Back in March of this year, we reported on the possible reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise. Then, at the end of last month that rumor became a fact, as 20th Century Fox is, indeed, moving forward with a reboot of Fantastic Four.
As Screen Rant's Kofi Outlaw predicted back in March, a reboot should and will mean that the four actors who portrayed the titular superheroes in Fantastic Four and its sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer, will be recast. Although it's not been talked about/confirmed for Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd or Michael Chiklis, today we get word that Chris Evans won't be playing The Human Torch again in Fox's Fantasic Four reboot.
Cinematical got a chance to ask Evans himself about the upcoming FF4 reboot, to which he replied (not in so many words) that we most likely won't be seeing him donning the blue suit and shouting "Flame on!" again, with no hard feelings about the matter:
"I don't think I'm going to be involved in it. I would imagine a reboot would be -- a reboot! I think they're going to start from scratch and that's the way those movies go. I mean, they're doing it with Red Dawn too. Sometimes they happen quicker than others. Batman there was a big chunk of time, and the new Batman movies are fantastic. Superman, Incredible Hulk. Sometimes its a big gap, sometimes there's a small gap. If there's room to reinvent a franchise in a different tone and they can make a good film out of it, so be it. I'm not going to have anything negative to say about it."
When asked whether or not it'd be weird for him to see someone else take his flaming place, Evans had this to say:
"Well, of course. But I've done plays and then I'll go see someone else do the same play, and be like 'Hmm. I did it differently!' You know? [laughs] Of course. But let's not confuse weird with bad, or weird with negative. Weird is in no way [negative]. No way would I have any -- I welcome the new franchise. I hope it's fantastic. I like good movies! I'm sure Michael Keaton felt the same way, I'm sure Christopher Reeve felt the same way. If it's a great movie, let's make it. Let's get it out there. There aren't enough of them."
So it may not be word from Fox itself confirming it, but I think we can count Evans out for returning as The Human Torch. And the same goes for the rest of the cast: as Evans says, if it's going to be a reboot then they need to stick to their guns and do exactly that - reboot it. It's the same reason they've recast Freddy Krueger for the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street (a decision I was annoyed by until I found out who they cast in his place) - if they had original Krueger Robert Englund returning, it wouldn't truly be a remake, but rather like a continuation of a tired string of films.
I think it's wise for Fox to reboot the FF4 franchise, at least from a critical/fan point-of-view. Money-wise, the studio could just continue on after the crappy Rise of the Silver Surfer with a third movie, adding to the franchise's already successful $500 million-plus at the box office. But it appears they're going the more desired route of effectively pretending that the first two films don't exist (ala The Incredible Hulk).
So who could be cast in place of Evans, Alba, Chiklis and Gruffudd? For starters, I would cast someone older than Alba as Sue Storm - perhaps Uma Thurman?; For The Human Torch, I'd like to throw Joseph Gordon-Levitt's name in the ring. He's got charm, and I think he'd do a great job with the Johnny Storm "attitude"; For Mr. Fantastic, how about Patrick Wilson? Even if he was Nite Owl II in this year's excellent Watchmen, I think he'd be great in the fantastically stretchy role; And as for The Thing - that's a real tough one. Out of all the cast members, Chiklis is the one I'd keep in his role if it was possible (I never really cared for Evans as The Human Torch). For some reason Butterbean (the boxer) keeps coming to mind. If only he could act...
What do you think of Chris Evans (most likely) not returning as The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four reboot? Who should play the four superheroes this time around?
At this early stage, the Fantastic Four reboot doesn't have a planned release date yet.