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Fox Pushed Back on Casting a Black Actress

Josh Trank mentioned that when he was directing the 2015 Marvel Comics flop “Fantastic Four,” Fox executives gave “pretty heavy pushback” on casting a black actress to play Sue Storm — though she’s the superhero sister of Johnny Storm, performed by Michael B. Jordan.

“There was a lot of controversial conversations that were had behind the scenes,” Trank mentioned in an interview on Geeks of Color launched Friday. “When it came down to it, I found a lot of pretty heavy pushback on casting a black woman in that role.”

Kate Mara, who’s white, wound up enjoying the invisibility-powered Sue Storm — and she or he was defined to be the adopted daughter of Reg E. Cathey’s surgeon Franklin Storm.

“I was mostly interested in a black Sue Storm and a black Johnny Storm and a black Franklin Storm,” mentioned Trank, who was directing his first big-budget studio movie following the success of 2012’s “Chronicle,” which additionally starred Jordan and grossed $64.6 million on a $12 million funds. “When you’re dealing with a studio on a big movie like that, everybody wants to keep an open mind on who the big stars will be.”

The Fox movie and TV studio, together with all of its Marvel Comics property, have been acquired by Disney in a $71.three billion deal accomplished final 12 months.

Trank admitted that he regrets not insisting on casting a black actress within the function. “When I look back on that, I should have just walked when that sort of realization hit me, and I feel embarrassed about that, that I didn’t just out of principle,” he mentioned. “Because those aren’t the values I stand for in my own life. And those weren’t the values then or ever for me.”

Trank, who lately directed an Al Capone biopic starring Tom Hardy, has carved a repute for talking his thoughts, famously criticizing Fox for modifications he mentioned have been pressured on “Fantastic Four” and dropping a gig to direct a standalone “Star Wars” movie in 2015. “I’m somebody who always talks about standing up for what I believe in, even if it means burning my career out,” he added. “And I feel bad that I didn’t take it to the mat with that issue. Yeah, I feel like I failed in that regard.”

Watch the interview under.

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