Michael B. Jordan is already one of the biggest comic book movie stars in the world.
While he hasn’t yet headlined a superhero movie alone, his thumbprint throughout the genre shows a hero, villain, and everything in between. However, while Jordan is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, he may have broken out sooner had a previous audition gone in his favor. The results are a fascinating look at how the film industry has changed in recent years.
Michael B. Jordan’s superhero journey
According to IMDB, Jordan made his name as a child actor on The Wire and quickly followed it up with a brief stint on All My Children before a beloved run on Friday Night Lights. While Jordan had some big-screen credits, such as the superhero film Chronicle, it wasn’t until Ryan Coogler’s 2013 film Fruitvale Station that he showed his leading man potential.
Before long, Jordan was headlining the Creed franchise and throwing his name out for some of the biggest superhero movies in the world. His 2018 turn as Killmonger helped show that superhero villains didn’t need to be absolute evil. They could be complicated characters fighting the right fight with the wrong weapons.
However, his career may have gone entirely different had he gotten an earlier role in the MCU that wasn’t a villain but a future Captain America.
Reddit chimes in
Speaking about reports that Jordan almost entered the MCU as a different character years before Killmonger, fans on Reddit couldn’t help but wonder how Sam would have changed with Jordan at the helm. Mackie has long been lauded for his portrayal of Sam, but some can’t help but wonder if Jordan would have taken him to another level.
Reddit user u/cbekel3618 was intrigued by the prospect of Jordan as Sam.
“I’m definitely happy we got Mackie as he really is such a likable actor and Jordan nailed Killmonger, but yeah, MBJ would’ve made a great Sam too.”
Others see Jordan taking on Sam’s recent persona, Captain America, with a little bit more gravitas than Mackie did.
“For some reason, I have a hard time seeing Mackie as Cap, but Mackie kills it as Falcon,” another user wrote.
Whatever the case may be, Jordan didn’t get the role, and Mackie did. However, the entire discussion harkens back to a conversation Jordan had with Daily Beast in 2013.
Jordan on the roles that weren’t
The Michael B. Jordan, who was interviewed by Marlow Stern of Daily Beast in 2013, was not yet the superstar he is today. At the time, Mackie was still sinking his teeth into Sam during his early stages in the MCU, and on Jordan’s end, Black Panther was still a pipe dream. Still, as a young up-and-comer who had already made a name on television, Jordan’s words held weight. Now, they only show how ahead of the times he truly was.
Speaking on his reads not only for Sam but Harry in The Amazing Spider-Man series, Jordan decried the lack of superheroes where weren’t white men.
“There just aren’t that many,” he told Daily Beast. “We have to start creating more sophisticated material across the board for African-Americans and other people of color, as well as women.”
However, as Jordan notes, comics were a reflection of the times that they were published. As such, he knows that the source material caters to the same white men who dominated most pop culture at the time.
“With superheroes, a lot of those comics were created before the 1960s, so they weren’t going to have a black man save America,” said the future Marvel star. “So I think it’s more of a continuity thing now. With more generic superheroes, why can’t you have a black, Asian, Hispanic actor play the role? Hopefully, in my lifetime, we’ll see more black superheroes.”
Eight years later, Jordan has appeared in two comic book movies and is rumored to be in the running for the first Black Superman movie. Jordan’s journey since the 2013 interview is a fascinating insight into how things have changed since 2013. With diversity on the rise, so has his star. Now, he’s one of the biggest actors in Hollywood, and he doesn’t have to wait for these roles to land in his lap.
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