‘Fantastic Four’ Cast Update: Kate Mara is the Invisible Woman; Jamie Bell to Play The Thing

Published 9 months ago by , Updated February 20th, 2014 at 9:08 am,

Kate Mara Jamie Bell Fantastic Four Cast Fantastic Four Cast Update: Kate Mara is the Invisible Woman; Jamie Bell to Play The Thing

Marvel comic book adaptations are everywhere these days. Disney is paving the way to Phase 3 of The Avengers shared universe, Sony is busy establishing a longterm Spider-Man plot line (involving the Sinister Six and a Venom solo movie), while Fox is preparing a generation-bending team-up in X-Men: Days of Future Past (to be followed by an Apocalypse story). As a result, with a flashy new trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy to analyze, it can be easy to forget that Fox is also working on a reboot of the Fantastic Four.

Lately, casting news has kept the project on our radar, with one unceremonious quasi-confirmation after another. After reports confirmed Chronicle‘s Michael B. Jordan will play Johnny Storm in the upcoming film and Miles Teller (Project X) strongly hinted that he was also attached as Reed Richards, all eyes have been on the roles of Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman and Ben Grimm/The Thing. Today, it sounds like we might finally know which two performers are expected to round out the cast.

josh trank fantastic four rumors 570x294 Fantastic Four Cast Update: Kate Mara is the Invisible Woman; Jamie Bell to Play The Thing

According to a report from The Wrap, Jamie Bell (Jumper) is expected to play Grimm – though the studio has yet to extend him an official contract. The write-up also re-confirms what most people have already accepted as a given at this point – that Teller will play Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, assuming the actor and the studio can finalize schedules (and his overall deal). Meanwhile, Variety suggests that Kate Mara (House of Cards) has actually accepted an offer to play Storm.

Mara has been rumored as a possibility for weeks – after prior rumors asserted that Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie were also in the running for Storm. However, Variety‘s report is the first one to say that Mara has officially signed-on – and, given the specificity of where things stand with Teller and Bell as well, it’s very possible this updated information is also accurate.

Of course, the official casting of Mara raises a key question that has been at the forefront of the Fantastic Four reboot, ever since Jordan was rumored as Johnny Storm: given that Jordan is black and Mara is white, has screenwriter Simon Kinberg outright abandoned the traditional brother-sister relationship between the pair – or does he have a different explanation in mind (such as adoption)? It’ll be interesting to find out; though, both Mara and Jordan have offered solid performances in notable action fare and character-driven indies – meaning that whatever their relationship is in the reboot, the actors should have no problem delivering in the roles.

fantastic four movie reboot cast 570x294 Fantastic Four Cast Update: Kate Mara is the Invisible Woman; Jamie Bell to Play The Thing

On the other hand, The Wrap‘s post represents the first we’re hearing of Jamie Bell, best known for voicing the titular character in Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin. That said, the actor is a star on the rise – with a notable turn in film festival favorite Snowpiercer followed by the impending (and controversial) release of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac: Volume I and II. Like Mara and Jordan, Bell is a smart catch for the Fantastic Four reboot – one that should be especially encouraging to anyone who was rolling their eyes at the thought of Josh Gad as The Thing.

Assuming that director Josh Trank takes advantage of similar technologies as Joss Whedon used to capture Mark Ruffalo’s performance for the Hulk in The Avengers, we won’t get to see a lot of Bell (at least not after the initial accident  turns him into a superhero) but he has strong enough acting chops to ensure that Grimm’s humanity shows through his stony CGI exterior.

fantastic four movie reboot release date 2015 570x294 Fantastic Four Cast Update: Kate Mara is the Invisible Woman; Jamie Bell to Play The Thing

Obviously, industry reports are not the same thing as official confirmation but, as mentioned, the write-ups suggest knowing insight into where the studio is at with each of the primary cast members. Not to mention, earlier rumors indicated the script is now complete - and that potential cast members would be testing this month (February 2014). If the reports are to be believed, that means half of the team could now be confirmed, Mara and Jordan, with Teller and Bell still in talks. Given how much Teller has been spouting off about the project, even teasing casting news “soon,” it’s unlikely that he’ll drop out. Yet, anything is possible.

