[UPDATE: Josh Trank says the leaked Fantastic Four synopsis is not accurate.]
It took a while, but the Fantastic Four movie reboot looks to be moving down the tracks smoothly now. The script is finished, official casting announcements should be coming in a matter of weeks (days, maybe), and multiple outlets have now reported that award-winner Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) is attached to play literal hotshot Johnny Storm/Human Torch in the film.
The report that F4 reboot director Josh Trank wanted to reunite with Jordan (who starred in Trank's feature debut Chronicle) originally hit the news scene some 9-10 months ago, from the time of writing this. Trank started developing the film well before then, and if new potential story details are indeed the real deal, then it makes all the more sense as to why Trank is handling this particular Marvel comic book adaptation (and why he would want to reteam with a talented youngster like Jordan).
Acting Auditions has posted a casting call for 20th Century Fox's reboot of the Fantastic Four movie franchise, claiming that all roles - "starring, costarring and supporting roles" - are technically up for grabs right now, with the exception of The Human Torch - a role that Jordan is attached to, according to the latest trade source report. The audition notice asserts that production will begin in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on February 4th, which is earlier than the March 2014 start date previously reported.
It may be best to keep that discrepancy in mind, as far as why there's still reasonable doubt to be had with regard to the accuracy of the synopsis included with the casting call (even though it seems pretty legit, otherwise).
UPDATE: Trank has responded to the rumored F4 plot synopsis on Twitter:
that synopsis is definitely not the synopsis or anything close to the synopsis. i don't know who put that out. byyee.
— Josh Trank (@josh_trank) January 24, 2014
"The Fantastic Four' will tell the story of two very young friends, Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. After an event transforms the boys, they find themselves empowered with bizarre new abilities. Reed becomes a scientific genius who can stretch, twist and re-shape his body to inhuman proportions. Ben becomes a monstrous, craggy humanoid with orange, rock-like skin and super strength. However, the two end up being owned by the government and used as weapons. But after they mature, two others with powers come into the picture - Sue Storm "The Invisible Girl" and Johnny Storm "The Human Torch."
Early signs have pointed to the F4 reboot's script - written by relative newcomer Jeremy Slater and revised by Fox's Marvel Universe architect Simon Kinberg - taking its cues from the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic book continuity, as evidenced by 20-somethings like Miles Teller (That Awkward Moment) and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) being in the running to play a fresh-faced Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, like in the Ultimate F4 universe.
The above plot blurb falls in line with that assumption, as the Ultimate version of Reed Richards is a child genus who was essentially recruited by the government at a young age - before the accident that gave him superpowers occurred - while Ultimate-verse Ben Grimm befriended Reed early in life and often served as his protector while they were in school together (before the same accident that transformed Reed also turned Ben into a giant, orange, rocky... well, thing).
Adding a coming of age subtext to the Fantastic Four's origin story (as the synopsis indicates) seems like a reasonable approach to expect from Trank, whose influence on the project should be observable even after Kinberg's retooling of the script. Indeed, a potential F4 movie along these lines would be something of a logical progression from Trank's exploration of the teenage existence in found-footage/super-powers mashup Chronicle.
Similarly, it would make sense for the relationship between the four superheroes and the government to be firmly established in the film reboot. Fox's X-Men movie franchise has long played on the idea of a shaky relationship between mutants and the government, so if there's ever going to be a crossover between the F4 and X-Men universes onscreen - and there very well may be one down the line - it might be best for at least one of the super-powered groups to have the authorities on their side (for potential conflict's sake, anyway).
But, of course, these details could also be incorrect and have been put together based on reasoning similar to that which is presented here. So, keep that grain of salt at the ready, and let us know what you think of these possible story/character details in the comments section - as we await more official news arriving in the near future.
Fantastic Four opens in theaters on June 19, 2015
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