Thursday, May 2, 2013

More Marvel Movie News....

A couple odd rumours have popped up recently surrounding two Marvel movie properties, both of which could stir up some controversy.

Michael B. Jordan
First, the rumour going around is that Michael B. Jordan is up for the role of Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four reboot being directed by Josh Trank for Fox. The FF is still, like Spider-Man and the X-Men, a licensed property, meaning Marvel Studios is not making the film.

Jordan is an up and coming actor in Hollywood. He made his mark in the final few seasons of Friday Night Lights and the first couple seasons of Parenthood, before appearing in Trank's film Chronicle, which was a big hit. As a huge Friday Night Lights and Parenthood fan, I can tell you he is the real deal. I could easily see him becoming a movie star.

But, he's African-American, and here's where the controversy might spring from. Personally, I think you get the right guy for the part, who cares what ethnicity he is.

There are some roles where colour-blind casting doesn't work. Take when Captain America was being set up. There were rumours that Anthony Mackie or even Will Smith were the front-runners for Cap. Now, it's an interesting idea for sure. You could do an adaptation of Truth, the seminal and controversial Captain America miniseries where it was revealed that the super-soldier serum was tested on African-Americans before being administered to Steve Rogers. But if you want to do a classic Cap story, or if you want to create a coherent Marvel Universe, then the WWII setting pretty much dictates that Cap is going to be a white guy.

But, when it comes to Johnny Storm, a modern character? Have at it, I say. There were people who were incensed when Idris Elba was cast in Thor, because they thought the Norse God Heimdall shouldn't be black. I just thought those people had clearly never seen Idris Elba in anything, because if you have, and you have a chance to cast him in your movie? You do it. He's awesome.

Vaguely incestuous twins Quicksilver and
the Scarlet Witch
So, I'm all for this. Jordan would nail Johnny Storm. Also, this would probably mean (but not HAVE to mean) that Sue Storm could be played by an African-American woman.

The other bit of news is the hints that for The Avengers 2, Joss Whedon is planning to have two of Marvel's Merry Mutants, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, to the team. Whedon hinted earlier in the week that he was bringing a brother/sister duo to the team in the sequel, which can pretty much only mean Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. In the Marvel Universe, they're actually the children of Magneto, so how they're going to deal with that, as the X-Men are currently at Fox, is anybody's guess. Kevin Fiege, Marvel Studio's bigwig, won't confirm or deny the rumour, saying "the draft could change six months from now." He's right, and I'd argue that those two characters, divorced from their Magneto connection, is significantly less interesting. so, we'll see.

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