By Charles Webb
Last night, sources at Variety revealed some of the frontrunners for the upcoming “Fantastic Four” reboot which appears to be slowly but surely coming together at Fox, with “Game of Thrones'” Jon Snow, Kit Harington possibly snagging the lead role of Reed Richards.
In fact, it seems like Fox has their eye on a Fantastic Three with several young up-and-comers being eyed for the roles of Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, the Invisible Woman/Sue Storm, and the Human Torch/Johnny Storm with no immediate word on who’ll be filling the rocky shoes/feet/whatever of the Thing/Ben Grimm.
Reed Richards, depending on whether your comics canon is regular Marvel or Ultimate-ized, is alternately a brilliant scientist who convinces his pilot best friend, girlfriend, and her little brother to join him on a rocket ship where they’re all bathed with cosmic rays granting them super powers, or, in the Ultimate universe, a child prodigy who creates a teleportation device which goes awry, transforming his friends in the process.
Would new screenwriter Simon Kinberg have someone say “You know nothing, Reed Richards,” because that would be excellent. Also under consideration for the role are Miles Teller, one of stars of the Fox found footage party movie “Project X” alongside “Skins” UK and “300: Rise of an Empire” actor Jack O’Connell.
Meanwhile, “Hanna” and “Atonement” star Saoirse Ronan joins “American Horror Story” and “House of Cards” star Kate Mara, with Australian Margot Robbie (“Pan Am,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”) having her name tossed onto the Susan Storm pile, although Variety is saying that she hasn’t been asked to test for the role. Ronan might be a tricky one to snag, too, given that she’s also rumored to be up for a role in “Star Wars: Episode VII” for J.J. Abrams.
The names being tossed around for Sue Storm are intriguing, not because they’re any huge surprises (well, Robbie’s is), but because why would you hire Mara or Ronan to play a shrinking violet version of Sue Storm? It seems clear from these discussions that Fox is definitely looking towards and “Ultimate Fantastic Four” version of the characters*. Sue in the Ultimate universe is a brilliant scientist in her own right, occasionally butting heads with Reed (and falling for him) even as they suffer their strange transformations. Plus, she gets the ability to become invisible at will.
Now, the casting for her brother, Johnny Storm, is maybe one of our favorite rumors in the lot–and it’s a rumor that’s been circulating for a while. “Chronicle” and “Fruitvale Station” actor Michael B. Jordan has so far been the only name knocking around for the role of the flying, flame-powered playboy the Human Torch. Jordan was absolutely the best part of “Chronicle,” and if the rumors are true, he would be reunited with that film’s director, Josh Trank, who’s directing “Fantastic Four.” Would Johnny and Sue be adopted or step siblings in this version of the “FF?” It’s not really a question to dwell over too much, it’s great that Fox has homed in on Jordan.
That leaves the Thing and we’re going to go out on a limb here and say he’ll be fully CG, meaning Fox will need to find someone to play the character early in the movie before voice/performance capturing him for the rest of the film.
“Fantastic Four” is currently getting a polish on its existing script in advance of a planned first quarter 2014 begin to shooting.
*Although please, please let’s avoid “Victor Van Damme” as a character name. While it’s weird that a guy would be walking around with the name von Doom, it’s weirder still that a guy named van Damme would change his name to Doom.
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