool the script to explain the presence of a Black man in a role that has traditionally been cast (drawn?) as a White man. The frustrating part about this is that as a comic book geek, I prefer that the movies based on comics resemble the comics they're based on. This makes it a more enjoyable experience. It's annoying when writers change this and that when adapting books or movies.

I will still reserve judgment until I see the movie. It can't be that bad.

Also… for those offering a parallel to Samuel L Jackson cast as Nick Fury, lemme say this: before he appeared on screen as Fury, the writers at Marvel doing the Ultimate version of Fury decided to use Jackson as a model. This made seeing Jackson as Fury easier to accept (at least for me).

another example of Fox not getting the Marvel Universe...Doctor Doom as a woman that's gonna be a pretty tough thing to pull off.

Is anybody else sick of all this casting outrage on the internet? Why can't we at least wait until a trailer has come out to decide if it will be crap or not.
Comic book films ALWAYS make changes to the source material. Why? Because comic books and films are different; they are made by different people and the markets are very different.
Watchmen was probably the most faithful adaption ever, pretty much panel for panel. And yet it was still a disappointment as the tone of the comics was absent completely.

might as well get fan feedback b4 spending money, its safer to check customer temperature b4 rolling out the product

That's a good point-if it worked. But has fan outrage ever changed a casting decision?

Oh dear me. This article is incredibly defensive and ridiculously biased in favour of introducing actors to roles who are physically out of kilter with the source material. DoG seems to suggest that it's genuinely wrong to criticise physical differences between comic heroes and their on-screen personas. Well... NO! Actually it is a perfectly valid thing to criticise. Would you be so defensive and/or accepting of a black superman for example? A female Santa Claus? A white Nelson Mandela? Look, it's simple. It has nothing to do with being small-minded or racist, it is everything to do with cherishing our heroes and wanting to see them realized in a way that respects the beloved source material. There is no need to imply that anyone disagreeing is small minded or racist. They are not.

Excellent point well made!

Two more words: David Hasselhoff !

well some actors get into ski accidents or the like sometimes..behind the scenes at Hollywood anything can happen

I really don't understand what the issue is. Wait and see. if it's a bad film it's a bad film...and also if twins can be born with different ethnicities (look it up) then it's not too much of a stretch to assume that a brother and sister can be

The studios are in a no win situation. If they make an all white film they will be criticised by non comic book fans for being out of touch with the modern era (I've seen the Avengers being criticised for not having enough diversity). If they introduce black actors the comic book fans say "none of these characters are black..this is outrageous".
End of the day Fox only wants to make money out of the FF. If they think a black actor will sell it better worldwide, they'll do it.

Haha. If you say so. Getting a bit conspiracy theory now. Not many people pull out of big blockbusters with injury. It's usually a "schedule" problem.

That actually makes sense

Some people should perhaps learn to read comments properly before responding. That displays at least half a degree of intelligence.

That makes sense too. You're both right. And maybe he'll be on fire the whole time, and race won't matter. But wouldn't that be racist? In the immortal words of Kel "aaaw, hea we go!"

And "I do I do I do, ooo!"

If we had to go through X3 to get there, is it really worth it?

teen F4???? im sure the actors are 29,27,27 & 26 not really teenagers anymore.

Not really a fair comparison. Sure it seems silly to change the race of a single main character. But when you have teams it is more difficult. Original X-men: all white. Fantastic 4: all white. Original Justice League: one green, rest white. Original Avengers (thor, iron man, hulk, ant-man and wasp): all white. It is 2014. These films are released around the world. No studio will make a film with so little diversity.

That's racist, mean, and hurtful!!! Apologize right now! Black panther is African!

He should be played by sharlto Copley.

Right, because white males are so under-represented in comics and movies.

It's "funny" how people are more upset with Jordan's casting than with Bell's..

Considering that Jordan was the only actor ever connected to the part and as far as we know there was never any other actor auditioned for the role how can you say that they just went for the best actor for the role?

The truth is that Jordan was mentioned as a choice for the role when the director got the job and the outcry against that insured that they could never cast any other actor, or at least any other race. I like Jordan as an actor and I have no issue with him playing the role, but the casting process for this movie was very poor.

I'm Cuban. I look black, my sister looks white. It happens.

With Cubans. With Americans... Not so much. But I like Michael b so I don't care.

These are fantasy characters. And what difference does it make what Johnny Storm's skin color is when he flames on? None at all.

Nelson Mandela is a real person, and leader of the struggle against Apartheid. You inclusion of him is asinine.

Not if it was RDJ. Would've been better in fact.

Again, explain to me how white men are under-represented in comics and movies?

So, you are comparing a comic book character to an actual historical figure and put making Superman black on the same level as whitewashing... okay.

That claim has nothing to do with the point made by the OP and is nothing but a blatant strawman.

The actors are not teens.

You are absolutely right.

It most certainly is not. Under-representation of people of color is central to the discussion. White audiences never see this as a problem because, like so many other obstacles in our society, it does not exist for them.

And, my god, if people are less invested in a fraternal/sororal relationship because the siblings don't share the same ethnicity or biological parents... it says a lot about them. I'm not only talking about fiction here.

To be fair, I can understand why people are upset about it. It really isn't a race issue it is more about how they changed the comic which was one of the most successful comics marvel produced thinking that they can do better. However saying that, we have no idea how they are going to play this. Maybe he's adopted? Hell maybe Sue was the adopted one? Or shock horror maybe no white actor wanted the role?

I was annoyed personally with the whole Mandarin thing being an Iron Man fan for about 20 years now, but looking back at it now I can see why it was done. I don't like it still but it doesn't bother me much anymore, I have a feeling that this will be the same. Lets wait and see.

Yeah, it made Wolverine Origins watchable.

To the discussion at large, possibly, but it is still unrelated to the point you were replying to. That point was related to the claim that race is irrelevant in these casting decisions, as so many claim. To that end making the point that it would matter if black characters were cast with white actors is a perfectly valid response, to then make it about the underrepresentation of a particular race only serves to prove his/her point that race does in fact matter.

Whether or not a particular race is over-/underrepresented is nothing to do with wether the portarayal of a character as one race or other is important. The OP was right in that portraying a traditionally white character as black is lauded and any point raised against it, be that point valid or not, is shot down with the claim that the character's race is unimportant. To say that "black people are underrepresented in media" is a valid response to the reverse action is bullshit. It is a valid point in the larger discussion of race portrayal and representation in media but it is not related to this point.