We’ll keep you up to date as Fox offers official information (or official denials) – including who might play the film’s villain.

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More: Why Miles Teller & Michael B. Jordan ‘Deserve’ Roles

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Fantastic Four is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on June 19th, 2015.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for updates on the Fantastic Four reboot as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Sources: The Wrap and Variety

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TAGS: fantastic four

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  1. WOW!!! This looks new and interesting, makes me feel the story must be really good for them to even think they can pull this off!! Love it!! Now I shall wait for the imminent internet meltdown to ensue in 3……..2……..1……..

    • No meltdown yet, it looks interesting to me too.

      Now, Internet meltdown in 3, 2, 1…

    • This is terrible,outlandish,Fox can go f… naw im just kidding this seems like good casting although I never seen Bell in anything but I’ve seen Mara in a couple movies and think she can pull of Sue Storm.

      • Belle is good in Peter Jackson’s King Kong, but that character isn’t very Thing like. But in Jumper, he plays a angst-filled character with superpowers. Belle is a fine actor.

    • Yeah, exactly. I’m a fan of each of these actors. And Trank did a good job with Chronicle. Deeply interested in seeing how this plays out.

    • You predict that some opinions won’t be positive of a forum where there will be a variety of opinions?

      You’re Socrates.

      Somebody give this guy a medal.

  2. Not that I dislike Mara, it’s just that her sister Rooney Mara is an extremely talented actress…
    But Jamie Bell is awesome. I’m sure F4 will surprise everyone.

  3. I’ll go see it regardless. I see every comic book movie (excluding The Spirit, Elektra and Catwoman). Only thing I’m legit afraid of, is this comment board and Twitter and other sites reacting to the confirmation of a highly qualified, but black MBJ. 2014 and still can’t be accepted. I get the argument somewhat. People want it to look like a book made in the 1960s. Do people want visual accuracy, or a good story and entertaining movie? And then there is the age complaints. Aren’t the Ultimate FF team high schoolers? This is better off then.

    • people are gonna be more concerned the fact they both aint white or black. they are meant to be brother and sister. i dont think people care about race… but saying that if they were to cast a white black panther s**t would probably hit the fan.

      • You could have a white Black Panther. You would have to explain a few things but if you do it well enough, ultimately anything can work:)

        • We’ve already had a white Black Panther, they just changed his name to Tarzan.

          • umm… Tarzan predates Black Panther by decades.

      • The issue isn’t the race of particular characters. It is just that minorities, like myself, feel underrepresented in the superhero media. The vast majority of superheroes in movies have been white males (Black Widow and Cat woman don’t count, they are there for men to gawk at), Black heroes have only been sidekicks (besides Blade and Spawn), and the last major Latino hero I can remember was Antonio Banderas as Zorro.

        • Your point is very valid, not quit as bad as painted but it is without a doubt an entertainment medium that is highly populated with white characters.

          My only issue is that at some point the solution is to create new characters that solve the solution and not change others.

          I personally don’t like changing things to make one group happy over another when the real solution is to create new properties that are more appealing to diverse markets.

  4. … REALLY!?

    its like they just picked a bunch of kids that they knew they would be able to get and people that wouldnt negotiate and potentially waste time… the only casting here i like is human torch but his sister is white? so they are adopted? why are they doing this…
    oh yeah, to keep the rights.

    im disappointed, i like F4, ut i would rather they got in the MCU. the only franchise i think benefits not being in MCU is X-men because they have so many characters but they cant even get x men right…

    • BOYCOTT X-MEN FILMS!

  5. Younger actors are better anyways, when it comes to franchises like these, they’ll have time to grow into the roles. And yea MBJordan as Human Torch is gonna cause Internet meltdowns for a while.

  6. Meh. Pass.

    • you know you’re still gonna go see it.

