Josh Trank Wanted a Black Actress to Play Sue Storm in His Fantastic Four Reboot
Last month, Josh Trank released Capone, his first directorial effort in five years. And the press surrounding that movie has naturally given Trank plenty of opportunities to discuss his ill-fated Fantastic Four reboot. Trank’s reflections have come across as humble and candid, especially those found in a lengthy profile published by Polygon. But while speaking with Geeks of Color, he divulged a previously unknown bit of info about his original plans for the Invisible Woman.
During the interview, Trank revealed that he initially wanted to cast a black actress to play Sue Storm in his movie. Unfortunately, Trank was met with resistance from the top brass at 20th Century Fox.
“There was a lot of controversial conversations that were had behind the scenes on that,” said Trank. “I was mostly interested in a black Sue Storm and a black Johnny Storm and a black Franklin Storm. But I also, 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 gonna be. Like, ‘Well maybe it will be Margot Robbie or something like that.’ But when it came down to it, I found a lot of pretty heavy pushback on casting a black woman in that role.”
In the end, Kate Mara took on the role of Sue Storm. However, Trank was still able to cast a pair of black actors to star as her adoptive family. Michael B. Jordan played her brother, Johnny Storm/the Human Torch, and the late Reg E. Cathey played their father, Franklin Storm. Jordan’s casting as Johnny memorably drew criticism from the less open-minded members of the comic book-reading community. Regardless, anyone who actually saw the movie would probably agree that his performance was one of its few bright spots.
Trank later noted that he probably should have dropped out of the film when creative tensions with the studio reached a boiling point.
“When I look back on that, I should have just walked when that sort of realization hit me,” admitted Trank. “And I feel embarrassed about that, that I didn’t, just out of principle, because those aren’t the values that I stand for in my own life and those weren’t the values then, or ever, for me. Because I’m somebody who always talks about standing up for what I believe in, even if it means burning my career up, and I feel bad that I didn’t take it to the mat with that issue. I felt like I failed in that regard, but that was a weird, unfortunate situation, I don’t know how else to put it.”
What do you make of Trank’s latest remarks about his Fantastic Four reboot? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Fantastic Four Vol. 1: New Departure, New Arrivals
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