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It has been a busy season for superhero movies already, with Captain America, Spider-Man and the X-Men entertaining movie-going audiences with their latest adventures. Meanwhile, down on the Bayou, director Josh Trank is plugging away at his updated take on Marvel’s first family – The Fantastic Four – and one of his cast members has opened up to the press about the movie’s progress, and it’s potential future.
20th Century Fox seems to be coaching the Fantastic Four cast on the proper buzz words to use in interviews, because the franchise’s new Human Torch, Michael B. Jordan, used the familiar term "grounded" when asked by IGN about the movie’s tone. Jordan explained:
It’ll be about the characters. We’re getting down to the nuts and bolts of acting, with this larger-than-life ‘bigger world’ idea. So it’s going to be pretty cool."
The general conversation revolving around Fantastic Four has been that it will not be as fantastic (in a fantasy, science-fiction sense) as the comic books on which it is based. While we have no official confirmation on the actual story that Josh Trank is putting together, it is believed that the origin of this new Fantastic Four team – which consists of Jordan, Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell – will not involve space travel, and the absorption of power-granting cosmic rays. How will the team end up with their powers? It’s one of the many mysteries swirling around this reboot at the moment, and one that we will continue to track.
Could a smaller, "grounded" Fantastic Four work? Sure. It would contradict the approach of rival superhero storylines, where sequels have to build bigger worlds, and competing heroes (like Batman and Superman) have to be teamed in hopes of creating larger universes. The X-Men are traveling through time. Spider-Man could have six villains on screen the next time that we see him. Maybe a reduction in size and scope is exactly what the Fantastic Four needs.
And if that’s the case, then Josh Trank is the right hire, because he and Michael B. Jordan collaborated on the smaller-scale superhero origin story Chronicle a few years back, and if the new Fantastic Four can be half as inventive and in-touch with comic-book sensibilities as that film, then the Fox property is in good hands.
As the interview rolled on, Michael B. Jordan claims that he has yet to meet Stan Lee, and admits that he took a meeting for Independence Day 2, saying, "There’s a process with anything. You meet people. Not to officially audition. But you meet up on projects. … That was a project that’d been around, so who knows what’s going to come of it?"
Could he become the next Will Smith after becoming the next Johnny Storm? Time will tell.