      • Nope. I’ll wait for it on cable.

        • yeah, that’s still seeing it, ain’t it?

          • It means Fox ain’t getting my money.

            • Fox must be getting pretty nervous now….

              • lmao

  7. Interesting. I’ve never seen Kate Mara in anything, but she totally looks great for Sue Storm.

    Wouldn’t it be absurd if Bell was cast as Grimm and Fantastic Four not only actually happened, but beat Snowpiercer to a U.S. release? Ha.

    • Kate Mara was in “Shooter”, a movie that stared Mark Wallberg. It’s an excellent movie, in my opinion. I highly recommend it. The cast was excellent. The director and producers did a great job.

  8. the guy that will be playing the the thing is really skinny guy, don’t we need a guy that built husky?

    • Well, I’ve heard that they’ll use a motion capture suit for The Thing like Hulk in The Avengers.

      • That’s not good enough. They should cast an 8ft tall 700lb orange rock monster in the role.

        • Record scratch.

        • Someone should complain, this British actor is taking jobs from red-blooded American, orange rock monsters.

    • I’m suprised no one picked up on that

    • Yeah Grimm is supposed to be a Yancey Street Brawler. This kid looks like he fights with his ears.

      • I hear that having surgery on the ears, to fold them back (so they don’t stick out so much) is a very minor cosmetic surgery procedure. Furthermore he can come his hair in such a way as to partially hide his ears.

        • should be “comb his hair”. My mistake.

          • lmao!

    • In a turnaround, Reed Richards will be a built guy. I hear Channing Tatum is avaialble.

  9. Chris Evans is white American.
    Jessica Alba is Mexican American…
    They played siblings..

    • my point exactly. people are just upset because Jordan is black. don’t sugarcoat folks, speak your prejudicial minds.

      • I’d personally prefer those people stay quiet.

    • Well, that’s why I wanted them to resemble actual “look the same siblings” this time. Alba and Evans were not an example of casting done right (Evans was by himself).

      I’m fine with Jordan and Mara – just saying, those previous Fantastic Four films don’t work very well as justification of how it worked last time.

      Granted, any difference in ethnicity between Alba and Evans was not really the problem, but nevertheless, they serve as an example of what *not* to do, IMO.

    • Really? Alba is only half Mexican and half whie. Besides Mexicans are Spanish(white)mixed with natives… My point is it was passable. These two new cast members are not unless you do the adoption thing.

      • Are you’re assuming Jordon doesn’t have any White family members?
        According to 23andMe statistics, about 84% of black Americans have Caucasian relatives.
        Is that not enough for you scrubs, or anyone who looks white IS white?
        Great logic, lol.

        • Hey may have some caucasian in him, but i said passable… Alba and Chris were… THis guy and the white girl are not… I give two craps about race since it’s not even real in biology, but your not gonna convince me that they are blood related… It’s called genetics and science and stuff…

    • YAS! Thank you!

    • No race mixing, it goes against the Aryan Brotherhoods Comic Book code.

    • I don’t want to get into the black vs. white thing because honestly, it’s the age of the cast and the new unfamiliar storyline that’s killed my interest this movie. But I’ve seen this Alba argument a few times now. I had no idea who Jessica Alba was when FF came out. I didn’t even know she wasn’t a blonde until years later, when my wife said she looked horrible as a blonde. So I think that, unless you were already a fan of Jessica Alba (or unless I’m just horribly blind when it comes to race), you wouldn’t have thought twice about she and Evans playing siblings. With the new casting, you can’t miss the difference. I think it would have been a lot simpler to have cast a black actress as Sue Storm. You’re already asking for trouble from a certain segment of the audience by changing one character’s race. Why make more trouble for yourself by having to provide some kind of awkward excuse within the story itself?

      • I don’t think that they’ll do this but… Why not go futher than anyone has gone before in terms of changing the race and modernizing the familly? (The producers and the director are already out on a ledge anyway. Why not go all the way?) Jordan and Mara could be (in the movie) real biological brother and sister from mixed race parents. Jordan’s make-up could give him a cafe au lait -slightly lighter complection, and Mara’s light Egyptian make-up could give her a slightly darker complextion.

