Just weeks ahead of the film's release, Stan Lee has weighed in on the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm in 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four reboot.
When Jordan was announced as taking on the role of Storm in Josh Trank's Fantastic Four, there was some fan outcry as Jordan is black, while Johnny Storm has always been portrayed as caucasian in comic books. However, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lee, who co-created Fantastic Four with Jack Kirby, said that he felt the casting was "a great idea."
“It was more than okay,” said Lee, who did go on to express his understanding of some fans' distaste for Jordan as Storm, blaming the outcry on the character being altered, rather than any racial prejudice on the part of fans.
“They’re outraged not because of any personal prejudice,” said Lee. “They’re outraged because they hate to see any change made on a series and characters they had gotten familiar with. In Spider-Man, when they got a new actor, that bothered them, even though it was a white actor. I don’t think it had to do with racial prejudice as much as they don’t like things changed.”
Lee's comments are consistent with remarks he made to Newsarama in January, however Lee has occassionally sided with the fans when discussing changes to characters.
Lee met with some criticism earlier this year when he made comments that he felt Peter Parker should always be portrayed as white and heterosexual, as that is the way the character was created. Still, he stands by Jordan as Storm, saying, “I think they’re gonna get to love this character. So I’m not the least bit worried about it. I always tried to pepper these groups with as much racial diversity as possible because that’s the way the world is.”
Fantastic Four hits theaters on August 7, 2015.