The director recently discussed the casting of the superhero saga during a virtual video interview with Geeks of Color. He told the outlet that he had specific plans for the cast, but got “pushback” from the studio.
“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 stated. “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.”
He said that open mind did not include having a black actress portray Sue Storm.
“When it came down to it, I found a lot of pretty heavy pushback on casting a black woman in that role,” he said.
Kate Mara played Sue Storm, Michael B. Jordan portrayed Johnny Storm, Miles Teller played Reed Richards and Jamie Bell was Ben Grimm. The film was released by Fox, before the rights went to Disney.
Trank now says he should have exited the project in protest.
“When I look back on that, I should have just walked when that realization hit me, and I feel embarrassed about that, that I didn’t just out of principle,” he 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. I feel like I failed in that regard.”