I don't have an opinion on a character in the Fantastic Four being black as it doesn't really matter to my life.

Does anyone know when there will be a new Blade film and would it only be allowed to be rated as 12a?

"That point was related to the claim that race is irrelevant in these casting decisions, as so many claim."

That is not true here. What this article says is "It changes absolutely nothing other than someone's skin colour, yet this still makes a statement." That's not the same as saying race is irrelevant, not by a long shot.

Smacks of American White Guilt. We blacks don't give a **** about the lack of colored people in movies.

Adopted, half-brother/sister, etc - I personally don't care. What I care about is the bound between them and their individual characterisations.

I grew up with the DCAU and thought for the longest time that Lex Luthor was supposed to be Black, yet I wasn't upset with John Shea or Michael Rosenbaum even though he's still my favorite incarnation.

AlsoI think if people had issues with the portrayals of the Mandarin and Sue Storm it was mostly because of their characterisations, acting and/or storyline. I don't think people had that much problem with Jessica Alba and Ben Kingsley on a race level because they are racially ambiguous enough to be *accepted.*

You don't know that Jordan was the only actor considered. That's a fabulation.

Speak for yourself.

Like I said in my comment "as far as we know". There was never any news of any other actors being considered or auditioned like there was for every other role in the movie and since his name was attached from before there was even any substance to the movie other than the name of the director, combined with the lack of other names in the public eye, it is pretty fair to say that it appears as if they never considered anyone else for the role.

To be honest I loved how Ben Kingsley played the Mandarin because he got the character spot on until the twist (which is the bit I don't like). The way he played the character was everything he was in the comics which is why he was good at it. Didn't have anything to do with how he looked, he just nailed the role. Which is why as I said above and what you're saying, it doesn't matter what they look like as long as the character is there. Hell he could be his fathers cousins brothers nephews former roommate! If he plays a good human torch then he was spot on for the role. It is all about the character.

I remember when people were complaining that Robert Downy Jr was cast as Tony Stark, funny how opinions change.

Which has what to do with the original comment?

The OP never said that their comment was in reply to that part of the article. They replied to a point made by many people that "race does not make a difference" with examples to back up that point. You then made it about the ratio of white people in movies thus completely changing the subject.

Like I said, you have a point in the larger context of the discussion, but your reply was unrelated to the point being made in the comment. The comment was a rebuttal to "race doesn't matter" by pointing out that it does. You are arguing that by saying that there are too many white people. These are two nnrelated points. They are both part of the same discussion but they are not the same point. To conflate the OP's claim that race obviously matters with the idea that there are too many of one race in media is changing the subject and setting up a strawman instead of answering the point.

Where did I say white men were under-represented?

No, it doesn't follow. You have no idea of what the the behind-the-scenes situation was behind the casting or the development of the film in general.

Of course, even if Jordan was always the director's favored choice, it still doesn't invalidate the choice.

"The OP never said that their comment was in reply to that part of the article."

Now THAT is what's bullshit. You keep shifting the target to justify your reactionary logic. The OP didn't specify he was replying to "a point made by many people," nor was his post a reply to another poster making such a claim. His post was posted in direct response to the article, despite your own straw man deflections.

That is what is intellectually dishonest here - parsing out possibilities of meaning so as to render any complaint if under-representation meaningless.

I never said that it did, any chance you could actually read my comments before putting words in my mouth?

My point was that saying that they went for the best actor for the role is a bit misleading when they APPEAR to have not considered anyone else. You'll notice, if you pay attention to what I write, that I use the word appear any time I mentioned the casting. The only time I didn't was when I made the claim that they would never have cast another actor or at least a white actor after the publicity surrounding Jordan's name being attached to the part. That much I feel comfortable stating as fact. Saying Jordan was the only choice I have never stated as anything other than an APPARENT happening.

And why is it so important to the film that white actors were considered for the part? Just asking.

He also didn't claim that he was responding to that part of the article, you were the one to quote it, you were the one to make that assumption.

You are the one shifting the target through reactionary logic. The OP brought up one point and you jumped onto another. The OP stated that race matters as shown by the hypothetical reactions to changing black characters to white characters and you shiftewd the discussion to "there aren't enough black people represented!"

OP's point: Race matters, if we shifted black characters to white characters this would be apaarent.

Your point: There aren't enough black characters.

See the shift there?

"That is what is intellectually dishonest here - parsing out possibilities of meaning so as to render any complaint if under-representation meaningless."

Rich considering that the OP brought up a valid point in the discussion and you try to make them look like an asshole by implying they support the imbalance of racial representation.

I never said race doesn't matter, nor did Blair. Why do you feel the need to lie?

I said that it doesn't present any storytelling problems. There's nothing about Johnny Storm that dictates that he must be white no matter what.

The difference it makes, as should be obvious by now, is to the audience.

As for Clooney playing T'Challa, well - having a white actor play an African Prince just MIGHT require some serious retconning, LOL.

Your comment begs the question. Is there some special need to make the A-Team all-white?

Blair never said race doesn't matter. He said "It changes absolutely nothing other than someone's skin colour, yet this still makes a statement." Not REMOTELY the same thing.

Blair was in a different thread, you idiot, and has nothing to do with this one, why should what they did or did not say matter to this discussion? You didn't say that race doesn't matter, this is true, however that was the point the OP was refuting and I never said that you did. Your refutation to that comment was "too many white characters" which has nothing to do with the OP's comment. This is why I replied to you, this is what the discussion is about.

In what way am I lying? I never made out that you said these things, whereas you keep claiming that I say things that I never even imply in both threads that you are spewing your BS over in reply to me.

The fact that it would take some retconning to the origins to justify a white African prince is a valid refutation to the idea, but the fact that it would take some retconning to have a black guy as the brother of a white girl isn't? Or do you think that just putting two people of differing races on screen and claiming them as siblings doesn't require any retconning to their origins?

Andrew Blair is the author of this article, genius, to which the OP "Jedibasswatson" was apparently responding to.

Never said "too many white characters." Not very many characters who are people of color, which is a very different thing. And it has everything to do with the OP's comment.

You keep trying to make this about what "other people" are saying, when you and I are having the conversation, and I never made the claim that race didn't matter - quite the opposite, in fact. Yet you keep misquoting me, That's lying.

"Do you think that just putting two people of differing races on
screen and claiming them as siblings doesn't require any retconning to
their origins?"

I said it didn't present any storytelling problems, to wit: Johnny and Sue are from a mixed-race family - they do exist, you know. I'm in one of them. Imaginary problem solved.

