Josh Trank’s vision for Fantastic Four was much different than how the film turned out.
In an interview with Geeks of Color published on Friday, the director opened up about the 2015 film, revealing that he initially wanted to cast a black actress as Sue Storm, but got “pushback” from the studio. The film was released by Fox, before the rights went to Disney.
“There were a lot of controversial conversations that were had behind-the-scenes on that. I was mostly interested in a black Sue Storm, a black Johnny Storm and a black Franklin Storm,” Trank shared. “But when you’re dealing with a studio on a massive movie like that, everybody wants to keep an open mind to who the big stars are going to be.”
“When it came down to it, I found a lot of pretty heavy pushback on casting a black woman in that role,” Trank said.
Trank was 27 at the time, with just one other feature under his belt — 2012’s Chronicle. He reteamed with Michael B. Jordan in Fantastic Four, casting the actor as Johnny Storm. Dr. Franklin Storm was played by Reg E. Cathey, but the role of Sue Storm went to Kate Mara. Jamie Bell and Miles Teller rounded out the cast as Ben Grimm and Reed Richards, respectively.
“When I look back on that, I should have just walked when that realization sort of hit me, and I feel embarrassed about that, that I didn’t just out of principle,” Trank said.
“Because those aren’t the values I stand for in my own life, and those weren’t the values then or ever for me. Because I’m somebody who always talks about standing up for what I believe in, even if it means burning my career out, and I feel bad that I didn’t take it to the mat with that issue,” he added. “I feel like I failed in that regard.”
See more on Fantastic Four in the video below.