Josh Trank, director of superhero film Fantastic Four , initially intended to cast a black actress for the role of Sue Storm. Because he says he received a lot of criticism about this, he ultimately did not do that, the director tells Geeks of Color .
In the Marvel comics, Sue Storm (Invisible Woman) and her brother Johnny (Human Torch) are white. In the movie of Trank, the role of Johnny was played by the black actor Michael B. Jordan. For his adopted sister, Trank wanted to cast a black actress, but according to Trank, the film studio was not behind that. In the end, Kate Mara was cast for the role.
“There was a lot of controversy behind the scenes about that. I was particularly interested in a black Sue Storm, a black Johnny Storm and a black Franklin Storm,” said Trank. “When it came down to it, I was pretty opposed to casting a black woman for that role.”
“I’m ashamed that I wasn’t principled enough”
Trank now thinks he should have left the project in protest. “Looking back on that, I should have just left. I am ashamed that I was not principled enough.”
The director feels “failed”. “I’m someone who always says you have to stand up for what you believe in, even if it means putting your career in jeopardy. I feel bad that I didn’t hold my own back then.”
In 2015, after the film’s release, Trank also criticized the film studio. He expressed his displeasure on Twitter at the time and wrote that the feature film was not his own version. “You’re probably never going to see that version. That’s the reality.” The director later deleted his tweet.
Fantastic Four was released by Fox before Marvel regained the rights to the film series.