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It’s rare that you get the chance to interview a major Hollywood screenwriter on the day news regarding a future project breaks. And yet, as I waited on deck to speak with X-Men: Days of Future Past scripter Simon Kinberg, word came across the wire that The Wire co-star Reg E. Cathey had secured the role of Dr. Storm in the planned The Fantastic Four reboot – which Kinberg penned for director Josh Trank.
The immediate reaction was one of confusion. Fans of the original Fantastic Four comics – and the iconic characters – are just now getting used to the fact that Johnny Storm will be played by Michael B. Jordan, a Black actor. Most assumed this meant that he would be adopted by the Storm family, as Johnny and Sue Storm (played by Kate Mara) are siblings in the comics. Now we know that they have a Black father. So, is Sue the adopted member of the family?
I was able to pose the question to Simon Kinberg, and he smiled as he looked up at the ceiling of the room in which we sat. After a brief pause, he replied:
I’m not supposed to talk about it, but Reg E. is playing Dr. Storm, so … you know. The math on that is what people will make."
And by our calculations, it means Sue Storm will be an adopted member of the Storm family before she becomes a founding member of the Fantastic Four family. Which should be fine. By all accounts, Josh Trank wants to find a different portal into the legendary characters of Mister Fantastic (Miles Teller), The Invisible Woman (Kate Mara), The Human Torch (Michael B. Jordan) and The Thing (Jamie Bell). I’m assuming that they all are going to retain the powers that make them memorable members of the Marvel universe. But it doesn’t sound like they will be flying on a spaceship through a cosmic field of radiation in order to obtain said powers.
Simon Kinberg spoke mainly about his work on the current X-Men movie, but it’s worth pointing out that he also informed Collider that the Fantastic Four movie – which just began filming in New Orleans – will be converted to 3D after filming, noting, "The reason to use 3D in this Fantastic Four, I think, is to make the experience feel as immersive as possible, where you feel like you’re with the characters looking at themselves and looking at each other with these bizarre powers and feeling like they’re really interacting with you."
The Fantastic Four is working toward a June 19, 2015 release date. It sounds like it is shape-shifting the comics’ traditional origin to create something new and extraordinary. Are you on board with these decisions?