SECRET IDENTITY: Who Should Star In The ‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot?

The recent announcement regarding a “Fantastic Four” reboot confirmed long-standing rumors that the property was set for an overhaul—and given recent comments from Chris Evans, it’s unlikely that the original cast will return for the do-over.

With the likes of Evans, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Ioan Gruffudd presumably removed from the new “Fantastic Four,” what sort of actors will the revamped film need in order to create a viable, sustainable franchise?

I’ve narrowed down my picks. Read on to see if you agree!

George Clooney as Mr. Fantastic: One of the biggest problems of the first “Fantastic Four” movies was its depiction of a younger Reed Richards. In my mind, Reed works best as an older soul—someone who has seen and done many bizarre things throughout his scientific career, but still has the heart and physique of a hero.

George Clooney might seem too convenient of a pick—he’s got star power and Reed’s naturally graying hair—but that doesn’t mean he isn’t well-suited for the role. With his roles in “Michael Clayton” and “Burn After Reading,” Clooney has come a long, long way from “Batman and Robin.” Maybe it’s time for the former Dark Knight to step back inside the superhero realm with Marvel’s First Family.

Runners Up: Jim Caviezel and Michael Fassbender

Elisabeth Mitchell as The Invisible Woman: If we’re casting older for Mr. Fantastic, we should probably do the same for Sue Storm, Reed’s wife and most trusted confidant. While an actress like Jessica Alba is certainly a draw for the younger male audience, I think that Sue needs a stronger combination of experience and beauty than we’ve seen from her thus far.

Lost” actress Elisabeth Mitchell brings both of those qualities to the role of the Invisible Woman. She’s clearly a physical match for the part, and as Dr. Juliet Burke on the hit ABC television series, Mitchell played both strong and vulnerable equally well—something that Sue, simultaneously enthralled and repelled by Reed’s workaholic nature, absolutely needs.

Runners Up: Naomi Watts and Reiko Aylesworth

Ryan Kwanten as The Human Torch: If the original “Fantastic Four” franchise got one thing right, it was the casting of Chris Evans. But with a reboot imminent, Evans is effectively out the window and a replacement is in order. Fox definitely needs an actor that exhibits many of the former Human Torch’s qualities: good looks, snappy dialogue and a sense for comedic timing.

Already mentioned as a strong candidate for Green Arrow, “True Blood” star Ryan Kwanten has all of the qualities necessary to play Johnny Storm, the hot-blooded member of Marvel’s First Family. It’s hard to say if Kwanten is better suited than Evans himself, but he’s proven himself in the realm of comedy—and as an authentic blond, he’s already a better physical match than Evans.

Runners Up: Chris Pine and Jensen Ackles

Chris Bauer as The Thing: Like Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis is one of the few shining spots in the first two “Fantastic Four” movies—but also like Evans, Chiklis is presumably out of the running for the reboot. Despite his television popularity, Chiklis was hardly a big-screen fixture when he got the role of Ben Grimm. Given the Thing’s reliance on makeup effects, having a recognizable actor is less important here than with any other role.

For that reason, I think Fox should take a gamble on Chris Bauer, a relatively unknown, gruff-and-tough character actor. Bauer has demonstrated a knack for both comedy and tragedy as seen in his markedly different roles of Detective Andy Bellefleur on “True Blood” and Frank Sabotka on “The Wire,” a balance that’s necessary in establishing a believable Ben Grimm.

Runners Up: Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Michael Madsen

Stellan Skarsgård as Doctor Doom: Fox has already taken two cracks at Doctor Doom with Julian McMahon, but the Fantastic Four’s greatest foe might also be the franchise’s greatest mistake thus far. His origin was changed drastically, his presence was far from menacing and his dialogue was often laughable for all the wrong reasons.

Doctor Doom needs to be terrifying, and one actor that could definitely pull off such an emotion is Stellan Skarsgård, father of former “Thor” contender Alexander Skarsgård. He’s a taller physical presence, sports a menacing voice and—most importantly—the guy can act. With Skarsgård behind the mask, this version of Doom might actually give nightmares to younger viewers… exactly as he should!

Runners Up: Hugo Weaving and Christoph Waltz

Who do you think should be cast in the “Fantastic Four” reboot? Let us know your picks in the comments, and be sure to suggest future topics for SECRET IDENTITY!