The Fantastic Four Movie: Everything we Know
With the new Fantastic Four movie only a year away from release, we break down all the info that might be helpful.
It seems almost impossible that in the over fifty year history of the Fantastic Four that they've yet to really get it right on the big screen. The first attempt was the unfortunate, never-released (unless you're into the bootleg scene) Roger Corman produced version, then there were FOX's two big-budget endeavors, Fantastic Four (of course) and Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer. Those films, while they were met with a reasonable amount of box-office success, failed to really inspire audiences, and the franchise just sort of faded away.
Now that the X-Men franchise is back on track, FOX is trying their hand at the Fantastic Four once again. To be fair, if they don't have an FF movie in production every few years, the rights will revert back to Marvel, who would surely welcome their first family into their movie studio fold. It doesn't look like that will be happening any time soon, though. With all that in mind, here's everything we currently know about the new Fantastic Four movie.
First and foremost, the movie needs a Four. They've got 'em in the form of Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell as Reed "Mr. Fantastic" Richards, Sue "Invisible Girl" Storm, Johnny "The Human Torch" Storm, and Benjamin "The Thing" Grimm, respectively. The four scientific explorers will gain superpowers, although we're not quite sure which approach they're going to take (we'll get to that in a minute).
Reg. E Cathey will play Dr. Franklin Storm, the father of Johnny and Sue, and likely the man who helps facilitate the acquisition of their powers. Toby Kebbel is the team's greatest enemy, Victor von Doom, while Tim Blake Nelson is Harvey Elder, the "eccentric and socially awkward scientist" who will eventually come to be known as the Mole Man.
This is where things are a little murky, but luckily, writer/producer Simon Kinberg has been plenty chatty about various details while out on the interview circuit discussing X-Men: Days of Future Past.
A number of signs (including a leaked plot synopsis which Josh Trank promptly debunked) seem to point to an origin story a little different than the traditional Fantastic Four comics. Originally a group of astronauts (more or less) who get exposed to cosmic radiation, it sounds like the Four's powers may be extradimensional in nature this time around. We'll just let these excerpts from our own interview with Simon Kinberg take over here:
"We’re definitely telling a younger story that the original films did. It depends on what books you look at. There are some, like the Ultimate books, that tell this story. So it is an origin story of the Fantastic Four, and it does follow them before they really know what a superhero is."
He also describes this as "a coming of age story" and promises that their origin story will involve "some sort of scientific travel." Yes, that sounds like Ultimate Fantastic Four (the 2004 update of the FF story by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar, and Adam Kubert) to us, too. Does this mean we're going to get a more monstrous Doctor Doom this time around, perhaps? Josh Trank said that Toby Kebbel's Doctor Doom performance "scared the crap out of me."
As for the tone of the film, Kinberg promised that "We're approaching it in a much more realistic, grounded, science rather than science fiction way."
The Fantastic Four has wrapped principal photography, and will spend the next several months in heavy post-production.
Initially FOX's intention was for their rebooted Fantastic Four universe to occupy the same world as their X-Men films, but in recent months, that suggestion has been walked back. In other words, don't expect any Reed Richards/Charles Xavier chess games any time in the future. For now, you can settle for the fact that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn is one of the film's producers.
The Fantastic Four opens on August 7th, 2015.