You know, it’s kinda sad that this question in the title of the blog is the very first question that some of us in the comic book/ MCU community has (whether internally or externally) now have to to ask when talking about the Fantastic Four after being announced to be coming to the MCU Phase 4. Will they be a straight, white, nuclear family, or is Marvel going to go full progressive on their fantastic butts?
I wanted to touch on this topic in particular because as we’ve all have noticed with how Hollywood has been operating as of late, they seem to have a knack for rewriting certain character’s origins to meet a quota of sort. With the ever growing pressure of a liberal progressive society to be ever inclusive and diverse, it begs the questions of if Marvel will have the balls to depict the Fantastic Four exactly how they’ve always been dedicated in the comic, as a straight, white, nuclear family. Look I know in the comics, there a million universes with a million FF4, but since I’m talking about the MCU, I’m talking about the main Earth-616 FF4, the original.
I’ve said this a million times, and I’ll keep saying it a millions times over, I am all for diversity, IF, it is handled correctly. That means, I do not approve of established white characters being changed to fit whatever narrative that they’re trying to create. To be straight-forward, when they do that, all I see is a (Black, Asian etc.) character piggy-backing off of the legacy of a well-established white character. It’s kind of insulting. And it’s mostly a white character since Hollywood would not dare try to change an established non-white fictional character.
The backlash would be catastrophic. Take Scarlett Johansson being cast for that Ghost in the Shell movie. People damm near lost their shit, however praised the casting for Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Now, I remember that Scarlett Johansson made a statement that actors should be able to play as any characters that they want, to which I can’t agree. I mean, if you’re going to be depicting a character from a source material, one of the most basic requirement is that you LOOK like the character you’re playing. However, it’s a case by case situation as it’s not as clear cut as she’d like it to be in my opinion. Sometimes, you can get away with it, but most of the time, if you going for a role, the directors have a person in mind and would list their requirements, a common practice in the movie industry.
All I’m personally saying is that, there’s nothing wrong with the current state of the FF4 that needs to be changed! The reboot was a prime example of forced diversity going wrong and was a complete mess, with them having to jump over hurdles to makes sense of Micheal Jordan’s Human Torch character. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great actor and I’m sure many would love to have him be in one of their movies, but honestly he’s not meant to play Johnny. Having an all white family on the big screen is not going to kill anyone. In fact that’s part of being inclusive, since there are nuclear straight families out there in the real world, that people seem to be oddly vilifying these days.
That’s why I’m super interested to seeing how they’ll handle the Fantastic Four in the MCU. Just take a look at how they’re going around changing all these well documented characters into various agenda filled tokens. It’s frustrating. Instead of just sitting down and genuinely coming up with new characters, they’re instead too lazy for that and are just willing to use legacy characters name to piggy off their back. And if you call them out for it, well you know what happens.