The actor tells TheWrap: "You can’t shy away from a moment when it’s there”
CANNES, France — Michael B. Jordan, a rising young talent who is winning new fans at the Cannes Film Festival, told TheWrap on Friday that playing a superhero of color is something he’s up for.
“If it were to happen, I would definitely embrace it and take it on, for sure,” he told TheWrap at a Weinstein Co. gathering where his new film, “Fruitvale Station,” was presented.
He was referring to the possibility of being cast as the Human Torch in a Fox reboot of “Fantastic Four,” which TheWrap recently reported is under consideration. The role was not written for a black actor and was previously played by Chris Evans.
]“I’m up for it,” he said, noting that he is good friends with the “Fan Four” director Josh Trank but no deal was set. “It is my responsibility as a young filmmaker, a young actor to bridge a gap between generations,” Jordan added. “I feel there’s a void – after Will (Smith) and Denzel (Washington) and a few other names, …there’s a big age gap.”
The 26-year-old star of “Fruitvale,” which has screened in competition, and the sleeper hit “Chronicle,” is one of Hollywood’s most buzzed-about young talents, and has charmed his way down the promenade since Wednesday.
In “Fruitvale,” which won both of Sundance’s top awards and opens in July, he plays Oscar Grant, a young striver from Oakland, Calif., caught in a tragic circumstance on New Year’s Eve.
Jordan said he was surprised at the warm reception in Cannes. " 'Fruitvale' translates bigger than just a story in a black community. It’s about humanity, about trying to be better,” he said. “Oscar was just a tool to tell that story. He was a guy, 22, who doesn’t know what life is, makes some mistakes. Unfortunately for him he didn’t have time to right those things… He represents a guy who was trying. “
Jordan’s life is at the other end of that spectrum, as he considers what life might be like as a bona fide movie star.
“I know it’s a burden I’m ready to share,” he said. “If I can make it easier — not just for people of color — then I think that’s my responsibility. You’ve got to own and accept it. You can’t shy away from a moment when it’s there.”
He added: “The fact that I’ve been doing this for 13 years, who would I be to back down now and not accept the challenge?”