Josh Trank reveals he pitched a Black Sue Storm in Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four with Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Miles Teller. © 2014 Marvel & Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
Fantastic Four with Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Miles Teller. © 2014 Marvel & Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. /

Fantastic Four director Josh Trank revealed what happened to his pitch for a Black Sue Storm.

The 2015 Fantastic Four movie was robbed of something that could have been truly incredible (or… fantastic). The director of the movie, Josh Trank, revealed that he pitched an idea to have Sue Storm be Black in his take of the comic book series.

In the original comics, siblings Sue and Johnny Storm are white. And in the 2015 version of the movie, Kate Mara ended up playing the character alongside Michael B. Jordan, who played Johnny Storm. (While they are siblings, they of course, weren’t siblings in the biological sense. In this adaptation, Sue was adopted.) And their father, Dr. Franklin Storm, was played by Reg E. Cathey.

Speaking on the casting, Trank told Geeks of Color in an interview (as pointed out by Variety) that it was his plan to have the Storms be an entirely Black family. He said in the interview:

"There were a lot of controversial conversations that were had behind the scenes on that. I was mostly interested in a Black Sue Storm, a Black Johnny Storm, and a Black Franklin Storm. But when you’re dealing with a studio on a massive movie like that, everybody wants to keep an open mind to who the big stars are going to be. “Maybe it’ll be Margot Robbie,” or something like that. When it came down to it, I found a lot of pretty heavy pushback on casting a Black woman in that role."

The movie notably turned out to be nothing short of disastrous. Not only did it make a dismal return in the box office (making $59 million in the U.S.), but it was also met with negative reviews from both critics and audiences. In a recent interview, though, Trank did acknowledge the failure of the movie, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “What I tried to do with Fantastic Four was so arrogant for somebody who hadn’t really gotten the handle of his own skill set as a filmmaker to do that kind of stuff with it.”

While the film is surely in need of a re-doing, perhaps the only good thing is that whatever Black actress that would have been cast saved herself from being a part of this film. (Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but when a movie’s not good, that has to be admitted.) Still, it’s no excuse for the studio’s behavior to not fully support Trank’s vision for diverse casting.

The world has now seen that diverse voices and faces are more than required in today’s society. And those with outdated views or those who speak negatively will finally have to own up to their actions. (Take the firing of The Flash’s Hartley Sawyer, for example, who was let go because of racist and misogynistic tweets.)

Now that Fox has been acquired by Disney, the film’s franchise is in Marvel Studios’ hands. And while Marvel Studios has had its own slow-rolling problems with getting diverse heroes on screen, it’s certainly made progress in recent years.

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