And who was the more successful choice, I wonder?

I was originally going to disagree with Den of Geek on this point but have decided to stand with them. Just because it's so "in the comics" should make no difference whatsoever to a big-screen adaptation. Why should we be slaves to the source material?

You want Johnny Storm to be black, so be it.

You don't want the "Storms" to actually be brother and sister, just to coincidentally share a surname, not a problem.

But why stop there?

I've always thought that Reed's powers were a bit weak. So, instead of the ability to stretch, how about he's now a wizard? A Ninja Wizard. A Cybernetic Ninja Wizard FROM THE FUTURE!!

And does there only have to be Four of them? I'm not saying we should retool the title. They can still be The Fantastic Four, but that's no reason why there should only BE 4 of them....is there?

So, as well as Reed "Mr Fantastic" Richards, the scientific-genius, time-travelling, spell-slinging part robot...who is also a ninja. Johnny and Sue Storm, the super-powered NON-siblings with totally coincidental surnames (please don't read anything into it, nothing to see here) and Billy Grimm, the brick-skinned ballerina from the northwest of England, I would also like Betsy Braddock. Psylocke herself. Woefully ignored in all the XMen movies. A labrador retriever with a jetpack and Optimus Prime (though He's now to be called Optimus Storm. Again just a coincidence, stop looking for conspiracies).

Oh,and to save screen time and budget, they no longer have to go into space and get caught in a Cosmic Radiation Storm (this Storm is, in fact related distantly to Optimus Storm but we don't have to worry about it as we're cutting it from the narrative) they get their powers after eating Chinese food that has past its sell-by date.

The obvious exceptions to this would be:

Psylocke. She's a mutant with a bit of genetic engineering thrown in.

Reed Richards. He's from the future. But not our future. A different future where all Cyborg Wizards are sent to Ninja Summer Camp.

Optimus Storm.He's an orphan transformer from Cybertron. After his parents death he was raised on a Cybertron Farm by his distant relative Cosmic Radiation.

The labrador retriever. He's just a labrador retriever. That he has a jetpack is neither here nor there. His name is Walter if you need to know. But not, let me be clear, Walter Storm.

We were proven right about XMen First Class. Anyone whoever bad-mouthed an Xmen movie was right. They've all been horrible. Except Frozen.Frozen was great. But I'm not 100% that Frozen is considered canon

I thought Blair was from the other thread, I apologise for that. The point that the OP never stated his point in response to the article still stands.

You never stated that it doesn't present storytelling problems, but you have stated twice that you did claim that.

Johnny and Sue being from a mixed race family is still retconning their origins. White Africans also exist, why doe sthis present storytelling problems when a mixed race family also existing doesn't?

The claim that non-white characters are undrerepresented can also be stated as "too many white characters". If there were not too many white characters then there would be no issue with representatation.

I have not once misquoted you. You keep saying that I am doing this and that I am misquoting you while you keep trying to twist my words and claiming that I say things that I have not said. Then you accuse me of lying. I say again: show me where I have lied (other than the Blair statement, which was a mistake I apologised for).

"You keep trying to make this about what "other people" are saying, when you and I are having the conversation, and I never made the claim that race didn't matter - quite the opposite, in fact."

I am not the one making this about "other people". I responded to your claim that the representation issue was a valid refutation against the point made in the OP. You are the one who keeps bringing in the authoe of the artical when the OP never claimed to be a response to the quote YOU provided.

You seem to have the opinion that you are right because you are on the side of racial equality and that I am wrong and therefore I am against it. This is not the case.

At the end of the day, whether or not any race is over- or underrepresented in media is irrelevant to the OP's claim that race matters and that it would be accepted as such if it were a black character recieving a race change instead of a white one. You set up the representation argument instead (which I have stated as a valid argument in the wider discussion and have not refuted in any fashion) and keep trying to hammer it home instead of addressing the actual point. Your one attempt to address the point made, that T'Challa is a different case because he is African, can be easily refuted with your own logic. Ergo, you have not refuted the original point but you have repeatedly attempted to derail it with a strawman all while calling me a liar which you repeatedly do without any evidence.

Well that escalated quickly. I get the point. Why adapt it in the first place if you are going to change stuff? But everything that moves from book to screen has small or big changes. If they make a film of Pride and Prejudice or Romeo and Juliet they have to change stuff from the source.Why? Because books, comics and films are different. You can do different stuff in a periodical comic than you can in a movie. The demographics of comic books and blockbuster movies are different.
FOX paid for the franchise and they only care about one thing; how much money they can make. They can do what they like with it. If you don't like it don't watch it. If they lose money on it they'll no longer want the rights.
Personally I want to wait and see the final film before I hate on it. If everything else is great, who cares? Is Johnny Storm being black as bad as Superman snapping Zod's neck? IMO no but loads of comic book fans would defend MOS until their dying breath.

Again, explain to me how that references in any way the point of this comment.

You are really fond of that little scarecrow you're carrying around with you, aren't you?

Because the original comment implies an equivalence that doesn't exist. "Race would matter if someone did the racist thing of casting Ross Kemp as B.A. Baracus." Well, quite, but what's that got to do with casting Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm?

"You never stated that it doesn't present storytelling problems, but you have stated twice that you did claim that."

Umm, check back, please. It's in the initial reply to your "strawman" comment: "It does *not* present a
storytelling issue. Mixed-race families do exist."

"White Africans also exist, why doe sthis present storytelling problems when a mixed race family also existing doesn't?"

T'Challa is a member of an indigenous African culture. White Africans are descendents of European colonists. But, really, I don't give a rat's ass about Black Panther - he was a stereotyped character in most of the comics I read as a kid, and it was embarrassing. Why call him "Black" Panther to begin with? Do we call Logan White Wolverine?

"I have not once misquoted you."

Yes, you have, repeatedly. Example: You claim I said "too many white characters" - in quotes. That's a misquote, Mr Editor.

So you're saying that race matters unless it's about white people?

The point made was "race matters" and was highlighted by pointing out that there would be an outcry if a black character was played by a white actor. This would be a response to the idea that it is fine to change the race of a character from the source material. In what way does the number of white or black people in media affect that point?

If the idea we are striving for here is racial equality in all areas then the idea of race swapping a character from black to white should be just as acceptable an idea as doing it the other way round. The numbers of each race represented is a different point altogether (one which I agree is an issue and should be addressed in the wider discussion). The fact that saying an originally white character should be kept white is no different from saying an originally black character should be kept black, yet doing so draws implications of racism, no matter if the reason you have for saying that is racially motivated or not.

