The early 2000s saw a huge boost in superhero movies, and among this early set was the nearly universally-panned film Fantastic Four (2005). Now, although I was only 14 when the movie came out, I’d like to think my movie taste wasn’t terrible, and I liked the movie so there must have been a special something about that particular story because I agree that the sequel was terrible.
Well, someone else clearly thought so too and gave the Fantastic Four another chance at movie fame in the upcoming Fantastic Four (2015). Although the movie is an origin story like the original, don’t expect it to be anywhere near the same movie. Keep reading to find out why you should be excited about this reboot!
Of course the reboot will keep the same main four characters as the original since they’re the Fantastic Four, but Fantastic Four is using younger actors because the filmmakers want it to be a “next generation” movie. In casting the film, they’ve put together a stellar and clearly talented group, based on the number of awards these actors have been nominated for. Miles Teller, most recently of Whiplash fame but who also was award-nominated for roles in Rabbit Hole and The Spectacular Now, will star as Reed Richards a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic. Perhaps best known for House of Cards, Kate Mara will play the Invisible Woman, Sue Storm. British actor Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer, Man on a Ledge) takes on Ben Grimm and later, The Thing through motion-capture technology. Rounding out the core cast as Johnny Storm a.k.a. the Human Torch is Michael B. Jordan who had several television roles on shows like Friday Night Lights and Parenthood before his star-making turn in Fruitvale Station. Like the comics’ Ultimate Fantastic Four, the movie’s superheroes will find themselves transported to an alternate universe where they gain their super powers.
Director Josh Trank and writer Simon Kinberg were very invested in the idea of the Fantastic Four as a story about science, and that’s what the hope to bring to the movie, even though some have criticized their trailer for looking more like a science fiction film than a superhero movie. Trank and Kinberg, however, have chops in both genres. Trank wrote and directed the 2012 movie Chronicle about kids who gain super powers but can’t control them while Kinberg wrote X-Men: The Last Stand, Jumper, Sherlock Holmes and X-Men: Days of Future Past. The trailer certainly seems serious enough and a far departure from most recent Marvel movies, which intrigues me.
One of the major changes Fantastic Four will make to the canon is in its depiction of Doctor Doom, or just Doom as he’s known in the film. Doom a.k.a. Victor Dornashev is a computer programmer, and as in the 2005 movie, we’ll get to see how he comes to be a villain at the same time that the Fantastic Four are becoming heroes. Kinberg claims Victor, who will be played by Tony Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Counselor, The East), is essential to the plot of the film.
However, the movie may have another villain up its sleeve in the form of Harvey Elder a.k.a. Mole Man, played by Tim Blake Nelson (Lincoln, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Incredible Hulk). It’s entirely likely that Fantastic Four will feature both villains since that’s what superhero movies like The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight have done, but I’m hoping either Elder plays a small role in the film or he’ll be saved for a sequel because multiple villains is a lot for an origin story to handle.
One of the aspects of the movies I’m most excited for is watching the group form, which was part of the reason I liked the 2005 movie so much. It’s not quite certain yet how much the movie will borrow from Ultimate Fantastic Four where Ben and Reed were childhood friends and Reed met Johnny and Sue at a school for genius children, but Trank and Kinberg are definitely invested in the idea of the team as a family. It’s likely they know each other before they gain their super powers, but the incident will of course bond them like never before.
A sequel to this movie, providing it goes well and makes money of course, has already been announced for June 2017. That leaves the door open for the Fantastic Four to become a franchise like the Avengers or the X-Men, and it would be even cooler if these franchises came together somehow. While it might not happen soon – or ever – for Fantastic Four and the Avengers because their movie rights are owned by different companies, Fantastic Four and the X-Men have the potential for a future team-up. And with the recent news that Spider-Man has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Marvel partnered with Sony on the character, maybe a Fantastic Four and Avengers movie isn’t completely out of the question.
Fantastic Four comes out August 7, so we only have a few more months to wait. If it’s anything like the Batman and Spider-Man reboots, Fantastic Four will be a movie that you’ll see in theaters again and again. I, for one, am hoping for the best, if only so I can say I liked the Fantastic Four movie without getting laughed out of the room.