Josh Trank, the director well-known for his films Chronicle, Fantastic Four (2015) and most recently Capone (Starring Tom Hardy), has recently gone onto “The Meaning Of…” Podcast hosted on First Cut on Youtube. In it, he discusses his filmography, in addition to the highs and lows of life as a Hollywood director.

At one point in the interview, Trank discusses his original intentions in casting a Black woman as Susan Storm, along with her brother and father. As we all know now, however, this intention did not make the light of day.

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Whilst in the film Johnny and Franklin Storm were portrayed by black actors, Michael B. Jordan and Reg. E Cathey respectively, Sue Storm was instead portrayed by Kate Mara. In the film, the reason for this was that she had been adopted. However, behind the scenes, the story was very different.

Josh Trank Speaks Out

Josh Trank's Fantastic Four
Susan and Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four (2015)

In the interview with Geeks of Color, Trank states that he received “pretty heavy push-back“, presumably from FOX, in relation to casting a black woman as Susan Storm. He cites the studio’s “open mindedness” when it came to casting big stars was a key reason as to why it occurred.

He followed it up by lamenting, “When I look back on it, I should have just walked when that realization hit me.”

Fortunately, in the years since Fantastic Four, Hollywood has been making small steps towards more Black representation in its media. Most notably in the superhero scene, where Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther received high praise from audiences and critics alike. The character has since appeared in both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, and has already been confirmed to be receiving a sequel sometime in the future.

In the years following 2015’s Fantastic Four, Trank has been overwhelmingly open about both the mental and social struggles that came with directing a big-budget Hollywood Superhero film, especially in the wake of the immense success of the MCU. After a brief hiatus from Hollywood and social media as a whole, Trank has recently returned with his new film, Capone, starring Tom Hardy.

The past couple weeks have been a monumental period in both American and racial history. Due to the tragic death of George Floyd, and many others, protests have been occurring not only in America, but also around the world. If you have the ability to, please consider signing petitions and donating to #BlackLivesMatter related charities. We at The Illuminerdi are currently raising funds for Color Of Change, the largest racial justice organization in the United States.

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What are your thoughts on Josh Trank’s statement? Sound off below, share on social media, and be sure to join us tonight for our Game Night Charity Stream in support of Color Of Change!