When word got out that Michael B. Jordan was offically cast as the new Johnny Storm/Human Torch in the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, fans and critics alike all had something to say. Many of the franchise's die-hard supporters had a problem with the casting choice being African-American, but Jordan has decided to finally speak out, sharing his thoughts on the controversy in an eloquent open letter via Entertainment Weekly.
"It used to bother me, but it doesn't anymore," he started. "I can see everybody's perspective, and I know I can't ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books. But the world is a little more diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961."
After explaining that the film's director, Stan Lee, gave him the stamp of approval on his performance, Jordan briefly detailed the real premise of the film, and it's much deeper than what fans may expect. "This is a family movie about four friends — two of whom are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister — who are brought together by a series of unfortuate events to create unity and a team," he wrote. "That's the message of the movie, if people can just allow themselves to see it."
Going even deeper into the elephant in the room, the Fruitvale Station star brought up the element of race, saying that he was okay with carrying the brunt of the backlash once the future would be brighter for other actors of color.
"Sometimes you have to be the person who stands up and says, 'I'll be the one to shoulder all this hate. I'll take the brunt for the next couple of generations,' he wrote. "I put that responsibility on myself. People are always going to see each other in terms of race, but maybe in the future we won't talk about it as much. Maybe if I set an example, Hollywood will start considering more people of color in other prominent roles, and maybe we can reach the people who are stuck in the mindset that 'it has to be true to the comic book.' Or maybe we have to reach past them."
In concluding the piece, Jordan had a few words for Internet trolls whose sole intent remains to cause discomfort. "Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around," he wrote. "Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends' friends and who they're interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It's okay to like it."
Fantastic Four is set to to hit theatres on August 7, 2015.
Watch Michael B. Jordan talk about the true story of Oscar Grant and his breakout role in Friutvale Station in the video below.
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(Photo: Twentieth Century Fox / Marvel Entertainment / TSG Entertainment / Marv Films / Genre Films)
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