There have yet to be either any official casting announcements and/or details script revealed for 20th Century Fox and director Josh Trank’s reboot of the Fantastic Four movie franchise, though we’re at a point where that may change any day now. Trank is expected to begin filming his superhero project in Louisiana by the end of March for a June 2015 release date, and potential Mr. Fantastic actor Miles Teller recently indicated that actual casting news shall be arriving soon.
Curiously, before now we’d gotten unverified reports about possible names for each of the Fantastic Four team except for Ben Grimm (a.k.a. The Thing). The Shield alum Michael Chiklis played the role of Ben – whose super-powered transformation results in him becoming a giant rock-like creature – back in Ride Along director Tim Story’s F4 movies from the aughts, while more recently the character has been voiced in animated form by Fred Tatasciore on The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon series.
Movies.com is reporting that Josh Gad is Fox’s top choice to play The Thing in Trank’s F4 reboot, claiming to have gotten the scoop from “casting circles close to the film.” Gad, as it were, is starting to breakout as both an actor and writer; besides having voiced the likable snowman Olaf in Disney’s hit animated musical Frozen last year, he’s also scripting the Twins sequel Triplets and slated to co-write/star in a modern film take on the 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island.
However, before you (over-)react either way, it’s worth noting that Trank has already responded to this particular F4 casting story:
@devincf first i'm hearing of this... it's not true.— Josh Trank (@josh_trank) January 28, 2014
That said, Trank also previously denied that Miles Teller had been cast as Mr. Fantastic back in August 2013, and while that may’ve been accurate at the time, Teller later confirmed that he has been in talks for the role and is still considered a front-runner to play Reed Richards now.
Furthermore, the Gad/F4 article on Movies.com does not claim that Gad’s been made an official offer by Fox, nor that he’s even in active talks to play The Thing – simply that he is (or was) the studio’s “number one choice” – so who knows, this might not be the last we hear of this potential casting, either. Indeed, Movies.com has updated its original report with a response to Trank’s denial, saying:
We stand by what was told to us, but it’s a long casting process and we imagine various names are floating in and out of contention on a daily basis.
For my money, Gad has a good-natured screen persona and is capable of being quite sympathetic even in over the top situations (see: Thanks for Sharing), so he’s arguably not a bad choice for The Thing and could bring real humanity to Ben’s conflict over his newly-evolved inhuman form in the F4 reboot. Regardless, it’s best to not get too worked up about any of these F4 casting rumors, until some concrete news is made available.
Similarly, the revised F4 script draft by Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) was apparently completely not too long ago, so that might be key to the explanation for why there’s been information – like the rumored plot and character details from last week – floating about that’s either outdated or never correct; and thus, why it’s been difficult to figure out what’s going on with this comic book movie project from the outside.
Fantastic Four is currently scheduled to open in theaters on June 19th, 2015.