I’m not putting a great deal of weight behind the story but Screen Rant nevertheless say Amber Heard, the hot blonde who I’ve had a thing for since her slasher turn in All The Boys Love Mandy Lane – is a top candidate at 20th Century Fox to play Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman in their forthcoming reboot of The Fantastic Four.
Not only that but Adrien Brody (who has quickly become the go-to link for every Marvel hero lately) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (most boring actor on the planet) are being courted for the elastic Reed Richards. They say The Thing will be completely CGI (this one they might actually have right) and that the previously rumoured title Fantastic Four: Reborn is out.
I can believe the CGI and title tidbits but the casting stories are so obviously bullshit that it’s embarrassing given that there’s no director on board right now and as the perilous adventures of the FF are barely in anyone’s minds at Fox HQ, at least not until next summer. Can I please put out a plea to all my peers to think thoroughly about the validity of their sources when it comes to castings that can’t possibly be true. Thank you.
However I do understand that it’s fun to do some fantasy casting (which is all the above is and I wish it would be better for all of us if it was advertised as such), so here’s what I would do with the FF franchise, if you care to read…
First thing I would have done last year is tell Michael Green (Smallville, co-writer of Green Lantern) who producer Akiva Goldsman hired to put together a screenplay reboot – to play up on the sci-fi aspect of the FF. Think ‘bigger’ than any Marvel superhero movie has in the past — go to other worlds, spend lots of time away from Earth, have more threatening villains and storylines. It’s something DC are looking into with Green Lantern next year and I think the FF would benefit from this thinking.
On this basis, my firm choice to direct would be Alex Proyas (I, Robot, Knowing, Dark City). He was previously attached to a Silver Surfer spin-off and I’m convinced that his vision for creating visually interesting and unique worlds, his original voice, and his ability to blend CGI with live-action to create a perfect sequence, is exactly what is required from adapting a property such as this. I would hire him immediately.
It probably goes without saying that the seriousness of the FF needs to be knocked up at least three notches higher. Everybody knows and understands this. They simply got it so wrong the first time around that this one needs to feel wholly different.
For this I would skew older than the original FF and absolutely NOT make it an origin story. I want this world to feel lived in, like they’ve had dozens of adventures already in the can. They are fully formed and we can get straight into the meat and bones of the story.
Here’s my choices…
Bruce Greenwood (54) as Reed Richards….
Ok, I know you will be screaming ‘TOO OLD’ right now but Greenwood, at 54, will immediately bring a sophisticated tone to the film. He’s still a fit man, can play ten years younger than his actual age when required and could play Mister Fantastic in four movies this decade, easy.
His job as Reed Richards will be similar to what he was assigned to do in Star Trek – and that’s bring gravitas and depth to what potentially could be seen as a silly setup. You know, ever since I remember reading Marvel comics I’ve always thought of Reed being in his 40′s, a distinguished scientist who is well respected in all fields, and for this you need a respected actor.
I also like the idea of him being an All-American and I would go the former U.S. astronaut route. He’s played both fictional presidents and John F. Kennedy in the past, there really isn’t a more respected actor out there.
Elizabeth Banks (36) as Sue Storm
Again as I’m consciously skewing older, Banks at 36, is the exact age I would be thinking about for Sue Storm. She is usually depicted as being considerably younger than Reed and having loved Banks’ no fear and gutso attitude to put herself into any role and material thrown her way over the years, I think she’s perfect to bring an emotional sincerity and likeability to the group. She is the heart of the FF team and her casting is pivotal.
I never cared about Jessica Alba in the role but I’ve always cared about Elizabeth Banks’ characters.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (44) as Ben Grimm
1) Watchmen is a one-off movie and won’t be sequalized, so he would never appear as The Comedian ever again.
2) There is simply no better actor out there to play Ben Grimm. FACT!
Jensen Ackles (32) as Johnny Storm
Chris Evans’s cocky rebel without a cause performance in the original two flicks was just about the only saving grace of those wretched films, so I think it would be wise to cast a young actor who can encapsulate what his predecessor brought to the dance.
Smallville and Supernatural actor Jensen Ackles – an actor some of us had our eyes on for Captain America, is inevitably going to end up with a comic book gig at some point.
I like his attitude and charisma and as a Smallville writer is putting together the screenplay – he’s likely to have been in mind during the writing process.
Christoph Waltz (53) as Victor Von Doom…
Talking about villains is a little redundant seeing as though we don’t entirely know what direction they are going in, but you can almost guarantee Victor Von Doom will be present. And if so, who better than this guy….
We all know how good he is at playing a villain. Victor Von Doom is the ultimate bad guy, or at least he always was for me when growing up – and it needs an actor with tremendous presence, voice and stature. Clearly Julian McMahon was not the direction to go in last time around and if they can get Waltz before our interest levels run low (he’s already playing the villain in Green Hornet and Fox’s blockbuster Water For Elephants – we hope he’s not the go-to Hollywood villain right now), then he would be the ultimate Dr. Doom.
I would say the smart thinking right now is that Marvel, who remember have Disney lawyers backing them (the most powerful in the creative industries, surely) should aggressively make a play for the Fantastic Four franchise and launch the characters into the same universe that they are building with Iron Man, Cap and The Avengers, etc.
I’m certain FF, Daredevil and X-Men will be back at Marvel by the end of this decade (as I say, these lawyers will find a loop hole at some point) but right now’s the time to buy the FF and Daredevil properties back, certainly – before Fox foul them up for a second time.