Just a day back, we were all excited to see the first footage of the upcoming gang in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. And before the excitement could fade away, details of another superhero group are emerging. This one too is from the Marvel comics, Fantastic Four. But the movie rights lie with 20th Century Fox who have already made two movies before in 2005 and 2007. Those movies though never tapped the potential that this famous superhero group has, and a reboot was the least that it deserved. We talked last about the upcoming reboot in our article “Much needed Fantastic Four reboot movies forward…” This June 2015 scheduled movie has now taken another big step forward. As TheWrap reports, Fox has zeroed in on its group of actors to bring to life Fantastic Four again on the big screen. It is time to be introduced to them.
Miles Teller as Dr. Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic
Young Miles Teller is said to be the studio’s first choice to play the role of Dr. Richards. While not many would be aware of this name, one look at his photo and then his resume, and you get the sense that this is a brilliant casting decision just waiting to be concluded. Sufficiently tall at 6 feet (who is 2 centimetres taller than Ioan Gruffudd who played this role last!), Teller seems to have a stark resemblance to the kind of Mr. Fantastic one would imagine for a film. He’s been involved with full-length feature films only since 2010 with roles largely in indie flicks, but he has already received great reviews for the work he has done, which includes a nomination from an organisation that awards independent films for his first film Rabbit Hole, as well as a Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting for 2013’s That Spectacular Now. He’s already begun 2014 with That Awkward Moment and is bound to become a more familiar name with a role slated in the much awaited sci-fi film Divergent. But that is where the problem lies, for Teller will have to reprise his role for the sequel Insurgent which could clash with the shooting of Fantastic Four. Pity if he were to miss out on this one, but here is an actor who looks to be moving up the ladder.
Kate Mara as Sue Storm aka the Invisible Woman
Kate Mara has been firmly cast in this role which was erstwhile played by Jessica Alba. Kate Mara, the older sister of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara, is hardly an unknown personality to the audience. Unlike Miles Teller, Kate Mara has been around in the TV and film world for quite a long time, making her initial appearance in 1997 for a Law & Order TV episode. More recently she has been part of the acclaimed TV series House of Cards. In the film arena, Mara has been doing bit roles to lead roles, and has a number of movies against her name like We Are Marshall, Shooter, Transsiberian, Open Road, 127 Hours, and is part of the Johnny Depp film Transcendence which is releasing this year. One can easily see her as a very spunky Sue Storm. Being part of Fantastic Four should only take her career forward.
Michael B Jordan as Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch
Here is another young actor rising through the ranks in Hollywood. The casting of Michael Jordan as Johnny Storm does make for an interesting decision, as the comic character is the brother of Sue Storm and is pictured as a blonde-haired, white young man (played by Chris Evans before he became Captain America!) which Jordan is clearly not. So there is some tweaking that is likely to happen with regards to the character’s back-story. Jordan has been seen little of on the big screen, with much of his work done for the telly. But he has already kicked off 2014 alongside Miles Teller in That Awkward Moment. And he’s also been part of the hit film Chronicle of 2012, and subsequent to that, he played the lead role in the acclaimed film Fruitvale Station which won much praise at the Sundance Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival. Here’s an actor who has the potential to set the screen on fire and what better way to do that than to play The Human Torch, eh!?
Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm aka The Thing
British actor Jamie Bell of course hit the limelight straight away in 2000 with his moving performance in Billy Elliot. Since then, you would have seen him in King Kong, Jumper, The Eagle, and quite a few more. Or else you would definitely remember him as Tintin from Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin (2011) which was an animated film using motion capture. Now Jamie Bell looks nothing like Michael Chiklis who played the role of Ben Grimm in the previous movies, nor does he come close to appearing so heavily built as The Thing. But this character is going to be created using motion capture, and so a lot of the mass may well be added using computer technology. Bell is said to be in heavy discussions for this role, with an official deal yet to be finalised.
These actors have had their share of success in the past but they aren’t household names yet. There is a risk which the studio is taking, but a pleasant risk too. Fresh faces are the order of the day when you are working on a reboot. Little was known of Chris Hemsworth or Henry Cavill before their casting as Thor and Superman, respectively. We know how that turned out. As long as the studios are creating a movie which keeps the soul of the comics and their characters intact, and entertains audience in the manner a film of this genre should, then bring in a set of new but talented actors, and there is a world-class franchise waiting to be made. Fantastic Four has much potential to go the long distance in Hollywood, and with the above set of actors, assuming they are signed, Fox has roped in a talented bunch over a popular one. With Josh Trank behind the cameras (director of Chronicle), Fox is ready to gamble, though not blindly but wisely. I for one find the studio’s approach refreshing, and wish that the odds remain in their favour!