Apparently you did, once again I apologise.

I never misquoted you. Show me where I claimed that was a quote from you. I was pointing out that your statement was essentially the same as saying something else. That is why it was placed within those marks, not because I ever claimed it as a direct quote.

What does T'Challa being indiginous in the comics have to do with anything? In the comics the entire Strom family was white, after all, if it's okay to retcon that then why is it not okay to retcon T'Challa's past? Why could T'Challa not have been found as a child and adopted by the royal family? Again, your own logic defeats your argument.

What's with the Mr Editor crack? I have edited one comment and that was only to remove a piece of profanity I realised did nothing to make my point. I have edited nothing else in this conversation. You are once again implying dishonesty on my part with absolutely no basis for it.

Much as I can sympathise with some people's frustration at negative responses to casting etc announcements before the cameras even start rolling I have to say I disagree very stongly with the general proposaition that people should wait until they see the finished film before airing their views (which is a sentiment that is also becoming increasingly commonly aired both on sites and in genre magazines). If you make an announcement, you're doing it for a response. Now, I'm sure we'd all love to think that all responses will be positive, but life isn't like that. So you should expect some negative feed back. If you don't want that, there's a simple answer - don't make any announcements. While I do think that some people go OTT in the level of negativity in their response, I don't think you need to have sat through the eventual film to be able to say that casting Jamie Bell as the Thing (to use an example) seems a bizarre decision. Similarly, I don't need to have watched very remake made in the last five years to say that I wish Hollywood would stop making them.

I'd argue that they make the announcements as we now live in a world where unofficial spoilers are inevitable. If they didn't announce it, some website would leak it.
Lots of casting choices seem bizarre at the time. I remember all too well the hatred for Heath Ledger and Daniel Craig as Joker and Bond.
So I disagree very strongly that people should have such negative views before they know anything else about the film. At least wait until you see a dreadful trailer.

" If only one has to be black?" Says who? Why not all of them?
it should not be Johnny? That is pretty discriminating. What if Johnny wants to black?
"2 of the 3 human characters?" I think you are confusing the Terrible Three with The Fantastic FOUR. Ben Grimm is as human as humans get and the thing might be a thing but he is still human. So that is pretty discriminating.
"They decided to make Johnny black"....I am not sure how to respond this except that this sounds pretty discriminating.
And as Big Dunc says "making any of the others black" would have prompted similar complaints.
There are many sides and possibilities to the whole casting process, your view is bit pessimistic

Allow me to repost my reaction on different site:

Johnny being black or white is not relevant to the story. His sister being a different color shouldn't be either (when he can flame on and she can become invisible skin-color seems especially irrelevant right?)
But unfortunately the world we live in does make it relevant.
So why not cast a black woman as Sue?
The positive answer :They did not look at skin-color (with any of the casting choices) and Kate Mara simply had the best audition.
The pessimistic answer: the studio thinks a female black lead (especially in relation a white male lead) will negatively impact the box office.
It raises the question if only casting the male sibling as black is token casting.
Let's say it is token casting. Is that a bad thing?
Yes, if it was only as a defense to accusations of not being diverse and or to attract a diverse public.
No, because we need to diverse!
Leaves the question "But how do you explain the different skin color of the siblings in the movie?"
My answer: "You don't"

In response to your mention of Watchmen, I still can't understand why people still make such a fuss over the movie as I thought it made the comic itself look good. The movie ending was much more palatable to me than the comic's ending.

You are right that there is no need in implying everyone disagreeing is small minded or racist.
However a lot of the reactions are small minded and or racist.
Casting a person of a different skin or hair color, age, physique, gender or sexual preference than the original character does not necessarily disrespect the source material.
Nothing wrong with a Black or Asian or Latin Superman, Santa Claus has a wife but you could easily switch their roles. A white Nelson Mandela sounds like a small minded remark to me.
Nothing wrong with cherishing your heroes , but there is also nothing wrong with changing things, especially skin-color , since the vast majority of these heroes are white males and therefore not representative for the world. If we would rigidly stick with source materials, we would also still have black man represented like Bush men with big red lips and earrings and I like to think that is something you also not want

What's wrong with Bell's casting? Is it the age thing? They are clearly going with the Ultimate Fantastic Four story line.

Thank you. I'm always surprised over casting uproars so it's good to know there are other sane people in fandom.

I was watching The Avengers the other day, and it struck me that none of the Superheroes are black.

I realise that they are not black in the comics, but this is because the comics are all very old and written in a time before racial diversity.

So, in this modern era of racial diversity, what's wrong with modernizing the characters a bit and make it more realistic for our day.

Is it realistic that none of the superhero's on our screen are black? No, it is not.

Batman
Superman
Green lantern
Spiderman
Thor
Iron Man
Captain America

Etc etc...

People moaning about the 'family' aspect of it all, you must realise that if they want, they can make them adopted.

I think it's a great thing that writers are mixing it up a bit for a more racially aware world.

if you were a young black child watching all these films, would you not question the fact they are all white? It cannot be that aspiring watching lots of white faces saving the World.

I am not concerned with the race of Johnny Storm, but I am not understanding the process which made the execs think that Jamie Bell would make a good Ben Grimm. Fox have just got a terrible record with their Marvel properties. 2 strikes already on FF and the X-Men franchise has become a convoluted mess. The casting is irrelevant as I won't be spending any money on this movie.

You can discriminate either way, but racism is not just about that, you need to take into context how it operates in our world and the effects it has - saying that you can be 'racist' to a white person in the same way you can be racist to a black person reveals a real lack of understanding of that. We don't live in a post-racial society where everyone and everything is actually equal in the first place.

Changing the few black comic or action heroes from black to white is problematic because there are so few of them out there and white people always get preferential treatment and exposure, and this would only make that situation worse.

Firstly, I never said that being racist to a white person is the same as being racist to a black person. However, yes you can. The effect may be different but that does nothing to change the intent of the racism. Yes, black people suffer worse and more frequent racism, but to imply that white people should just accept that it's okay for people to attack them on the basis of that is not how to solve the issue of racism. Racism is the hatred of a person on the grounds of race, it doesn't matter what that race is, it is still racism and it is the same no matter the source or target. If we are looking for equality between the races then it must be either equally okay or not okay to be racist to any race.