    • Jessica Alba doesn’t look or sound Mexican though.

      I think as long as they give some plausible explanation as to the racial discrepancy between the Storm siblings it’s of no consequence. The question is what is the point of the change? Is there some story element that they couldn’t do with a white torch? Or did they just want to stir up controversy so people would talk about the movie. I hate to burst their bubble but controversy doesn’t necessarily translate into ticket sales.

  10. How about Jordan & Mara’s characters have different mothers? Jordan could easily play a biracial man. Of course, they could also have the same parents. There several cases where interracial couples have children with different phenotypes. One child is brown skinned and the other pale skinned.

    I think people need to learn more about human genetics. Mixed-race people come in different colors.

    Wentworth Miller, Pete Wentz, Carol Channing, etc. All people with with one white and black parent.

    • Thank you.

    • Just to be clear, I hear what you’re saying. I merely said adoption was one possibility – not the only possibility.

    • Thank you.

  11. Yeah Ok I got you. I wont say nothing against the cast.
    But please producers, just make things clear and titled this film as it is – a very young and different version of the F4 we all know.

  12. @corey93
    Casting a white Black Panther would be like casting a German Captain America.

    • Dude…..Thank You!! Just…..Thank You!!

    • Or an American Captain Germany.

    • Really? Really? That’s stupid. Johnny Storm’s skin color is not inherent to his character.

      Read a comic. The Black Panther’s race/color was essential to his existence because he represented a strong black African who was not beholden to any white person or nation.

      By the way, do you get upset every time Jesus or any other biblical character is portrayed by a pale skinned, white Northern European when anyone with common sense knows that Jewish folks from thousands of years ago were not white but brown? Does it upset you that Russell Crowe is playing Noah? Did you get upset when Eva Green was cast to play a Persian woman in the new 300 movie? When you watch The Three Musketeers films, does it bother you that none of the musketeers is shown as black even though Alexandre Dumas, the author based the characters off his black father, who was a famed French military officer??

      Yep, you must really get upset when all those folks who look nothing like their –>historical<– counterparts get cast in a film.

      • Lol Jews and other middle easterners are still Caucasian though… I’ve spent a lot of time in the Middle East and they look like white folks to me… Just a little exotic is all…

        • Exactly. People do a little traveling or at least open your eyes. People from that region aren’t all dark skinned. Quite the opposite. Really depends on the region for some.

          • Yeah I love the misconception about middle easterners… Even on TV most of them are played by Indian actors that are dark skinned…

    • German Captain America? LOL Cap in the comics is very Aryan looking. Even Red Skull says as much when he inhabited a cloned Steve Rogers body.

      Now, a Captain America speaking english with a German accent would be strange!

  13. Wow, Jamie Bell and Kate Mara look a lot alike. Are these rumors of who plays who accurate?

    • Oh well, Billy Elliot as Ben Grimm. Maybe it’ll work. On the plus side he does have ample experience with CGI/motion capture.

    • That’s a really good question. Until the studio confirms it, nobody knows.

  14. There are other good casting choices for Sue Storm because there are many other young actresses out there. And Michael B. Jordan deserves a better and more iconic role than being the new Human Torch. He’d be a good Night Thrasher (of the New Warriors), Cloak (of Cloak and Dagger), Patriot (of Young Avengers), Luke Cage, or even the Black Panther. The guy is slowly carving out a niche in portraying super-powered characters anyway so I guess I kind of expected better things for this actor than being the new Human Torch.

    • Night Thrasher is more iconic than Human Torch?

