As you might imagine, this has caused some concern amongst the normally level headed internet. Over at Blastr, Dan Roth has put together a nice article in response to the various objections many people are expressing.
But I fear all his points will be ignored as most of the replies to the article (some of which I've reposted here in italics) are simply the old objections rephrased (to which I will respond, thus letting you see where I stand on the issue.)
For example, let's take this reply:
To criticize people for bringing up race is flat out wrong considering the only reason he was cast was for that reason I've seen Jordan act and you can't say he just nailed the part of storm he was cast to cause controversy in the end it will backfire because out of all marvel comics ff is old school all the way and most of their fans feel that way and please don't bring up nick fury he was never a important enough character to matter what color he was
Honestly, I never saw Chronicle, so I don't know if Jordan can act or not, but I'm about 90% sure that in a big Summer tent pole movie, acting ability falls right behind shoe size during the casting consideration phase. Nor have I EVER heard a movie goer remark on the acting in a Summer blockbuster. I do like how this guy tries to dismiss the Nick Fury analogy by saying there is some established ranking of importance that should respected. I disagree, but admire the pomposity.
Whoever wrote this article is an idiot...I grew up with the FF and changing the story so radically is an insult to all us lifelong fans. I will not go to this movie and predict it will be a big flop.
I wouldn't call changing skin color a radical change in a story unless skin color was a plot point or the story was a period piece and the skin color change might conflict with social attitudes at the time. And thinking on it, I can't really recall a single FF story where The Human Torch's skin color was a plot point. (He was recently shown as all blue, but that was more of a gimmick than a plot point.)
Nor do I take this change as an insult. And while that may be just a poor choice of words on the behalf of the commenter, it does suggest that he has a personal investment in comics continuity which is keeping him from being entirely objective about the issue. IE: This is not how I know the Fantastic Four, ergo it's no good.
Sure Sue and Johnny could be step-siblings or one could be adopted but I just get tired of all the changes to character history. Marvel does it, DC has done it time and time again . The worst with the New 52. And they all claim they are trying to make things simpler for the fans when they are really just complicating storylines . As for the movie I don't have a problem with Johnny being black but I think his sister , who isn't adopted or a step-sister should also be black or at least they should both be the same race whatever race that is.
Changes to characters and their histories is sort of a long standing tradition in comics. I think what this person really has a hard time is the perceived devaluation of the history THEY know. The comments about Sue Storm needing to be of the same race sort of strikes me as a nice to have, but it honestly, when has their sibling nature ever really been used to any great effect in the FF stories?
I wont watch this one simply due to the poor casing. They are way too young, it seems the CW may have cast this one for 20th Century FOX. For characters such as Green Lantern, and other roles in the comic universe that are passed on to the next hero, this makes sense. There are many other Black Heroes in comics now, there no longer needs to be a race flip to mix things up. Huge FAIL on FOX's part!
Wasn't the Human Torch a teenager in the 60's? Seems to me he was still in college up until the early 80's. And yeah, there are other black heroes in comics, but Fox ain't making a movie about them. Fox is making a FF movie and they want it to be a money maker, so this is where their instincts (by way of the director) are leading them.
With all that said, I'm not totally unsympathetic to people who have a problem with this change. This change just rubs you the wrong way because you have a fixed notion of who the Fantastic Four are. That's understandable. I used to avoid all the Daniel Craig James Bond movies because to me, James Bond was either Sean Connery or Roger Moore.
But I thought about it and realized I was being a bit silly about the whole thing. Especially since I fully acknowledged two different actors played the role, but felt like somehow another actor couldn't. So, I went to see SkyFall with my friends and found a lot to enjoy about the movie.
And this brings us to the real question (for me at least) - will this be a money maker? In the past, I've had a pretty good track record of predicting the box office results of such movies, but recently, with Man of Steel and Thor the Dark World, I've been wrong (with both movies doing much better than I originally though.) And while it's hard to gauge a movie's reception completely sight unseen, I think I can hazard a prediction at this point using other movies which followed poorly received films.
Spider-Man 3 --> Amazing Spider-Man: $62 million
Hulk --> Incredible Hulk: $55 million
X-men 3 --> X-men First Class: $55 million
Looking at those numbers and adjusting for how wrong I was about Man of Steel and Thor: Dark World, I'm going to put the new Fantastic Four movie first week box office at around $75 million. With that, if the budget is below the low $200 millions, (which I think is a safe bet) I would say it would be viewed as successful by Fox.