By the same token, race switching, whichever way it goes, has to reflect that equality. If it is okay for Johnny Storm to be black then it must be okay for B.A to be white. After all, the race of the character did nothing to define the character. His race was unimportant to his identity, therefore his race shouldn't matter. To say it does is to give preferential treatment, which does not promote equality. What you are stating is that race is an important issue for all races except for white people. You are saying that white people do not matter because they happen to be in the majority. That, in itself, is racist. You are implying that my cultural heritage is worth less than that of my black neighbour despite everything about us being equal except our racial background.

The way to stop the imbalance in racial representation is to promote more representation for non-white characters, not to take away white characters arbitrarily.

(Disclaimer: I have no issue with a black actor playing Johnny Storm. I do have an issue with his sister being white, but that is story related and unimportant to this discussion. This thread started because I have been having the same argument with Philip Lozano elsewhere which he started with the exact same comment and failed to back up his with anything more than that statement before making it again.)

Racism is an important issue for all races, yes, but they can't all assume their experience of it is equal.

Needless to say, I disagree that racism is the same no matter the source of the target because we don't live in a post-racial world where everyone is actually on a level playing field. You and your 'black neighbour' should be equal but are not and pretending your 'cultural heritages' are the same is ignorant. If you're making one of the few black comic book characters/action heroes there are white it's taking part in a racist society which under-represents people of colour, silences black voices, tells stories of black people/characters through white narratives, etc. These are cultural trends that have and still happen all the time, and making a white character black has no equivalent to that.

In the case of B.A, who's race was never a thing in the show, how would making him white be silencing a black voice? Removing a black character, yes, but he never said anything distinctly "black" to begin with.

I never said that my heritage is the same as that of my neighbour, nor did I say that it should be. However to say that his heritage is more important than mine is both ignorant and highly insulting. My heritage is just as important to me as any black person's heritage is to them. Just becasue my great grandfather wasn't whipped into free labour does not mean that my heritage is less important. That is another example of false equality and special treatment.

The bottom line here is that by saying that white characters should be allowed toi be portrayed as other races whereas non-white races are not is not saying that there should be more non-white characters, it is saying that there should be less white characters. Again, you are not promoting equality, you are promoting an anti-white stance being portrayed as equality.

I'm all for more non-white characters, I just don't see how insulting white people's heritage does anything to achieve equality.

I find reactions to casting announcements childish honestly. Fans act like their family member or best friend wrote these heroes and then they fan cast (which is pointless, you know they're never going to happen.) When they happen they go nuts and act like the entire world has ended, the castings of Batman vs Superman were prime examples of this. Come on people, they are actors, they use their faces, bodies etc as instruments to inform a character and make us believe that they are really that fictional or real person.

What the hell are you on about? So what if you're heritage is important to you? Massively off-topic. Ku Klux Klan place a lot of import on their heritage too.

You're ridiculous.

Not off topic at all. Jonathon's comments implied heritage was the defining factor in this discussion and that black people's heritage was more important than white people's. My point was that, while their heritage may have more pain in it, the heritage of one race is no more important than the other.

Your Klan reference is idiotic. The last time I checked they were not a race but a sub-culture. My point is that just because black heritage contains terrible things it in no way validates the idea that racism against white people is any less problematic in terms of equal treatment as being racist against black people. My point is that, in order to attain equality, we must be equally disapproving of all forms of bigotry. My point was that equality means not giving anyone special treatment based on their heritage or numbers.

Try taking the time to understand what you read instead of just reacting to it; it may help you come of as less of a tool in the future.

Thanks for the tip. Try being less stupid and it may help you to come across as less stupid in the future.

Your debating skills are horrendous. You digress into irrelevant points at every opportunity. So what if the Klan are a sub-culture not a race? That has no bearing on what we were discussing.

Nobody is saying that black people's culture is more important to them than some white peoples' culture is (the Klan included - they take real pride in their white culture). Why you are fixated on this is beyond me.

Pretending that racial equality is achieved by white people ignoring the disadvantages that other races have is pathetic. If you're that wilfully ignorant then there is no help for you, and no point in discussing anything with you on this issue.

It would be a problem because regardless of how much race may have informed the narrative or whatever, he a massive African-American icon in a culture that was (and still does) under-represent people of colour. If you remade that and made him white I think there would be a massive outcry, and it wouldn't be the same thing as what's going on here because that context matters and makes a difference. It's political, it sends a message, intentional or otherwise.

As I've said before, your idea of equality assumes that we are all on a level playing field and that the way one race may respond to something like this should and will be the same as another.

Where did I say that white people should ignore other's disadvantages?

The point was that racism is racism, no matter what race it is directed toward. Jonathon's comment placed more importance on black people's culture in that racism affects them more. My point was that, while racism may have more of an effect on a black person it is still racism if directed at a white person. I was pointing out that equality is not achievable if we accept that it is okay to be racist toward any race, even if that race is white.

How have I fixated on the culture point? I made a point in response to Jonathon and the furthered clarified that point when it was brought up in a reply to me. That is not fixation, that is continuing the discussion.

Please tell me which point I made that was irrelevant. You're the one who keeps bringing up the KKK. How proud they are of being white is irrelevant. The fact that they have a heritage is not. That heritage may be deplorable, but it is still important. It is fine to insult them for their racist views, but to insult them and ignore their opinion simply because they are white is a different issue altogether. My point in the discussion was that people should be held to account for their views not for their heritage, my point was that your race does not affect whether or not you are racist.

White heritage does not in any way equal racism, many white people are not racist but can still be proud of where they came from. The Irish people did not own black slaves and have no cultural bias toward any other race (the English don't count as a race either), yet they can still be proud of their heritage which is a white heritage.

What you are implying is that in order to be equal we should ignore the rights of white people. This helps nothing. In order to be equal all people should be treated equally. To say that it is more acceptable for a non-white person to be racist toward white people than the other way round is not equality, it is special treatment.

That said, please feel free not to discuss this with me. You have made no relevant point so far, if you intend to continue in the same fashion it might be for the best.

No, my idea of equality is that we SHOULD all be on a level playing field. My issue is that your idea of equality assumes that in order to achieve a level playing field we should treat people differently.

We don't live in a post racial society, like you say, but we never will if we keep up this attitude of "it's okay to insult someone because they are of race X."

I in no way meant to imply that white people suffer racism as much as other races, my point was simply that insulting or disrespecting someone for being white is still racism. The fallout of it may not be as extreme, the effect on the individual may be lesser than it would in a non-white person, but it is still racism. The end point is different but the start point is the same. It is still racially driven hatred and if we accept it against ANY race then we cannot achieve equality. Equality is not "it's okay to insult that guy because there are more like him on TV," equality is saying that all people are the same and to deride another for their race is unacceptable, no matter what that race is.