      • Well, for a person of color like me Night Thrasher would always be iconic. And iconic in the sense that his character was able to lead a younger generation of Marvel heroes unite them as a team despite race and species. It’s the kind of plot treatment that got duplicated and even developed better in The Runaways – which, by the way, has some POCs in the group. But he was more popular a few decades back so I get why he doesn’t get mentioned these days very much. I listed down a couple of heroes that have still yet to get adapted to the silverscreen, J83. The Falcon is already making his debut – finally! And I arranged the heroes in the list from least popular to most popular anyway so in hindsight, I think Michael B. Jordan could have gone for other POC heroes.

        But I won’t deny the fact that the cast looks promising in talent. It’s the plot (especially which Marvel “Universe” they’re operating in) and adaptation itself that I’m more worried about. Because if it rakes in good to excellent returns in the box office, then most of us would have been proven wrong and set to rights in our 50/50 stand of the reboot. If it doesn’t, then there’s the danger that it could smudge the careers of its promising cast. To be safe, I’d rather see him (Jordan) play another Marvel hero role than being the new Human Torch.

        • Let’s say I’m sold out to the idea of Jordan being the rebooted Human Torch… couldn’t they just made Sue Storm black or a POC too instead of just letting Jordan portray one of the FF members. One more POC on the team shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

          So it’s either giving a better and more deserving Marvel hero role to Jordan or the idea in the previous paragraph.

  15. Meh! Just bring on Batman vs Superman. I just don’t trust the fantastic four movies anymore while they’re at fox.

  16. Fox screws up everything it touches. I wouldn’t be surprised if they turned Mr. Fantastic into a 9 year old Asian boy and instead of the Thing being made of orange rock let’s make it where he’s made out of those white dog turds that have been outside for ages. Looks like I’ll be passing on yet another Fox made POS

  17. Bad move doing this ultimate fantastic 4 version i foresee this movie not doing well i have really mixed feelings bout the casting but there be other movies to watch when this comes out

  18. Jordan is just stunt-casting; no genuine reason for him to be black.
    Johnny Storm is just a teenager, no real character gravitas; his only emotional connection is with his sister & that relationship will be harder to believe with this casting.
    The bigger problem Fox have is with this younger approach as it’s an obvious attempt to use the Ultimate Universe version of the FF story. However that was a spectacularly unsuccessful version. That too changed the origin (to no great improvement), changed Galactus to cosmic drones, God knows what the Surfer was supposed to be and finally made Reed a villain. It was killed off after 50 odd issues.
    The classic casting works as the relationships between each member is then clearly defined. The FF work as a intimate group, the dynamics are clear and the stories do engage and amaze.
    This film is an abortion; they’ve gutted the whole essence of what the FF is about; what made them different from the others, what made them unique and the foundation stone for an entire universe.

    • If Fox were smart they would strike a deal with Sony and create a shared universe between Spiderman and the Fantastic Four.

      • If Fox were smart it would make a deal with Marvel/Disney so that there could be a series of Avengers vs X-Men movies.

  19. I will give the movie a chance unless they have a female Dr. Doom then Im out. I hope they have more than Dr. Doom as a villain also.

  20. This movie will be like any other Twilight, City of Bones, True Blood, Hunger Games, Harry Potter film involving teenage or early twenty year old children with great powers and a mission with lots of feelings of love along the way to finding themeslves. The material(comic) this film is based on is only a shadow of itself in yet another target market unoriginal special effects fest. Fox must have hired Stevie Wonder to cast theyre characters. Anyone who is unhappy with Fox or Sony for that matter, simply do not go see this in theatres, wait for rental, its the only way youll get to these guys. Though that might only be a drop in the bucket. At best this film will be an IRON MAN 3, at best a good movie, just not a good Fantastic Four Movie

    • I would agree with you that the Twilight movies were designed for teenage girls and if you were not a teenage girl there was no point in seeing these movies. Similarly the Harry Potter movies were really designed for children. However, I do find the Hunger Games movies to be quite good and I do believe that these movies appeal to a very diverse audience.

      As for Iron Man 3, personally I didn’t like it. I know that it made tons of money but I think that this movie was designed for a much younger audience, unlike the first Iron Man movie which I really enjoyed.

