Slashfilm had this little story.
This has led to the inevitable "But Johnny Storm is white" stuff. And you know, I get it. But, let me ask a question here; why not?
I mean, is it only okay to have side characters in comic movies change ethnicity? (Like Billy Dee Williams' Harvey Dent or Laurence Fishburn as Perry White in the upcoming Man of Steel [which, can we admit, is just freaking bad ass.]) It seems like the only time people like the ethnicity change is for the stupid concept of "Urbanizing" the character. That pisses me off.
That's why I'm excited for Laurence Fishburn's Perry White. Fishburn is an actor with a great degree of gravitas and presence to every role he fills. I'm a huge fan and my only sadness is that he won't be playing a bigger role. Imagine if he filled the role of General Zod.... The very idea excites me. Not that Michael Shannon will do a bad job. I actually think that's inspired casting. I'm just a really, really, really big Laurence Fishburn fan. The man does no wrong in my book.
And my love for him has nothing to do with the color of his skin. Even as a child, the naive little kid who didn't understand that racism was a thing, I've never really given a crap about people's appearances, ethnicity or otherwise. Pointing it out and freaking out about it is such an alien concept to me.
Let's get really crazy here. I'm a Batman fan. No, I'm a Batman fanboy. The Nolan films will be how I think of Batman for the rest of my life. But, what if the next incarnation of Batman was black? OH NO!!!!
WHO CARES?! You mean to tell me that Idris Elba couldn't pull that off? I think he would be amazing as the next Bruce Wayne. (In fairness, I'm an Idris Elba fanboy, too.) The final steps to getting over racism is to stop caring that people have different shades of pigment, no matter what the situation is.
I know that cultural change takes time. And that's fine. But, we were kind of done with segregation a few decades ago. So, stop with the argument that "But they're taking all of our parts?" What do you mean they? Our parts? You mean these fictional characters? Are you telling me that David Hasselhof was better than Sam Jackson as Nick Fury? No, you're not telling me that. As for people taking our characters... As long as the creators of the source material don't care, why should you? It's this mentality of "those people" taking "our things" that's part of the problem. It's time to get over it.
The real question here is not whether or not the Human Torch should be black. The question is does anyone still care about the Fantastic Four?
Because I don't.