So really what your arguing when you boil it all down is that we shouldn't be upset because the casting is utterly awful, but isn't it great that the film makers have taken the opportunity to rewrite/fix the source material so its more pc while completely ignoring the original source material. There are many absolutely brilliant black characters at Marvel. Some have even been members of the Fantastic Four. Black Panther and Ororo Monroe to name two very prominent members. But you know simply because your saying that I'm being racist is missing the point. Not one of the actors/actresses for this film is well cast. They are all utterly badly cast for this movie. Its almost like Fox is determined to crash and burn the property so they won't give back a viable movie franchise to Marvel when this film bombs. As much as I don't like the stunt casting so that it will get all us fanboys complaining online and giving column inches to the film the truth is my hatred of the casting is even worse for another member. Billy Elliott as Ben Grimm? Jesus Wept!!! I own one of the largest online comic websites and a reasonably sizeable UK comic shop based in Cardiff and I can honestly say the stench of pure stupidity and desperation is absolutely reeking from this movie. Some of my favourite superhero stories growing up was the Fantastic Four but this time I won't be seeing the film at the cinemas. I'll even wait until its second hand on Blu Ray before I purchase the film for my collection. I am so very very insulted by everything we've heard about this movie. And I feel agrieved for and on behalf of the original creators who have to bear the stigma of their intellectual property being used as a political football by rival film studios who don't care about what they do.

Exactly, it gets pretty tiring to only see black people as the sassy best friend, a thug, a sport scholarship kid or the mean girl #3 - and every time the studios change it up a bit you get some big backlash...

"What does T'Challa being indiginous in the comics have to do with
anything? In the comics the entire Strom family was white, after all, if
it's okay to retcon that then why is it not okay to retcon T'Challa's
past?"

You conflate the two when as if they are two equal propositions, which they are not. To make T'Challa a white founding by an African monarch brings in all the politics of neocolonialism that has dogged the fantasy genre since Tarzan, i.e. the white man's burden of ruling over the inferior indigenous folk. Plus, you whitewash and remove one of the few black superheroes of note.

Conversely, there is no indigenous white culture in America. The only thing you risk by making Johnny Storm black is alienating fans who feel that representation of minorities somehow infringes on the vast privileges that white people enjoy.

The editor crack refers to the grammatical rule that putting quotes around something you claim someone else said indicates a direct quote. You "quote" me repeatedly in this fashion concerning things I said that you reworded (or "edited") to make them mean what you wanted to mean. That's misquoting.

I don't particularly care either way as I don't care to see a FF movie irrespective as to who plays what character. However the contributor doesn't know his FF mythos very well. Reed Richards (along with his buddy Ben Grimm) was a World War II veteran. That means that originally the character was closer to 40 years of age when FF issue 1 was published in 1961. The difference in age between Reed and Sue Storm was originally at least a decade.

I'm not at all bothered by the race change with the Human Torch (Marvel did it with Heimdall and Nick Fury, and that just made the movies better, because if you can add Idris Elba and Samuel L. Jackson to your movie, you should), if they can provide a decent explanation of the racial difference between him and Susan I'll be satisfied. Hell, they may not even be related in this version. Frankly I'm more concerned about casting Jamie Bell as The Thing, because he just does not fit the character at all.

Even though I love the director because Chronicle was effing awesome, I just think this entire movie is a bad idea, mostly because I've always thought the Fantastic Four were a bit rubbish as a team. The only one I actually like is The Thing, and Reed Richards is my least favourite comic character of all time, because he's a d*ck. He went from being mildly annoying to a full on, colossal, self-righteous prick in the Civil War arc, and I've hated him ever since.

Totally agree with you on this one. The argument was never about race or the ability of the actor.

> The point was that racism is racism, no matter what race it is directed toward

The problem is you're using a massively reductive definition of "racism" which is of little use to anyone and ends up wilfully ignoring the very real problems of minorities. What we're talking about is the systematic oppression of minorities due to skin colour. If you were to cast a white person as B.A.Baracus it wouldn't be because black people were so overrepresented in positions of power in Hollywood and the media that they could afford to do that, it'd be because some rich white dude was being an ignorant asshole. It's not symmetrical because the distribution of power isn't symmetrical. Any attempt to draw an equivalence is just semantic horseshit.

So what you're saying is that you'll still be buying it, and still be watching it?

Yes, I remember reading references in the early comic books to Reed and Ben fighting in WW2, sometimes with Nick Fury - but obviously as the comic continued into the 70s, 80s, 90s etc. those elements were retconned out otherwise Reed would have been over 80 by the turn of the century.

Hell, I remember when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman, and fans had to be shown his performance in Clean and Sober to demonstrate that he had the acting chops for the role.

Let's face it,the vast majority of audience members who will go to see this will not know anything about these characters anyway. They might know some things about Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the Hulk - these are all deeply ingrained in the public consciousness. But the FF? The public will accept whatever they're shown.

Is that why the supposedly "ugly" Mary Jane was dropped from ASM2?

not talking about the actors! im talking about the plot!

"'The Fantastic Four’ will tell the story of two very young friends, Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. After an event transforms the boys, they find themselves empowered with bizarre new abilities. Reed becomes a scientific genius who can stretch, twist and re-shape his body to inhuman proportions. Ben becomes a monstrous, craggy humanoid with orange, rock-like skin and super strength. However, the two end up being owned by the government and used as weapons. But after they mature, two others with powers come into the picture – Sue Storm 'The Invisible Girl' and Johnny Storm 'The Human Torch.'”

see what I said above! I could be wrong about the plot but hey!

I for one am not happy about it..I'd rather Reed be black than Johnny..why couldn't that be the "one step forward"..and having a rather small statured Ben Grimm is disappointing. it only sets up for a digital "hulk-esque" Thing. they are starting from the basement on this one for me

I don't know? Maybe. Or maybe they decided with Electro AND Green Goblin AND Rhino there were too many new characters already in the film. Or maybe it was a bit of both. Who knows?

The director already disavowed this plot synopisis, but who knows? Being that actors pushing thirty playing teenagers really isn't a thing anymore, I doubt we'll be seeing much of them as boys.

The thing that does bother me is the notion of Reed's intelligence being a "bizarre new ability," as it were. Scientific genius is a real thing, not a superpower.

Well put. It also brings up the problem of racial ignorance--and sadly outright racism--that's present in some fans of comic books, but that's another story for another time.

