There’s been several rumors about the Fantastic Four movie reboot – ranging from who’s in serious discussion to join the cast to plot details – and while you’re probably as tired of reading (and as tired as we are of reporting them) as director Josh Trank, the film will soon finalize its cast ahead of production this spring.
A handful of 20-something up and comers are reported as having been either given consideration or tested for roles in Trank’s F4, which may take its cues from the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic book continuity and make the eponymous superheroes (as a whole) younger than they are in non-Ultimate F4 comics. Those aren’t the only steps in a new direction for the F4 movie franchise that this reboot looks to take, as you may’ve heard by now.
THR is confirming a longstanding claim that Michael B. Jordan (as Johnny Storm/Human Torch) is the only actor attached to the F4 reboot currently, as a result of 20th Century Fox “exercising the option” it has on the actor following the found-footage hit Chronicle (also directed by Trank). That Jordan is a handsome and charismatic actor whose star is rapidly on the rise – thanks to his performances in films like Fruitvale Station – makes him a nice catch for the film and arguably deserving of the role, despite controversy over the “race-switching” of the Human Torch character.
Speaking of departures from the traditional F4 mythos, THR‘s Heat Vision has also been hearing that classic F4 villain Dr. Doom will again be the central antagonist in Trank’s movie reboot. The word from their insiders is that the role will be filled by a big name – a bigger name than Julian McMahon (who played Doom in director Tim Story’s F4 movies) anyway – and that the character might be gender-switched. Nothing is set in stone just yet, though, so best to wait for additional information on this topic.
UPDATE: Josh Trank has commented on the Doom gender-switch rumor:
The THR gender speculation is also bullshit. Next.— Josh Trank (@josh_trank) February 6, 2014
Meanwhile, screen testing is ongoing for Trank’s comic book film, though some of the previously-mentioned names have been ruled out due to scheduling conflicts or related issues. The two actresses reported to have tested for Sue Storm/Invisible Woman just yesterday are Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Emmy Rossum (Shameless), while Christian Cooke (Romeo and Juliet (2013)) is reported to have recently tested for Ben Grimm/Thing. In addition, Miles Teller (That Awkward Moment) appears to still be the front-runner to play Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, as competitor Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) has moved on to other projects.
Mara has been shortlisted for the F4 reboot for several months now, whereas other previously-named starlets like Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) appear to be no longer in the running. Like Teller and Jordan, Mara in particular is someone who’s arguably “earned” the right to headline a superhero franchise, after doing fine character work on shows like House of Cards and American Horror Story, in addition to films like 127 Hours and 10 Years.
If nothing else, the cast shortlist for the F4 reboot is evidence of something that our editors discussed on a recent Screen Rant Underground Podcast episode (as part of a conversation that partly dealt with the latest Batman vs. Superman casting): that in general, major studios are no longer interested in pleasing hardcore fans with the casting for superhero comic book movie blockbusters. Even Marvel Studios – widely considered to be one of the more fan-friendly studios – has begun to move further and further away from that box (see: Ant-Man casting).
So far, though, a good chunk of these casting selections/rumors (including those for F4) have involved bringing in top-notch talent and/or embraced diversity and change in the comic book industry (if only for commercial/demographic-marketing purposes) – neither of which reads as a bad thing, when you stop to give it a fair amount of thought. Feel free to take that into consideration, while sounding off about the latest F4 news in the comments section of this article.
Fantastic Four is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on June 19th, 2015.