Mere hours ago we reported on That Awkward Moment stars Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller signing up for a Warner Bros. heist film, and while that project was good enough to warrant an approving nod, we’re a hell of a lot more interested in the two actors reteaming for Josh Trank’s upcoming reboot of The Fantastic Four for Fox. And what do you know, Fox has finally confirmed that both Jordan and Teller are entering final negotiations to star, and they’re being joined by House of Cards’ Kata Mara and Snowpiercer’s Jamie Bell. The rumors are finally said and done. We now have an official Fantastic Four, and they’re actually fantastic actors!
Miles Teller is Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic
Kate Mara is Sue Storm, Invisible Woman
Michael B. Jordan is Johnny Storm, Human Torch
Jamie Bell is Ben Grimm, Thing
It’s been so long since this project began coming together, I don’t know if I’ll be able to properly adjust to it moving forward. Jordan has been loosely attached to the film since last May, while Teller and Mara’s names came up in October. THR reports Bell landed the job after Fox’s brass couldn’t agree on anyone else during the initial audition phase.
Teller, who has emerged as a strong go-to actor after roles in last year’s The Spectacular Now and this year's Sundance hit Whiplash, will be playing lead man Reed Richard, who is turned into the stretch-friendly Mr. Fantastic. There is a slight chance that scheduling issues may knock him out of the film, as he is also being looked at for the upcoming John Belushi biopic that’s set to start filming this spring. That sounds like more of a "prestige pic vs. tentpole money money money pic," but I’m sure he’ll be swayed to the superhero side.
Jordan will indeed be playing Johnny Storm, also known as the Human Torch, while Mara will take the role of the Invisible Woman Sue Storm. These two characters are supposed to be brother and sister, so it’s unclear at the moment how the story will be changed to make room for the change in race. Adopted siblings perhaps? While no background explanation is needed to explain why Bell nabbed the rock-headed part of Ben "The Thing" Grimm, it’s somewhat strange that they didn’t go with someone more built. (But then I’ve never seen Bell with his shirt off, which may change if I ever get around to Lars Van Trier’s Nymphomaniac.)
The Fantastic Four has seen its share of ups and downs over the past year or so, with a complete change in screenwriters occurring last fall, when X-Men: Days of Future Past writer Simon Kinberg was brought in to rewrite Jeremy Slater’s script, which was also retouched by Seth Grahame-Smith, Michael Green and T.S. Nowlin, with Trank also getting involved at some point. We all know that a film with this many screenwriters NEVER gets it wrong, right?
For now, this potential blockbuster has a release date set for June 19, 2015, and production is scheduled to begin in Louisiana this March.
Obviously there are a few choices here that might be considered controversial: this is the first time that we'll be seeing an African-American version of Johnny Storm, and the other three actors aren't exactly the first names you think of when fantasy casting a superhero movie (plus, they are all very young). What do you think of this casting job? Do you think the project is headed in an interesting direction, or are you ready to give up already? Answer our poll below!
What do you think of the Fantastic Four casting?