The big news just keeps coming for Marvel fans in Fresno this week and all over the world, as Twentieth Century Fox has just announced the principal cast for the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot.
As reported by such sources as SuperHeroHype.Com, actors Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Miles Teller will be taking over the iconic roles of Marvel's first family. Bell will be portraying Ben Grimm, a.k.a. the Thing, Jordan will play Johnny Storm, a.k.a. the Human Torch, Mara will play Susan Storm, a.k.a. the Invisible Woman, and Teller will play Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mister Fantastic.
This film will mark the fourth time the superhero family has been portrayed on live-action film, the first being the infamous unreleased 1994 version produced by Roger Corman on a mere $1 million budget. The most recent film version of the team has been in the 2005 big budget blockbuster Fantastic Four, and it's 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, both directed by Tim Story. It those film's Ioan Gruffudd played Reed Richards, Jessica Alba played Susan Storm, Chris Evans played Johnny Storm, and Michael Chiklis played Ben Grimm. But while both of Story's films were crafted to be mostly superhero comedy packed with a lot of slapstick and a very lighthearted and almost juvenile tone, the reboot, directed by Josh Trank, will likely aim for a darker, or at least more mature tone. It was also revealed that the reboot will be inspired by the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics books, and that, to compete with the success of Marvel Studios, the film will take place within the same universe as the X-Men film series.
It should also be noted that while in the previous two films actor Michael Chiklis wore a rubber body suit to portray the Thing, Jamie Bell is expected to perform the role primarily through motion capture. Furthermore, the role of the film's villain, most likely the team's archenemy Doctor Victor von Doom (played by Julian McMahon in the previous two films) has yet to be announced, so expect further casting announced very soon.
It has already been acknowledged on several message boards that actors Michael B. Jordan and Kate Mara are both of different races (Jordan being an African-American and Mara being a White American), while their characters are supposed to be brother and sister. This examiner would like to go on record saying that at this time I do not see the need to object to the casting and am certain that it will be explained within the film; and even if it isn't so what, as long as they find the best possible actor for the roles?
Filming on the Fantastic Four reboot is expected to begin in Baton Rouge this March, under Trank's direction and with a screenplay written by Michael Green, Seth Grahame-Smith and Simon Kinberg (who is also a producer on the film). The film is currently set for release on June 19, 2015.