Ok so I had to redo this intro because as I was writing this MTV Splash Page happened to post (a day earlier than usual) their weekly fantasy casting column about…the Fantastic Four. My goal was to get this up today and scoop the usual Friday, blogosphere speculation fest… but C’est la vie.
Thankfully for me, Splash Page cast their Fantastic Four flick using a mostly older set of actors; I myself have been envisioning a more youthful (not too young, though) version of Fantastic Four. Check out what my vision for this upcoming reboot is, and who I picked to take on the roles of Marvel’s favorite superhero family.
Ok, so before we start I thought I’d talk a little bit about the Fantastic Four, as I have come to understand the characters over the years. The thing that has always stuck with me about the FF is the way that – beyond all the superpowered adventures and exploration that made for pretty thrilling sci-fi – the characters and their powers worked on a whole other level as a clever metaphor for the family dynamic and some all-too familiar roles within that dynamic.
Think about it: Reed Richards’ “rubber man” power is also a great metaphor for his brilliant mind, which is limitless in its creative possibilities (just like his body), but limited by its tendency to forget the basic shape of everyday life (such as family and friends); Sue Richards often feels like an invisible woman to the one person she should matter most to (Reed); Johnny Storm thinks he’s hot you-know-what; and Ben Grimm is that hard-ass “uncle” who has a big heart he hides behind a rocky shell.
What I believe the last two Fantastic Four films failed to nail down was that underlying (and very relatable) family drama – lost somewhere in all the flashy f/x, bad dialogue and gratuitous exploits such as having Jessica Alba run around without clothes for no reason (which they SOMEHOW turned into a bad thing). This reboot cannot make that same mistake: family must come first if you want the story of the Fantastic Four to resonate beyond the halls of geekdom. The dynamic between the actors selected to play these roles is going to be CRUCIAL; they need to spark such good chemistry that they can improv their dialogue and still have it sound as real and natural as the arguments around YOUR family’s Sunday dinner table – while still managing to save the world.
That said, I’m making my choices based not only on the usual “he/she looks like a good fit” criteria, but also based on proven history of good chemistry with their fellow actors. I’ve also shied away from any really A-list stars – because let’s face it, with an ensemble of leading roles like this, no egos (or massive paychecks) can be allowed to rock the boat. Also, as I stated, I’ve gone with a more youthful incarnation of the Four: I would prefer to see a newly married Reed and Sue Richards, trying to figure out what shape the next phase of their adult lives should take, while having to deal with the baggage of in-laws (Johnny Storm) and close friends (Ben Grimm).
Without further ado, here is my new Fantastic Four: