Michael B. Jordan’s Career Is On Fire, But Could His Next Films Scorch His Acting Future?

July 29, 2013  |  

With a stellar name like Michael B. Jordan, it would be shame for the tall-glass-of-caramel-goodness to not live up to his name-mate, wouldn’t it? With constant chatter and buzz surrounding Fruitvale Station, the actor might be just our next super-fine African-American acting legend. But will his upcoming projects send his career spiraling upward or downward?

I was first exposed to Jordan’s good looks and acting ability in Chronicle which follows high school seniors with telekinetic powers that wreak havoc in town. Many others may have been acquainted with Jordan before this film in Friday Night Lights.

But it wasn’t until Michael B. Jordan played the starring role in the true life story of  Oscar Grant — a young black man killed by a cop in the Bay Area on New Years’ Eve — that his career set off like wildfire. Fruitvale Station might just be the most uttered two words I’ve heard all year.

Fruitvale Station is basically about the last 24 hours of Oscar Grant’s life,” Jordan told CELEBScom. “We really wanted to kind of give him some of his humanity back.” Many viewers of the film would agree that his outstanding portrayal of Grant did in fact restore some humanity for the fatally shot 22-year-old.

“Michael B. Jordan is superbly multi-dimensional as Grant,” says a USA Today review, “Jordan, who brings to mind a young Denzel Washington, nimbly taps into Grant’s inherent decency, as well as his weaknesses.” Uh-oh, you better watch your back Mr.Washington. Jordan might be knocking you off your pedestal soon.

But the question is: Will Jordan’s upcoming films help or harm his trajectory into legendary status? He’ll be playing the grandson of Apollo Creed in a spin-off from the Rocky films called Creed. There are also rumors about Jordan playing the fiery Human Torch in the next Fantastic Four.

I’m a little concerned that the Rocky franchise may only attract a niche audience that consistently watches sequels. As for Fantastic Four, well, one critic called the 2005 movie “proudly dumb, loud, and inconsequential.” Another one adds, “There’s nothing terribly fantastic about this ho-hum futuristic foray.” With the film leaving a poor taste in our mouths, would people be willing to risk sitting through another possible comic-book flop again? On the other hand, the Batman franchise made a comeback with Christian Bale and The Dark Knight films. If ever there was a dark knight who could revive the Fantastic Four franchise, Jordan may be it.

Personally, I have much more faith in Michael B. Jordan’s career gains from Creed, in which Sylvester Stallone will be reprising the role as Rocky Balboa, than the comic book fluff called Fantastic Four. Did we ever see Denzel Washington aimlessly flying around town on fire as some silly comic book hero? No. Washington was more selective in his film choices to avoid damage to his acting credibility. If Jordan wants to continue branding himself as a serious actor, movies similar to Remember the Titans, Man on Fire, Flight, films that evoke thought-provoking discussion, should be Jordan’s stepping stone to greatness.

Dear Michael B. Jordan, please wait until you have reached Will Smith’s success to pull a Hancock move on us. Fruitvale Station is an outstanding film. Be sure to choose films that truly show your brilliance as an actor.

P.S.: Call me!

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