If Fox's choice of Josh Trank as the director of Fantastic Four didn't convince you that the studio was taking the franchise in a bold, new direction, then the announcement that Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Kate Mara would play Marvel's first family surely did. Jordan's casting was notable as being a decisive switch from the comics where Johnny Storm/Human Torch is white. Likewise, Mara's casting as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman was also a little surprising for some people as she's his sister and is white.
The casting, however, is more of a sign that this Fantastic Four is seeking a different caliber of onscreen talent, falling in line with its different interpretation. Unlike previous Sue Storm, Jessica Alba - best known for her work in a slew of rom-coms and as exotic dancer Nancy Callahan in Sin City - Mara has earned acclaim for her dramatic chops with roles in House of Cards and American Horror Story, making her a good fit for a more serious, perhaps darker take on the Fantastic Four.
"Well, I don't know very much about it, which is weird but true! Umm, all I know is that it's going to be a very different take on the film, which people may not expect . I'm not really familiar with the comic books...I picked up a few when I got the part. I think we're making a very grounded version of a superhero film. I trust Josh Trank's vision as I was a huge fan of 'Chronicle.' "
"Grounded" is a term we hear a lot these days, but what it actually means can differ from project to project. A superhero film that's been described as grounded can either be low-key in its approach and low-budget in its production like Trank's Chronicle, or it can be a bit bleak and washed-out like Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. With Trank at the helm, FF likely leans more toward the former.
Mara was also asked about whether or not she's had a costume fitting for her role as the Invisible Woman, and she implied that she isn't even sure she'll have a costume. This, if true, would be a surprising development, but would surely fit in with any attempt at making the team appear more grounded.
However, seeing as their costumes are designed to work specifically with their powers - for example, The Human Torch's costume won't burn when he's on fire - it's tough to imagine they'll simply have a wardrobe of power-friendly clothing. Then again, maybe so! This Fantastic Four is supposedly a bold, new take after all.
When you hear Fantastic Four will be a "grounded" approach, do you imagine that means no costumes, no team name, et cetera, or simply a darker, more serious tone? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Fantastic Four is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on June 19th, 2015.