Like you said, it's the 21st Century. Some of these comics were created before the time of racial diversity (but to be fair, the comics often added in well rounded minority characters), and if you are making a film based on these comics today...you have to keep that in mind. It cannot just be "clean, white and al'right". Besides, I have no problem with these actors. Why not wait until the film comes out and we'll see how it all goes?

Besides, it cannot be any worse than the Roger Corman FF film...

I remember my friend and I having a very heated discussion about the Mandarin in IM3...he HATED it, I didn't mind it at all.

We're still friends though!

"I remember when people were complaining that Robert Downy Jr was cast as Tony Stark, funny how opinions change."

Yep. Toss in Heath Ledger as the Joker, Daniel Craig as Bond, and Idris Elba as Heimdall in THOR....

Not that I've seen...on the contrary, at least to me, it's made fans look petty and mean--and sometimes racist.

"I will still reserve judgment until I see the movie. It can't be that bad."

Agreed. And it can't be as bad as the Roger Corman film...now THAT was horrible.

There was also some outrage when Kerry Washington was cast as Alicia Masters in the first Fox FF films...and then there were the outraged comments that followed Jamie Foxx's casting as Electro. I damned near thought I was reading minutes of a KKK meeting.

You sounded fine to me.

And frankly, racists are self-righteous douches (in my book, anyway).

Yeah, but the shitstorm that greeted Idris' casting as Heimdall disgusted me. Good call on Duncan as the Kingpin; he definitely fit the role, even if his skin color was different.

Yeah--a Sikh character who was played by a Spanish actor in the original TREK and in THE WRATH OF KHAN...

...Just saying...:)

In all seriousness, though...I didn't mind Cumberbatch's casting as Khan. I rather liked him in the film. Besides, if people were getting worked up about his race and the race of the character he was playing, they should have also focused on Ricardo Montalbahn's race as well. They didn't.

I was going to reply, but couldn't have said it any better than Mr Beef. I doff my cap to you sir.

So many people posting here who haven't even seen Michael B Jordan in Chronicle. Watch Chronicle, and tell me with a straight face that he'd be seriously be better at Reed than Johnny. He's such an obvious choice for Johnny, he's got the wit and light-hearted love of life down perfectly. It's basically just a rerun of his character from Chronicle.

And I don't see why people are talking about 'which character could be black', as opposed to talking about individual actors. It's not like Jordan is an unknown or anything - hell, he just starred in a great superhero film only a couple of years ago. I just don't see how you could watch that film and come away thinking that he wouldn't make a great Johnny, let alone that he must have been cast only because the races were preset. They've changed the races to fit the actor, not the other way around.

I don't mind really i think there all a bit to young for the roles. i would have thought the would get a Reed that was in his late thirties.

Brilliant, just brilliant.

No, I'm using the definition of racism. The oppression of a race of people due to skin colour is - wait for it - oppression.

The issue here is that you are conflating the effects of racism with the fact of racism. My point is that it is possible to be racist to any race. I have already said that I agree that white people suffer it less than other races, but it still exists. To say that it doesn't is just stupid.

If I were to call Barack Obama a racist slur, I would not be oppressing him. I'm a few thousand miles away and have a fraction of a percentage of the power he has, there is no possible way I could oppress him. I can stuill be racist toward him, though.

Racism may be at the root of much oppression, but the two are not synonymous. Look toward the English for a perfect example. The English oppressed pretty much everyone at one point or other, including the Irish. Where does racism fit into oppression when it's white on white? It doesn't because it is seperate from it.

Racism is the belief that one is inferior due to their skin colour.

Oppression is to treat in an unjust or cruel manner.

They may cross over , but they are not the same thing.

[Since my comments on this topic keep getting removed from the thread I will not be bothering with it anymore. Feel free to reply, but don't expect a response as I can't be bothered typing if it's not going to be left up.]

Those marks can also be used to show speech from another source other than a direct quote. If you looked at my statemnet in context it shows quite clearly that I was not quoting but making a point.

To claim otherwise shows either your dishonesty or inability to comrehend the written English.

[Since my comments on this topic keep getting removed from the thread I will not be bothering with it anymore. Feel free to reply, but don't expect a response as I can't be bothered typing if it's not going to be left up.]

"I don't mind race changing an actor if it doesn't change the character too much."

How the hell does skin colour change the character?

Skin colour doesn't change a character, but people from different races do come from different backgrounds. For example, when they were talking about a Captain America film, one name that kept coming up was Will Smith. Will Smith is a good actor, but a black guy growing up in 1930's America is going to have a much rougher time of it to a white guy.

If they had cast Will Smith, and ignored this fact, then there wouldn't really have been any point in casting a black actor. If, on the other hand, they tackled it, then they are making a significant change to the background of the character and his motivations to become Captain America.

By palatable you mean much less interesting and clever?

If they aren't going to be loyal to the source material they shouldn't bother making it at all PERIOD, anyone who says otherwise is NOT a Fan. PERIOD.
If Johnny has to be Black then so does Sue. They are Blood Siblings. Neither one of them are or have ever been adopted or from a second marriage so people can just STFU about that,
Also jamesthemod Batman, Superman, Thor, Iron Man & Captain America have never been black. Green lantern & Spiderman on the other hand I wouldn't mind as both have actually had/have Black Versions of the character.

But these are films adapted from comic books, not historical documentaries. No reference has to be made to skin colour if everyone can just accept it and move on. In the words of the great Morgan Freeman “How are we going to get rid of racism? Stop talking about it!”

Here, let me carry that chip for awhile. Just because you're black Dave, you dont have the monopoly on opinions about the race of characters in films

Jessica Alba is half mexican, Chris Evans is white. My point is who cares?

And how god-awful were both of those movies again? Two of the All-Time Worst Comic Book Films ever.

Personally, I think that a black Ben Grimm would have been terrific. If Sue and Johnny aren't sister/brother, then it's not a F4 film.

They were awful indeed, but i dont think that had anything to do with the fact that Jessica Alba is clearly mixed race

Only dropped in to point out that there IS a black Green Lantern. They just didn't make a movie about that one. Considering how badly the last one did, however, maybe we'll see him in a JLA movie...

I thought it was the opposite - it indicated they'd go for a bodysuit. Why else would you cast a skinny actor?

This is a really bad argument, you watched the Avengers and realised none of them were black? ....... ok so how many were Asian? how many were Latino? how many were Middle Eastern? shall I go on?
The characters are and should be represented as they are in the 40+ year history of comics because they are the characters we give a damn about, also your missing a huge point, there are black avenger characters, Falcon and Black Panther, if your so concerned ask Marvel (which they already are) to put them in future movies, I for one will not be buying the new Fan 4, they are not the Fan 4 I know and thus I don't care about it.