      I think it’s too early to tell whether they will do a good job with the rebooted Fantastic Four. It all depends on whether they have a good story and whether it is designed to be enjoyed by just children or whether it’s a cleaver movie that adults can enjoy and kids can enjoy too.

      • Yes Hunger Games are good and i do like them and know they offer more diversity, i was just using that as an example as its part of the complex being offered by hollywood these days. No one in the hills is thinking outside the box, there is always a formula and all those movies have the same thing in common, just look at the over saturation in the early 2000′s with teen “horror” movies like idle hands, i know what u did last summer, the faculty and final destination etc. They were all the same. Just like these are all the same but now only with a Super hero theme, frankly its disgusting and purely unimaginative. I dont understand how you have 60 years of source material and theme to draw upon and u guise it in a twilight form. Its a shame.

        IRON MAN 3 was garabage. It was a ok standalnoe Shane Black movie, if iron man wasnt attached, problem was it was supposed to be an Iron Man movie, and there is a responsiblity here. They dobnt care, there ego is more important to them as “artists”
        and they want there own movie. No one thinks or cares that this is a Marvel movie and something is owed to the characters and progression. If you cant get behind it you shouldnt be doing it. Read how they came up with the Mandarin plot in IM3, ” we were coming up with the idea in Shane Blacks huge mansion” , please. The movie was aimed for kids, just look at the scense with Tony and the kid, what a distraction and complete deviation from the plot. pointless. The movie only made money because of past merits – IM1, IM2, Avengers and thats the only reason.

        As ive said before the new FF may be a good movie, just not a good FF movie.

  21. Cant wait for reboot number 3 in 4 years….

    • M Night Shyamalan is going to direct.

    • Jean-Claude Van Damme will play Doctor Doom.

  22. We’ll just have to see how this turns out, but I do like Michael B. Jordan. Johnny and Sue don’t have to be siblings for the story to work, but if they have the same last name that could mean a different relation like adoption/blended family, cousins, pure coincidence, or they could be married. I doubt they need to go with the bi-racial explanation considering there is a global (and domestic) audience that may not get it.

  23. The African American Johnny Storm has a Caucasian sister?

    Either someone didn’t think this through or we have to spend half of our movie dollars watching some boring backstory about how Johnny’s family took Sue off the street and adopted her as their own, or some racist redneck version where Sues family did that for Johnny.

    I would love it if they got this right but i am not feeling confident.

    • You do realize that in real life, people with different skin colors and racial phenotypes are siblings? You know they have one parent common parent (dad) and a different parent (mom). I even hear that there’s this thing called adoption! Yep, it’s this thing where families take in children who not biologically related to them! It’s a new fangled thing that’s been going around for a few thousand years. I think there was this guy named Moses who adopted by an Egyptian family.

      P.S.

      Barack Obama has brown skin. His sister has lighter skin and Eurasian features. Same mother. Different fathers.

      • Probably why I mentioned adoption in my post. You should read before reacting.

        And the point remains. It will need some explanation which will require wasted time that could otherwise be devoted to actually telling a decent story.

  24. Pretty much everyone covered the race issue so i will not say my too cents. I will wait for futher casting to see how this plays out but seriously if this flops it would have been better to let the rights go back or at least try to sell them back. Hoping this will be a movie to see.

  25. This is the first time racists actually don’t want to see a movie with a black guy on fire.

  26. This is the one film I’m least interested in seeing. the casting is uninspired.

    • i’d disagree. this imo is one of the most interesting casting decisions in recent memory. sparked my interest in the film. 4 great up and coming actors with a great up and coming director. i’m all in, baby.

  27. So, this is gonna suck basically. That’s fine. When it bombs, the rights can then go back to Marvel, and we can get a decent FF movie for a change.

  28. i think fox is wrong doing the reboot they should just do a continuation story then recast the human storm then make funny jokes about captain america references specifically joking that they know cap or looks like someone they know

  29. I already gave Fox a chance to do F4 and they screwed it up.

    Fox doesn’t get any more chances.