[UPDATE: The source of all this - a supposed Josh Trank Twitter account - was fake. Scroll for details.]
Fox's reboot of the Fantastic Four movie franchise is without a doubt the most hated-on superhero movie currently in development. The casting of Michael B. Jordan as a black Johnny Storm/Human Torch caused... well, a storm of controversy - and having Miles Teller (Project X), Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer) as the new Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl and The Thing (respectively) hasn't been met with overwhelming fan approval, either.
In fact, having Chronicle director Josh Trank in the director's chair has been the only element of the film that hardcore fans have generally approved of.
Well, after missing a grand opportunity to make an impression at Comic-Con 2014, it looks like the Fantastic Four filmmakers could be taking to social media for the start of a PR campaign to turn the tide of hate - because Josh Trank himself is revealing our first look at the new Fantastic Four's version of Ben Grimm in Thing form - and it doesn't look half bad:
UPDATE: The Josh Trank Twitter Account was fake - leaving no way to verify the Thing Image.
For comparison to the version of Ben Grimm/Thing played by Michael Chiklis in the 2005 Fantastic Four:
The aesthetic of this prop (it looks like an animatronic bust piece) is definitely a lot grittier than Michael Chiklis' look in the 2005 Fantastic Four - yet it still retains the animated baby blue eyes and teddy bear softness of the Ben Grimm fans know and love.
There will undoubtedly be some complaint that this version of The Thing isn't orange enough, but overall this is a pretty good adaptation - and the jumbled puzzle look of the rock skin is pretty impeccable. Seeing this good start, we're suddenly very curious to see what Trank and Co. have done with the rest of the characters.
The new Fantastic Four movie is still a mystery in terms of story. After some confusing statements from the cast, it's still ambiguous as to whether or not the film will follow the mythos of comics at all, or how closely it will hew to them.
We know that antagonists will come in the form of Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as Doctor Doom, while Tim Blake Nelson (Incredible Hulk) will play Harvey Elder, aka The Mole Man. As for Johnny and Sue and their differing races? The casting of House of Cards star Reg E. Cathey (an African-American actor) as Dr. Franklin Storm certainly provides a clue...
UPDATE: Steven Weintraub of Collider is reporting that the Josh Trank Twitter account is fake:
someone I trust and would know tells me @josh_trank is not Josh. Do not follow or believe the tweets.
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) August 24, 2014
Needless to say, take this "confirmation" of The Thing's new look with a grain of salt.
Fantastic Four will be in theaters on June 19, 2015.
Source: Josh Trank