After months of rumors and updates on Marvel properties like X-Men, The Avengers and Spider-Man (while DC's Batman vs. Superman has now moved back to 2016), it's time for the Fantastic Four to hog the spotlight. Filming on the movie reboot from director Josh Trank (Chronicle) is slated to begin in Louisiana in March 2014, so official casting announcements will be coming soon; in fact, just earlier today, Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) confirmed as much and indicated that he is still a front-runner to play Mr. Fantastic.
At the least, it sounds as though Teller will be part of the last group to audition for the four coveted lead roles in Trank's superhero flick, once the final round of testing gets started later this month. Furthermore, the latest update reveals that Simon Kinberg has completed his Fantastic Four script draft, some four months after initial reports on him performing revisions on the film's screenplay.
Kinberg also wrote this year's X-Men: Days of Future Past and has a three-year deal with 20th Century Fox that involves him overseeing construction on the studio's shared Marvel film universe; it makes sense from a studio perspective for Kinberg to have "final cut" on a developing script that's been worked on by the likes of relative newcomer Jeremy Slater, T.S. Nowlin (The Maze Runner) and Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), among others. There are no details on the F4 screen story featured in the new report from Variety, but the site does assure that Kinberg is done tinkering with the plot/script at this point.
As for casting: Variety is reaffirming the previous claims that people like Game of Thrones alumni Richard Madden and Kit Harington will test for a role (or roles), while Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel) audition for the role of Sue Storm/Invisible Woman. Moreover, the site backs the previous reports that Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle, Fruitvale Station) is attached to play Johnny Storm/Human Torch, and that he will test with other actors in order to determine "which group has the best chemistry."
A number of our readers have expressed concern about the Fantastic Four reboot, and not without reason - given that, from afar, it seems as though pre-production on the film has been a rocky process. Keep in mind, this movie not only has to re-introduce the Fantastic Four after the lackluster live-action movies of the mid-aughts (starring Captain America's Chris Evans, among others), but also lay the groundwork for bigger developments in the future; that could include a crossover with the X-Men, at some point. So, the prolonged development is (at least, partly) because this is a film that Fox, Trank and Kinberg want/need to get just right.
As for the controversy about race-bending the Human Torch and taking cues from the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic books (which also feature a younger Mr. Fantastic): every person reported to be either attached or testing for Trank's reboot is a well-respected acting talent whose star is only rising higher and higher. That's all the more important in this case, since Fox will certainly want them to commit to multi-picture deals before any of them become too big a name (see how things are working out for Sony, once it set Andrew Garfield for The Amazing Spider-Man franchise early on).
Which of the aforementioned cast members testing for Fantastic Four do you like best as Mr. Fantastic and Sue Storm, respectively? Any suggestions for who should be recruited to play Benjamin Grimm/Thing? Let us know in the comments section!
Fantastic Four opens in theaters on June 19, 2015