This is the first of a series of posts I will be doing concentrating on the rising stars of TV and Film as the stars of the last decade aren't getting any younger and there are always bright new ones chomping at the bit to get noticed.
Because I loved this post so much I chose to write it twice. Okay I didn't choose to do so, I didn't save AGAIN and all the pages refreshed. I anguished at the loss of my work but I'm back to do it again for a second time so it's bound to be better.
So for this first post I have chosen to focus on Michael B Jordan, someone who has recently made waves with his casting as the iconic Marvel superhero The Human Torch/Johnny Storm. For those of you unfamiliar with the comics and who somehow missed the earlier adaptations of the Fantastic Four (they really weren't that bad were they? okay they were but Jessica Alba in her underwear made it all worth it...right??) Johnny Storm is usually portrayed as one of Caucasian decent.
The choice to cast Jordan was a very surprising one but also a very welcome change from the usual superhero castings. He is not alone in getting backlash from fans over recent castings, some that come to mind include Ben Affleck as Batman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Gal Gadot as Wonder and even Heath Ledger as The Joker. Fans will not always agree with the direction you take a piece of source material, you just have to trust that you are doing the right thing for what you are creating.
In my opinion cast Jordan will be great for the film as well as the other young and talented co-stars that will surround him, including Miles Teller as Reid Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing. From this casting I assume that it will be a film closer to the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics which featured a younger version of the team. I for one can not wait to see this film and expect a much darker adaptation than we have previously seen.
I have gone slightly off topic talking about the upcoming Fantastic Four film but I feel it needed to be addressed. A closing thought on the film is that as long as there isn't too much focus on Johnny Storm being black then I think we will witness the birth of something special.
How I first noticed him
Getting back on topic as many of you know I wanted to start this blog long before I did and as such I had started to gather ideas on what I would write about and what my focus would be. One of the ideas that came about from this was that I had noticed there were amazing and talented actors who were going unnoticed by the main stream. This is not surprising as the system is not perfect and it is a little about who you know. Around the same time as I was playing with the idea about writing about rising stars I was also watching Chronicle a fantastic film that was coincidentally done by the same person who is handling the Fantastic Four reboot. I'm of course talking about the talented Josh Trank (I'm a huge fan of his work). I was convinced from the first trailer that I wanted to watch this film because it looked awesome (seriously it's so good go watch it now...wait not right now finish reading first) but also because I noticed that it had this one guy in it that I knew was good.
You see before I watched Chronicle I saw Jordan in this little series you may have heard me talk about before. This little itty bitty show called Friday Night Lights where a load of talent burst forth from onto the industry. Jordan played the role of Vince Howard a quarterback who takes up football to avoid juvie in the show and it was the range of his acting that convinced me he would be great in the future.
I thought to myself that, "Woohoo I've noticed this talent and no one else has...Why has no one else noticed him". Then he started getting noticed and I was pissed as I was supposed to have written about him by then. But in truth I was glad that he was finally getting some recognition in all honesty.
Still I would have liked to have been the one to put a spotlight on him like this. The best I can do now is to have him as my first rising star. Before Friday Night Lights he was also in The Wire and The Sopranos, so he has had the fantastic opportunity to work around great acting talent which has no doubt rubbed off on him with every role he's taken on. He has been typeset a bit as a troubled inner city kid but he has risen to the occasion and done so much more with what he's been given.
One of his most recent roles as the lead in the thought provoking Fruitvale Station highlights just how good he is.
The purportedly true story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.
I will do a follow up post around the film on a later date as I don't want to go off on a tangent again and I would want to do it as part of a larger piece.
Recently it has become apparent that Jordan has a close relationship with his Fantastic Four co-star (and other rising star) Miles Teller and the heartthrob that is Zac Efron. Their recent combination on That Awkward Moment is one that is likely to continue in future roles. I'd go so far to say that they are the beginnings of the new generation of The Frat Pack.
For those who don't know The Frat Pack is a nickname for a group of comedy actors who have appeared together in highest grossing comedy films since the late 90's.
This group has grown over the years from the original 6 members and I believe will soon include Jordan, Teller and Efron. That's not to say they will primarily be comedy actors but I am saying they will probably join the ranks of the Frat Pack.
As Jordan continues to rise I have no doubt he will amaze us all with the range of roles he will take on (much like Terry Crews) but he will undoubtedly also amaze us with his sheer talent.
That about wraps up my take on the rising star that is Michael B. Jordan. I hope you enjoyed it and check out some of the shows and films he's been in if you haven't already. I promise you'll enjoy them.
On a side note I've heard the news about a new stand alone series of Heroes being revived and all I have to say on the matter is that the show died for a reason please leave it in it's grave!
As always I will end on something related that sums this guy up.
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