Michael B. Jordan May Not Be Human Torch But He Was Up For The Role of Harry Osborn and Falcon.
Is it starting like Michael B. Jordan is a magnetic for anything that has to do with comic book movies?
Talk of Jordan suiting up as Jonny Storm in a Fantastic Four movie sparked a crazy wave of discussion regarding race, comic books and everything in-between early this summer. Just a recently he popped up in an Entertainment Weekly article when he was name-dropped by Spider-Man actor, Andrew Garefield, as a possible casting for Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker’s most infamous love interest, dancing around the idea of a Peter Parker that might fancy the same sex.
Garfield, being a fan of comics and directly involved in the industry, was well aware of the gossip and reaction surrounded the suggestion of Jordan as the Human Torch, so he stoked the fire that had since been latent…for now. Of course this was just a joke, although some fans reacted as if it was a declaration of war on our friendly neighborhood web-head.
Although Mary Jane was a bit of a long shot for Jordan, he says Harry Osborn wasn’t. The actor disclosed in an interview with The Daily Beast that he was up for the role before they decided to cast fellow Chronicle actor, Daniel DeHaan. Jordan says he’d “been in the conversation” and even read for the part of Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Could you see it? Jordan can. In the interview he went on to say, “With superheroes, a lot of those comics were created before the 1960s, so they weren’t going to have a black man save America,” he added “So I think it’s more of a continuity thing now. With more generic superheroes, why can’t you have a black, Asian, Hispanic actor play the role? Hopefully, in my lifetime, we’ll see more black superheroes.”
I gotta say there are quite a few characters with elaborate enough back stories that could be interpreted by any type of actor despite their race. But after the entire Human Torch debacle we’d probably be reluctant to see such things. Jordan certainly has the talent to play either role.
Still can’t see it? Maybe if you squint? No?
Okay well, how about Jordan as Marvel superhero and Avenger, The Falcon? The 26-year-old actor also divulged that he was in consideration for that role as well. Eventually they would cast Anthony Mackie for the role that will debut the first black superhero in the Marvel’s silver screen universe next year in Captain America: The Winter Solider.
Although the budding star didn’t land any of those roles, he still brings up an important conversation. Where are the superhero’s of color? Where are our female heroines? Where’s the diversity?
Right now we can count War Machine as the only active superhero of color. The last real non-white superhero we saw go solo was Blade, that was a while ago. Other than Black Widow and a few X-Men, the female heroes haven’t seen to much attention either. Granted there is a lot smaller of a roster to choose from, but they are still there waiting for their shot at the spotlight.
Maybe if we gave a little acknowledgement to the diverse set of heroes we already have, we wouldn’t have to contemplate the idea of changing the DNA of age-old characters.
If those opportunities are no where to be found, why not let a capable actor take on the role? As long as the creators of the content or source material have no words of discouragement, I welcome the idea. Hell, we just saw Johnny Depp as Tonto a well-known Naive American character from The Lone Range, Jaime Foxx was casted as Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Mr. Samuel L. Jackson is doing a great job as Nick Fury for Marvel and William Fichtner was just cast as Shredder, a Japanese character from the comic and upcoming film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Whether you embrace it or not, one thing is for sure, we need to be prepared for change. We need to be able to acknowledge or refute the idea with logic not hate.