Fantastic Four director Josh Trank says his biggest regret about his infamous 2015 comic book movie is that he backed down over his intent to cast a black actress as Susan Storm, aka the Invisible Woman, after receiving “pretty heavy pushback” from studio 20th Century Fox.
In a chat with Geeks of Color, Trank revealed he wanted the entire Storm family to be played by black actors. In the end, Michael B. Jordan played Johnny Storm opposite Reg E. Cathey as his dad Franklin Storm, with Kate Mara cast as Sue, Franklin’s adopted daughter.
While Trank didn’t name any particular actress he had in mind for the role of Sue, he said he was “embarrassed” with himself for backing down from his principles and said he should have just quit the movie right then.
“There was a lot of controversial conversations that were had behind the scenes on that,” Trank said. “I was mostly interested in a black Sue Storm and a black Johnny Storm and a black Franklin Storm. But when you’re dealing with a studio on a massive movie like that, everyone wants to keep an open mind to like who the big stars are going to be. Like, maybe it’ll be Margot Robbie or something like that. But when it came down to it I found a lot of pretty heavy pushback on casting a black woman in that role.”
Trank said that, in hindsight, he should have parted ways with the project — a film which went on to be a commercial and critical failure, with its stories of behind-the-scenes drama tainting the young director’s once-promising career.
“I feel bad that I didn’t take it to the mat with that issue. Yeah, I feel like I failed in that regard,” Trank said. “If there’s one regret that I have — and I’ve talked a lot about not having any regrets — it’s that one issue.”
With his new movie Capone now on VOD, Josh Trank has been opening up a lot recently about his grueling experience thus far in Hollywood, revealing he has no interest in a “Trank Cut” of Fantastic Four, how Fantastic Four made him bitter toward James Gunn and superhero movies, and the real reason why he left the Boba Fett movie.