During Comic-Con back in July we found out that one member of the next Fantastic Four movie would be created on screen completely in CGI. I am of course referring to The Thing, or Ben Grimm as he used to be called before cosmic rays turned him into the lovable orange rock monster we now know him as.
While Twentieth Century Fox seeks out replacement actors to fill out the cast of the next Fantastic Four franchise installment, they're looking for a different set of acting qualities in an actor who will play The Thing. Specifically, they need someone with star quality who has a commanding voice. If Fox has their wish, it could be either Bruce Willis or Kiefer Sutherland who brings the voice of Ben Grimm to life.
Comic Book Movie reported earlier today that Fox is pursuing Bruce Willis to play Ben Grimm and the voice of CGI version of The Thing in the Fantastic Four quasi-reboot. I had heard the same throughout this last week without confirmation but I'm also hearing now that Kiefer Sutherland is the other choice of interest for the studio at the moment.
With three directors being pursued (David Yates, James McTeigue, Joe Carnahan), actors in talks for all four key roles as well as the villainous Dr. Doom, it appears Fox is trying to get a big head start on Fantastic Four compared to the last minute casting strategy we saw employed with X-Men: First Class.
I'm a big fan of Kiefer but I can see Fox pushing hard for Bruce Willis' name and starpower to help sell the movie. That being said, I'd prefer Kiefer's voice as The Thing if I had to pick but I'm sold on both.
The latest casting talk for Fantastic Four further confirms Fox's desire to bring in bigger talent into the mix for their upcoming Marvel franchise films. Despite there being actors in talks for the five key roles we know of thus far, none will be confirmed before a director signs on. Out of the options to helm the project, I'm in favor of Joe Carnahan who did The A-Team for Fox earlier this year which happens to be one of my favorite movies of the summer.
From what I've been told, Adrien Brody is the current top contender to play Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) and that they're looking for established stars for that character and The Thing. As for the Storm siblings, Alice Eve is the top pick for Sue Storm (Invisible Woman) and that she dropped the chance at playing Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class for this opportunity. Playing Johnny Storm (Human Torch) could be Kevin Pennington who Fox also almost had play a part in First Class after an impressive reading but he'll instead be seen in the comedy Horrible Bosses next year (currently shooting).
It seems Fox may be saving actors they were fond of from the First Class auditions to use in key roles for the Fantastic Four reboot. Once we get a director selected, expect confirmations on cast selections to be rolling in not too long after. I can say that I'm excited about all of those potentially involved so far.
The tentative plan is for Fantastic Four to being production next year for a Summer 2012 release.