Fantastic Four director ‘slept with loaded gun’ after death threats over colour-blind Michael B Jordan casting

Josh Trank was at the centre of significant backlash against the 2015 reboot, which was released amid negative buzz and rumours of on-set conflict

Adam White@__adamwhite
Wednesday 06 May 2020 09:09
Fantastic Four trailer

Josh Trank, who directed the maligned 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, has revealed that he slept with a loaded gun after receiving death threats over the casting of Michael B Jordan.

Jordan’s casting in the role of Johnny Storm, a traditionally white character in the Fantastic Four comic books, sparked controversy in 2014. Stan Lee was forced to publicly defend the changing of the character’s race, while Jordan himself wrote an essay asking fans to give him a chance in the role.

Speaking to Polygon, Trank said that the backlash left him so paranoid that he bought a loaded .38 Special and kept it by his nightstand.

“I was getting threats on IMDb message boards saying they were going to shoot me,” Trank said. “I was so f***ing paranoid during that shoot. If someone came into my house, I would have ended their f***ing life. When you’re in a head space where people want to get you, you think, ‘I’m going to defend myself.’”

Trank got rid of the gun once production was over.

The filmmaker also spoke about his experiences making the movie. Released in the aftermath of months of negative buzz and rumours of on-set conflict and reshoots, the film left Trank feeling “castrated”.

“[Studio executives] really do pay attention to what people are saying on Twitter,” Trank said. “They look at that and they say, ‘S***, people are freaked out about how it’s not going to be funny. So we need to spend $10m to do a comedy rewrite.’”

Trank, who was hired to direct a Star Wars film on the promise of his 2012 debut Chronicle, but was then dropped by LucasFilm following the failures of Fantastic Four, has returned to filmmaking with an Al Capone biopic starring Tom Hardy.

Capone will be released on-demand on 12 May.

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