Fantastic Four Director Josh Trank Slept With a Gun Because of Human Torch Backlash

2015's Fantastic Four reboot from Josh Trank didn't end up being the franchise starter 20th Century Fox was hoping for, but that was far from the only issue during the making of it. Trank recalls quite a few of those issues and developments in a new interview with Polygon, giving an honest and revealing look at making the movie and everything that process brought with it. During the interview the subject of Michael B. Jordan being cast as the Human Torch comes up, something Trank insisted on early on in development. There was some pushback from certain parts of the fandom and world in general after that casting was announced, and Trank reveals just how serious things got as a result, saying he even slept with a gun after numerous death threats and disturbing messages were sent his way.

“For the world I grew up in, a racially intense Los Angeles where we were used to seeing white superheroes, some of my friends who were black should have seen a black superhero [...] so I felt that while being in a position of power, I could change the system a little bit," Trank said about the casting of Jordan.

After that was announced, Trank noticed a small but very vocal group protesting the film over casting a black actor to play a white character in the comics. Trank would then write an essay on the subject in EW, asking people to move on and listen to someone like creator Stan Lee, who endorsed the casting. Unfortunately, that didn't stop the threats.

“I was getting threats on IMDb message boards saying they were going to shoot me,” Trank said. Trank then revealed that he kept a .38 Special loaded on his nightstand just in case.

“I was so f****** paranoid during that shoot,” Trank said. “If someone came into my house, I would have ended their fucking life. When you’re in a head space where people want to get you, you think, ‘I’m going to defend myself.’"


Trank returned the gun after production on Fantastic Four wrapped, but it just goes to show how intense things got for a while there.

Things are better these days though, as Trank has a new project in Capone that he is especially passionate about, and it sounds like the production process was much lighter and way more fun than Fantastic Four.