People using the argument that in 50's black hero's wouldn't sell so they didn't make any are just plain blind and are looking for excuses, that initially may have been the case sure, but does that mean black characters have not been written in the 50+ years since then? no it doesn't, there are black characters so use them, don't change the core of a character we all know and love and expect us to swallow it, the fact that Fox didn't make Sue black just show's how gutless and empty this gesture is, what's wrong can't have a black woman with a white Reed Richards? pathetic ........ and where are the Latino, Asian characters then? or do Fox not care about that demographic?

Well if you cannot except change i feel sorry for you. This could end up being a great film, and you will never know.

Did you also decide not to see Man of Steel due to Lawrence Fishburne playing Perry White? Because i can tell you, it made no difference.

I do not undertand why it would upset you so much. A good film is a good film, does it really matter if they mix it up a bit for a modern age?

Thank you Peter_Quim exactly what i was thinking, why not keep the Storm family canon? They are not only siblings but twins, why not cast twins?

I think the problem relies not in the comic/movie transition but in the company behind the project, we all know that Fox has failed consistently on the super hero movie adaptions, Has Marvel failed with Hulk (second one, ok first was a flop no one is perfect). Avengers, Thor or Ironman? Almost a No, Sony has made good with Spider-man but sagely considering how much they deviated from the origin core they rebooted and re-started again. The fault is in those running the show behind the scenes, saying let's make it more cultural diverse or controversial not because they want to explore the phatos* of the comic but to get more money!

Everyone talks Watchmen, to that: one is DC comics ground therefore non-appliable because we are talking Marvel. and two: It's a rated M reading that requires two, three even seven readings to understand completely, the same with the movie (even with the changed ending, both deal with the same existencial monologue from Dr. Manhattan, besides comic book ending wouldn't had had the same impact as the one in the movie)

I would like to talk Marvel Universe movies. Iron Man for example, first glimpse we see of Fury? comic book readers didn't say hell no, that's a black guy. they said hell yeah! Samuel [censored] L. [censored] Jackson. and the talk afterwards was in the lines of: "ain't no one else better suited to" -pause for effect- "represent the Nick Fury of the comics." Idris Elba, great actor, excellent portrayal of Heimdall in both movies, now the comic fans want him as John Stewart/green lantern. both great choices by marvel not only because they wanted diversity, but because they portrayed the character and added their own strenght and iconic image to it. (Loki for example, the comic Loki now looks like Hiddleston)

Now that i have bored the glancers and angered the bloggers. I'll make my point. Both Storms** should have been African American Twins (or good look a likes to pass as twins), or arabs or latinos, or whatever ethnic group the executives wanted to appeal to, but "twins" "siblings" "same effing ethnic" they should have been screened and auditioned to prove their capability to represent the role to which they will commit for (if their greedy paws manage it) three movies. Not just because their name cause such controversy we have to keep it! Or as Peter_Quim well said, why not make the leads be of a different ethnic? why not Omar Epps, Denzel Washington or Cuba Gooding Jr. as Reed? why not Terrence Howard or Gary Dourdan*** as Ben?

Because they (FOX) don't plan ahead as Marvel Studios does, they just go for the "BAM" factor, they disregard or misuse the several Marvel editors and advisors at their dispossal and go with the market group polls that promise "big bucks!" because it worked before. The original FF movie worked because it had that chemistry with Ben and Johnny. Reed and Sue were flat boards on screen (ok, ok, J. Alba was boob board)

I will leave you with a small story, While recording X-men, Brian Singer told the cast to stick to their scripts and not to read anything related to the X-men, because it would ruin their acting, Hugh Jackman disregarded this order. bought himself a lot of Wolverine comics and how many times has he been cast to be Wolverine?

* Word learned from "deadpool kills the marvel universe" *wink* they do teach stuff! *wink*

** Fun fact to insta-bore in a party: The surname "Storm" is from norse origin, google if you don't believe me,

*** Both have green eyes, The thing is known also as "The Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing" why not change it to Green-Eyed?

I hope this is not a true plot synopsis tbh as it will just be lame! they are all good actors and it would be a shame.
Jamie Bell is such an under utilised brilliant actor that really shouldnt be in this film as ben if you ask me - I do think he has been miscast.
And with that it makes me question the others tbh

Reductive reasoning. Argument null.

It was less silly, but no less clever.

I really don't think you're up to date with science if you think it was 'silly'. I think perhaps you are oblivious to the subtle nods to the ending throughout the novel that made the money shot 100% pay off. I'd be more forgiving if Snyder had at LEAST retained the streets of bodies motif. That is the best collection of pages ever.

I get that you think you are right, that's cool, just so long as you know you're actually wrong.

What does that even mean, "mix it up a bit"? If I watch a film called the Fantastic 4 then I expect it to be an adaptation of the comic book, if it is not then why would I care about it? If you change the characters your destroying the whole history of that character thus it is not a reflection of the comic book, I also feel the tokenism of this gesture is pretty insulting.

If it bothers you that much, then fine.

Its the same character who now happens to be black. Who cares?

Romeo and Juliet is a shakespeare classic that was modernised for the modern world. Did you also have issues with that?

How about the new Great Gatsby film that featured lots of RnB and Hip Hop? Was that bad?

Get over it ok, things will always change and evolve to reflect our time.

Ad hominem, argument nullified.

What a massive tawt

Aw... Poor lamb.

By changing Johnny Storms ethnicity you are changing his identity thus erasing the character as we know him, which = Not Johnny Storm.
If its not J.Storm it may as well not be the Fan 4 and fans who watch these movies to see a film adaption of the actual comic characters are not going to give a damn about the film and rightly so.
Take Wolverine for e.g if he's made Japanese and not American you erase that whole section of his history where he fled to the Canadian forests = Not Wolverine.
I'm up for diversity because that means introducing more characters, its a disservice to the actual black hero's we know and love to not bring them on film but instead turn a white guy, black who has no history at all.

The great thing about being me is that I'm not you, Pumpkin.

I've got a new reply! Exciting, exciting, exciting!

Oh.

Gotta have the last word ey?

Irony feedback loop, engage!

See, told ya!

I can see your point, it is playing to a stereotype and a far more radical move would have been to cast a black actor in the Reed role. The smart scientist. If Jonny is black, surely they should have cast a black actress to play Sue?

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