The new Human Torch has some heated words!
In the comics, the superhero is white. In previous movies, The Human Torch was played by Chris Evans (of Captain America fame).
Michael admits to going online to read the comments about his casting, which were definitely at least borderline — if not full-blown — racist:
“You’re not supposed to go on the Internet when you’re cast as a superhero. But after taking on Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four — a character originally written with blond hair and blue eyes — I wanted to check the pulse out there. I didn’t want to be ignorant about what people were saying. Turns out this is what they were saying: ‘A black guy? I don’t like it. They must be doing it because Obama’s president’ and ‘It’s not true to the comic.’ Or even, ‘They’ve destroyed it!'”
The 28-year-old was initially bothered by those comments, but is now focusing on spreading the film’s greater message:
“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 unfortunate events to create unity and a team. That’s the message of the movie, if people can just allow themselves to see it.”
Still, he leaves a sick burn for those keyboard critics out there:
“Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around. 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.”
This isn’t the first time superhero movie characters have deviated from their race in the comics.
In the 2005 Fantastic Four film, Kerry Washington played The Thing’s girlfriend Alicia Masters, who is white in the source material. In the Thor movies, the Norse God Heimdall is played by actor Idris Elba. And of course, Samuel L. Jackson has played Nick Fury in multiple Marvel movies.
Fantastic Four opens in theaters August 7, 2015.
[Image via 20th Century FOX.]