As discussed in The Wolverine episode of the Screen Rant Underground Podcast, there’s been limited information provided as to get comic book fans excited about Fox’s developing Fantastic Four movie franchise reboot. The situation’s all the more curious because director Josh Trank is slated to begin production on the film in Louisiana next month (September 2013, at the time of writing this); not to mention, Fox’s creative consultant Mark Millar has continued to drop hints about the importance of Trank’s F4 movie to larger plans for expanding Fox’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The latest update from insiders is that the Fantastic Four script – which is reported to feature contributions by Trank, in addition to Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class) as well as Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows) – is currently undergoing revisions, and that Fox hasn’t recruited a casting director yet. All the same, we know Trank has been considering potential cast members to portray the titular superhero squad for some time now.
The Wrap‘s Jeff Sneider is reporting that Miles Teller is currently the top choice to portray Reed Richards (a.k.a. Mr Fantastic) in the F4 reboot – with the 26 year-old actor said to have already met with Trank to discuss the project. Teller has been picking up lots of critical acclaim for his performance in the Sundance breakout film The Spectacular Now (which opens exclusively in NY/LA this weekend), but this writer became aware of the actor’s charisma and naturalistic presence earlier this year – when Teller served as the emotional center for the “Hangover in college” raunch-com, 21 and Over (read my review).
Many hard-core F4 fans are probably scratching their heads right now, about the prospect of Teller playing Mr. Fantastic – since, traditionally, the character serves as the father-figure of the superhero team; outside of Marvel’s “Ultimate” F4 comic book continuity, he is usually portrayed as a less sociable intellectual and accomplished scientist over the age of 30 – which is a very different character than the kind Teller has played before. This isn’t the only non-conventional casting rumor we’ve heard for Trank’s comic book movie reboot either, along with the circulating rumors about acclaimed young (read: in their mid-20s) actors Michael B. Jordan (The Wire) and Allison Williams (Girls) being wanted to play a biracial version of the siblings Johnny and Sue Storm.
That said: Millar has talked about Trank’s vision for the F4 movie reboot as being something revolutionary, having claimed that the film will include stuff that “you haven’t seen in a superhero movie before.” Moreover, Trank managed to put together something quite special with Chronicle, when he and screenwriter Max Landis added a super-powers twist to the dark and emotionally-challenging adolescent drama present in the film (not to mention, the duo made surprisingly effective use of the found-footage storytelling approach).
That’s a round-about way of saying: Trank has enough artistic credibility right now for him to deserve the benefit of the doubt, when it comes to his casting selections for the Fantastic Four reboot – whether it be hiring on a youthful actor with a chill screen presence to play Mr. Fantastic (like Teller), or embracing diversity and the changing times with a non-white Human Torch.
After the previous live-action Fantastic Four movies, a change-in-pace is all the more welcome, right? Plus, as mentioned before, the casting of Teller in particular seems more reasonable when you keep in mind that there there is a similarly young version of the Reed Richards character in the “Ultimate” comics – the same continuity that is guiding the Amazing Spider-Man movie franchise right now (hint, hint).
Let us know if you are intrigued by the rumored Fantastic Four casting choices, as well as your thoughts and feelings towards the project in general.
Fantastic Four is scheduled to begin a theatrical release on March 6th, 2015.
Source: The Wrap
Update Source: Josh Trank